Traveling alone can be one of the most exciting, and somewhat scary things to do. There are many reason why you might want to travel alone, anything from scheduling conflicts to just wanting to do it.
I visited Iceland for a week on my own, it was one of the most amazing experience of my life. Everyone should take a solo trip at least once in their life (I also think everyone should visit Iceland at least once in their life). I’m writing to point out some of the advantages and disadvantages of traveling alone so everyone can be prepared for the adventure.
Advantages of Solo Traveling
Freedom is a selling point for many people thinking about solo travel. When you go somewhere alone you can do what you want, when you want, how you want to do it. You do not need to be accommodating, or wait for someone to wake up or be ready, you literally do whatever you want the entire trip with nobody to answer to besides possibly your bank account. It is very liberating having this sort of freedom that may not have in their day to day life.
2. Push Out of Your Comfort Zone
Traveling alone will definitely make you do things you wouldn’t normally do. To start out with you are in a new place (possibly even a new country) completely alone. That in and of itself is going to push you out of your comfort zone. Then to add on top of that you will be eating, going out, doing whatever you have planned all on your own. This gives you a great opportunity to meet new people and to see how self sufficient you really can be all on your own.
3. Learn About Yourself
While you do not have to pack up and visit another country to find things out about yourself, it is definitely one way to do it. Traveling alone will really make it apparent what you like and don’t like. There will be nobody around to influence your opinion so this is a great opportunity to figure out what really makes you happy and to do it.
Disadvantages of Solo Travel
As the phrase “Solo Travel” implies, you are going to be alone. Depending on where you are going or how long you are going for it is possible to get a bit lonely. Even if you are not lonely, sometimes you see things or do things and think, “it would be really great to have someone to share this moment with”. Loneliness is definitely possible when traveling alone but i think you should treat it as an opportunity to go out and meet new people as much as you can.
Traveling can be expensive. When you are traveling alone it can be even more so. Typically if you are traveling in a group you can split accommodation, transportation, food costs, etc. While traveling solo, that is not the case, everything is on you. This shouldn’t be a discouragement though, this will just force you to think about what you really want to get out of the trip. Do you want to stay in a nice fancy hotel or a cheaper hostel where you can spend money on the experience. Thinking like this can help prepare you and it won’t be an issue.
3. All Planning is on You
Planning, for some people like myself, can be one of the less enjoyable parts of going on a solo trip. It is going to be completely up to you to decide where you are staying, how you are getting there, etc. Even once you are there, there might be times when you are tired and just want someone else to figure out what the dinner plan is. To avoid this you can either create a detailed plan before you leave or just embrace the spontaneity of traveling alone and go with the flow, you might end up somewhere off the beaten path that you really enjoy.
Solo travel is one of the most exciting things you can do in your life. It really opens you up to different cultures and experiences in a way that group travel does not. I would recommend everyone take a solo trip at least once in their life to see what is is all about.