This article is a travel topic
Whilst traveling with friends or organized groups is fairly common, by choice or by necessity many people travel alone. Traveling alone is a unique experience and can be a very rewarding way of traveling, despite a few drawbacks.
Traveling alone is not uncommon and most solo travelers are able to meet other travelers at hostels, bars, organised tours or any place where travelers tend to hang out or congregate.
A growing trend is women traveling alone, and there are some great websites supporting this endeavour. In particular there are hundreds of tours and retreats that are just for women.
Advantages to traveling alone
- Your time and budget are your own! It's all up to you how much time to spend someplace, what your daily modes of travel will be, etc.
- It's easier to make friends with the locals. Many great opportunities to interact with the locals on a personal level can be found and enjoyed without a friend or other companion.
- More space to make your trip entirely your own. Solo travel can be a great opportunity for reflection and moving at an individual pace. Traveling by yourself, you only have to please yourself.
- You will be far more flexible than non-solo travelers, and may find it easier to cope with unexpected setbacks and complications. There's nobody to blame you for your own gaffes, after all!
Disadvantages to traveling alone
- There's nobody to watch your back. And there's no one to watch the luggage while you go buy train tickets. You have to carry all your gear yourself, which can be both inconvenient and stressful.
- It's more expensive, as there is no one to share costs with. Rooms are usually about the same price for one or for two. You'll need to budget a little bit more.
- You don't have any social obligations.
- You may experience moments of loneliness.
- Travel can often involve lots of waiting and boredom, made worse if there's no one to help pass the time.
- No one to vent to when things get tough
Some destinations lend themselves better to solo travel than others. You may find places where accommodations for a single traveler are less restrictive or expensive. There may also be places that cater to individual travelers.
Pack as light as possible. When traveling with friends the burdens can be shared; one person can watch the gear while another waits in line for train tickets, buys drinks or goes to the toilet. By yourself, you'll probably have to bring your things everywhere you go and prepare for tasks on your own.
Take intercity trains instead of buses, you can move around freely and mingle with other passengers. On most long distance trains the locals bring along a picnic, take some extra food to share with new friends.
Try not to look at maps in busy streets of foreign cities (which will mark you as an easy target for pickpockets) - do the map reading in a cafe, and unwind for a while, the refreshment will help you get your bearings. In many cities using a mobile device will blend better than standing on a street corner with a map.
Try to find places with a casual atmosphere in European cities, such as cafeterias in department stores, a pub, or an outdoor patio during warmer weather.
You can also try to connect with other travellers by using a free service called eatwithequals.net. It gives you the possibility to meet with interesting people, share good stories and expand your network with other global travellers. The goal of eatwithequals.net is to allow small groups of about 4 people to meet over a dinner, enjoy a good meal and leave the table well fed both in body and mind.
- In places where accommodation is expensive, you can try to team up with other single travelers to share a room and split costs. A good place to meet people for sharing is on the bus/train/plane in to a new place. Be cautious about who you trust, obviously, but it can be a great way to save money.
- The more travel-friendly the accommodation, the easier it will be to make new friends. If you're feeling lonely, head to a hostel, not a five-star hotel. Hostels are normally filled with solo travelers, many of them looking to make a friend or two to enjoy a beer with.
- Tours can be a great way to meet other travelers. Especially walking tours.
- Travel forums can also be a good way to meet other travelers who are in the same destination as you.
- Buy someone a beer! Start up a conversation! Even if you're not outgoing at home, now is the time to start. Ask someone that looks like they've been there a while about cool things to see. Politely offer help to someone just arriving, if you know the hotspots (but don't be overbearing) Better yet -- talk to the locals. In some countries, guesthouses are staffed by young people who like making new friends. Ask a local to teach you a few phrases in her language. Ask a local how to make a toast in the local language. Don't be afraid: at worst, you'll never see these people again, at best -- you'll make a new friend.
