We all have that one friend. The one who fills your news feed with selfies at the Pyramids in Egypt, the islands in Thailand, and the ruins in Ancient Greece. You wonder how they got that cool, to be able to travel solo all the time.
Stop wondering — it’s your turn.
You might think that solo travel is just for people on the far sides of the spectrum — those who keep to themselves, and those who are super outgoing — but that’s not at all true! All it takes is a little courage, some planning, and a commitment (to yourself).
Whether you’re a people person, a loner, or somewhere in between, check out these seven great reasons why you must try traveling solo!
1) You get to see what you want to see.
You’re used to fulfilling everyone else’s vacation dreams.
You’ve compromised. You’ve sacrificed.
This time around, if you don’t feel like hitting up a museum or a walking tour, you don’t have to! Set your own itinerary (or don’t), because this time it’s all about you. You can go wherever you want, whenever you want! There are no time constraints when it’s just you! Go as you please. No more running all over creation to please everybody else.
2) Eat what you want.
No compromises needed! If you want to eat dessert for breakfast, no one’s stopping you — and no one’s judging you! (Okay, maybe a few of the locals… but who cares?)
Feel like dining out, but don’t have a reservation? Go for it. Your chances of getting seated right away are high. No date, no wait.
3) Make new friends!
You can learn a lot from a stranger, and you’re much more likely to meet new people when you’re by yourself — especially if others are doing the same. You’re not the only solo traveler out there, and your intuition will probably kick in to help you find a fellow wanderer.
Whether you need a buddy for the day or are looking for a life-long partner, don’t be afraid to strike up a little conversation with your neighbor! The results may surprise you.
4) Wait for no one. Seriously.
It never fails. Whether you’re home or away, there’s definitely someone in your group who is always late. Even on vacation, they just can’t seem to get it together. But this time you’re traveling on your own, which means you don’t have to get all worked up trying to keep everyone on schedule. You’re in control.
So unless you’re that person, you’ll not only catch that 1:07 PM bus, you’ll also get there early enough to grab some road food.
And if you are that person — well, maybe just make sure there’s another bus you can catch. Guilt-free.
5) Keep a travel journal/blog.
This can be tough to do when you’re traveling with others because you have pretty much no time to spare for yourself. Traveling solo allows you to stop in the moment and jot down your thoughts, right then and there.
If you prefer to wait until you get back to your room (that’s right — your room, and only yours) you’ll have all the time you need to wash up, rest up, and reflect. You won’t be distracted by anyone (still) begging you to hit up that museum while you’re trying to relax. It’s just you. Pretty cool, huh?
6) Get to know yourself (even more).
Think you know yourself now? Believe it or not, there’s always more to learn.
Traveling solo forces you out of your comfort zone — in good ways! You’ll learn your limits and boundaries, and eventually realize that you’re capable of much more than you would have ever imagined! Discovering yourself and the world all at once? Deep.
7) It’s cheaper!
Not convinced yet? Ask your only travel companion — your wallet — how it feels. Airfare, food, activities are so much cheaper (and easier to reign in) when you’re only paying for one! After your first trip, the savings get a little addicting. Kind of like extreme couponing, except way more fun.
Apologize to your loved ones now, because you’ll never want a travel buddy again.
Whether it’s a one-time thing or you turn into a regular, you’ll definitely enjoy (and learn from) this experience. What more could you want from your vacation?
Have you always thought about traveling solo, but never had the chance? What’s holding you back? There are plenty of excuses to make — legitimate ones, sure — but we suggest rethinking your priorities and bumping a solo travel trip up to the top of your bucket list.
You’re probably brainstorming your next solo travel trip right now. Before you go, leave us a comment — tell us where you plan to go solo!