The idea of travelling alone can be daunting. In a digital world obsessed with constant connection it can be an alien concept choosing to spend time on your own, especially on holiday. Many people believe that experiences are there to be shared but that’s not always possible and you may find yourself reaching a point where solo travel is the only option. This might leave you worrying that you’ll be lonely, or bored, or even afraid…
“What if I’m left completely on my own?“, you might ask.
“What if I don’t enjoy my own company?“, you might ponder.
“What if something bad happens and I’m all on my own?“, you might fear.
Put those doubts to rest as travelling solo is one of the most self-defining and life-changing things you can do in life. Whether you’re thinking of taking a year out to go backpacking on your own or join your first guided group tour without your usual companions, there’s plenty of reasons to just do it. Best of all is that you won’t be the only one. This sector of the travel industry is booming with the number of lone travellers increasing every year. More and more tour operators (like us) and travel agencies cater for solo travellers than ever before and the options are seemingly endless.
So what are you waiting for?
Reasons Why You Should Travel Solo: #1
It’s easier to organise
We’ve all experienced the hassle of trying to organise a group of people, whether it’s for a simple restaurant dinner, a weekend hen do or family get-together. That hassle seems to grow exponentially when it comes to holiday planning. Finding dates that work for everyone, agreeing on a destination and deciding what you want to do when you get there can become a logistical nightmare with differing opinions and needs to satisfy. Travelling solo means you can ditch the hassle and focus on planning your perfect holiday without needing to please anyone else.
Reasons Why You Should Travel Solo: #2
You won’t have to compromise
Travelling alone means doing what YOU want to do. If you want to spend hours browsing the local markets, you won’t have to cut that short because of a travelling companion that finds shopping mind-numbingly dull. If you want to lose yourself in the exhibits of a museum, you’re free to do so without worrying about your travel pal that has no interest in history or art. Travelling solo means setting your own pace and filling your day with the activities that bring you pleasure. You won’t have to do anything you don’t want to in order to keep others happy. There will be no arguments on where to eat that night or what time to go to bed as you’re in charge.
Reasons Why You Should Travel Solo: #3
You can stick to your own budget
Another thing you won’t have to compromise on is budget. Every traveller has a maximum amount they want to spend whilst on holiday but it can be difficult to stay within that budget if you’re travelling with someone who has more money to spend than you. Travelling solo means you won’t feel as though you have to keep up with what others are spending or miss out on activities because your travel companion can’t afford that pricey hot air balloon ride or skydive.
Reasons Why You Should Travel Solo: #4
You’ll meet lots of interesting people
Travelling solo rarely means travelling alone. Whichever type of traveller you are – independent backpacker or joiner of group tours – you will find plenty of opportunities to meet other like-minded travellers. You’ll also come into contact with people you may not have met otherwise as travel attracts those from all walks of life, of all ages and experiences. The people you meet will open your mind just as much as the places you visit. And on your own, you have more imperative to get out there and meet people. If you’re feeling lonely you can simply start chatting to people. “Where are you from?“, “What brings you here?” and “How long have you been travelling?” are all reliable ice-breakers that gets other travellers talking.
Travelling on your own instead of in a couple or group of friends also makes you less intimidating and more approachable to others. As a solo traveller it’s easy to invite conversation simply by being on your own and welcoming of interactions. Conversely, if you don’t want to be sociable then you are free to keep to yourself and swap conversation for alone time.
Reasons Why You Should Travel Solo: #5
You’ll learn much more about yourself
Travelling solo provides endless opportunities to dig deeper into your personality. When you’re alone, you must take full responsibility of your actions and behaviour. It’s a test of your self-sufficiency, resourcefulness and adaptability and by the end of your travel experience, you are likely to find that you can look after yourself rather than automatically relying on someone else. You’ll be forced to make decisions rather than going along with what others decide. You’ll have the space and freedom to indulge in the things that bring you pleasure and discover new interests. You’ll grow and develop life skills that you’ll no doubt call upon again in other areas of your life.
Reasons Why You Should Travel Solo: #6
You’ll become more confident
Travelling solo is also a massive boost to your confidence as you realise that you can, in fact, spend time on your own and actually enjoy your own company. Once you have discovered that you can survive perfectly well on your own, you won’t let having nobody to go with hold you back ever again. Favourite band playing in town but none of your friends want to go? No problem! You’ve just spent a few weeks travelling without any familiar faces to call company so one evening on your own in your home city will be a proverbial walk in the park. You’ll stop caring what other people think about your solo activities too. Life’s too short to miss out on experiences simply because you don’t have anyone to share them with and nothing brings that message home quite like travelling solo does.
Reasons Why You Should Travel Solo: #7
Your experiences will be more profound
When you travel with others it’s easy to be distracted by the experience of travelling with that person or group of people instead of focusing fully on the experience of travel. On your own you have more space for introspection and to take note of how the things you have seen and experienced have affected you. In all likelihood travelling solo will push you out of your comfort zone and this is where the most profound insights usually occur. It could be that the local language inspires you to want to study it when you head back home or the country you’re visiting resonates with you so much that you’re inclined to try living there one day. When you travel, it really does feel like anything is possible and even more so when you’re by yourself with the freedom to really examine your responses to the situation.
Reasons Why You Should Travel Solo: #8
You’ll have a chance to reinvent yourself
It’s easy to fall into habits of behaviour when you’re constantly surrounded by the same people and going through the motions of the daily grind back home. We’re creatures of habit and our interactions with the people we know fall into patterns that don’t always bring out the best in us. Travelling solo presents you with the opportunity to break those habits and patterns, and try something new. For the duration of your holiday you can select a strand of your personality to develop and nurture without the worry of what anyone else who already knows you may think.
If only for a week or two, you can inhabit a slightly different version of yourself, one that you perhaps don’t have the confidence to back home. Away from the family you can ditch the nagging mother persona and become the fun-loving individual you were before you had kids. Away from your friends you can momentarily kiss goodbye to the shy girl who is overshadowed by everyone else in the group and try out your charm and sense of humour on a new and unbiased audience. And the more often you try reinventing yourself, the better success you’ll have when you want to make that change for good.
Reasons Why You Should Travel Solo: #9
You’ll be able to enjoy lots of “me time”
It can be hard to carve out some quality “me time” when you’re facing a mound of responsibilities and tasks at work and at home. A holiday can be as much “me time” as you need and want whether it’s a relaxing spa break for one, a week-long tour in the company of strangers, or a month-long backpacking adventure completely on your own. You won’t be responsible for entertaining anyone else and can devote your time to doing what recharges your batteries. When you’re not playing a role or sticking to the same tired character you might back home, you can really relax and unwind.
Reasons Why You Should Travel Solo: #10
You’ll appreciate your relationships more
And travelling solo isn’t only for single people – there’s a number of benefits for those in a couple to travel on their own too. It’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder and if you’ve spent night of every day of the last 20, 30 or 40 odd years in the company of your husband/wife/partner, why not take a break? It could be that you want to visit somewhere that your partner has absolutely no interest in or for one reason or another they can’t or won’t travel, but why should that stop you? If you do take a holiday by yourself you’ll come back with stories to tell, insights to share and a renewed eagerness to see your partner. The “me time” that you have for yourself on holiday has the potential to reinvigorate your relationships and supply brand new conversational material on your return.
There’s so many great reasons why you should travel on your own that you may find it becomes the only way to travel!