The Pros & Cons of Solo Travel

person_outline Tommy Walker
Jul 30, 2018

folder_open Travel Advice

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Solo travel requires independent, adventurous souls who are comfortable being their own company. Hats off to all solo travellers, I applaud you because your travel experiences become maximised, everything is a little more satisfying because you did it yourself. Whilst there’s definitely a sense of achievement in solo travel, and a big one at that, there are a number of pros and cons you might like to consider the next time before you’re hitting the road.

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This isn’t to deter you from going it alone but to make you aware it’s quite normal to experience all of these things, and these are the elements that make travel so special. Unlike many travel articles, you’ll see of the good and bad – we’re going to give you the cons first, just so you’re ultimately prepared!

Cons

Pre-Solo Travel Nerves

There’s nothing quite like it. The pre-travel nerves are in turbo mode if you’re about to head out solo and that can definitely be something unsettling at first.

You’ll Be Lonely At Times

Whilst travel is growing and more people are doing it, there will be times you will be alone. We all miss someone and that might be one of the hardest things to deal with travelling solo as it’ll come at the most random of times.

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The Culture Shock

Especially true if you’re a first timer, the culture shock when you’re alone can be uncomfortable. Getting off the plane or a long-ass bus journey will have you undoubtedly tired and dealing with everything that’s being thrown in your face is a lot to take at first.

Related: 5 Tips for Handling the Stages of Culture Shock

The Journeys

One of the most nauseous feelings I used to have as a solo traveller was going somewhere new and alone and having to begin that part of the journey all by myself. In some of these moments, it’s nice to figure out where you’re going next with a friend.

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Budget

Travelling alone means you are responsible for everything you do and budget is one of them. Typically if you’re travelling with someone you share the cost, but as a solo traveller, the budget will depend all on you. Make sure you don’t run out of money!

Pros

The Most Independent Thing You’ll Ever Do

One of life’s most independent experiences you’ll ever do is going travelling solo. The nerves, the adventure, the experience – all of these things in foreign lands will make you a seasoned traveller within months. And remember, it might seem like more people travelling (and they are) but its still the vast minority who go it alone. Like you!

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Encourages You To Meet People

With all the worries of going travelling solo, it has to be said that you’re absolutely going to meet other travellers. With more travel-hotspot destinations to visit, the increase in accommodation and transport options and the boom of social media, it’s easy to meet new people nowadays. You might even meet your perfect match. I’ve kept in contact with some people I first met on my first solo trip, and to this day we see each other regularly. Those first travel friendships tend to be the best.

You’re Free

I’m being honest here but going in a couple or with friends is great and all, but going solo is when you’re really free. You’re free to make your own decisions, destinations and plans. No-one will judge you because that is what you want. You can only sense the ultimate freedom that travel brings when you do it alone, there’s no question on that.

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Sense of Achievement

Going travelling solo is a bit of a burden too. It’s often seen as an intrepid adventure that only a few do, and in the whole scheme of things that is correct. Once you’ve travelled solo, you’ll have this weight lifted off your shoulders, a fantastic sense of achievement that you have completed independently.

Life Experience Gains

Life experience with travel, but when you solo travel it gives you a more independent edge of life experience. You might have to deal with uncertain situations alone, you might have to travel for umpteen hours alone and you might be in the most beautiful scenic place you’ve ever visited, alone. These all contribute to our life experience and give us better decision-making and maturity.

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The World Is Your Oyster

If you can pull off solo travel once, then ask yourself is there a place in the world you can’t go? I wouldn’t recommend everywhere because there are some dangerous-ass countries out there not for everyone. But once you’ve got over that fear factor of hitting the road solo, the world opens up and becomes your oyster. Where to next?

Take me away!

Tommy Walker

Tommy Walker

Tommy Walker is a British freelance travel writer and social media micro-influencer. Since 2011 he's been on the road through Europe, SE Asia, South America, Africa and Oceania. This includes two Working Holiday Visas in Australia and New Zealand. Tommy's favourite destinations are Melbourne in Australia, Lisbon in Portugal, Thailand and Ecuador.