3 Reasons You Need to Take a Solo Trip
Updated: Jun 24, 2020
Wanderlust is more than just a trend—it’s clear that our collective infatuation with the idea of exploring new places and cultures is here to stay. But for many people, it remains just that—an idea. A desire left hanging that is never fully satisfied. We invent a thousand excuses for not getting out there and taking that trip, whether it be a 1-week vacation or a months-long adventure:
I don’t have the money
I can’t get off work
I need to learn a new language first
I don’t have a travel partner.
The truth is, none of these things should keep you from getting out and exploring the world. But for now, we’re going to focus on the often-heard excuse “I have no one to go with.”
Traveling with a friend, partner, or small group can certainly rewarding. It provides some familiarity in an unfamiliar place and its a great way to share experiences and build memories with the people in your life.
But if your after the new, the novel, the unexplored, or self-discovery—leave your companion(s) at home. Here are 3 reasons why.
1. Wait for No One
How many times have you proposed a trip with a friend or significant other, and for one reason or another, plans just never got off the ground? Conflicting schedules and interests are a huge hurdle to overcome that often mean plans are delayed or indefinitely suspended. On the other hand, if you are comfortable enough to go it alone, you can pretty much pick up and go anytime that suits you. Plan as you see fit, or better yet, don’t plan at all and just take it as it comes.
2. Do Away With the Detailed Plans
If you’re traveling with a companion, at best you have 50% control over the trip. You have to accommodate each other. You are more likely to make and stick to plans. If you are traveling alone, you are beholden to no one— you can make as many or as few plans as you like, not to mention cancel them if you’re not feeling it. If you want to keep it flexible, book your flight and your first several nights of accommodation, and figure out the rest when you get there. The result is unrivaled freedom to chart your experience as it comes.
This can include taking a suggestion for an impromptu hike on the outskirts of the city, a must-not-miss winery between on the road to your next stop, or joining a group of new friends for a secluded beach party.
3. Richer Social Experiences
Yes, you can definitely make new friends on your solo trip. In fact, I would argue, that by traveling alone you will be more approachable, you will find it easier to approach others, and you be more likely to forge new friendships with other travelers or locals.
Let's be fore real, beyond passing niceties, few people would approach a couple on vacation and strike up a conversation that leads to a meaningful shared experience. Approaching a group of people traveling together can also be intimidating—they already have their clique. But a solo traveler or group of solo traveler having a drink at the hostel bar, absolutely approachable.
If you’re hoping for some travel mates, stay at a hostel—making new friends should be a piece of cake. Keep it friendly, be yourself, and follow social cues. Often you can get away with a smile and a friendly “do you mind if I join you guys?”
If you’re not sure how to get the ball rolling, a great starting point is to simply ask how long they’ve been in town and if they’ve discovered any local gems you should know about. If you want to make friends with locals, ask them about the local dishes you should try—people love to brag about their native cuisines and traditional dishes.
The best part of making new travel buddies is you can leave them at any time without hard feelings. Of course, this wouldn’t be the case if you were on a trip with friends from home or a significant other.
Take Your Next Trip Solo
Traveling solo can necessitate stretching your comfort zone a little, but from the ability to go wherever your heart desires to the possibility of joining up with new travel buds for impromptu adventures, solo travel quite literally opens a world of opportunities. You won’t know what you’re missing until you take your next trip solo.