I’ve asked a few people and friends if they’d ever go travelling solo and usually the responses are related to loneliness, anxiousness or preferring to join a tour and have a plan for the whole journey. I feel that solo travel is still quite a taboo subject and we don’t know what to expect if we take that step but we’re always afraid to because the same feelings are talked about and shared around which are usually negative.
One thing I absolutely loved about travelling alone was the freedom I had. I could do anything I wanted that suited my personality and was at my level of fun and comfort. Usually if you are with another person you will find either one of you compromising so the other one is happy or just doing things which you both enjoy and not doing things you’d really want to do. Some things you want to do may not be to their taste or your budgets on activities/food/transport may vary.
No pressure on you to make others happy
The pressure you feel you have to make your companion happy is always on the back of your mind, it is for me anyway. Doing it solo relieves that pressure and allows you to focus more on yourself and your journey.
I’ve experienced this myself where I was constantly worrying about my travel partner not enjoying themselves very much and just focusing on boosting their mood by doing things they wanted to do. By doing this, it then makes you forget about yourself and your needs for enjoyment. Obviously, if you are both very similar and open to each other then you have nothing to worry about, just like my best friend and I.
You can change your plans at any point
It is becoming more popular amongst the younger travellers where you don’t plan anything before going and just go with the flow. This is a great option for those of you who have the freedom during your travels because you can decide what to do next and where to go. There is nothing tying you down or preventing you from doing that extra trip or one more activity. GO FOR IT!
I know of a few people who have done this, along with myself, and they have managed to save so much money but also sometimes felt a little lost and confused as what their next plans are. If you are all about spontaneity then this is just what you want to be doing. A lot of it is trial and error (accommodation searching can be a drag) but I think you’d be surprised by how much you may save, and also how much more freedom you’d have as you can stay in a certain place for however long you want.
Make choices which put your comfort first
You are the main priority and nothing else should come before it, even when you are travelling with other people, but knowing that you don’t have that extra person to keep an eye on will allow you to put your own comfort and happiness first. Decide what you would like to get out of this trip and achieve it!
Your budget is the only budget
The amount of stories I heard over my travels at the beginning of this year where their travelling companions budgets were ridiculously high, or stupidly low, was quite surprising. I usually think that travellers will have one budget…to spend as little as possible, or to go as cheap as possible. However people also like a bit of luxury now and again, just like I did but not everyday. So it makes it so much less stressful for yourself and more comfortable knowing you only have your budget to stick to and not having to compromise to someone else’s.
Another perk to braving it solo is the flexibility you have. You don’t have anything holding you back from changing part of your journey, you can choose what you want when you want, and your travels will seem more relaxed knowing you don’t have any time limits for someone else, just yourself which you choose and are happy with.
Less stressed, more relaxed
The flexibility you get and feel with leave you with so much time to just relax instead of stress out. You basically will enjoy yourself a lot more and properly indulge into one countries’ culture. You may find yourself exploring further into the countries hidden treasures and having less time to worry about what is happening next.
Planning becomes a whole lot easier
You can plan what you want, when you want, where you want and how you want without having to fit in the requirements of a travel partner. You don’t even have to plan if you don’t want to, instead go with the flow however you’d like to.
I found that I was constantly changing my plans when I travelled South East Asia and definitely regretted planning the trip instead of going and booking along the way. If I had the guts to do this before my trip then I would have saved so much money, had a little less to worry about, and generally more flexibility. I think because it was my first trip solo I was too afraid to commit to this just incase something did go wrong along the way. But I guess that’s the whole point…if something does go wrong along the way then you can change your whole route because you have nothing planned ahead.
You will find it becomes easier travelling alone because it’s one, or more, less person to worry about and it takes away that extra stress of making sure everyone’s happy and you’re on track. I’m obviously not saying I hate travelling with other people because that’s the opposite of how I feel – my best travels have been with other people – but I’m saying that there’s a lot more to get excited about than to be afraid of. I enjoyed travelling solo because of these two points I’ve mentioned and I would 100% do it again in the future. Once you’ve done it, unless you’ve had a bad experience, then you’ll want to do it again.