While it’s wonderful to share a special trip and new experiences with friends, a partner, or family, there’s a compelling case for travel alone from time to time. Solo travel can work for anyone, whether you’re single, in a relationship, extroverted, or introverted, and here are 9 good reasons why you should try it.
1. Simple logistics
It can be challenging to coordinate a trip and time away from work with another busy person in your life, and it’s even more difficult when you try to make plans with a group. Usually, these challenges can be overcome by simply planning far in advance, but if you find yourself with some down time and you can’t find a travel partner on short notice, it may be the perfect time to pack your bags and go anyway.
2. Work on your bucket list
Is there something you’ve been dying to try that no one is willing to try with you? Maybe you’d like to go skydiving over the Grand Canyon, see ancient Mayan ruins, or simply eat real Maine lobster. When your partner and friends don’t share every one of your interests, that’s OK, but it’s not OK to sacrifice your dreams, especially when all you have to do is get there.
3. You’re great company
If you rarely spend significant time alone, you may be surprised at how enjoyable it can be. When was the last time you truly listened to only your thoughts and entertained only your dreams? Depending on the destination, a solo trip can be a powerful, introspective, life-changing experience. Imagine sitting on a peaceful beach at sunset or taking an invigorating morning hike without having to make conversation with anyone.
4. Meet new people
If you’re a born extrovert, traveling alone can be a wonderful way to meet locals and make new friends. Often, people who are alone appear more approachable to others. Before you know it, you could be chatting with some interesting folks at a sidewalk cafe or even joining a group of like-minded people for yoga on the beach. The key is to keep an open mind while keeping safety in mind, especially in a foreign land.
5. Do everything you want and nothing you don’t want
Have you ever been hesitant to do that half-day at the spa you were longing for because you felt bad leaving your travel partner with nothing to do? When you travel alone, you are not obliged to entertain anyone but yourself. If you want to “waste” the day sitting at an outdoor bar drinking mojitos instead of sightseeing, you won’t have to answer to anyone.
6. It’s empowering
If traveling makes you a better, smarter person, then traveling alone makes you super-better and super-smarter. For any of you who may feel uncomfortable even sitting alone at a diner to have breakfast, taking a trip by yourself might seem daunting. Once you take the plunge and get over your fears, you’ll feel a sense of empowerment. A successful solo vacation can inspire you to tackle even more things in life you’ve been afraid to try.
7. Great service
For some reason, service at hotels and restaurants seems better when you’re traveling single. People tend to admire those who travel solo, and it’s possible that when you make it known, you could be in for a sweet room upgrade or a cocktail “on the house”.
8. Absence makes the heart grow fonder
I don’t suggest you spend every vacation opportunity away from your partner, but doing so once in a while can be refreshing for a couple. When you set the precedent in your relationship that it’s OK to pursue individual interests, trust is enhanced. Coming home to your partner after a solo trip can remind each of you why you dig each other in the first place. As a bonus, if you find a favorite place when you’re alone, you can always bring your sweetie along another time.
9. No drama
Sometimes, when you’re single, you wait until you’re dating someone before you take a vacation away, and these trips can either make or break a fledgling relationship. If things don’t go well, the entire trip can be a miserable, drama-filled time you’d love to forget. When you get good at traveling alone, you can stop waiting for “someone” to take on vacation. Instead, you can continue to go alone until someone really worthy comes along to help you make some brilliant new memories.
Take out your backpack and begin your journey: 26 Wild Lands You Should Visit Before You DieFeatured photo credit: Pretty young woman hitchhiking along a road. via Shutterstock