I always believe that the best travel companion we can have is ourselves. As a travel blogger, I’ve learned that solo travel is easier than you might think and is completely rewarding in a way few other experiences in life can match. Like many wanderers, I used to never go anywhere alone, but after a few life-changing experiences in some of my travels, I’m hooked on solo and I’m sure we’re a lot.
In recent years, interest in traveling alone has increased very steeply, and those in the travel industry have come up in some way to cater to this growing segment. If you want to travel alone but you’re afraid, if you did it once and promised never to do it again, if you really hate the idea of going somewhere without having a companion, now is the time to reconsider. Just think of it this way: You have limited amount of money and time to spend on travel, so why don’t you try to modify it to your individual preferences so that you can maximize your satisfaction? If you are still not convinced, here are my 10 reasons why you should consider.
1. IT MAKES MY PLAN EASIER
We always have this what we call “bucket lists” of places we want to go in our life, but we always hold back because we don’t have someone to share it with. Everybody has different travel interest, schedules and budgets so we are always waiting for the right time or the right person to join us for a trip to Ilocos, beach Bumming in Boracay, island hopping in Caramoan or backpacking around Cebu. When we travel alone, only our needs really matter and we can plan something at the last minute if we desire. So go ahead and prepare your backpacks to take a day trip to a nearby town or a week long jaunt across Luzon. You deserve to have the travel experiences you want. I am not encouraging everyone to go on every vacation alone, but it would be a shame to skip local and far-flung destinations just because you don’t feel like going alone.
2. MORE “ME TIME”
In our modern world filled with digital distractions, it can be a challenge to take the time that’s very important to recharge one’s battery. Luckily, solitude wanderers offer the time and space that is necessary for valuable alone time. Traveling alone will give you the best opportunity to reflect on life and enjoy your own company. Giving ourselves alone time, especially for an extended period is a gift that you will learn to relish.
In addition, you will be able to learn about yourself in a way that’s simply impossible when you are in the middle of your normal daily routine. I often surprise myself with new interest. I develop the way I interact with strangers differently than I would when I’m home. I’m also able to foresee my life with some distance and think about my future goals with a fresh set of iris. When I am on the road alone, I always have vivid dreams about the issues that are affecting me and these can lead to a meaningful resolutions. I believe, everyone should always find an opportunity to check in with himself or herself from time to time and solo travel offers these perfect conditions.
3. I AM THE KING OF MY ITINERARY
Sometimes planning a trip with someone or a group of people can be a hassle especially when picking the dates and that’s just the beginning. Where to stay? What to eat? Who’s planning the itinerary? Does everyone agree with the plan? What if you can’t do everything that you want to do? Planning a trip with anyone else is really an exercise in compromise and negotiation.
Instead, why not make the most of your time and money by planning your getaway without any interference? Whether you want to spend two days in a beach, overnight stay in a mountain, or visit ten heritage sites or museums in one weekend, there is no one to stand in your way when you’re traveling alone. You can sleep as much as you want, eat what your tongue desires and indulge yourself whatever makes you happy. Traveling is supposed to be relaxing and it is never more so than when are your own trip planner. You don’t even have to plan if you don’t want to. My whole point is how to get what you want out of a vacation.
4. I CAN EASILY MAKE FRIENDS
Without a doubt, one of the biggest deterrents from solo travel is the fear of feeling lonely. The truth, however, is that you’ll never feel this way if you make the right choices. For meals, find restaurants where you can dine at the bar and interact with the bartender or skip restaurants altogether and stick to street food or groceries. Want to meet some locals? Research lively cafes or bars that appeal to your tastes.
If you are overseas, speaking the local tongue will be a great help in interacting with strangers. But keep in mind that English is as close to a universal language as we’ve got, so you’re already in good shape. Also bear in mind that being a solo traveler automatically makes you an interesting person with a story to tell anyone you meet, so capitalize on that. Of course, if you’re not looking to build your social network, being a solo traveler allows you to be as antisocial as you want to be. It’s all about knowing what works for you.
5. MORE MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCE
We all know that there are many benefits to traveling with friends or loved ones, but other travelers can often serve as distractions from the destination you’re visiting. Whether you make a new international friend or travel buddy or discover your favorite beach resort, the moments you have when traveling alone tend to be more profound and those memories tend to last longer.
When we travel with someone else, the trip is more about your shared experiences which can be a great thing but not always. If a vacation is about having a good time with someone you know, by all means go forth, but if you really looking to connect with a new place and the people then consider going there alone.
6. IT BOOSTED MY CONFIDENCE
Everytime I will kick off on a solo trip, I still feel a bit nervous but in the end nothing makes me feel more capable or confident than conquering the world all by myself. Successfully ordering a fried crocodile in Cagayan De Oro, picking up the latest Ilonggos slang and making new friends in Mindanao – these are some of the rewards I’ve gained from my solo adventures. It is nice to have someone to rely on but it’s particularly satisfying when that someone is you.
Of course, the more confident you feel when traveling alone, the more confident you will feel at home.
7. I CAN STAY WITHIN MY BUDGET
Money is always a pressure point when it comes to travel, and everyone has different spending habits and attitudes. So it’s much easier to figure out your budget for a trip and plan accordingly. Even if you have shared finances with a spouse or travel with someone in the same tax bracket, the two of you may have completely different ideas of how much to spend on a hotel, for example.
It’s simply much easier to create your own budget and stick to it rather than overspending because you travel with someone who has an expensive taste. Lol!
8. IT MAKES ME A BETTER SOLITUDE WANDERER
Traveling alone makes you a better observer of people and places around you, which in turn has the power to make you more compassionate and a better person overall. Being an outsider, however slight or extreme, automatically changes the way you interact with others, and these changes are positive when it comes to travel. In addition to making you kinder and more patient, solo travel increases your curiosity about your surroundings, and chances are you’ll learn a lot about others simply by paying more attention than you would if you were with a travel companion.
Being alone also affords you the time to properly document and reflect on your travels. If you want to spend thirty minutes every night writing about what you ate that day, you’ll have time for that. In the future, these travel mementos will be just as valuable as the trips.
9. MORE SATISFACTION IN THE END
I’m willing to bet that everyone who has ever traveled with at least one other person has experienced some level of disappointment on vacation. Perhaps you got into a fight in Beijing because you couldn’t find a certain restaurant, it was late, you were both hungry, and you had already been traveling for a week and a half and that’s a lot of time to spend with anyone.
When you travel alone, the stakes are lower because you only have to worry about keeping yourself happy. Are you going to feel bitter because you slept in one morning? Highly unlikely. Will you hold a grudge because you spent too much time at a museum? Nope. Will you feel like you’re wasting time if you just want to sit in a café for a few hours? Not a chance. When you make yourself the sole arbiter of what to do on vacation, you remove the risk of disappointment and you keep things drama-free, which is a good way to keep your trip feeling both relaxing and satisfying.
10. I CAN EASILY FIND ANSWERS TO MY IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
If you’ve never traveled alone because your first thought is, “What would I even do with myself?” I implore you to plan a solo trip immediately. In addition to everything I’ve mentioned above, you will daydream, you will read, you will have exciting adventures, you will encounter funny things to tell your friends about, you will sleep well, you will eat new things, you will discover new neighborhoods, you will want to learn new languages, you will think about your next trip, you will talk to strangers, you will take risks, you will buy new clothes, you will learn about history and culture, you will go to concerts, you will stroll through parks, you will explore cities by bike, you will think about moving, and so much more. In fact, there’s so much you can do when you travel alone that you’ll wonder how you ever managed to travel with someone else in the past.