Looking to give solo traveling a try? Traveling alone can be a very fun and rewarding experience, but it’s not for everyone. Take a look at my pros and cons of solo traveling to give you a better idea of what to expect:
Pro: You get to do whatever you want whenever you want
Tired of having those awkward debates with your travel buddies about what you should see and do during your trip? Well here is where solo traveling is at its best. You get to do whatever you want! It’s your schedule and yours alone, so you can spend your time doing whatever you want. Want to spend the whole day at that cool art museum? Do it! Want to spend the entire day in bed? Go for it. Sleep in however late you want. Stay up as late as you want. You make your own travel itinerary and you can fill it with whatever you want.
Con: Traveling alone can get a little lonely sometimes
One of the biggest drawbacks of solo traveling for many people is the fact that you have nobody with you to experience the cool things you are seeing. It might not hit you right away during your trip, but loneliness can start creeping in as the days of the trip go by.
Loneliness doesn’t affect everyone the same way. For some people it just isn’t a problem! Some people can travel alone for weeks with no problem. That doesn’t mean that they don’t get lonely sometimes, but they find ways to cope with it and enjoy their travels. But for others the feeling of loneliness can hit pretty hard. This is the reason that some people end up scrolling through social media for most of their trip rather than exploring the place they traveled to. The strong feeling of loneliness can be a trip ruiner for some people.
If you are worried that you could get lonely on your solo trip, try taking a shorter trip by yourself before booking that 3-week solo backpacking trip that you’ve been dreaming about. Try a weekend in a city nearby, or maybe just a full weekend without seeing friends or family.
Pro: Traveling alone pushes you to meet new people
One great way to deal with loneliness on you solo trip is to meet new people along the way! Often times when people travel in a group, they have a harder time reaching outside of their group to meet new people. But solo traveling offers a great opportunity to push yourself to meet others.
One great way to meet new people during your travels is to stay in hostels. Hostels are full of travelers who might be looking to do the same thing that you are during the day. So strike up a conversation with someone in your hostel and get to know them! Making friends from other countries is one of the greatest parts of traveling.
Con: Nobody is there to have your back if something goes wrong
It’s you and only you when you are solo traveling. If you have trouble waking up in the mornings by yourself, then you’ll have to get creative for how to make sure you wake up in time if you have planes or trains to catch.
If you plan on drinking when you are solo traveling, be really careful with how much you consume. You don’t have any of your friends there to support you home if you get too drunk. You don’t have to stay completely sober on the trip, but just make sure to keep you alcohol at a level where you are in control.
Pro: You are a lot more versatile when getting from place to place
If you have ever traveled with a big group, you know how much of a pain in the butt it can be to corral everyone from Point A to Point B. Just relive this scenario with me:
Becky’s taking forever to get ready, Jim’s lost his train pass AGAIN, Brenda HAS to stop for food on the way to the train that you are already late too, and holy crap Mike if you complain about how tired you are one more time then we are LEAVING YOU BEHIND.
Well with you are solo traveling, you are the only one that you have to worry about. No more waiting for people to get ready and no more trying to keep everyone together in big crowds. Walk as fast or slow as you like. Just pack up your travel backpack, put it on your back, and go.
Con: There’s nobody there to push you out of your comfort zone
Travel offers a great opportunity to try new things and push yourself out of your comfort zone. The great thing about traveling with friends is that, often times, friends can push you to do things that you wouldn’t normally do by yourself. So that means it is all on you to make the most of your experience!
One other thing related to this point, it is really tempting to go to bed early when solo traveling. If you have nobody with you egging you on to stay out a little longer or to get one more round with, then often times it’s easy to just head back to your hostel and call it a night. Going to bed early isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a little different than traveling in a group.
While solo traveling can be great for some, it isn’t for everyone. Sometimes people are just better fitted to travel with others. And you know what? That’s completely fine! There are many benefits to traveling with others too.
Have you solo traveled before? Feel free to leave a comment below with any pros and cons that you have discovered along the way.
Thinking that solo traveling might be a good fit for you? Check out my Guide to Solo Traveling for more tips and tricks.
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