Why Solo Travel Is Not Something You Should Fear

When traveling, it’s often the case that you first think about who you’re going to travel with. But sometimes, taking on solo travel is the best decision you can make.

Heading off into unexplored lands sans friends or family can help you embrace the prospect of solo travel and all the benefits that come with it! Now, what are the benefits you ask? While intimidating, solo travel is nothing to fear, and it’s not something that makes you unusual if you prefer it. An increasing number of people are realizing the benefits of solo travel and below are five reasons why you should too:

1. It Increases Your Confidence

It may come as no surprise, but when you travel by yourself, you improve your confidence. You prove to yourself that you’re capable of facing unknown challenges head on and alone. It’s not until you force yourself to into it that you realise the initial intimidation is all mental. Many people experience this, but most of us are also stronger than we give ourselves credit for.

For example, my first solo travel trip was to Iceland. I was en-route to Prague were I was going to live for a year, and decided to do a 5-day stopover in Reykjavik. When I arrived from JFK Airport, the town was in the middle of an Artic storm (strong winds, ice, freezing temps). Not only was the landing rough, once I gathered all my luggage — two oversize suitcases, a backpack, and two carry ons — I had to push it all almost a mile through a snowy field in the middle of the storm to get to my shuttle.

Everyone was so focused on their own tasks and responsibilities that no one offered help. Furthermore the driver of the shuttle was in no mood to be bothered. One broken suitcase wheel and a handful of curse words later, I was safely inside of the shuttle and on my way to somewhere (I was dropped off at the wrong hotel but that’s another story for another time) 🙂

2. There’s Nothing Strange About It

It might seem strange to travel by yourself at first, but solo travel among both males and females is very common. Many people prefer to travel this way due to the benefits that are discussing here. But the most important point to make is that it’s not strange or “taboo”. You can set and follow your own schedule, visit the sites you choose, eat the food you want to eat, and spend as little (or as much) money as you like without consulting with fellow travelers. And the best part? You are certain to meet other solo travelers in the town or city you’re visiting. 

3. Freedom!

As mentioned in the previous point, you will have much more freedom to make your own decisions and go your own way when traveling solo. You can make last minute changes to your schedule, take your time eating a meal, or even spend a day doing nothing. Having a flexible schedule is not a luxury that you get to enjoy when traveling with other people since you then have to take their wants and needs into account, too.

My second solo trip was to Berlin, Germany. It was my first time in Germany and I honestly did very little planning since the trip was for my first Czech Visa interview. My plan was to grab coffee in the morning, head to the Czech Embassy for my interview, and fit in a quick walk down the Berlin Wall if time permitted. Due to a mix up at the Embassy, I had to stay an additional day, which meant more time to explore! Since I was solo, I had unlimited free time, and was able to fit in all the sights on my impromptu itinerary. This included pastries from Alpenstueck Backerei, a photoshoot in front of the Brandenburg Gate, and a long stroll around the shops at Alexanderplatz.


4. It’ll be Your Perfect Trip, Not Someone Else’s

The “planning” part of your trip will be much more enjoyable if you’re only planning it for yourself. It’s more difficult to plan a holiday when multiple travelers are involved since you have to take their interests and needs into account. Instead, both the planning and the journey will be yours to experience and enjoy. When spending money on a holiday, we all have our own wants and needs regarding our travel plans, so why not focus on them?

While I usually love traveling with friends and family, everyone has different needs and interests, which is perfectly fine! However, this component makes having the experiences that you want more challenging. Some people love hiking (not me), while other people enjoy solely spending time on a beach with their bum in a lawn chair (lovely, but not me either). I like a mix of adventure and relaxation, which isn’t always a great fit for some other’s travel styles. When I’m solo, I only worry about ensuring I have a good time.

5. You’ll Meet Other Solo Travelers

It’s important to note that traveling solo doesn’t mean that you’re going to be alone during your entire holiday. You’ll meet so many great people along the way and you’ll have a better chance of making new friends than if you were traveling alongside people you already know. You can find plenty of opportunities to be social during solo travel, especially if you book a pub crawl, a free walking tour, or another group tour that allows you to interact with other participants.

During a trip to Milan, Italy I met and befriended a man named Anthony during dinner at the Ostello Bello Grande Hostel. Anthony serves in the U.S. Army stationed in Bavaria and was in Milan solo for the Thanksgiving holiday. We struck up a conversation and discovered that I lived on the same street as his mother when I lived in Virginia. We shared a bottle of wine, and have been friends ever since.  Anthony and his friends visited me in Prague twice, and we speak regularly. You never know what friendships solo travel will bring your way!

