Traveling Solo? Why not!
Most people are apprehensive about traveling on their own. It makes sense: on unfamiliar ground, it’s nice to have a familiar face to share experiences with you, and whom you can consult about things when you’re lost or confused. But if you want to go to a particular destination, do consider taking that flight or boat ride on your own for these reasons—you may find that going solo this vacation season is not as intimidating as you think!
1. You get to call the shots for your itinerary.
Yes, shared experiences are great—but what if your travel companion doesn’t want to go to the floating market or try the local street food? You may be forced to miss out on the things you really want to do during your limited time there in the name of compromise. Traveling alone means choosing to see the sights, eat the food and buy the things that makes you happy—and enriches your experience.
2. You move at your own pace.
Need to take a nap at the hotel? No problem. Fancy taking the train to the next destination? Same. Whether you want to breeze through certain spots or extend your stay, there’s no need to worry about someone else’s time table. This allows you to cut through either the fatigue or boredom that can set in during group travels.
3. You’ll get to meet new people.
Traveling in a group means that you guys tend to stick together, making you harder to approach. But on your own? As shy as you may be, you’ll learn to talk to the locals, come out of your shell and meet fellow travelers. This is a particularly good idea when you want to go off the beaten path and avoid the traditional touristy spots, especially if you’re staying at a hostel. Some people even become lifelong friends based on chance meetings during their vacations, so it is strongly suggested that you try this at least once in your life. Locals everywhere warm up to travelers when they’re asked about what’s fun to do or there to see in their hometown.
4. No more budget conflicts.
Tailoring your itinerary is dependent on your budgets—so what if your friend wants to go to the more expensive shopping districts or feels iffy about staying at a hostel—no matter how clean, safe and spacious it is? On your own, whether you’re saving or splurging, you can go around with no worries about you’ll be able to pay for a dinner you didn’t even pick.
5. You gain a greater sense of confidence.
Most people who travel in groups have a tendency to shape their decisions around everyone else—those who pick have to consider what everyone wants, while those who hand over the decision to someone simply go with the flow, without being able to think for themselves what they came to see and do in the first place. Traveling alone puts those decisions in your hands for the better, because when you learn how to navigate by yourself, put together your plans for the day and talk to people, you start to see that you can do it. All it usually takes is a map, notable things to do and a little belief in yourself to get the ball rolling.
These five reasons are combined with the fact that nowadays, traveling alone is a lot safer than people think, as long as you take the usual necessary precautions, so people really should let go of their fear of traveling solo. Remember that you will always have greater regrets for the opportunities you did not take than the ones you did, so get on a plane alone and see where your journey will take you!