- Ask people to take your picture or offer to take theirs. It is a great way to initiate a conversation.
- Try something like couch surfing to see if you can find some local to host you. You can get a much richer cultural experience that way.
- Appearance and courtesy matters. Because you meet a lot of people in a short amount of time when traveling, it helps to put "your best foot forward".
- Smoking may be out of fashion back at home, but in a lot of the world, offering up cigarettes is not a bad way to strike up a conversation.
Life is for the living, so don't go crazy with worrying, but a few simple measures can make your solo trip a lot safer:
- If at all possible, arrive at a new place in the daytime. This will give you time to scope out accommodations and get your bearings in the relative safety of daylight. Some places are fine in the day, but dangerous at night. Some places are dangerous in the day, but imagine how much worse they are at night!
- Keep a spare stash of cash and other important things, in a different place than you normally keep your money, as you have no one to spot you if you lose your wallet or have your things stolen. See also pickpockets.
- Pay attention to your instincts. If your gut tells you not to get into that cab, take another one. If you have a bad feeling about a neighborhood, a hotel, a person, stay away. Your intuition often picks up on tiny signs of danger before you consciously identify them.
- Be careful about drugs and alcohol. You don't have anyone to watch your back/assist you, or drag you home if you get too drunk to walk. It's a lot harder to make good decisions about who to trust, where to go, what to do, if you don't have your wits about you.
- If you're in a semi-dodgy place for more than a short time, try to develop relationships with locals you trust. If you find a good taxi driver (who isn't driving drunk), ask him if he's available to drive you on other days. If you find a good guesthouse/hotel where the staff seems reliable, stick with it. Find a favorite bar, make friends with the barman -- someone who will stick you in a cab when you're too drunk, and who won't set you up to be mugged in a back alley.
If you want to live life to the fullest, you must fill it with unforgettable journeys! Of course, it is easier said than done, but if a person wants to change the life with all his heart he will do his best! What stands in your way to start a trip? Nothing but yourself and your ability to make decisions. If you hesitate because you don`t have a partner for the journey think about traveling alone. Because modern travelers do not need any companions as they can wonderfully enjoy the trip alone. The idea of solo traveling fascinates one people and thrills the others.
When you plan your first trip you can be unsure whether you`d better make a solo travelling or do it with a company. To find the best option you must evaluate possible pros and cons of these types of travelling. Bare in mind that your decision depends on the features of your personality. Travelling puts various challenges to your personality. Analyze the following arguments and define what is the best for you.
1.You risk not to be safe and sound
Travelling alone is full of adventures! But not everything can go fine. Remember that we live in the dangerous world, with pickpockets, frauds and murderers. You must always watch your back to prevent yourself from getting into troubles. Now imagine, if during the lonely trip you will be on pins and needles all the time, could it bring any pleasure to you? Eduzaurus can back up you with assignments, but you must have someone to support you in reality.
2. If you get lost, who will help you?
New areas are dangerous. Everybody can get lost in the labyrinths of new cities. Tourists may feel critically helpless if they do not orientate and do not know the language of the locals to ask for a way. Especially when you don’t have a map or can`t use GPS when the charge of the battery is low. It is easier and funnier to get lost with the friend because two heads are better that the one. You can get unforgettable impressions and the time of finding the way home will be shorter than when you do it on your own.
3. Nobody to split
You can share not only the impressions but also expenses. If there are at least two of you than your can pay for the housing and meals in half. There is also an opportunity to get some discounts for two or more people. The prices for lonely travelers are usually higher that for the accompanied. However, there are ways for students to travel almost for free.
4. Luggage is heavier
It refers not only to the weak girls that like to offload men with their numerous stuff! Every tourist has situations when he needs someone`s to hold his bag. The presence of the companion will also be a little guarantee that you won`t forget your purse in the transport or in the cafe. In case you need to find a key for your hotel room or lace your shoes you need a help of your trip partner.
