As with almost everything in life, your style of traveling is something you learn along the way. Some people prefer traveling with their significant other or their family, some people with friends and others solo. It completely depends on what you like and what you’re expecting from your trip.
I personally like traveling with friends. There’s no better way of knowing a person than by traveling together, you get to know all their pet peeves, you get to talk A LOT and you may even have to wash your undergarments together. There’s no turning back from that. It’s a real bonding experience.
That said, traveling with others can sometimes be a bit complicated. Unless you’re really connected with the others, chances are you’ll feel overwhelmed at some point of the trip. That’s why solo traveling is always a good idea.
Some people think it’s overrated but the truth is it completely depends on what you like and if you’re comfortable solving all the struggles that come along with being all by yourself. Of course, you may fear that traveling solo is not safe but there are tons of precautions you can take to feel safer!
But there are some nice perks of traveling solo. So in this post, read about the solo travel benefits that we have listed out for you!
Planning is easier
When planning a trip with others you have to take into consideration the dates in which everyone will be available, budgets, likes, dislikes and every single detail of everyone. Some people are more easygoing than others (like me, I’d like to think). Others are really difficult (also like me in some situations haha, sorry friends). Just think about the last family vacation you took. Was there a point in which you felt overwhelmed?
Well, when traveling solo you’ll take less time planning everything. The only one you have to please is yourself. Any major or minor decision is completely yours to make: destination, itinerary, budget, accommodation.
The best thing: you won’t need the approval of others!
You’re in control of your finances
Oh! I’ll never remember that fatidic day when I had to spend 50 euros in a restaurant I didn’t even want to eat at. Some friends and I were in Florence. Someone at the hostel told us that we had to eat Bistecca alla Fiorentina.
We started looking for restaurants that offered it and realized it was super expensive and out of almost everyone’s budget. After some discussion, I told everyone we should go somewhere else.
But then: peer pressure. “Oh, come on… you may not have Bistecca alla Fiorentina again… this will be our last meal in Florence… we’ll be together…” and so we went. To be honest, it wasn’t that good, it was too expensive and everyone was disappointed. And all because of a group decision.
I couldn’t stop thinking that that wouldn’t have happened if I had gone solo. But there I was.
When traveling solo all the financial decisions are all yours to make even if that comes with responsibility too! If you want to spend less on accommodation because you want to go to all of the museums, you can do it. If you want to spend 50 euros eating Bistecca alla Fiorentina instead of eating for 3 days, you can do it.
You’ll be more likely to have local experiences
Experiencing a place like a local is something you’ll never regret. When you’re traveling with others you mostly focus on them. You probably go everywhere together so there’s almost no chance of interacting with locals.
If you’re traveling solo you’ll be more prone to strike conversations with locals. I mean, even if you don’t like people that much (haha) at some point you’ll want to have some human interaction.
Exchanging words and experiences with locals will definitely make your travel experience richer. And there’s an enormous perk here: you’ll have the best local food recommendations.
You’ll become more independent
Once you’ve overcome the fear of solving all your problems all by yourself you’ll become super independent. At first, you’ll probably be second-guessing everything you do but little by little you’ll feel more confident.
I remember the first time I traveled alone. I pretended to be all confident but on the inside, I was freaking out. After the first day, I started feeling more confident. At first, I went to “safe places” and got to my place early so there was still sunlight. I tried to avoid things that put me in danger or that I felt that put me in danger.
After some days passed by I started feeling more and more confident. By the end of that trip I was taking taxis (there was no Uber back then, what?!) and having drinks at sketchy bars with new friends. The best/worst part was that I didn’t depend on anyone to make decisions.
I returned a different person when I got back. Remember the world is much more easygoing and accepting than people are made to believe by their friends and family (sorry mom!).
You’ll have all the time to yourself
This is my favorite part of traveling solo. On the same first solo travel, I remember feeling pressured to meet new people, go places with them and have fun at the beginning. Some days passed by and I realized I loved being by myself, enjoying the things I wanted to enjoy.
The best memories I have of that trip are of me being all by myself, walking the streets of the city with nobody hurrying me, sitting in parks to read for hours and enjoying any kind of food I wanted. I know some people that don’t like being by themselves, I get that this is not for everyone but I loved it.
If you fear traveling solo because you don’t want to feel lonely, there’s always a chance to meet people on the road, chat with locals and even find new friends. You just have to be open to it. Take these tips into consideration:
A better self-realization
In the end, you’ll be able to know more about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses. You’ll have time to reflect on yourself, on who you are, what you like and what do you want. And most of the times, you’ll become a better person. Or at least you’ll be a bit changed.
It’s an amazing experience to know that you “survived” and solved all of your problems by yourself in an unknown place. That’ll make you a more confident and fearless person.
Just know that once you travel solo the first time, you’ll probably want to do it again! What have you learned from traveling solo? Tell us in the comments.