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!

You Can 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, you can take the train to Chicago and finally visit the Art Institute, or spend an extra hour touring the Monet rooms. Walk along the shore of Lake Michigan while you watch the sunset, then take that river cruise tomorrow. Go to the Palmer House and have a brownie for lunch. Nobody will tell.

What you decide to do with your time is your business and nobody else’s. Do you!

You Can Gain Confidence in Yourself

solo road trips

There’s nothing better than being out on the open road all on your own. One of the best parts of taking a solo road trip is that you’ll be completely reliant on yourself. Work with your internal clock. If you’re energized in the morning, drive until you see something interesting as the sun is coming up, check it out and get back on the road. Be smart. Get your car all checked out, fill up with gas the night before, and set up snacks and beverages within easy reach. Then just drive.

You’ll Make New Friends!

Syda Productions/Shutterstock

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.

You may also enjoy: The Dos and Don’ts of International Road Trips

Be on Your Own Schedule

Fahkamram/Shutterstock

We’ve all traveled with Schedule Suzie, that person who lives to keep you on track. If you’re tired of traveling with her, or if you know deep down that you ARE her, stop. If you’ve just driven south of Houston to the Gulf of Mexico, looked at the water and decided you have to hurry to make your dinner reservation, cancel the reservation. Park yourself on the sand and become one with the water, the wind, and the light.

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?

It’s Essential to Learn a New Language

If you’re out of your comfort zone, you can try using phrases in the local language. In many instances, you’ll find that learning how to say “good morning,” “thank you,” and “please” can get you a lot of help. If you’re on your own, you’ll have no choice but to try.

You’ll be Connected to the Wider World

solo trip - connect to the outer world

If you’re on your own, your options are wide open. Drive the rolling hills of Alabama. Talk to people in coffee shops about the best hiking near Washington DC. Dine with strangers on a train. Travel can be incredibly freeing if you allow yourself the chance to ask for help, seek suggestions, and rely on the kindness of those you’ve just met.

There’s no easier way to break down barriers than to travel. The world can be a scary place, but people are still in need of connection, and helping one another is necessary, both for the helper and the help-ee.

You’ll Save Money!

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?

So, where do you want to travel solo? Tell us about it in the comments below!

3 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Monika

    Hi, i really liked your list and i can confirm that it is really so as you wrote :)! I have been travelling alone a lot recently and it is a lot of fun. My main reason was that I am studying photography and sometimes I do not want to annoy my friends standing ten-twenty minutes in front of a building catching it from the best angle. Otherwise: I really do not like to be rushed- just as you wrote. An other good point is that you always get to know people when you travel alone. People attract people and I had many random acquaintances like these and some of them even became good friends with time :).

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Ainsley Robertson

      Hey, Monika. Thanks for the positive feedback! Glad you enjoyed it! I totally agree — photography definitely requires a lot of patience. Getting the perfect shot takes time! Great to hear that you can relate to what I had to say! Hope you keep comin’ back for more! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Avatar
    Terry Dunne

    I would like to go myself but there is one draw back. When booking a hotel or cruise, states, per person double occupancy

    Reply

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