6 Reasons Why Solo Travel is the Best Thing Ever
Updated: May 28, 2020
There was once a time that I couldn’t imagine even sitting in a restaurant alone. Nowadays, I go on international trips alone and don’t think twice about it.
I’ll be honest, it wasn't easy to make that first trip.
Naturally, when we think about solo travel, the first thing that comes to our mind is safety. We also wonder what we’d do all by ourselves, and if we’d get lonely or bored.
However, while our concerns may be very valid, they all stem from the fear, insecurity, and awkwardness that society sometimes makes us feel when we do something "outside of the norm".
But as soon as we become comfortable in our own skin and with spending some quality time with ourselves, we are capable of doing anything, including hopping on a plane to a destination miles away from home. Here are six reasons why solo travel is the best way to go:
1. You no longer have to wait to visit that place you’ve always wanted to visit.
I’ve always believed that we should never wait on someone else to make us happy. Similarly, when it comes to travel, I believe that you should never wait on someone else to see a part of the world that you’ve always wanted to see.
There once was a time that I would wait for my yearly girls trip or for family to agree on a vacation before I would start checking off the list of places I wanted to visit. Eventually, I learned that if I waited for someone else to agree on the location, dates, and activities associated with that trip, that it may never happen.
Many times it never did....and so I started to make the decisions myself. If I wanted to go somewhere, I did the research and booked a ticket for myself. At that point, there was no room for anyone to hold me back.
2. You don’t have to worry about anyone backing out at the last minute.
Planning a trip requires lots of coordination and planning, from getting your finances in order, to requesting time off from work, to coordinating accommodations, flights, and other logistics.
The more people involved in planning that trip, the harder it gets to accomplish all of those things and the more likely it is for someone to back out for one reason or another. Once that happens, you have a completely new set of problems on your hands, because now you have to rethink accommodations and any other plans you may have had that depended on having that person there.
When you’re alone, the only person you are responsible for is you, therefore you don’t have to worry about you entire trip being spoiled or cancelled altogether unless YOU want it to be.
3. You are more likely to spend less.
When you travel alone, there are so many more options for where you stay and where you eat. Instead of staying in an expensive hotel or large vacation rental, you have the option of renting just a room or staying in a hostel (or even couchsurf) for a fraction of the price.
Instead of being forced to split the bill at an expensive restaurant, you only have to worry about paying for your own meal and can even go to a fast food restaurant if you please, without displeasing someone else.
Additionally, you are less likely to purchase an appetizer or indulge in multiple adult beverages when you are alone versus when you are with friends.
As an added bonus, you’re more likely to strike up a conversation with someone who may offer to cover your meal and/or drinks for you! On that note...
4. You are more likely to meet new friends.
Unless you sit in your room looking at the wall all day, or are glued to your phone on social media, you are more likely to strike up a conversation with someone that you don’t know.
If you aren’t the outgoing type who initiates the conversation, I guarantee you that someone will initiate one with you...and at that point you have two options:
1. Act like a hermit crab and stay to yourself, or,
2. Make the most out of it and get to know someone new.
Unless you are feeling uncomfortable or like your safety is being threatened (as a solo female traveler it is VERY important to follow your gut), I highly recommend option #2.
Something about being alone makes people feel at ease with talking to you, and you never know who it is that you are talking to, or what impact they can eventually have on your life. Who knows, you may meet another solo traveler!
Point is, if you leave yourself open to it, you can meet a number of new people who can and will remain in your life for years to come.
5. You accomplish MUCH more in a short time.
Some of my most productive trips have been when I’m alone. Why? Because I’m on MY
time. I don’t have to worry about how long it takes someone to get ready, or whether or not they are interested in doing the same activities. I set my own schedule, see as much or as little as I want, and stay as little or as long as I want.
When you take trips with others, you spend much more time trying to decide on something that everyone likes, and ultimately end up doing none of them because one person couldn’t agree.
However, when you are alone, you set the pace for the entire day. And if you decide you want to just sit and do nothing all day? Well, that's okay too...because it's YOUR time.
6. You not only physically vacation, but mentally vacation.
When we go on vacation, it’s because we want to be physically removed from our everyday surroundings and placed somewhere that we consider "paradise."
When you travel alone, you have the opportunity to tune into yourself and your own mind, and work through all of the thoughts that can otherwise get lost in the noise of everyday life.
When you travel alone, you are alone with no one but your own thoughts...so if there was ever a perfect time to sit down and work through something that has been on your mind, your solo vacation would be it.
Of course you’re going to have those friends and/or family who will think the worst and try to discourage you from traveling alone, no matter how much you try to get them to see the positive.
But you must remember that this is your life to live, and that it is important to sometimes be selfish and take care of YOU. Solo travel does things for your mind and soul that one will never understand until they take that leap.
So whether you are considering hopping on an airplane to somewhere far or simply hopping in the car for a road trip, don’t be afraid of doing it alone. You only live once, so make the most of it. I promise you, it's a decision you will never regret!
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