5 Upsides of Solo Travel
Vacationing Alone Can Be an Amazing Experience Allowing You to Create Memories that Will Last a Lifetime.
Want to go somewhere on vacation but you can’t get someone to go with you (for whatever reason)? Don’t give up your dream of going to that destination. Go alone … you might be surprised at how much you enjoy solo travel.
Not sure solo travel is for you? Consider these five upsides of going it alone.
1. Knowing that Everything Is Up to You
You get to make all the decisions; where, what, when, eat, rest, shop; be as rigid or flexible as you want. Not only do you decide where to vacation, you choose whether to go right, left or straight at every crossroads. Want to stop in that cute little shop or keep walking toward the museum? It’s up to you. Feeling the hungries for brunch or want to push through and see all the local sights in the morning? It’s your call. Are you an early bird or night owl? You get to decide when to call it a night, and whether it’s worth it to get up for the 7:00 a.m. breakfast. But remember that not every decision has to work out perfectly. Travel is a learning experience.
That all being said, planning really pays off -- or not. Depending on whether you’re an A-type or B-type personality, you might enjoy being able to plan every last detail to the minute … or you might find it wonderfully relaxing to take each moment as it comes, not making any decisions until they are fully upon you.
Either way, here’s the good news: The responsibility for all decisions actually can translate into less stress. And since your vacation is supposed to help you relieve all the tension that’s built up since your last getaway, reducing stress is definitely a good thing.
2. Getting to Know Fellow Travelers
Just because you’re traveling alone doesn’t mean you have to be alone the entire trip. Meeting fellow travelers is a quintessential part of travel, whether you are going solo or not. By just being open to meeting and talking with other travelers, you might gain a really memorable experience … or even a lifelong friend.
If you’re having trouble meeting fellow travelers, try an app such as Meetup or join a Facebook travel group. But if a particular person or persons doesn’t end up making your day, you never need see them again.
And it’s not just fellow travelers who are good for striking up a conversation with -- talk to locals as well.
3. Getting to Know the Locals
There’s one common misconception about traveling the world that seems to be finally going away, and that is that the purpose of vacationing at a destination is to see the touristy sites and do the touristy things. Thanks in part to the late Anthony Bourdain (from CNN’s Parts Unknown) and others like him, many more travelers have come to realize that the true great experiences of travel come from interacting with locals. And when you’re traveling solo, you really experience a place and are better able to get to know the locals and truly focus more on experiencing the destination.
So don’t be afraid to ask a local for directions or advice (naturally, use common sense in whom you approach and when). You’ll find that many locals are proud of their city/state/country and are more than happy to help -- even despite language barriers.
4. Having Some Great Stories to Tell
Pretty much anytime you visit a new and different place on vacation, you make good memories. When you travel solo, however, you typically come back home with great stories to tell, and not just pictures of famous landmarks that already exist on postcards. You can tell your friends how a local directed you to a secluded seaside in Sicily, or how a local turned you on to the best baked beans in Birmingham.
You should visit the landmarks, but you should also find places that speak to you. Do you love fashion? Then visit the local fashion district. If you’re a foodie, seek the places the local eat. Look for what makes you happy.
5. Learning Something New
And in the process of all this, you might learn something new about both the world and yourself. Many a first-time solo traveler has discovered that they are stronger than they realized, perhaps because they were timid about vacationing alone beforehand. So don’t skip a trip because no one else can go with you … embark on a solo adventure. Use it as an excuse to learn at least some words in a new language, and go outside your comfort zone by visiting local restaurants and trying exotic cuisines. To trot out an ageless expression, the world is indeed your oyster.
Bonus: Get Your Best Deal on Solo Travel
Regardless of whether you’re vacationing solo, or with a partner, the whole family or a group, be sure to check out Tripbeat for the best vacation deals. There you’ll find Weekly Getaways from $399, and other Vacation Deals. If you’re not already at Tripbeat member, go here to join for free.