 

So, if you’ve been thinking about traveling by yourself but have been putting it off because you weren’t sure about it, hopefully the points raised above will encourage you take the plunge. Who knows, putting yourself out there and traveling by yourself might be one of the best gifts you ever give to yourself.

Have you travelled solo before? Do you prefer to travel alone or with others? Share your best stories with me in the comments below!

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72 replies to “Why Solo Travel Is Not Something You Should Fear”

  1. Came across your blog from Pinterest and I’m really glad I did!
    I’ve always thought about traveling solo, but haven’t worked up the courage yet. Your post is so encouraging though, so I might just do it one day!

    1. Hi Caitlin!
      I am so glad that you found your way here to my blog and that you enjoy it! Solo travel is something that changes you in such a way. It’s something no one can take away! I will be sure to check out your work as well. I hope you stop by again, and safe travels.

    1. Hi Beth!
      Ohh thank you so much for sharing your niece’s blog! I will have to go check out her work. And wow! Two weeks in Spain alone! I live in Spain currently and it’s a beautiful country. Hablas Español? 🙂 Alex

  2. Oh, absolutely! I rarely get to travel by myself anymore, and that which I do is about 90-95% work-focused. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE squeezing in fun things for me whenever I can, even on work trips, that my hubby and kids would NEVER go for if they were along! 🙂

  3. Great post to inspire solo travel! Traveling alone allows you to indulge in the things you want to experience and already love. For me, a religious experience. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

    1. Hi Angela!
      That is wonderful to hear. Yes, solo travel helps with so many things, one of them being personal growth 🙂 I hope you get to do a lot of it. Safe travels! Alex

      1. Well said. My favorite thing about solo travel is the freedom to do what I want when I want. And it’s easier to meet people on my own.

    1. hi Fatima!
      Oh this is great to hear! Start slow and go someplace where you are comfortable. You have plenty of time to explore and get used to solo travel 🙂 Good luck to you and happy travels! Alex

  4. Hi Alex,
    I agree with you that it increases your confidence. I had to travel alone for work and I was soooo nervous about flying alone, getting the rental car, driving far alone, etc. However, once I did it, I was so proud of myself for doing it. It definitely increased my confidence:)
    Great post!
    Thanks,
    Nicole

    1. Hi Nicole!

      Yes, solo travel is a wonderful way to increase confidence! It can be a bit intimidating and scary at first, but it’s a great way to learn a lot about yourself! Happy travels 🙂

  5. I love traveling solo! I feel like I meet so many new people and spend more time with them! Some of my best travel experiences have been solo 🙂

    1. Hi Kim! I love solo travel too 🙂 Sometimes it’s nice to get away and venture into the unknown while only relying on yourself. Thank you for stopping by my page. I’ll be sure to check yours out too!

  6. I don’t get the opportunity to travel solo anymore due to children but I used to love the peacefulness of going at my own speed and having no pressure to be busy all the time!

  7. Great post! I agree with all of the points you’ve made. Often, people ask me how come I’m so confident. And I just tell them that solo travel made me a super confident woman. 🙂

  8. I love this! I’m a major scaredy-cat and have yet to travel solo, but you make some great points! I will definitely be trying it someday 🙂

  9. I love traveling solo! I recently got married, so my partner and I have been traveling together, but every trip we always plan some time to have a solo day :). I always come away feeling just as you described, more confidence and I get to meet more solo travelers too.

  10. I was terrified before my first solo trip but I ended up loving it and learning so much about myself! Freedom is huge and so glad you pointed that out

  11. As a solo traveler myself, I totally relate and agree with this post! I would love to connect with you and other solo travelers!

    1. Yay! I am so glad that you enjoy it! I’m so glad you got to experience solo travel before all this mess, too. Hopefully you can do it again!

  12. I travel solo like 95% of the time and I second everything you said here -especially #4. I don’t think I would ever know how to plan a trip wth someone else in tow!

    1. OMG it’s so hard to plan a trip with another person, let alone a group! I usually travel with a friend or my mom and I try to travel with people who have similar interests with me. That seems to also help!

