One of the trickiest aspects to traveling is finding a dependable, enjoyable travel buddy. Sometimes, those adventure pals are not easy to find. Sometimes, they can’t take time off work. Sometimes, you just want to go at it alone.
No matter the situation, you already have a built-in travel partner: yourself. And this one will want to do exactly what you want to do, when you want to do it.
Solo traveling can be daunting. Exploring a new city, region and country alone, with no backup other than your phone, a map and a travel itinerary—and whatever else you want or need, can sound scary. But no one learned anything from staying in their comfort zone.
Solo traveling can be a freeing experience that can change a traveler’s mindset while on vacation and well after the plane touches down. Here are some reasons to consider solo travel:
Life does not always go “according to plan.” Don’t let that stop you.
2020 has been a textbook example of this. The current pandemic has made it challenging to book future travel, but it has not stopped planning or dreaming.
After not being able to travel during this time, focus on what you prioritize. Do you want to push yourself to explore a new place you’ve always wanted to go, but no one wants to go to that destination with you? Do you want to just have some time for yourself to enjoy a pot of coffee undisturbed every morning?
People’s dream vacations do not look like identical. Solo travel can take many forms: a quick beach getaway, a European adventure or a week-long cross-country trip. There is no right answer, other than to just go.
Know exactly what your travel partner needs without having to guess.
One of the biggest benefits of traveling solo is you don’t have to worry about your travel partner. Are they hungry? Do their feet hurt? Do they want to go to another art museum? The beauty of solo travel is you do what you want to do.
On a solo vacation, you have the true freedom to ask yourself, “What do I want to do right now?” or “What food am I in the mood for?” The freedom of choice can lead to surprising decisions, and these choices can truly serve what you need in that moment.
It’s ok if all you want to do is head back to the hotel and soak in the bathtub because you are tired of walking. It’s also ok if you want to have dessert at the restaurant because you are enjoying the ambiance.
Learn something about yourself—and others.
One of the biggest hiccups of solo traveling for some people is getting over the fact that they might have to eat dinner alone. While this can be to some people, the great news is that you don’t have to sit alone! Eating at the bar or at communal tables is often an option.
One of the best parts of solo traveling is talking to the people around you. Going on a vacation alone does not necessarily mean you will not talk to anyone for the whole of your trip! People are fascinated with other people, and fascinating people are everywhere, including sitting on the picnic table a few feet away from you at that beer garden in Germany or walking beside you on a group hike.
For those who do not mind their alone time, don’t miss out on the interesting lessons you can learn from your fellow travelers and locals.
Honor yourself before, during and after your adventure.
Truly doing something for yourself is powerful and empowering. Knowing what you want and knowing your worth are tools that create a memorable solo vacation that serves you not only during the trip but after your plane touches down. Valuing what you need is an important lesson for life. Taking the time to listen to and learn about yourself during a solo adventure is a great way to get in touch with your needs and wants while away from your everyday life.
Don’t wait. Dare to go.
Interested in solo travel but are not convinced or have some reservations? That’s ok! There are group tours and adventures made of groups of solo travelers available. So, you can still experience the freedom of solo travel but at your comfort level.