Most people I interact with regularly know I travel quite a bit by now so the first thing I often get asked is “Where is your next trip?” This usually followed by “Are you going by yourself?”
I will admit that it took me a while to be comfortable answering “yes” to the second question. I used to feel like people were judging me for traveling alone. After doing it for a while now, I have stopped worrying about it though. I am not sure if they stopped judging or if I just don’t care anymore (probably more the latter).
I like to travel solo. I have lived alone for years so why should traveling solo bother me? Of course, there is a limit to that, at least there has been so far. There are some places I have not found the courage to go to alone. Maybe someday though.
After traveling solo on and off since 2011, I have found that there are advantages to traveling solo. In my opinion, here are some of them.
1. I do not have to worry about anyone else. I can sleep in if I want to. I can plan activities or choose to wing it. I do not have to consider anyone else’s preferences or needs.
2. I meet so many more people when I travel solo. Even though I am comfortable being alone, I still need interaction with other people, especially during longer trips. In order to make that happen, I have to have courage to walk up to people and introduce myself and start up a conversation. Sometimes this is easy, especially when I am traveling in areas with lots of solo travelers, such as Australia. Other times, this is difficult, such as in Hawaii, when most people are not solo.
3. When there are cancellations or changes, it is easier to get a seat on another plane, train or ferry when there is only one person to re-book. I encountered this benefit on the way home from Hawaii last winter when we were late getting into San Francisco and the next flight to Chicago only had one seat available. Because I was solo, I got it.
4. It is a confidence booster. It is satisfying for me to plan a trip and then execute it by myself. I have become pretty good at problem solving and troubleshooting issues on my own when traveling. I can usually make decent decisions even when I am in unfamiliar places with people I do not know. I am proud of that ability.
If you travel solo, what are the benefits you see to going solo? What do you enjoy most about it? What had been your favorite solo travel experience? I would love to hear the answer to all of these question in the comments below.