Do you automatically assume you’ll travel with a companion when you think about a trip? You’re not alone—according to a survey by Agoda, most respondents said they preferred to travel with someone. Though that may be the case, there are plenty of reasons why solo travel might be the better option for you, whether you’re looking to save money or simply want the freedom to do what you want when you want. Here are five things to think about if you’re on the fence about traveling solo.
1. You’re in Control
One of the best things about solo travel is that you call all the shots. You move at your own pace, change your plans on a whim and choose precisely what activities you want to do without compromising with anyone else. This is especially beneficial if you enjoy traveling spontaneously or like to go off the beaten path. When you’re by yourself, there’s no need to worry about whether your travel companion is up for an adventure.
2. It Can Be More Affordable
If you prioritize saving money, traveling solo can be cheaper than taking a trip with someone else, especially if your travel companion’s budget needs differ from yours. When booking airfare, hotels, and tours, you won’t have to pay any extra “single supplements” (additional fees charged for single occupancy). You can take advantage of discounts for seniors, students, and more. Eating alone is less expensive than dining as a twosome or group since most restaurants charge per person rather than per dish.
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3. You Can Meet New People Easily
A common concern among solo travelers is feeling isolated or lonely while on the road—but the truth is, it’s easy to meet new people when you’re traveling alone. Whether you start a conversation with somebody while waiting in line for a tour or share a table at a restaurant, chances are good that you’ll walk away from your trip with at least a few new friends (and maybe even some lifelong ones). If meeting new people isn’t really your thing, that’s perfectly OK, too. Remember, one of the best parts about solo travel is that YOU get to choose how social (or not) you want to be.
4. Solo Travel Forces You Out of Your Comfort Zone
Stepping out of your comfort zone can be scary. It can also be exhilarating and empowering. If you constantly reject new experiences because they make you feel anxious or uncomfortable, traveling alone can push you out of that rut and into something new and exciting. Of course, there’s no pressure to take risks if they don’t feel right for you; ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how far outside your comfort zone you’re willing to step while on your trip. Baby steps count, too!
5. It Helps You Relax and Unwind
It can be hard to unplug from technology in our fast-paced world and simply relax. It’s paramount to make time for yourself now and then to de-stress and recharge. When traveling solo, there will be plenty of opportunities for much-needed ‘me time.’ That may mean getting lost in a good book while lounging on the beach or finally getting around to those yoga poses during a morning meditation session.
Some travelers (me) find being solely responsible for their trip helps them relax since they know no one else is relying on them. Others find that the ability to track their progress and itinerary helps strike a better work-life balance. Whatever reason works best for solo vacationers, one thing is sure: taking some time out for yourself is always beneficial.
A Final Word
When you travel solo, you’ll have the opportunity to explore your interests and discover who you are. You’ll meet new people and make lifelong friends. You will also experience things you might not have been able to if you were traveling with a group. Furthermore, no opinion or preference must be considered when traveling solo but your own. When deciding where to go next, what activities to do, what food to eat at restaurants – everything really – the decision is yours alone and based solely on what you want for your trip.