It’s been a while since my last solo travel. To be honest, some time ago I truly thought I would never do that again. But things change, and it’s not always easy to find a buddy to take along on the next adventure. And there is just so much to see out there. Long story short – solo travel is sadly inevitable in many cases. Your friends and family have busy lives of their own and you can’t spend your life waiting around for someone to come along.
So how do you make a solo travel pleasant? Well, first of all – traveling on your own has many advantages. Here is my personal top 5:
Solo Travel – Traveling on your own terms
Solo travel is all about you! You plan it, think of every detail just how you like it. Ever dreamed of visiting that cool place in Rome? No problem! Do you like that cute cafe down the street? Go ahead. No need to discuss, feel upset or even fight over where to go. Just simply do what you like! It’s such a freedom! And the best of all – you get to keep your friends at home. Meaning you won’t come back in a fight mode, but rather get to spend some quality time telling everything about your little adventure.
Many times there were difficulties when choosing an ideal itinerary. I’m not the kind of person who enjoys beach holidays. Sure, the beach is fine to have a quick swim or stretch for 10 minutes. But anything else is just plain boring. So quite often there was a hard time combining my culture drive with my travel companion’s beach drive. It just doesn’t work very well. Someone is going to be suffering in the end.
Eat, sleep, party whenever you like
Another aspect to traveling with a friend are different sleep routines. Sometimes it may work out, but usually it doesn’t. I’m a early bird and like to start my day with the first sunlight. The whole world is out there waiting to be explored. Why waste the time? This is where I have experienced frustrating results – some people enjoy sleeping in. It’s a holiday after all! So that is another good reason for solo travel.
Eating out (although I usually prefer to combine supermarket food with cafes) is also a bit of a problem. I like to taste some local flavor, sometimes spicy food. Some of my friends prefer to avoid that and eat, let’s say, Italian. So how to we agree upon the best option? During the last few trips we managed to find some malls with various food stalls and free seating. This is a good solution for people with different tastes.
It is budget friendly
Hostel bunks are generally cheaper than double rooms. Although it’s not always the best way to go due to security reasons, there are cities where I would stay in a hostel bunk (like Berlin). I have actually lived in a 10-bed dorm in Berlin for 1 month. But even if bunk bed is not for you, you can still pick the accommodation of you choice and price range or go with an AirBnB room. If all you need is a place to crash for the night and the price matters, there is really no better way than a good, old hostel. Plus, if you are lucky, you might get to meet some amazing people. It’s also a good idea to have this cool mattress with you, just in case.
Get to meet locals
Which brings us to our next point – meeting people on the go. Solo travel has definitely it’s advantages and this one is by far the biggest. Traveling with a companion will most probably restrict you from getting to know other travelers (or locals). So why would you limit yourself like that? Get out of your comfort zone and meet some amazing fellow travelers. One of the easiest way to do that is at a hostel, as many people are traveling solo and are just like you!
Meeting locals is even better – they can tell you some useful insight information – where to go out, good places to eat and how to have the best time you can possibly have! Plus you can possibly make new friends and get invited to a dinner party. Imagine this turning into an awesome friendship. So next time you visit the destination, you would already have a place to crash. By the way – Couchsurfing is another place where you can book yourself a bed for the night. It’s free, all you have to do is leave an honest review of the host.
Makes you more self aware
Many solo travelers come home with a new perspective of life. Traveling makes you self aware – you get to think a lot (as you might be spending quite a lot of time with yourself), analyze your life, think about your future and the possible things you’d like to change. It’s an invaluable experience and a gift. Going on a journey, leaving everything behind and learning to trust yourself is really important. You might discover something you have always known, but never put into words. You might decide to change your life completely and start from scratch. It’s all in your own hands – just make the first step.