9 Benefits and 1 Disadvantage Traveling Alone Might Bring You
According to travel companies like Overseas Adventure Travel, women prefer solo travel more than men. While many people find solo voyages boring, lackluster and even intimidating, others have already learned that traveling on their own actually has many advantages.
We at Bright Side love traveling and believe that going on a trip alone should be experienced at least once in a lifetime and here is why.
You have more freedom.
You don't need to adjust your plans to accommodate another person. You choose what you want to do and do it without looking back or worrying about whether your co-traveler likes it or not. You're free to wake up at any time that is comfortable for you, eat what you like, and spend your time as selfishly as possible.
- Traveling solo allows you to be the master of your own schedule. If you enjoy a place more, stay longer. Allow yourself to get lost without worrying about time. I was once crossing across Slovenia when I chanced upon the magnificent Lake Bled. I got down from the train then and again and ended up spending a significant amount of time just strolling across the lake. It was an unplanned detour but resulted in a lifelong memory. Rohan Jain / Quora
- Here's a nice hack: you don’t have to go on a full-blown solo journey if you aren’t comfortable with it. Start small. Maybe eat at a restaurant alone or go to the movies alone. Or maybe just extend your trip if you're traveling with friends or family. You can go somewhere you've already been to or go somewhere you're more comfortable going to. And when you get comfortable with the situation, maybe you can go on a completely solo trip. Raksha Rao / Quora
There are fewer chances for you to get stressed out.
When you're surrounded by friends, it's easier for old routines to creep up on you. When you're alone, the only person who can create drama is you. And even if you do, there's no one to show this drama to, which means it will disappear quickly.
- Traveling solo can change your life in so many positive ways. I credit solo travel with making me far more resourceful, confident, spontaneous, socially adept, and less stressed, worried, and neurotic. It has some high highs and low lows but through it all, you will change in great ways. If that's what you're open to, I hope you find it. Kyle Pennell / Quora
You'll be pushed out of your comfort zone.
Having your friends by your side while traveling gives you a feeling of safety. If you get lost or something goes wrong, you won't have to solve the task alone and this is both good and bad. The good thing is that you will have people to rely on, but the bad thing is that you won't know what you're capable of. When traveling solo, the borders of your comfort zone stay far behind and you'll certainly experience that feeling of empowerment when you realize how much you've done alone.
- Traveling in general and solo, in particular, exposes you to different cultures and food types. Don’t be afraid to experiment and go out of your comfort zone. You might stumble upon hidden passions you never knew you had. The first time I danced Salsa was in Europe, and I have been dancing ever since. Rohan Jain / Quora
It might be cheaper.
While some people require 5-star hotels, others are okay with staying in hostels. People have different demands when it comes to food, their environment, and entertainment. Many times, people who travel together have to agree to the requirements of others to remain one solid team. But oftentimes, this leads to bigger expenses. Traveling alone lets you control your budget without anyone interfering, and it's worth trying.
- In most cases, you can find traveling solo to be cheaper than traveling with someone. Why? Nobody teases you with local delicacies so it's easier to resist the temptation and spend less money on food (in my case). You're also more likely to buy fewer souvenirs and useless gadgets. More importantly, your travel companion might prefer a more convenient and expensive way of traveling and it’s sometimes awkward to say, “Sorry, it’s too expensive for me.” Koyel Biswas / Quora
You can rest without feeling guilty.
Traveling with friends always flows in a very active and sometimes hectic schedule. There's no single minute to take a breath and relax. Once you sit down, you'll probably hear, "Let's go!" Traveling solo lets you take a break whenever you want to and there's no one who'll push you or even put you to shame for being lazy.
- When you travel on your own, you're definitely more flexible with time, the next destination, and any decisions you make. You team up with travel buddies you like the most and end up expanding your travel plans. You're free to change your plans whenever you want to. You're free to sleep as long as you want and you can hitchhike, hike, dance on the beach, and change your destination last minute without feeling stress or having to compromise. No more fitting into a group’s agenda. No more explanations or disappointing anyone — you just follow your rhythm, heart, and mind. Koyel Biswas / Quora
It will be easier to make new friends.
When traveling with friends, people usually stay inside their circle and rarely communicate with outsiders. But traveling solo allows you to be more open-minded and get to know new people faster and easier. It increases your chances of making new friends or simply learning about other people's cultures.
- Traveling solo is an amazing feeling. You can go wherever you want and do whatever you want. You can make friends all over the world, all while creating memories you'll cherish forever. Rohan Jain / Quora
You might enjoy the trip more.
Traveling with friends is fun, but this fun actually distracts you from the trip itself. While walking around sightseeing and talking to your friends, you actually miss many interesting details and are only able to see some of the sights at a glance. When you're alone, there's no one to distract you with talking and you can fully integrate yourself into the culture of other countries.
- When you're with someone, its amazing but when you're alone, you cherish yourself. When you see something magnificent like the Taj Mahal or sit calmly on a vast lawn, you might fall in love with yourself, your life, and the love you have experienced thanks to the people around you. Abhinav Sharma / Quora
You'll boost your confidence.
Traveling solo sounds intimidating for many and that's totally normal. The mere thought of not having that social safety net can freak anyone out. But starting a journey alone and making your way through unknown terrain can miraculously increase your self-confidence.
- When I told my friends and family about my solo trip they said I was crazy and even laughed at me. But they don't know how it feels to talk to yourself, they don't know how it feels to make friends with yourself, and they don't know what becoming your own best friend feels like. You feel a new sense of confidence building up inside of you and you feel you can win over anything. Dushyant Chauhan / Quora
You'll learn more about your true wants and yourself.
With the hectic pace of modern life, it's hard to stop and think about what your true mission is. It often feels as if we're living on autopilot. Going on a trip with friends gives you relief from city life, but no more than that. At the same time, traveling on your own gives you plenty of time to get lost in your thoughts and shuffle through them. Having quality time alone might bring you new ideas, inspiration, and self-knowledge.
- Traveling alone is such a rewarding experience! You will learn to recognize yourself more, make friends in unexpected places, and learn important survival skills. Solo travels make you brave and confident. Natasha Wahyudihardjo / Quora
- I'm 22 and have been traveling solo for 2 years now. I really wish that everyone on this planet would take a solo trip once in their lifetime as it will make you spend time with the person who knows you the most: you! Moreover, it unveils a whole new domain of traveling that you're unaware of. Akash Bansal / Quora
We’ve looked through various blogs and forums where people shared their traveling experiences and there’s one big disadvantage that most of them mention: loneliness. Here’s what Internet users have written:
- I traveled by myself for 2 months and ended up coming back home a week earlier than planned because of the loneliness I experienced. jfworld / reddit
Traveling solo, the highs are so high and the lows are so low. Knowing it will pass is hugely helpful. I remember feeling overwhelmingly lonely one day and then meeting people I was crazy about the next day. sfhkkkgftyg / reddit
Yes! I traveled to Taiwan and Japan for 2 weeks in January and experienced this time and time again. It was so nice having some solitude and being able to do my own thing, but at some points, I just wanted to share the experience with someone. chapmanh9 / reddit
Have you ever traveled solo? Are there other disadvantages we forgot to mention?
Preview photo credit The Shallows / Columbia Pictures