Have you noticed that when you ask people about their hobbies and passions most of them have traveling at the beginning of their lists? Most of those people also see traveling as a group activity, and very few would consider traveling solo. For the latter, traveling solo is a reason to feel proud and happy about all they’ve seen on their own.
If you’re thinking of joining the solo travelers club (because yes, even solo travelers have a club!), it’s best to be aware of all the pros and cons of solo traveling in advance. Let’s start with the cons of traveling solo and finish with the pros of traveling solo. Like that, we’ll end on a cheerful note.
Cons of traveling solo
1. You’re taking some safety risks.
Reach the subject of solo traveling with your parents and the first thing they’ll tell you is that it’s not safe. Although at your travel destination you may be just as safe as you are at home when you wander alone on the streets, it’s true that there is safety in numbers.
When you travel with somebody else, that person can support you in more than just one way. From emotional support to calling an emergency number, and from taking care of you if you get sick to being a witness or a protector should anyone try to hurt you in any way, you can count on them just as they would count on you.
When you choose to be traveling solo you can only count on yourself and on the occasional kindness of strangers. This is something you must consider very carefully before you decide if you should be traveling solo.
2. You won’t get any help with planning your trip.
Sure, you can ask others for recommendations about your chosen travel destinations. But you can’t plan your vacation only on that. Traveling solo means that you’re the only one who will invest time and effort in thinking out your itinerary, searching for accommodation and transport and booking everything.
And, during your trip, you won’t have a constant travel buddy to discuss any big decisions that may come along the way before taking any action. Two minds are better than one, and that’s why this is one of the major cons of solo traveling.
Even to this day and age when solo traveling is very popular, there are still places where you’ll be charged extra as a solo traveler because certain packages are designed with two or more travelers in mind. Make sure you consider this extra financial cost before you decide to travel on your own or in a group.
Pros of traveling solo
1. You choose everything about your trip.
No two people are alike, not even when it comes to twins or best friends. That’s why when you travel with somebody else, you always end up compromising at least a bit. And you finish by spending your limited time and your hard-earned money doing things that you’re not even slightly interested in.
Nothing beats the great feeling of independence you get while planning your dream vacation. During your solo traveling adventures, you get to do everything you want and steer away from all that you dislike. And this is great when you have limited funds or a short amount of time at your disposal.
2. You push yourself to meet new people.
When you travel with someone else, you always have someone to chit chat with. However, when you’re traveling solo, you have to connect with new people if you want to talk to someone. If you’re a bit shy about meeting new people, this is a great way to face your fears and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Think about the fact that those people won’t even be in your life after the next day if you don’t want them.
3. You get to take a complete break from your everyday life.
When you’re traveling alone, you have the opportunity to take a break from the daily drama of everyday life. When you bring a friend to share your vacation, it’s impossible to entirely leave behind your life at home. Your travel companion may start talking about things you want to avoid. Or they may give you constant updates on what everyone else from home is doing.
4. You get to know yourself better.
When you surround yourself only with people, things, and places you’re comfortable with, you aren’t really giving yourself a fair chance to grow. Solo traveling gets you out of your comfort zone and pushes you to learn more about yourself. Instead of asking a friend for advice on your next step, you will have to take a good look inside and figure out what you truly want or need. You will learn what you want to experience, and what you love enough to try twice.
Traveling solo has lots of benefits, but there are always two sides to a coin. If you weigh carefully the pros and cons of traveling solo you will be able to make the best decision to fit your personal needs. Whether you choose to travel by yourself or share your adventures with others, at least now you know what to expect!
Mirela Letailleur is a Romanian travel blogger living in the South of France. She writes on The Travel Bunny travel blog about affordable travel in Europe, creator of unique free travel guides, local travel expert. Problem solver. Wannabe coffee guru.
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