Travelling alone often turns out to be the greatest gift that you can offer yourself, however strange that may sound. We often picture ourselves exploring various cities with a partner or with friends, yet certain situations make us realize that we alone could be our best travel companion. Scary at first but also absolutely liberating, solo vacations are among the most rewarding experiences that one can have. No doubt the interest towards vacationing alone has seriously increased in the last few years.
If you want to try and travel alone, be prepared for an experience that is exciting, but also demanding. You are the one to decide two main things – where to vacation alone and when to go on holidays alone. Yet, travelling by yourself has numerous advantages.
Some of the main reasons for taking a vacation alone include
- Travelling solo is easier to organize as you have to keep in mind only your own schedule, budget and travelling interests.
- By going on a vacation by yourself you can make your own itinerary and visit only the places you like and do only the things that you want.
- By going on vacation alone you get the chance to meet new friends, if you want to.
- The solo getaways are great for your budget as well, as you feel no pressure to spend money that you do not have on things that you do not like.
- By going on a vacation alone you get enough quality “me” time, which results in better observance skills and self-confidence.
Do your mind and soul a favour this year – travel by yourself at least once and see how it feels!
Advantages and disadvantages of travelling alone
The motivation behind travelling alone
Matching the schedules and budget of even two people is difficult. Putting off your travel plans just because you do not have a travel companion and you are scared of travelling alone is not an option as well. Focus on the facts that: you have the time and the money, and you are in good health. So, when several trip plans with friends fail, ask yourself “Should I better travel alone?”
Why are some people convinced, that travelling alone is the best?
Travelling alone offers the ultimate freedom. A vacation by yourself is all about what you want, about challenging yourself, trying new things and visiting only the sites you wish to see.
Going on vacation alone is about learning how to make your way around,
how to make friends and how to take good decisions fast. It is also about learning how to be more confident and independent. In other words, solo getaways are about your personal growth. There are many advantages and some disadvantages of travelling alone, take time to go through them before taking a decision.
The pros and cons of travelling alone are many,
yet the positive aspects of that experience definitely outweigh the downsides. So, why travel alone? The most important of all benefits of travelling alone is that you are in control and independent of other travel companions and their needs. When two or more people travel together they have to conform to the needs of the other travel companions in the group and that is easier said than done.
As a solo traveller you can explore a certain place at your own pace, you can spend as many days on the beach as you want to, you can visit the local museums… or not. There is no need for you to wait for the travel companion to pack or to argue with him where to dine. Travelling alone allows you to be more open to the surroundings and to new people that approach you.
Travelling alone has its downsides too – you do not have a dining companion and you do not have a person to share a beautiful sunset with. The accommodation can also be more expensive, as the room cost is not shared. There are also loneliness and safety issues, yet one can overcome all these disadvantages with common sense and some preparation.
I visited the Kelud volcano in Java Indonesia alone. It was an awesome day and if you check out the article you will see, that I got in touch with some locals there. 🙂
Is travelling alone weird or scary?
A decade ago travelling alone was considered weird and even scary experience, but not anymore. Travelling alone nowadays is easy and safe. These days going on vacations alone is more about overcoming the fear of staying alone, enjoying freedom and standing behind the choices you make.
So why you should travel alone?
There are many good reasons to travel alone, but the bottom line is that travelling alone is about discovering interesting facts about yourself and about challenging your limits. Thus planning the best vacations by yourself is in fact that greatest gift that you can make yourself.
How to travel by yourself?
Organization difficulties or how to vacation alone?
Planning and going on vacation by yourself is… easy. The only travel interests, budget and schedule you have to take into consideration are your own. Follow the plan or switch plans as often as you want to.
Extra preparations when travelling alone for the first time
First time travelling alone can be scary but the only thing that you should do is a good research. You should decide where to go on vacation alone and which things you would like to do when travelling alone. There are numerous fun places to go by yourself and trips to go on alone so make a travel plan.
For example, if a road trip is your thing use the following road trip tips alone to plan your vacation:
- Plan the schedule with a good pace, max. 5 hours driving in a row and at least three days per destination.
- Pick a theme for the trips to take by yourself – historical sightseeing, cultural trips, winery visits, etc.
- Use all modern tools to plan your trip – devices and apps, useful websites and blogs, forums, road maps.
- Get travel insurance and car insurance. Stay in touch with family and friends.
- Pack light.
How to make sure you meet people on the road?
Travelling alone does not mean staying by yourself all the time. There is a very good chance of meeting new people, especially if you stay in hostels and small pensions, open to exploring the local cuisine, meeting places and scenery. Take walking tours or meet other solo travellers before the trip using social media.
There is an endless choice of vacation spots for travelling alone, so choose wisely according to your needs and budget.
Best places to travel alone
How do you decide, where to go, if you’re alone?
The places to go by yourself are so many that deciding where to go can be difficult. As a rule, the personal taste should be the key driver of where to go if alone. If you are not sure where to start from or need some inspiring ideas, register for the Dont worry Just travel Newsletter and you will be send inspiring travel stories. Once you subscribe, you will also get a confirmation with a download link for the free travel e-book “Perfect travel planning; Create the ideal itinerary for your travel plans”, which provides ideas for places to go alone.
Are there places or things better suited to solo travellers?
