Why and How to Travel Solo

Like many people in their 20s, I love to travel. More specifically, I enjoy traveling alone, and whenever I tell people this fact about me, I often get asked a lot of the same questions. Why are you going alone? Is that safe? Doesn't it get boring? As such, I’ve compiled a list of reasons why I like to travel alone and tips I have for anyone who’s interested in flying solo.

 

Image via BT

Reason #1: You don’t have to accommodate for anyone else.

One of the best things about traveling alone is having full authority over your itinerary. No more missing out on museums because your friend doesn’t like art, or having to eat cheap food because your sibling is on a tight budget.

 

Reason #2: Traveling alone saves time.

When you travel in groups, particularly big groups, it can be difficult to rally everyone together and move quickly through the city. When you travel alone, you can easily hop onto public transportation without worrying about if there’s enough space or even bike or walk your way across town.

 

Reason #3: You can do it at a moment’s notice.

Since you don’t have to be considerate of other people’s schedules, you can just up and go as soon as the opportunity arises. Have a day off of work that you didn’t expect? Hop on a cheap domestic flight.

 

Reason #4: It’s the perfect opportunity for personal time.

Having some “me time” is an important part of self-care that many people forget to do. Exploring new areas on your own can be a fun and interesting way to spend time with yourself.

 

Reason #5: You take in your surroundings and experiences a lot more.

With there being no one else you know with you, traveling alone makes you pay more attention to your surroundings and really focus on the new experiences you’re having.

 

Reason #6: It’s much easier to meet new people.

When you travel with a set group of people, it can be easy to stay within your own bubble. When you travel alone, you become more open to socializing with new people. You’ll be surprised to see how many people are also traveling alone in the area.

 

Image via Travel + Leisure

Now that you've heard why I enjoy traveling alone, here are some tips I've complied from my adventures to ensure the best experience. 

 

Tip #1: Give someone a copy of your itinerary and important documents.

Make sure that you and someone close to you has a photo copy of your passport, ID, and other important documents in case you lose them or otherwise need them. Also let someone know where you’ll be each day of your trip.

 

Tip #2: Pack lightly.

Traveling alone often means moving from city to city a lot more and also staying in smaller lodging, so packing lightly will help you move through various travel destinations easily. Having less luggage also means having less things to remember to keep track of.

 

Tip #3: Be flexible about your travel dates.

Buying plane tickets on certain days are much cheaper than others. If saving money is important to you, consider planning your trip around what dates are cheapest.

 

Tip #4: Do spend more when it comes to lodging and phone/data plans.

Safety is a major priority, especially when traveling alone. If you’re on a tight budget, consider allocating a generous amount on lodging to ensure you are staying in a safer part of town. Having a data plan allows you to have a reliable way to stay in touch with loved ones and some kind of navigation available on your phone, which can also be a huge life safer.

 

Tip #5: When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

The locals always know the best activities to do and places to eat. Blending in with the locals can also be a good safety precaution since you’ll be less likely to be targeted by scammers and pickpockets.

 

Tip #6: Consider meeting up with a friend or joining a group.

Instead of doing the whole trip alone, you can always plan to meet up with a friend halfway through your journey and travel with them for the rest of your trip. Joining a tour group can be helpful if you don’t have much experience traveling alone.