5. You have nobody to share impressions with
This is the saddest part. When you discover new places and experience different impressions you need a person to share it with. The act of sharing strengthens relationships and fills a heart with a delight. Even the best places to vacation may not give you the desirable impression. Especially when you find something that appeals to you and your friend`s common interests. For example, if you are both fond of vinyl records during the moment when you found rare LP of Joy Division in some vintage shop you will have a breakneck desire to see the reaction of your friend. In case you are alone, there is an option to take a photo of the memorable moment and send it. But we all know that emoji cannot replace sincere emotions of the real person.
6. You may not be brave enough to meet new people
You have already built the relationships with people who are close to you. That is why you feel comfortable in their company and can easily start a conversation without the confusion. However, if you travel alone you only have a possibility to meet only new people and try to contact them. Even the bravest at home can come to a standstill when they face strangers. It is a big barrier that not every person can fight. Most people avoid such challenges and find wifi connection instead of the alive.
1. Create your personal schedule
People vary in their temps of life. It starts from the moment when they pack suitcases for the trip. Somebody needs a little bit less than the eternity, others are as rapid as sonic the hedgehog. You will not feel comfortable if someone will limit you in time. When you travel alone you can distribute time as you wish. In addition, your fellow-traveller may not agree to spend as much time at the place of interest as you do. So, it is better to make solo trips because you are the only master for your plans and nobody can influence them. There is an unlimited amount of places to travel alone.
2. Follow your own interests
People differ in their interests. So, with another person, you will always have to make concessions in the choice of where to go during the trip. If you want to go the nightclub the person X will prefer to stay in the hotel. But as the friends, you must come to a compromise. Solo travelling will set you free from any interest clashes. You have started a trip to relax, not to be involved in complicated situations. That is why you must follow your plans when you have opportunities to do so.
3. Spend as much money as you wish
During the trip, you can be in different financial condition with your travel companion. Fortunately, whether you have a limited budget or you can afford luxuries there are ways to enjoy your journey. But if you are not on the same financial level with the travel-fellow you can face some awkward situations. And spend time on finding another compromise, but not on exploring the places of interest.
4. Prevent relationships from challenges
A trip with someone is a strength test on your relationships. You could have been sure that you will avoid conflicts, but take a reality check, nobody`s relationships have insurance. When you spend too much time with someone you can get sick and tired of the company of each other. Some situations during the travelling may awake unknown features of your characters. You do not need this burden on the shoulders during the vacation. When you travel alone you do not depend on anyone.
5. More time for self-development and reflection
Solo traveling is a perfect option for those who need to take a deeper look at their inner world. Many people start tripping alone because they need time on their own to reflect. Solo travelling is a perfect opportunity to be with your own thoughts without the interference of others. People trapped in daily routine have no time to analyze their actions. That is why they need to travel take care of their psychic state. Through travelling, people are able to broaden their minds and explore new features of their personality. When you travel with a partner you spend more time on conversations with another person and you learn more about his personality. However, you must sort out the mess in you foremost.
6. You will become more responsible and independent
If you travel with a company you can count on someone`s help. When you are on your own you are 100% responsible for your actions. You will have to find solutions for possible problems and to deal with force majeures. If you fight such challenges without a help of others you will foster bravery, resoluteness and self-confidence. During the lonely trip, you may discover such treats of your character, which you have not noticed before. You will gain inestimable experience and believe in your own force. When you are alone during the trip you will meet new people and you will dare to get in touch with them. Such circumstances will make you act this way.
7. Be spontaneous
Single travel tours give you an opportunity to make sudden decisions. You must count on the fact that no everything will go as you have planned or expected. In most occasions, the best adventures happen when you were expected for the least. You cannot allow yourself to turn away from plans during your daily life. When you travel with a companion you must firstly come to an agreement with him. So, only when you travel alone you are lucky to be spontaneous and open yourself for new.