Dreaming of that big trip to ________? (You fill in the blank). But you haven’t taken it yet? Is it because you have no one to travel with? Do you ask and always get the response: “We don’t have the money,” or “We can’t take the time off of work,” or a million other reasons/excuses as to why that trip may not be doable for your friends/family?
If this is the case solo travel may be the thing for you! You will have to open yourself up to new possibilities and take a leap of faith into a situation that may make you uncomfortable at first, but you will quickly see all the opportunities that solo travel will open up for you.
Reason 1: You are in control
You can go where you want to when you want to. You don’t have to follow anybody else’s schedule (***Note: I am not in any way discrediting family/group travel-that has its own perks!). I have often times found that when I travel with a group I do not get to see or do things that I want to do. I am a fast paced traveler and like to explore as much as I can, and this is not always the case for those I am traveling with. When I travel solo I can go at my own pace and explore what interests me.
Reason 2: Last Minute Trips are Easier
It is much easier deciding tonight that in the morning you are going to hop a flight and go half way around the world than it is to have to plan with everyone you will be traveling with, choosing dates, hotels, transportation, etc. that will work for everyone. If it is just you there is nothing holding you back as far as planning and coordinating. You will have much more flexibility.
Reason 3: You Have Less Distractions
If you are traveling alone you will have more time to focus on the destination, instead of focusing on the people around you. You will have plenty of time to sit and admire the scenes in front of you. You can focus 100% of your attention on the destination instead of focusing and engaging with your travel buddies.
Reason 4: You’re More Likely To Meet New People
As a solo traveler you will appear much more approachable and be more open to meeting new people and striking up a conversation. If you are traveling with a group of people your attention is going to be on the group, not on what’s going on around you. When you are traveling solo you are going to be much more open and most likely for someone to strike up a conversation with. You may even meet some locals and experience the destination as they see it, instead of an outside view.
Reason 5: You Have Complete Financial Control
If it is just you you can spend as much or as little as you want on what you want. If you want to spend hundreds of dollars on a luxury, five star hotel who will stop you? If you want to spend $20 a night on a hostel who will stop you? You can decide how much money you want to spend on what, no worries about what the other members in your travel group can afford or may choose not to afford.
Reason 6: You Will Boost Your Self-Confidence
Traveling alone can be very frightening and overwhelming, but it can also be very empowering. Traveling alone will put all the decisions into your hands and you will realize how much you are capable of on your own. You are also more likely to put yourself out there and do things you may not do if you were traveling with a group. You may be hesitant at first, but once you get more comfortable with being uncomfortable a whole world of possibilities will open up to you.
Reason 7: You Will Have More Travel Opportunities
If you venture out into the world of solo travel you will no longer have the reasons or excuses that you have when tying to travel with a group. There will be no one telling you that they don’t have the funds at the time or no one telling you they can’t get off of work. The reasons why not will quickly fade away and you will find yourself just going. You will see and experience so much more solo than you would if you were sitting around waiting for someone to go with.
Things to Know Before Your First Solo Trip
I would recommend that everyone travels solo at least once in their life. It presents many great opportunities and experiences. If you are prepping for your first solo trip, here are some things to consider:
- Being Nervous is Normal (It’s okay to feel nervous-just don’t let this stop you!)
- You Don’t Have to Be Completely Alone (Talk to the locals, make a new friend, step out of your comfort zone)
- Use Your Standard Safety Tips (take the same safety precautions while traveling alone that you would when traveling with a group) as well as some extra precautions so you know you have a back up plan in case something goes wrong.
- Do a little bit of planning so that you know where you are going and what to expect when you get there. Have your resources lined up so you know where you are staying, what you will be doing, how you will be getting around, etc. (You don’t have to have everything spelled out-one of the great things about solo travel is the freedom of flexibility).