There are so many ways to travel, with friends, with a partner, with family but one of the most liberating ways to travel is solo. You are out of your comfort zone and have the independence to make your own choices. It’s one of the greatest feelings that leaves you empowered!
I decided to take a leap of faith in 2018 and travel throughout Europe for 3 months without any experience of solo travel. I learned every thing on the way and it taught me a lot about myself and others. This guide is written to help you understand the pros and cons of solo travel and I can confidently say the pros far out weight the cons!
Pros of Solo Travel
The Choice is Yours:
You get to make every decision on your trip and trust me the freedom is amazing! From what time you wake up, plans through out the day and if want to have a lazy night in bed watching netflix or have a night on the town, it’s entirely up to you!
Pick Your Own Itinerary:
You get to pick which countries and cities to visit that really interest you and how long to spend in each. If you want more of less time in a place it’s your decision.
Wake Up Time:
Totally up to you if you want to be an early bird or sleep in, you don’t need to feel guilty for it! Take each day at your own pace without feeling rushed.
If you want to explore museums, or go on a walking tour, or shop all day, you get do that at your own pace. You are able to see and do everything that you want without having to worry about splitting your time with another person.
Easier to Meet People:
You are more approachable when you are solo, and are more likely to try and make friends so you aren’t lonely. If you are travelling with someone you are more likely to only be around them because that is what you’re comfortable with.
Tip: A great place to meet people is by joining a free walking tour.
Cons of Solo Travel
It is nice to be able to share those awe moments with the people you travel with. It’s amazing to talk about those special moments with someone and have those memories to look back on.
Being More Cautious
Especially as a female you need to be more cautious of your surroundings and to trust your gut if you feel uncomfortable. Always go out at night with someone so you are less likely to be targeted and always watch your belongings and drinks. You are more vulnerable to be pick pocketed and scammed as a solo traveler so watch out in touristy places.
I’m not telling you this to be terrfied of solo travel, just cautious! I have been travelling solo for almost 2 years and haven’t had any negative experiences!
If you want to rent an Airbnb it will be more expensive versus if you have a partner or a group to split the cost. Another option would be to stay in a hostel and I have stayed in over 40 around the world and definitely recommend it!
If you want to learn more about how to find hostels, costs and tips, give this post a read!
It can be a little nerve racking and awkward having dinner alone, you might get bored or you might just avoid it all together. It can be a negative or positive experience depending on the person but once you try it the nerves will go away. As well, if you go to a busy restaurant they are more likely to seat larger parties first because they earn more money. I find sitting at the bar is a great since you can talk with the bartender or other solo people!
Tip: Bring a book or download a book to read while you wait for your food
You’re more likely to miss friends and family when you’re alone since you don’t have that comfort. The great thing about technology is that you can communicate with loved ones anywhere in the world so don’t let that stop you!
It is hard to take photos when you solo travel, since you constantly need to ask other people to take your photo but it might end up blurry or not how you envisioned. I say invest in a mini tripod to carry around or dare I say it, buy a selfie stick! ahaha
I hope you found these pros and cons of solo travel helpful to make the best decision for you. I was a little nervous being by myself for 3 months in Europe however it ended up being the best decision I ever made. If you have never taken a solo trip, try and go away for a weekend close to where you live and see if you enjoy it and then you can gradually increase the time spent away by yourself!