  13. This post was super informative! I’ve always been kind of iffy about solo traveling, just because I’m not quite sure how I’d feel being alone. It would be nice to be the only one in charge of the itinerary, though. 🙂

    1. That’s totally understandable! It can be really intimidating at first, especially depending on what country you visit. But yes, being the only itinerary you follow is amazing haha

    1. OMG me too!! group travel is the worst. By the end of it, I am ready to go off and be by myself anyway lol. Sometimes I go off on my own and explore

  14. Great points, all if them are so true, especially number 4!
    I remember how I went on my first solo trip overseas at age 16 basically just because I really wanted to travel but had nobody to go with. However, I realized that solo traveling is much more practical than I thought and really my thing!
    These days, I try to travel as much as I can with my boyfriend. The reason for that is that after a couple of days apart, I just miss him way too much! But I also realized that we have different travel styles. While I love to go out and explore as many historical sites as I can, he prefers to stay indoors and relax. Therefore, I prefer to go on longer trips together so we won’t miss each other too much but go on short trips on my own.

    1. That is such a good compromise! I am single so I don’t know what it’s like to miss someone like that (lol), but I am sure if I did I would want to travel with them too 🙂

  15. If I’m honest, I have always been too scared to travel solo! I planned it once then at the last second convinced my sister to come with me! Lucky she did come though because she ended up meeting her future husband on the trip! lol.
    As you said though, you will always meet many solo travellers. In my travels with friends and my partner, I had met so many solo travellers that have become life long friends. I think as long as you’re open to anything and meeting new people it would be fun!

    1. AW! That is such a good story! A good one to tell at their wedding hahah. Yes, solo travel is a wonderful way to meet new friends. I am still friends with so many of them!

  16. As a solo traveler for the last 2+ years, I can say that these tips are amazing!! Tip # 4 resonated so much… I am taking *my* perfect trips, not someone else’s. Its such freedom & power.

  17. All great points! I honestly think that there is something to be said for the benefit of facing your fears too! I am still afraid every time that I travel solo, but I have NEVER regretted going. Every solo trip has been amazing and life changing.

    1. Absolutely! Each time you face your fears you grow as a person and realise you can face more than you thought. Solo travel is never something I have regretted! Thank you for reading 🙂

  18. Great points! It’s funny how people are quick to judge those who plan solo trips if they’ve never done it themselves. But once you start traveling, you realize how common it is, and if you want to meet others along the way you’ll have no problem doing so. I usually travel with my husband, and I think it’s actualyl easier for solo travelers to make friends because sometimes people don’t approach you as quickly when you’re traveling as a couple. It’s nice that it is becoming less stigmatized, though there’s still a ways to go!

  19. Love this post! I think everyone should travel solo at least once in their life – it’s such a great experience to grow and meet new people.

  20. Solo travel changed my life. I will admit that my first solo adventure felt a little weird, but I became addicted. It’s so nice not having to rely on others to take the trip of your dreams. 🙂

  21. Woot woot! I used to love travelling solo. I really like the mix of being about to make new friends, or just do exactly what you fancy on your own. You’re right, it does really increase your confidence.

    I don’t travel on my own much now (I got married, so I normally bring him along) but I still like to have mini solo adventures hiking/cycling when I have days off on my own.

  22. Great post, Alexandra! I have traveled a lot solo and I actually prefer it over traveling with friends (though I love that too! Sharing travel memories is always fun!) but I’m definitely more present when I go alone and I think your post can help other female travelers to take the step and explore the world solo!

    1. I am. more present an in-tune to the things I find I can actually take care of on my own without relying on someone else (directions if I get lost, figuring out public transportation, meeting new people by starting conversations). I hope it helps other female travelers like you said. Thank you, Linn!!

  23. Wow this is such an inspiring post. This is something that i have always wanted to do but been way to scared. I love point number 4 about it being your perfect trip, Thats such an important point to make! maybe one day ill take the leap of faith and try it!

    1. I believe in you! haha 🙂 Almost everyone can solo travel if they have the courage and interest. I hope you get an opportunity to do it someday 😀

  24. I totally agree with you… travelling solo is not something one should fear. I have travelled a few times on my own. Travelling on my own is liberating …it means that I get to choose the activities that I want to do and plan my trip in a way that benefits the most important person ….me! Awesome post, Alex! Thank you!

  25. Love your blog article, just true words and I hope everyone reading this will be inspired to take their next trip all by themselves. I was afraid traveling alone for a while, but when I finally started my first solo trip it was just the best thing that happened to me:)

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