Solo Travel

Just the thought of traveling solo scares some travelers as they imagine everything and anything that could happen to them while being so far away from home. The loneliness and vulnerability of being on your own for long periods of time is certainly not for everyone. But in reality, a solo backpacking adventure provides many surprising advantages that may be appealing to some travelers, like the following:

  • the pace at which you travel and can be as fast or as slow as you like. You can feel free to stay in a city for weeks if that is what you desire. You set your schedule.
  • you can travel in any direction you want without concerning yourself with following someone-else's itinerary
  • you are more easily accepted where ever you go. For example, finding accommodations is easier as you can take the last available bed in a hostel. A table for one is easier to find than a table for four.
  • you will be more approachable. People are usually more hesitant to approach larger groups of people. Not so if you are on your own. You'll be surprised how many people approach you when you are traveling by yourself.
  • you have more time, space and privacy to write in a journal
  • you are less obtrusive in a foreign culture. You will blend in and become enveloped in the local culture rather than standing back and looking in.
  • you can easily join other groups of travelers (if you desire) as you make new friends while traveling

Of course, there are some important considerations to be made before traveling alone:

  • your choice of destination should depend on your age and sex for health and safety reasons
  • invest in health insurance. There is nothing worse than feeling ill or being injured while traveling solo.
  • are you out-going enough to meet people on your own?

If you do travel on your own, your trip may cost you a bit more than if you went with someone else. You won't have a partner or two to share food, transportation or accommodation expenses with (ie. taking a cab, renting a car or staying in a cheaper hotel). As well, the security of companionship may be sorely missed. Traveling alone can give you the feeling of being more vulnerable to theft of injury.

Traveling solo gives you a great feeling of independence. You are in complete control of your travel experience. It also allows you to travel at any time of the year, when you are able to, rather than trying to coordinate time with someone else. Whether you travel with someone, or go solo, you will meet many people as you mix and mingle with locals and other travelers.

If you are looking for a travel mate, check out the Connecting Solo Travel Network which may help you get connected with someone with similar travel interests.