There are numerous benefits to travelling solo across the globe, my favourite of which is you are not reliant on someone else’s schedule to explore new places. There are so many travel experiences to be had and places to visit, it’s nice knowing you would be comfortable and confident enough to go on your own. I’ve been on two solo trips which included a total of seven different countries and I already can’t wait for my next solo travel experience! While I recognize that solo travel is not for everyone, you can start small (a weekend getaway, being a tourist in your own city or visit somewhere international on your own for a few days before meeting with friends/family) to get comfortable being on your own, or start with a solo group travel (meet a group of people you don’t know but arrive by yourself). The first time travelling on your own may seem like a scary adventure but it’s so worth it!
Is Solo Travelling Worth it?
Yes (the easy answer). There are SO many benefits to travelling solo that I get to later in this post. One of the biggest advantages of solo travel, in my opinion, is the ease of planning: your interests are the only ones that matter! One of my favourite travel experiences was walking around Budapest by myself taking night photograph shots to work on my night photography skills and they are still some of my favourite photos! The most time-consuming thing to coordinate with others is booking flights, transportation and accommodation (all the most important things to book). But, if you’re planning to travel alone, if you find a great deal on a hostel for a not so great location/sacrificing comfort, you can make the decision immediately rather than messaging everyone about their thoughts on the hostel.
Keep reading for more reasons for why it is totally worth it to try solo travelling at least once.
Is Solo Travelling Cheaper?
Another advantage to traveling alone is that it can be significantly cheaper. You can cut a lot of corners when travelling solo because you can cut costs everywhere YOU feel comfortable, without having to reach a consensus with friends/family. You can cut costs by grabbing groceries to tide you over during the day, rather than eating out all the time. Or, you can book a dingy hostel to splurge on an experience. There are tons of cost-saving measures when travelling (and in your regular day) that a quick Google search is helpful for but ultimately you can choose to stick to your budget; be frugal or be extravagant!
Ways that travelling with others can save costs include inexpensive accommodations and renting a car for a road trip rather than a group tours. Hostels are cheap but not typically a luxury so staying in a hotel or Airbnb is expensive when solo travelling. In addition, unless you’re comfortable hitch hiking and couch surfing, travelling with group tours/bus tours is much more expensive than being able to rent a car and travel with a group of people. Solo travelling is definitely cheaper when staying in cities but gets more costly the more remote you wish to travel.
Is Solo Travelling Lonely?
It can be but I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it’s much easier to meet new people when travelling solo vs. with friends. However, you do have to make an effort to converse with others. When travelling with people you know, you definitely won’t get lonely but if you’re travelling solo there will definitely be times where, if you don’t make an effort to meet people it can definitely be lonely. A good thing is that there will always be someone else travelling alone and chances are they’re likely to strike up a conversation with you! You don’t have to be the most outgoing person, but you have to be approachable by someone else who is. I went out with a group of people in Prague after talking to two other solo female travellers at a group tour earlier that day! I wrote a post here about how to meet people while travelling solo.
What Solo Travel Teaches You About Yourself
You’ll be spending a lot of time alone and you’ll have an entire life to reflect on! I found out that I am more confident and outgoing than I thought, am unembarrassed to talk to people/ask questions and am now more willing to take time for myself. I also discovered I am heavily reliant in my day-to-day routine, I like having a schedule and to-do lists, and have a regimented eating schedule (I’m 100% a hangry person!). Who knows what you’ll discover about yourself: maybe you will find your confidence, pick up new hobbies or interests, find out you love international food, or more!
How Solo Travel Changes You
You can’t rely on anyone else to do something for you: asking for directions or figuring out the transit system is something you have to do yourself. Maybe you aren’t the most outgoing person and need to force yourself to talk to new people. Or, you could be the opposite and enjoy being surrounded by people but need to figure out how to be in your own space alone. In any case, your boundaries will be pushed when you are traveling solo and you’ll start to become more comfortable and confident in your own skin and making your own choices.
Personally, travelling solo has taught me a few things: the art of planning and executing said plan; to go with the flow and stressing about the small details won’t change the overall experience; confidence and how to meet/talk to new people in any situation; the art of packing and “closet capsules”; I enjoy spending time by myself and reflecting on my life; time management and productivity. The list goes on and everyone’s experience is different but I guarantee that travelling solo (and travelling in general) will teach you something that you’ll bring home with you. This is why solo travel is important!
Is Solo Travel Boring?
Not even remotely! Whether it’s taking it easy or planning a completely packed day, it’s up to you and only you to decide how you want to spend your trip. If you enjoy sitting for hours at a café to people watch / read a book, you will be able to get as much enjoyment from that by yourself. If you want to spend hours staring at a Van Gogh or visit as many tourist attractions as you can in one day, you can! There are also always small group tours, last minute travel deals for one, local walking tours, and other ways to make your trip fun. That being said, you’ll get out of a trip what you put in to it so push your boundaries and get out there to make your own fun!
Is Solo Travel Safe?
There are so many places in the world that are safe for solo travellers and for solo female travellers. North America is very safe for people to be by themselves, such as Ottawa/Montreal/Calgary/Vancouver (Canada) or New York City/Chicago/Las Vegas (United States). New Zealand is an incredibly safe country to travel alone, and I personally loved Prague in the Czech Republic. Iceland would be a fantastic destination as a solo trip for women. There are companies like Contiki where you can book solo travel packages and experience new places in solo travel groups. The possibilities are endless!
That being said, it’s also important to be mindful when you’re travelling alone. Keep your bag on your person, choose destinations that are safe for single travellers, and don’t get so drunk you don’t remember where you are. The best solo travel destinations are somewhere you will feel comfortable and safe. If you’re nervous, choose somewhere that speaks your language to help with the anxiety that may come when talking to someone in a stressful situation (like being lost) and also having a language barrier.
With so many Women Who Explore trips coming up in 2022, many of us will be travelling solo, to a new destination, with new people! This blog post written by Darcie Dillon highlights some of the main topics many of us will be thinking about!
Written by: Darcie Dillon