1) Planning is so much easier
I don’t know about where you are located, but here in Canada the standard number of vacation days is a measly 10. Synchronising those dates with one or more friends isn’t exactly easy.
2) You are the Boss
So your friend loves museums and you hate them? The best thing to do is compromise and at least go to one, right? But let’s face it; if you hate museums do you really want to fork out that 20 euro? No, and that’s just going to lead to a little bit of animosity. If you’re alone, you can avoid every museum like the plague- and save those precious euros for the local bar’s happy hour or whatever else floats your proverbial boat.
3) No Drama
Need I say more?
4) Solo Travel is Empowering
Solo travel comes with a lot of responsibilities, but you’ll get good at it. Sure it seems scary at first, but when you successfully manage to find your own way from the airport to your accommodations in a foreign, non-English city; you feel pretty bad ass!
5) It’s Easier to Meet People
When you’re with friends you are in your own little bubble of familiarity. Sure you may talk to others, but you don’t necessarily have to. Being on your own forces you socialize and make new friends, plus it makes it easier for others to approach you too. Sometimes the best part of travel is the people you meet along the way, and I can guarantee you are way more likely to make friends on the road without your wingmen.
6) Accommodating one is much easier than accommodating a group
So you just arrived in a new city and you see that there’s a great show on and you would love to score tickets. Good luck if your part of a group. But if you’re alone, well things are much more likely to work in your favour. Same goes for tours, events, and even last minute accommodations.
7) Solo travellers get perks
People are more likely to pay attention to you if you’re alone when you’re eating out. In a nutshell, they tend to feel sorry for you, which is the perfect opportunity for them to try to make you feel better by plying you with freebies or extras. I’ve gotten free wine, free dessert, an extra special drink, and some treats to take home all from restaurant staff who, quite honestly, just felt bad for the young girl sitting alone.
8) Focus on Yourself
If you’re travelling, it’s likely because you’re trying to get away or take a break. This is the perfect opportunity to make it all about you- do what makes you happy without having to worry about someone else.
9) Everything is on Your Time
So you partied til the sun came up and would really prefer to read and take a nap on the beach rather than check out that famous church? No problem- you’re not ruining anyone else’s plans.
10) It’s Cheaper
When you travel on your own itinerary, your budget is what you make it and you can spend your precious savings how you see fit.
11) Solo travel shows you the kindness of strangers
People tend to look out for you when you’re alone, whether it’s a bartender keeping an eye out for you or a stranger on the street who sees you struggling with your map. I’m always amazed at the kindness of others who willingly go out of their way to make sure I’m safe and comfortable.
12) You’ll learn more about the area and culture
It’s much easier to fall into conversation with a local when you’re alone; alone you give off the impression of being curious and willing to learn, rather than part of a group looking for the closest bar and hottest place to party. Locals are more than willing to give up little hints and tips about the area if you give them a chance, and their advice way better than any guidebook could provide.
13) You Can Make the Bad Bits Disappear
Awkward encounter? Embarrassing night? No one will ever know unless you tell them.
14) It Gives you Skills
Negotiating, planning, self-awareness, punctuality, interpersonal skills…the list goes on. A big one for me: I now have a sense of direction!
15) It Looks Great on a Resume
All those skills I listed above? Those are pretty damn important for the majority of employers. Solo travel brings about a certain respect, and compared to the regular Joe- you can back up these skills with pretty sweet stories. You’re not only skilled, you’re interesting.
16) It Will Help You Face Your Fears
Thing’s don’t tend to look as bad when you compare them to things you’ve already done. Meeting your significant other’s family? Puh-lease, that has nothing on the time you found out you missed your flight and didn’t think you had the money for another one! Or how about taking the wrong train HOURS in the opposite direction and ending up in the middle of nowhere? That’s real stress!
17) You Become Self-Reliant
There’s no passing anything off when you’re going solo. If you want something done, or need to figure something out- that’s on you. At the time it may seem daunting but in the end it’s a major self-confidence boost. And you’ll make mom proud.
18) People Will (Secretly) Think You are Awesome
Everyone who travels solo has those non-believers back home who think you are dumb/insane for going alone. One of my friend’s dad’s even went so far as to call me stupid when I moved to Ireland, and yet when I came home with all these great stories and experiences he was one of the first to want to hear about it. There’s no doubt that solo travel brings about a little extra street cred and respect- which feels pretty good to finally have from those who originally doubted you.
19) It Will Make you Better Person
Travelling solo teaches you a lot of patience and kindness. On your own you realize how much you depend on strangers for help; directions or advice, assistance in taking a picture, or even just asking the time. And when someone is rude to you and unwilling to help, it can be heartbreaking. Being on the bad end of that has made me quicker to reach out to strangers and offer to help them if they look like they need a hand.
20) You will have the best time of your life
I’d be lying if I told you that the entire experience will go smoothly. Chances are you will get mad at yourself more than once and frustrated to the point of tears. But when you come home all in one piece with amazing stories, great new friends, and a new found love for life it will be totally worth it. Travelling solo is the best travel experience, and something that everyone should do at least once in their lifetime.
So, what are you waiting for?