For me, travelling solo is the only way I travel. The first time was a little scary but since then I never wanted to do anything else. But I do understand that it can be intimidating at first.
My friends always know me as the person that travels solo everywhere and that is totally accurate. Two of my friends have actually done short solo trips because they thought it was pretty cool and that they wanted to try it out as well because I kept talking about it. That was the best compliment I have ever got!
I do think that everybody should give solo travel a try at least once in their life. It doesn’t have to be a long trip to a place on the other site of the planet. It might as well be a small weekend trip to a neighbouring country. If you don’t like it, then that’s totally fine but at least you gave it a try.
The first country I have ever travelled to solo was Australia and I stayed for almost a year. I also did plan on staying for a whole year so I am glad I enjoyed it. I have met people that planned on going for a year and ended up going home after a month because they realised solo travelling wasn’t for them. Thankfully I realised, it totally was for me though. Since Australia I have travelled to a bunch of other countries by myself, from Colombia to Malaysia to Hungary.
So after all these travels, here are 10 things that you should know about solo travel.
My favourite Solo Travel Resources:
Skyscanner: Here I search for all the cheapest flight connections around the globe.
Hostelworld: I book all my Hostels on Hostelworld. They have amazing deals!
Flixbus: If I’m travelling in Europe, I like to travel by bus.
italki.com: If I want to practise some languages with Native Speakers before or during travelling. Sign up now and get $10 of italki credit if you ever spend $20 on lessons (referral).
1. Solo Travel can get lonely at times
And this is probably what you are worried about the most. And yes it can get lonely at times. While you are able to meet some incredible people along the way, there are definitely times where you won’t be meeting anyone. And that is totally normal, it happens to most of us.
All you need to know is that you shouldn’t expect to meet other people everywhere you go. And you should be okay with just being by yourself sometimes.
2. The easiest people to make friends with are other solo travellers
Of course people travelling in groups are less interested in making other friends. But other solo travellers are in the same boat as you and they would love to meet other fellow travellers.
Especially if you can see another traveller sitting around by themselves for a long time in the hostel, go and start a conversation. You might be best friends the next day.
It is quite easy to bond with other solo travellers, as you have so much in common already!
3. You can be as spontaneous as you want
Being spontaneous is one of the main benefits of travelling alone! You never have to consult with your friends or travel buddies on where to go next. If you don’t like a place you can move on to the next. If you want to stay on a specific island for longer, you can do it!
Other than your budget and your time constraints, of course, you can be as spontaneous as you like.
4. You will meet friends in the most random places
I have made friends in elevators, airplanes or while getting dinner. You often meet people when you least expect it and when you are totally not looking for it. Make sure to just be open to everything and you can meet some great people.
5. Solo Travel can at times be a little more expensive
Talking taxi rides or Ubers or even tours. Travelling solo can be more expensive at times but it also doesn’t have to be. Find people to share Taxis or an Uber with (I mean at the hostel, if you are for example going to the airport, not random people on the street).
I have had tours that I wasn’t able to do because I was signing up by myself but that thankfully isn’t the norm.
6. Once you travel solo, you will be a lot more independent
Probably not if is just a weekend trip but imagine travelling solo for a couple of months or a whole year. You’ll realise that you can do everything by yourself and that you don’t actually need anyone else. Nothing these days bothers me more than people that never do anything by themselves and always stick to a group.
7. You sometimes do still need to make compromises
The good thing about solo travel is that you can often do whatever you like and that you don’t have to base your decisions on your travel companions but instead are free to go where-ever you like. But that’s not necessarily true all the time!
There are certain compromises you still have to make as a solo traveller. It might happen that some activities you can not do by yourself but instead you will need another person to sign up somewhere. Paying for Ubers or Taxis is more expensive by yourself so you might have to choose a different way of travelling if you can not afford it by yourself.
In certain countries you can not walk around in certain areas due to safety reasons. But if you were in a group or would travel with a partner then those wouldn’t necessarily be things that you would have to worry about. So there certainly are some compromises that you have to make as a solo traveller.
8. After a while, solo travel will feel like the most natural thing
Nowadays, I find it weird when people tell me that they could never travel by themselves. Mostly, because it has become such a natural thing, that I don’t really think of it as something that requires courage or would be unusual.
That’s not to say that the first time I travelled solo, I wasn’t scared at all. It definitely took some courage to decide to go on my first solo trip.
But once you go on your first solo trip, you will laugh about the things you were worried about at first.
9. You might get annoyed when travelling with friends
Maybe this isn’t the case for you, but this happened to me before and I did hear similar stories from other regular solo travellers.
You are so used to figuring out everything by yourself, planning how to get from the airport to the city, be aware of common things to know about a country and then you travel with a friend who is totally unprepared and expects you to plan everything.
To me that is the worst kind of trip, when I travel with somebody who is so not independent and can’t figure out anything by themselves and want to stick with me 24/7.
I do really enjoy travelling with other people though that also travel solo at times. If we want to do two different things during the day, then we can just split up for a few hours and then meet up again. So we don’t need to be with each other all day every day.
10. Once you travel solo, there is nothing that you can’t do
Ok that’s a lie because there are clearly some things you will never be able to do. Like read minds or teleport to another country.
But what I am saying is that once you have travelled solo you will feel like there is nothing you can’t do. Jump out of a plane? Yes sure. Move to another country? Heck yeah, where to? Bungee Jumping? Nah not sure about that, I am still too afraid to do that but one day maybe.
Travelling solo will give you so much confidence in any areas of your life. So even once you are back home it will be still positively impact your life.
Is solo travelling for everyone?
No, absolutely not. I think it really depends on how independent you are and how comfortable you are spending time by yourself. I know people who have tried it and didn’t like and I guess it can’t be everybody’s cup of tea.
But I do encourage you to try it at least once or twice to see for yourself. Also, keep in mind that not every day will always turn out to be amazing. There can be some lonely days so if you don’t particularly enjoy your first trip, maybe give it a second try as well.
I have always spent most of my time alone and I don’t really like being around people constantly. Not that I don’t enjoy meeting new people while travelling, because that is actually my favourite thing about it. But I just really dislike having to rely on somebody else or even worse, for them to not plan anything and rely on me when it comes to talking to people or planning the trip. So solo travelling is always the best choice for me.
And that concludes 10 things to know about solo travel. Where did you go on your first solo trip?
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