As a solo traveller you have asked yourself about the best places to visit when travelling alone, haven’t you? The trips to take alone should be pleasant, rewarding and safe. Finest places to vacation alone in the last few years are considered New Zealand, Switzerland, Norway, Costa Rica, Austria, Italy, Bali, Portugal, Canada, Japan, South Africa, Spain, Greece, Taiwan, Ireland, Iceland and Finland. Travelling abroad alone provides flexibility and the diversity of itineraries is impressive. Check some of the best destinations for travelling alone.
If you travel alone you can make photo stops wherever you please. I stopped in Sipalay in the Philippines to make this awesome photo shot.
Solo travel tips: Where to go alone
Planning vacations to take by yourself could be very demanding. See the travel suggestions on focus here – USA, Europe and Asia.
Where to travel alone in the USA
Travelling in the USA alone is quite a challenge, since that is a huge country. Among the best places to travel alone in the US are:
New York City – travelling to New York alone should be part of the trip though it will not give you a real idea of the country. New York City is like a country of its own and the atmosphere there is absolutely unique. Plan at least three days in the city, though it deserves more than a week.
Chicago is also among the best US cities to travel alone. It is the city of the blues, the corporations and the impressive architecture.
San Francisco also makes it as one of the top places to travel alone in US. It is a beautiful place with very special atmosphere to which people get totally attached.
Los Angeles – another great city for solo trips in the US. The city has many appealing theme parks.
The Grand Canyon and the National Parks – these places offer great opportunities for solo travel in USA. These outdoor places are wonderful to spend time at and to enjoy during your solo vacations in USA.
Travelling alone in Europe
Travelling to Europe alone is the best way to experience the old continent. There is so much to be seen and so many places to be visited in each country, not to mention the other people travelling solo in Europe that you will never get the chance to feel lonely. Check the best places for solo travel in Europe:
France is a wonderful destination and travelling to Paris alone is a dream come true of many people.
The capital of Great Britain is a busy city with plenty of landmarks. Travelling to London alone could be an exciting and memorable experience.
Travelling to Amsterdam and trying Netherlands food specialties alone would make a great trip as well. The city has incredible architecture and the locals are extremely friendly.
Travelling to Italy alone – now that would be a complete feast of all five senses. All Italian cities are worth visiting and the same is valid for the countryside too.
Rich history, numerous cultural landmarks, fantastic nightlife and incredible beaches – travelling to Spain alone is a great treat that you can enjoy.
Travelling to Ireland alone, as well as visits to Prague, Vienna, Dubrovnik, Munich, Zurich, etc. are also good options for travelling through Europe alone.
Travelling alone in Asia
Asia is a very exciting destination for travelling alone. This continent has numerous exotic places, wonderfully preserved nature and tasty cuisine that you will be curious to try. Check the best places for a solo Asia trip:
Japan – travelling to Japan alone is guaranteed to be a very exciting experience.
Travelling to Thailand alone – you will be absolutely excited to see Thailand with its lovely beaches, great places to visit and interesting sites.
If you think about travelling to Bali alone – you will enjoy a safe, beautiful and relaxing experience.
Indonesia is also a great travelling alone destination.
Malaysia also makes it at the top travelling alone countries in Asia.
I made this photo on the snake island near El Nido on the Palawan island in the Philippines. I came there alone, but then joined some nice folks for a day-tour of island hopping.
Solo travel tours
There are various vacation packages available for people travelling alone. The solo travel companies offer small group tours, very similar to the unique travelling alone experience. Some useful recommendations and tips for good places and tours for seniors travelling alone can be found in this article for solo travel groups.
Staying safe on the road as a solo traveller is important. Remember these useful tips:
- Pick a solo travel destination after a research on the safest places to travel alone.
- Plan your trip and arrive well before dark.
- Learn a few basic self-defence moves before you leave.
- Stay in touch with your family and friends at home on a regular basis.
- Stay sober, rested and be aware of your surroundings.
Whichever destination from the friendliest and safest countries to travel alone you choose, always follow your common sense, have a GPS on your phone, and don’t carry large sums of money.
Safety at locations
Staying safe on the road in the US, Europe and Asia as a solo traveller is not difficult with these useful tricks. No matter if you are travelling at some of the safest European cities, you are planning to explore the United States or you are heading towards the beaches of Asia, always:
- Tell your friends where you plan to go.
- Have your ID with you to identify yourself.
- Carry a cell phone with the emergency contacts taped.
- Consider the traffic and know the local road regulations.
- Wear clothes in bright colours to be seen.
Even the safest cities in Europe have their perils for the solo traveller, thus get to know your itinerary:
- Learn the local traffic rules and the highways system in the United States.
- Know the local emergency numbers in the European country you are exploring.
- Be careful with bites and infections, sunburn and certain foods in Asia.
But do not exaggerate, don’t be afraid of the wrong hazards!
Besides long solo vacations, you can also go on solo weekend getaways:
Go on a special interest tour near the place you live – visit a museum, a winery or spend time in a nature reserve.
Go for a nice revitalizing experience in the small spa town nearby.
Spend a weekend in a hostel to meet new people.
Finally, don’t be afraid to travel alone – follow your schedule, enjoy the freedom, make new friends and reconnect with your inner self.