5 Reasons Why You Should Take A Solo Trip

November 23, 2019

Girl sitting by a pool in the desert at sunset

Ask anyone who's done it, and they will likely agree on one thing: there's something genuinely unique and liberating about traveling by yourself. If you've never done it before, it might not sound like the most appealing option. Sure, experiencing a new place with your favorite people is a stellar way to create memories and bond, but traveling alone for the first time pushes your adventurous spirit into new territory. It will actually be one of your more memorable trips because of it. So let's get on with it. Here are 5 reasons why you shouldn't miss out on this kind of trip:


1. You are on no one's schedule but your own


Especially if you plan an open-ended itinerary, you can stay, go, change your mind, and change your mind again. Goes without saying that when you travel with someone else, you can't exactly make every decision on your own, but when you travel solo, you have no one to answer but yourself. It's quite refreshing. 

 

2. You will meet way more people along the way

When you travel in a group or with another person, it’s super easy to isolate yourself from everyone around you. After all, you’ve got all the company you need. Traveling alone means that you are more likely to strike up a conversation with a stranger (or they with you), tag along with another person’s activities or even make plans to meet up again later. 

 

Man drinking tea alone on a rooftop in morocco

 

3. You are 100% in control of your budget

Have you ever caved in to an expensive restaurant that you can't actually afford, just because that's where someone else wanted to go? Or maybe you're willing to shell out a few extra bucks for a comfier hotel room, but your travel partner wants to skimp on accommodations? Say hello to the "My Vacation, My Budget, My Choices" plan and make money one less thing you have to worry about. 

 

4. You can finally do that one thing that you've always wanted to do

Having common interests with your friends or significant other is great, but there's inevitably something you want to do more than anyone else you know. Go see that one city lit up at midnight, take that hobby of yours to the next level, or experience the culture of that one obscure town you've dreamed about since you were little. You might not always have this chance, and what a bummer if you miss it?


5. As cheesy as it sounds, you really do learn a lot about yourself 


This isn't some cliche Eat Pray Love advice. It is genuinely among the best one-on-one times you'll have, somewhere totally new, experiencing something entirely outside your everyday humdrum. How do you deal with hiccups along the road when you can't gripe to the person next to you? Maybe you're not as socially awkward as you think when you force yourself to meet new people? Perhaps you discover that you really do love being on your own for a while?

Still not convinced? Let's tackle some common concerns about solo travel...

 

Weirded out by eating alone at a restaurant? 

Woman dinning alone

 

It's not an uncommon feeling but not as awkward as you think once you get comfortable and stop feeling self-conscious. To ease your way in, try the following:

  • Take a book. Nothing odd about sitting alone, having a bite to eat while flipping through a vacation read, some travel literature, or a local paper. 
  • Smaller increments of time are less daunting to start with, so pick casual cafes that are fast and easy before you sit down to a solo 60-minute experience.
  • Sit at the bar when possible. Many bar patrons at restaurants are solo, too, so you won’t feel out of place. Plus, a lot of bartenders take it upon themselves to stop and chat with their guests.

But who is going to take pictures to document the new, adventure-inspired you?

Whether you're plastering your trip over social media or just keeping a private collection of memories, you shouldn't miss out on getting some rad pics of your trip. Consider the following:

  • Learn scenic landscape photography. Yes, that might mean that you are not in the photos, but you can get so many incredible shots of the people and places around you. Not sure where to start? Try an online Master Class to help you prep
  • Work on your selfie skills. Not the most innovative idea, but it's the easiest way to fix this problem
  • Or, even better, take a page out of Sorelle Amore's book and learn how to take stunning, professional-looking photographs of yourself:

  



What if you get bored? Or lonely? Or decide halfway through that you shouldn’t have taken the advice of this random person on the internet who said traveling alone was great?


Traveling alone doesn't mean you have to stay alone the whole time. Be as social or as independent as you like. Sign up for a cooking class while you're in Brazil, take scuba diving lessons in Thailand, or join a surf camp in Sri Lanka. Chances are, you'll have fun while meeting new people along the way (including other solo travelers), and you may decide to spend more time with them, or perhaps enjoy a group activity as a small part of your trip.

That said, it doesn’t mean you will be immune to rough days or annoying situations that you will have to deal with on your own. But maybe, just maybe, that’s not a bad thing. Perhaps learning to be alone and figuring out how to enjoy your own company is a lesson you want to learn. It could also be a great way to escape the distractions of everyday life while you figure out if you really do want to quit your job, go back to school, or take that relationship plunge. 

 

TO HELP YOU ALONG YOUR DECISION JOURNEY, WE'VE GATHERED UP SOME OF OUR FRIENDS AND THEIR FAVORITE EXPERIENCES TRAVELING SOLO:

Franzi Roth Solo Travel in Mongolia

"Traveling alone does take bravery, not just because I go somewhere foreign, but because I spend quality time with myself. Sometimes that is the most unchartered territory"

-Franzi Roth in Mongolia

 

JJ Leaver Solo USA Roadtrip

"Few things are as enjoyable as cruising in the desert and watching mountains in the distance approach then disappear all the while blasting your favorite songs during sunset"

-JJ Leaver road tripping across the US

 

Diana Ivey Solo Travel in Petra, Jordan
"Exploring another country solo is an experience you'll never forget. The possibilities are endless and there is a true sense of freedom when traveling alone"

-Diana Ivey in Petra, Jordan

 

Sam Steinberger Solo Travel in Bolivia

"To build trust in intuition, there's no better recipe than solo traveling. It's an experience that forces the traveler to hone animal instincts while maintaining faith in a higher force. It is incredibly addictive; a state of being, a way of living, that alone leaves no one unchanged."

-Sam Steinberger on the Inca Trail in Bolivia

 




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