Travelling comes in many shapes and sizes, it’s a deeply personal experience and even more so when you travel solo.
It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned solo adventurer or just a casual tourist each has its own preference when it come to how, where and when to travel.
Solo travel can be daunting, especially for those who have never done it before. It can be intimidating to navigate unfamiliar territory on your own, and there may be concerns about safety or loneliness.
However, with careful planning and preparation, solo travel can be a safe and rewarding experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
In this guide we will be going over the experience of travelling by yourself, and we will touch upon some benefits as to why this is something you should try at least once, and that you might even enjoy it.
We will cover everything from choosing your destination, to packing tips, to staying safe while on the road.
Whether you’re a first-time solo traveler or a seasoned pro, this guide will provide valuable insights and practical advice to help you make the most of your solo travel experience.
1. Why travel solo
While some people see travelling as a group/couple experience always, travelling by yourself has plenty of benefits too.
Being able to experience the culture, food, and vibe of the places at your own pace is one of the biggest pro’s.
You are not subjected to someone else’s schedule, and you have total freedom to do as you wish with your time.
Pack your schedule full with activities or just lay by the pool sipping cocktails is totally up to you.
Most of the people i know that travel solo mention the ability to make travel friends as another aspect they enjoy about solo traveling.
Meeting fellow travellers who are on their own journeys and banding together to explore or just to hang out at the end of the day is a great experience.
In some cases you will end up in making long term friendships, or who knows maybe even meet the love of your life.
A friend of mine backpacked through South East Asia, just before the world turned upside down from the pandemic. Her stories are so amazing that till this day i never get bored of listening to them.
A new perspective
Sometimes travelling by yourself will give a new perspective on your life.
Being able to disconnect from your day to day life and routine and putting yourself in a new mindset and new environment will subconsciously change your view on how you see the world around you.
It’s a bit difficult to properly explain this feeling as its best to try it out for yourself. But it is something i would totally recommend doing.
Some people consider travelling solo as an adventure, and if you are reading this, chances are you are too.
Not having someone to lean on for support and having to rely on your own skills is something most travellers i know, enjoy and actively seek.
2. Preparing the journey
I’ve written extensively on how to find good deals on flights and accommodation, so check out my previous posts, here.
But in a nutshell planning your solo travel is done in the same way if you go by yourself or not.
When in comes to accommodation, the options are plentiful so let’s start with the cheapest:
Hostels – is what i would recommend as a first option. The fact that hostels are known spots for travellers to gather is a big plus when travelling solo.
As said previously, here you can meet interesting people and have a bit company if you ever get lonely during your trip. Imagine getting your phone charger broken, or needing help with finding a route. Chances are someone can help you with this.
You can join them in their trip, or they can join you. Or even just hang out with them when you come back, whatever fits your style. But it’s nice to have that option.
Airbnb – is a great option if there are no hostels close by. Or if what i just wrote above is not your cup of tea.
Depending on the option you choose when booking an Airbnb, you can choose to share a house with someone, be that either the owner, another traveller(s), or just rent the whole place and have a more cozy experience than staying in a hotel room.
Usually Airbnb’s are varied and offer plenty of options, so take your time and choose what fits best for you. Oh and i just talked about a little know Airbnb trick that allows you to stay more in your vacation and pay less.
Hotels – if you are looking for a bit more comfort that what you would get in a hostel or Airbnb, then hotels are a good option.
The downsides are of course, the fact that if will be a bit more difficult to get to know other people this way. But if you are looking for a strictly individual experience then this the way to go.
I often choose hotels when i plan on a distraction free travel experience. Perfect to just focus on yourself and disconnect from day to day life.
When i say other options of accommodation i refer to things like couch surfing, apartment sharing, house sitting, etc.
All of these are worth taking in consideration based on your preference, your comfort level, budget and adventurous spirit.
While there are plenty of sites that offer such services, the fact that this sector is not so well regulated (yet) means that they might involve a certain amount of risk (either financially or other kinds). You should always take that consideration when you make your travel plans.
For those who prefer the outdoors, tents, caravans or the ‘van life’ are great options to keep costs down and can offer you a chance to connect with your inner self.
If you prefer to be left truly alone in your solo travel give these a chance.
When it comes to finding a place to stay there’s no shortage of options so take your time to decide how you would like to structure your travel.
From the more conservative options such as hotels to the more adventurous like couch surfing you have plenty of choices.
3. Play it safe
One of the most important things when it comes to solo travelling is safety.
Till now i personally never been to a place where i actually felt unsafe. But that doesn’t mean there are no such places around the world.
When choosing the destination and prior to booking the tickets it is important to do some research for that place. Not only the general area, but also the neighbourhood where you will be staying.
A good rule of thumb is to check travel warnings on the respective countries embassy site. Here you’ll see if there is something you do not know or need to be aware of before actually stepping foot on the plane. Presuming of course you will do your travels in a different country.
Most of the times general awareness and common sense will be sufficient to keep you out of trouble. It is true that safety comes in numbers.
Especially if you want to go out at night. Things that you would normally do when you are with someone else or a group of friends will be a bit different than when you are by yourself.
Listen to your instinct
So if a situation feels unsafe to you, then just go with your instinct and leave that area.
By the way as a side note, another argument in favour of hostels. Being able to be with a group when going out, will definitely make you feel more comfortable.
Specifically for those of you who like to party and go to bars and clubs.
Traveling solo as a man versus travelling solo as a woman, has indeed some differences.
Again i cannot stress this enough, most of the time common sense is all that is needed if you find yourself in a troubling situation. If you want to take it a step further then things like a teaser or pepper spray are also an option regardless of gender.
In my travels i have found that people are surprisingly friendly and open, most of the times welcoming you with open arms.
Making friends is usually so much easier when traveling and i was surprised that this is a common thing everywhere irrespective of continents, culture or habits.
Travel is one of the most amazing experiences one can have, and since you are on a blog that is made for travel i’m guessing there’s no point preaching to the quire.
But travel comes in many forms and types and going on an adventure by yourself can actually help put a new spin on things, and make travelling exciting again.
So approach it with an open mind, consider it a challenge, and you will be amazed on the adventures and memories that await you.
See you soon!