If you’ve ever tried to plan a vacation with a group of friends, you know how difficult it can be. Just setting a date you can all agree on can already be next to impossible. While traveling with friends can be great, it can also put undue stress on relationships.
So why not travel solo instead? With the multitude of airline promos and seat sales launching regularly, traveling has never been this easy or cheap. And never has the opportunity for travel been so ripe for the taking. Traveling alone can be daunting, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.
Here are a few reasons why you might want to try it:
Thanks to ubiquitous budget-friendly accommodations, traveling alone can be very cheap, even when you want to splurge a little for a private room. There’s also no one to impress or cater to other than yourself, so dining can be as inexpensive or as lavish as you want.
Think of those dinners your friends want to have but that would put a dent in your travel budget. When traveling solo, you don’t have to let someone else’s tastes or choices influence you.
Nothing’s more confidence-building than leaving the country and traveling overseas alone. It allows you to assert your independence in a way that isn’t possible in the comfort zone of your country.
Moreover, it challenges you in new ways and strengthens your ability to roll with the punches when things don’t exactly go according to plan.
When you travel alone, you’re able to have full control over your schedule. And when you’re exploring a new city, there’s nothing better than doing what you want when you want.
Whether it’s spending hours traipsing around a cool shopping district or sleeping in after a long night of partying with the locals, you call the shots and, even better, there’s no guilt that you’re interfering with someone else’s plans for the day.
There’s no better time to reconnect with yourself than when you’re traveling alone. It can give you a much needed time-out from work and relationships back home to really get back in touch with yourself.
Whether it’s just to reevaluate where you are in life or some much-needed quiet time away from the stresses of daily life, traveling alone can be extremely restorative for the soul. When the trip is over, you can return to your life with renewed purpose and ready to tackle anything.
While traveling with friends can surely be fun, the downside is, it’s comfortable and the tendency is you’ll end up doing what you always do, without much interaction with people outside your group. But alone, you’re forced to interact with people you probably wouldn’t have if you had your friends in tow.
Whether it’s someone you met at your hostel or a new friend you made at a bar, your ability to mingle with new people is sharpened when you’re traveling alone.
Meeting the locals also means you’re privy to insider information that you otherwise wouldn’t have been. From cool bars and hip restaurants to hidden vintage shops, locals can provide tips you won’t find on blogs or magazines.
Traveling solo is the perfect excuse to learn a new language. When you’re alone, you can’t depend on anyone else to translate for you, and in countries where no one speaks English, that can affect your plans drastically.
Whether you’re trying to buy food or get to another destination, getting the basics of a new language can be crucial to your itinerary.
And the best part is, you can practice what you’ve learned on the locals and potentially make new friends in the process; it’s win-win.
While traveling with friends can be a blast, it also can be very stressful. There’s a reason why a lot of friendships are ruined on vacation. It’s the ultimate friendship test and many relationships aren’t strong enough to survive the conflict.
When you travel solo, there’s no drama to worry about and when you return home, you can tell your friends about your experiences on your trip, without having to mend any strained friendships.
Make no mistake, traveling alone can be hard. From navigating new subway systems to getting ripped off by street vendors, solo travel isn’t a walk in the park. But that’s the best part. Your ability to deal with situations when things get hairy is honed and your problem-solving skill really get put to the test.
Sure, it’s difficult, but as they say, nothing worth doing is easy.
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