12 Most Fantastic Perks for Solo Travel

12 Most Fantastic Perks for Solo Travel

 
You are single. Maybe you haven’t found the “one” yet. Maybe you thought you did and then he/she broke your heart. Your vacation doesn’t match up with any of your friends or maybe you can’t agree on where to go.

Don’t let that stop you from seeing the world! Some say one is the loneliest number but I think that traveling solo is a dream all of its own.

Stand up. Look fear in the face. Go where everyone or no one has gone before and… do it YOUR way!

1. Flying solo

Whether it be the last available seat on a popular date for a flight or the airlines have over booked your flight — there is almost always room for one more! Business and priority classes have been loaded. And then the announcement comes that the flight is over-booked and they are looking for volunteers to move to the next flight. They’ll even offer you a bit of cash to entice you. You can take the cash and change your plans, or your can feel confidant that you are getting on the flight because there is almost always room for one more! That family of eight might not be so lucky.

Sitting alone on a bus or a plane? You have all the control you need! Pop your earphones in and watch a movie or listen to your iPod in order to not be disturbed, or be adventurous and strike up a conversation with the person beside you. Maybe you’ll make a new friend.

2. Do what you want

When you travel with a friend, you are either the leader or the follower. If you are the leader, you end up making all of the plans and your friend(s) just tag along for the ride and expect it to be fabulous, taking no responsibility for said plans. Or, you can be the follower who just does what someone else tells you to and you never really experience the journey or the destination because someone else is making all of your decisions for you.

When you travel solo, you are fully, 100% in command of doing what you want. Not sure what you want? It is up to you to figure it out and you’ll be amazed what you learn about yourself, others and the world by setting out on this journey of self discovery.

3. Change your mind

I don’t suggest changing your mind and deciding not to travel, but you have that option if you are traveling solo. No one else is depending on you to keep them company or to help keep their costs low so that they don’t have to pay a single supplement.

Planning to be in one city for three days? Love it? Stay for three more! Hate it? Leave on day two! You have no one else to worry about. Rejoice in the freedom of being able to change your mind!

4. Take your time

There’s nothing that I hate more than rushing to keep up with my friends on a hike. I’m inherently a slow walker and everyone is always ahead of me. Something I particularly love about traveling alone is that I can walk at my own pace (which is still 10 times faster than most people in other countries who just have a generally slower paced lifestyle than us North Americans).

Feel like stopping to smell the roses? Taking a million pictures from 10 different angles? Reading the history of the monument in the middle of the town square? Do it! Take your time. Your time is yours alone.

5. Form your own opinions

Just like in everyday life, when we are surrounded by people their opinions and thoughts often rub off on us and influence our own thoughts and opinions. Travel solo and form your own opinion! Or, strike up a conversation with someone at the hostel or the museum if you want other people’s thoughts. But then, take it or leave it… form your own opinion!

6. Make new friends

Whether you love your current group of friends or you have no friends at all, traveling solo gives you the opportunity to be yourself… or, to try out being a new version of yourself! People are innately friendly all around the world, especially locals who are proud of their community and fellow travelers who are on a journey just like you. Summon your confidence and strike up a conversation. It’s so easy when you are traveling. Anything from asking directions to asking for a recommendation for somewhere to eat, they can all turn into conversations that lead to new friends exploring together.

7. Challenge yourself

As if traveling solo isn’t challenging enough, make an effort to challenge yourself further! Try new foods. Try new activities. Try something that you would never do at home!

8. Find yourself

Maybe you can’t exactly plan how this will pan out, but traveling solo can be a great way to figure out who you really are! Find your inner bravery during difficult circumstances, make new friends who enrich your life, try things you’ve never tried before and then go on living your life, new and improved for having had new experiences and having seen a different way of life.

9. Only one budget

We all know that one of the leading causes of divorce is money troubles. Often that means simply disagreeing on how to spend it. Just because you are married doesn’t mean you can’t travel solo! You don’t have to do everything together. Enjoy your trip on your own budget without having to confer with your partner before spending your “spending money.”

Budget your way through your trip without having to worry about your friend who can’t budget and blows all of his or her money on the first week. Want to bungee jump but your friend can’t afford it? No need to feel bad when you climb to the top of that ladder for the most exhilarating experience of your life and leave them at the bottom. Just do what you want to do, within your budget. Want to eat like a king one night of your vacation? Do it! Enjoy every last mouth watering morsel and you don’t have to listen to anyone complain that they just wanted pizza because they don’t have any money left.

10. Be alone

For some people that is the scariest thought ever. For me included! I was scared to death to be alone when I was home in my own country, surrounded by my peers who might judge me. Oh the horror! But, once I started traveling solo I found a whole new appreciation for being alone. I learned to enjoy time to myself to think, to appreciate my surroundings and to make my own decisions. Go ahead… try it. Be alone! The feeling of freedom quickly overcomes the old thoughts of embarrassment. Do you really think that everyone is looking at you and wondering why you are alone? Be honest with yourself… no one else has even noticed you.

11. Don’t worry, be happy

Ever gone on vacation with your best friend or your spouse just to spend two or three days arguing and then wishing you had never gone to begin with? Ruining two or three days of your vacation being angry and maybe even doing things by yourself anyway while holding a grudge? Solo travel. No arguing. Enough said.

12. Dance like nobody is watching

Now I know that none of you would ever break loose and dance alone at a bar in your hometown. Can you imagine?! What would your friends think? And those strangers over there, they must be laughing at you because you are alone, right? Sorry to break it to you, but they aren’t paying any attention to you.

Maybe you can’t bring yourself to do it in your hometown, but who cares if the people who don’t know you and will never see you again from another country think you are crazy? Soon enough you’ll be surrounded by other dancers who have no idea if you are dancing alone or with a group or, someone will join you and you’ll make a new friend. Dance to the beat of your own drum. Feel alive.

I hope you have found inspiration to bravely explore on your own and enjoy every step of the journey. Don’t wait for someone to go with you — spread your wings and fly solo!

Never travelled on your own but you think you might now? Please share below what you are MOST looking forward to.

Featured image courtesy of { pranav } licensed via Creative Commons.


Shari Tucker

http://sharitucker.com

There’s never a dull moment in my life. I moved across Canada at 18, survived a plane crash at 19 and took back my life back at 28 with a desire to travel the world and to make a difference in other people’s lives. I have traveled 12 countries in the past four and a half years, created a self-funded project with a published book called Young & Fearless – Inspiration of Cancer Survivors, run my own successful photography business for 10 years and then poof, I changed careers and am now an adventure travel specialist with The Adventure Travel Company. I approach each new opportunity with excitement and wonderment and I strive to make the world a better place, one smile at a time.

468 ad
Adsense