Travelling solo can seem quite a daunting prospect. However, whilst your trip might start off solo, you’re certain not to be on your own for very long. Unless, of course, you want to be. That is the true joy of solo travel and why you shouldn’t fear it but embrace it. You make your own travel rules and plans.
Here are 5 great reasons to go solo.
1. It’s all about me!
Even though you’ve boarded the plane, train or coach on your own, there’s no need to worry about isolation. Firstly, look at the benefits of your solo travel plans. You’re no longer at the mercy of other people who never seem quite as prepared as you. You’ve travelled to the airport or train/bus station without having to nag at anyone.
Airport departure lounges can be more fun than you think and less costly. If you’re a single female traveller, go to one of the many make-up counters and ask if they’ll do you a quick pre-flight makeover. Most are happy to oblige. It’s harder to do this when you’ve a partner or group in tow. You’ll land at your destination looking fabulous wearing expensive, luxury products.
2. You’re in control
Once you’ve arrived and checked into your accommodation, you’re free to explore wherever you want to. Make sure that when you check in to a hotel, you’re not put in a tiny single room. Ask about an upgrade or a change to a double room. Solo travel does not mean compromising on standards.
In days of immediate social media reviews, many establishments are getting wise to pleasing the customer. Most (47%) smartphone users are comfortable using their phones to plan an entire trip, so leaving a review is easy.
On your own, you’re free to go wherever you want. If you want to spend hours in the museum, art gallery or just drink a leisurely coffee and people watch, you can. Solo travel gives you complete schedule control. It’s awesome.
3. Table for one
Possibly, one of the gravest fears for a newbie solo traveller is the prospect of nights spent alone, at a table for one with a solitary glass of wine. That shouldn’t be as grim as it sounds. Some nights you might decide to be a single diner, but look at the advantages. No longer do you need to pander to your friends’ or partner’s finicky diets but you can pander to your own without fear of recrimination. As with your room, pick your table. Make sure it’s in an ideal people watching spot. On your own, you can happily focus on humanity and watch its vagaries, eccentricities and fashion sense.
4. You’re not alone
Being a solo traveller doesn’t mean that you need to spend all your time alone. Before you travel, join a couple of free online groups designed for people like you. Global groups like Meetup or Internations give you the opportunity to message other members for advice on the area that you’ve decided to visit.
Once you’re there, check out their events page. Many days of the week, they’ll have a social gathering for dinner, drinks or just to chat. On your own you’ll find you integrate and communicate so much more effectively – there are loads of chances to meet people and make friends when you’re travelling.
5. Being you
The one amazing thing about solo travel is that it lets you be you. You’ll begin to discover who you really are and what you like to do without the need to please others. This can be quite a revelation. It’s one of the reasons why so many solo travellers decide to blog about their experiences. Why not join them? Set up your own blog page, and begin to document and celebrate your adventure in words and photos.