This week on the Girls Go Abroad podcast we’re talking about the top 5 reasons to travel solo. From the freedom it brings to the amazing experiences you have when traveling on your own, here are the top 5 reasons to travel solo.
The Top 5 Reasons to Travel Solo
By far one of the reasons I think I hear mentioned most often when talking about why people should travel solo is the freedom that it brings, and this is definitely a major reason! As a person who likes things to go my way at all times, traveling solo is perfect for me because I get to do exactly what I want.
So firstly, traveling solo gives you freedom because being on your own means that you get to do what you want, when you want it. When you travel with other people, you always have to take into account what they want to do and what they don’t want to do, and sometimes this can be super stressful!
For example, I absolutely love to just wander around a city and take photos. But when I’m traveling with my boyfriend Daniel it’s a lot harder to do this because he just isn’t super into randomly wandering around and watching me take pictures of things. Which, like, understandable.
But when I travel solo, I can wander around and take pictures for as long as I want. And sometimes I end up spending whole days just doing that and it makes me so freaking happy.
So when you travel solo, you get to choose what you want to do. You don’t have to do things you don’t want to do. And really, you just get to plan your perfect trip. Go to the destinations you want to go to. Skip the ones you don’t.
Like when I’m traveling solo, I almost always make more time for little towns. I spend multiple nights in popular day trip destinations and really get to know them, because I just really like little towns.
And if I were traveling with other people, they might not be as interested in covering every corner of a little town twice. More often, they’re interested in either the big cities or hitting up as many spots as possible, so there isn’t the time to devote to those little towns that I like. Traveling on my own lets me do that.
And of course, traveling solo is also great because you don’t have to wait for someone to travel with. If you see a great flight deal or just really want to get out of your town for a little while, you don’t have to wait for someone else’s work schedule to line up or for them to want to go on a trip to. You can just book it!
It also means that you don’t have to work with someone else’s budget, either. Say, for example, they have more or less money to spend than you do. Maybe they want to splurge out on a fancy hotel you can’t afford. Or maybe they want to scrimp and not spend money on anything–like even a few extra bucks for a nicer hostel. It can cause some serious friction!
When you’re traveling on your own, though, you can spend exactly as much or as little as you want–and you can prioritize the things that you want to as well. So like for me, I really like to take informative guided tours and do cool things like paragliding–so I tend to splurge on those and then save on other things like accommodation and food.
Other people I’ve traveled with have a different mindset about spending though, and so sometimes if I’m traveling with other people I don’t get the chance to do all the cool things I want to because they either don’t want to spend money at all or want to spend it in other places.
So as you can see, there are absolutely loads of ways that solo travel offers you tons of freedom, and it’s definitely one of the top reasons to travel on your own!
2. It Will Increase Your Confidence
Personally, I’ve struggled a lot with anxiety and depression throughout my life, and solo travel has really changed how I deal with that and helped me a lot with my anxiety.
When you’re forced to problem-solve and don’t have anyone else to fall back on, you learn exactly what you’re made of and you KNOW that you can do it. Yes, it can seem seriously hard in the moment, but when you make it back alive… trust me, it’s a confidence booster.
I’m also naturally just a really shy person, and so when I travel with other people I have the tendency to shy away and let them do the talking, the navigating, all of that. When I travel solo, I have to do the talking, I have to do the navigating, I have to do it all. And so that’s a big confidence booster as well.
After more than 3 years of solo travel now, I can confidently say that I’m at least 100x more confident than I was when I first started, and I’m so proud of myself for that.
#3 You’ll Learn So Much About Yourself
In addition to gaining boatloads of confidence, traveling solo provides you with the opportunity to learn so much about yourself.
When you’re traveling with other people, you’re with them 24/7, so you’re probably not doing much self-reflecting. But traveling can be one of the most life-changing experiences whether you’re traveling alone or not, and traveling solo lets you actually reflect on the experiences that you’re having and what they’re teaching you about the world and about yourself.
In addition to that, sitting on your own in restaurants, on trains, and all of that means that you just have a lot of time to think to yourself and about your life, which means that you’re going to be figuring out a lot about yourself along the way.
Some of my biggest personal breakthroughs have come while I was traveling solo. From figuring out what I want to do with my life to simply discovering what food I like and don’t, I have learned so much about myself on my solo travels.
#4 You’ll Make New Friends
Now, it might seem counterintuitive to say that when you travel on your own you’ll make new friends, but it’s true.
When you travel with a friend or a significant other, most of the time you just talk amongst yourselves. You’re not making an active effort to talk to other people in your hotel or make friends with your tour guide. And you probably aren’t getting approached by other people who want to be your friend either.
But when you travel on your own, you suddenly become a lot more approachable. People will want to help you. Your tour guide will want to give you more advice. People in your hostel will come up to you and ask if you want to go exploring with them. And of course, you’re actively making an effort to find other people to hang out with too, because you don’t want to be lonely!
From renting a car with a few friends from my hostel in Mexico to grabbing drinks in a local bar with a tour guide dressed like an executioner and another couple from the tour in Germany, traveling on my own has opened up so many fun opportunities to spend time with people that I probably wouldn’t have had had I been traveling with other people.
#5 You’ll Experience Your Destination More Deeply
Finally, the last reason that I think you should travel solo is because you’ll experience your destination more deeply. What does that mean?
Well, when you travel with other people, again, you’re often wrapped up in each other. You’re talking to each other when you’re eating a meal, you’re making comments about the art in a museum, all that sort of stuff.
When you travel on your own, though, you’re people watching while you eat your meal. You’re paying attention to everything as you walk down the street. You stop and really think about the pieces of art in that museum you’re visiting.
And on top of that, and tying in with my last point, is that when you’re traveling on your own you’re a lot more approachable. People want to help you and give you recommendations of things to do. Locals will strike up conversations with you and tell you things that you never would have learned otherwise.
This isn’t to say that you can’t experience these things when you’re traveling with other people, but when you travel solo it makes experiencing your destination on a deeper level a lot easier.
So there you have it: the top 5 reasons to travel solo at least once in your life. From the freedom and confidence it gives you, to the things you’ll learn about yourself, the friends you’ll make, and the amazing experiences you’ll have, traveling solo is honestly so amazing, and I couldn’t recommend it to you more.