The majority of trips I’ve taken in the past have been solo – or at least start off that way before meeting new people and merging our adventures together! A lot of my friends back home find it insane that I can travel on my own, vowing that they’d never be able to do it for one reason or another. But honestly? A lot of the time I prefer it! I’ve always been a bit of a free spirit and hate feeling barricaded into other peoples plans or decisions – I take great pleasure in my meticulous planning so when my OCD self loses control of that I feel a bit lost! That being said, solo travel isn’t for everyone – but, you won’t know if it’s for you unless you try! So give it a go!
——– PROS ——–
You don’t have anyone else holding you back!
We’ve all had it – you & your friends or your partner try and arrange a trip that just seems to be going nowhere! There’s always someone who can’t afford to pay by the deadline date, people change their minds, or people have no urgency to actually get things done in time! With solo travel; you work to your own deadline – if you decide you want to leave 2 months earlier or add an extra location into your plans, you can easily do so. If you fall behind on any tasks you need to get done, you’re not letting anyone else down or having to offload your to do list onto others!
You can do what you want, when you want!
With solo travel, there’s no conflicting itineraries – if you want to go hiking at 6am then grab your boots and get going, if you’re craving Chinese food – then guess what, that’s what you can get! When you’re travelling with others, there’s always differing opinions and ideas about how to spend the day; generally resulting in someone being disappointed or missing out on things that they want to do. With solo travel, you only ever have to do what you want and it is exhilarating!
You’re much more open to meeting new people!
When you travel with other people, naturally, you tend to want to spend all your time with those people; being that they’re your friends or your partner that you’ve probably been planning and getting excited with your trip about for a while. This stops you from branching out and socialising with new people, whereas when you travel alone, you wind up meeting loads of people! These people become potential future travel partners, new friends, or obviously sometimes people that drive you insane – but hey, at least you’ve tried!
——– CONS ——–
The cost of your trip will change drastically!
Generally, this means your trip will be more expensive if you do it solo rather than with other people, but, honestly it’s not always the case! First of all, travelling with other people means whatever your expenditure on accommodation and travel is split however many extra ways – often decreasing the amount each person spends. However, I noticed that the two trips I took most recently – my solo one actually worked out a few hundred pounds cheaper! This largely came down to the fact that the people I travelled with didn’t want to “slum it” in hostels, so even though we were splitting the costs 4 ways – the price of a bed in a hostel still managed to work out cheaper!
You won’t have anyone with you to experience all those memories with!
As much freedom as travelling solo gives you, honestly, at times it can get a little bit boring. You’ll see something hilarious or achieve something impressive, but no one will be there to enjoy those special moments with you. Even with the negative points, sometimes it’s definitely nice to have a support network to cheer you up when you’re feeling a little bit down. These people you travel with will be with you pretty much 24/7. Having people to spur you on to try something new or help take on some of the burden of planning the next leg of your journey, helps a LOT. It’s nice being able to count on people in person, rather than needing to run to your WhatsApp group whenever there’s an issue that you need help with.
It’s not as safe as travelling with other people!
Personally, I haven’t had many issues as a solo traveller, but have there been times when I’ve felt that it would be a little safer if I had company? Of course! Whether it’s late at night pulling into a gas station in the middle of nowhere, or in the middle of the day hiking through an empty forest on your own – having company with you will always make you feel a little bit more secure, as well as probably help your parents sleep better at night knowing you’re not totally on your own!
Overall, both solo and non-solo travel have their positives and negatives. If you can find a group of friends or a partner to travel with that gives you the positives of solo travel while still getting the benefits of travelling with others – trust me, you got lucky! It’s definitely worth giving it a go to at least see if it works for you or not, so get out of your comfort zone and sample solo travel while you can!