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5 Reasons Why You Should Travel Alone At Least Once (& Tips To Nail It)

There’s nothing new in solo traveling. Some decide to travel solo in their native country, while others go to neighboring continents. Some diligently pack a suitcase to ride around Europe, and others need a backpack to conquer Kilimanjaro.

Traveling alone has many advantages. You don’t depend on the mood of fellow travelers, you don’t have to consult with anyone and agree on plans, and you don’t need to wait for anyone and make compromises. And most importantly, by traveling alone you can get to know yourself and discover new resources.

Corfu fortress Greece ionian

Today we’ll talk about the most important advantages of traveling alone and also give a couple of travel tips on how to make it successful if you are just starting.

5 Reasons To Travel Alone

#1. It’s easy to dart away at any moment

You need a reboot, you want a new Instagram photo, you have to see the sea, you miss the mountains – these and a hundred more reasons can cause an acute desire to travel. It’s much easier to quickly resolve all logistics issues if it’s only about you. Apart from that, you’ll save a lot more on solo travel than while traveling with someone.

#2. You can take a break from boring roles

In daily communication with a close circle, colleagues, and acquaintances, we act according to a certain, once laid down scenario. To spend a few days beyond this scenario means to remember what kind of person you are—no need to “keep a face” or justify someone’s expectations. You have one role – you’re a traveler, and you get new experiences for your pleasure.

#3. Language improvements

There is no better practice for learning a new language than its natural environment. When you go on vacation with a company, someone will definitely know a foreign language better than you, or even perfectly.

Another thing is when you are alone in a foreign country. Here you have to raise your entire vocabulary to get to the desired point in the city or ask for directions. Dialogue with the locals will help you get to know the culture of the country better, hone the skills of bold communication, and add self-confidence.

#4. Freedom of choice

Fly by plane or travel by train? Air conditioning or an open window? Lie in your room until lunch or go to discover interesting places in the morning? Music on speaker or headphones? A day at the beach or on a tour? Fast food or a healthy picnic? Everything is up to you, based on what you want. Moreover, you, perhaps for the first time in a long time, find yourself in a situation where there are no alien or automatically formed choices, and you remember or re-aware of what you like.

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#5. Understanding yourself

In everyday life, even in solitude, we don’t often manage to enter into a dialogue with ourselves. Some of us are completely afraid that the conversation will turn out to be disturbing or full of condemnation, so we fill every free minute with series, lectures, meetings, or social media. While traveling, many situations trigger total relaxation, evoke new impressions, make you meet new people, and feel the beauty of the moment, which allows you to start confidential communication with yourself.

View of Table Mountain from the top of Lion's head
View of Table Mountain from the top of Lion’s head

Tips For Solo Travelers

To make your solo trip as enjoyable as possible, there are a few rules to keep in mind:

  • Make copies of crucial documents

While traveling, you need to be prepared for various force majeure. Loss or theft of documents, especially abroad, can lead to a big problem. An electronic copy of your documents will help to avoid them. All documents can be stored in cloud storage, which you always have access to.

  • Prepare routes in advance

Explore the safe areas of the city, and mark those that are better not to go alone. You can make a list of places where you would like to visit and distribute their viewing by vacation days – this way you’ll have time for a lot of spots.

Prepare all possible types of maps. Let you have a regular paper map in your hands, navigation software downloaded to your phone, as well as pictures of a compiled route in case you get to a place without the Internet.

For this, open Google Maps or any other location-sharing app in advance, build a route, download snipping tool for Mac and make screenshots. Take notes on where to stay, where to go to shop and what you’ll see in case you’re lost.

If you’re more of a Windows tech fan, you can grab screenshots with the help of Windows snipping software.

  • Learn the most about a new country

What are the traditions of the locals, their national dishes, and where to find souvenir shops – it’s better to find answers to all these questions in advance. So, it won’t surprise you if a restaurant serves you a very spicy snack or the fact that locals drive cars differently than is customary in your home country. Make sure your suitcase is filled with the “right” things. For example, if the rainy season begins during your vacation in the country, don’t take cotton espadrilles with you.

  • Download useful mobile apps
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Let everything be at your fingertips: download essential apps for solo travelers, guidebooks, currency converters, and translators. It’s good when these services can work offline.

  • Wear simple, comfortable clothes

Try not to stand out from the crowd with luxury outfits. It’s better to stock up on comfortable shorts and a pair of boots, sunglasses, and a discreet shirt. Don’t wear expensive accessories and show that you have a lot of gadgets with you – keep the latest in your backpack. So you won’t attract unnecessary glances from the locals and get into trouble.

  • Try to make friends wherever you can

It’s easy when you’re working and traveling, but when it’s only the latter, it becomes more difficult. Even if you don’t see your newly made comrades anymore, make as many acquaintances as possible – you need help in the “here and now” format.

  • Always let someone know where you are

Leave a note in the hotel room for the receptionist in case you’re late for your walk. Remember, many hotels value their reputation and do everything to make their guests as comfortable as possible. The administration considers itself responsible for tourists and will look for you if you have lost track of time and stayed in the city for the night.

Also, every time you have the Internet, let your family and friends know where you are and if everything is fine with you. Firstly, they will be calmer, and secondly, they will know where to look for you in case something happens.

  • Interact with people

You’re a solo traveler, not a recluse – don’t forget to meet other people. You may not speak their language, you may not perceive their culture, but you need to be in human society. Only a super-strong person can travel without any contact with other people.

  • Learn to accept a foreign culture

Get ready for strange customs, incomprehensible rules, and inexplicable human actions – discard self-confidence and arrogance, “absorb” a piece of a foreign culture, and enjoy the place where you are. Remember, travel is the perfect remedy.

Berat Albania

Wrap Up

Traveling without fellow travelers is great, but sometimes you can’t do without company.

Psychologists say that loneliness is addictive and transforms the personality, and therefore everything is good in moderation. Having felt the taste of traveling alone, you shouldn’t turn into an unsociable introvert-hermit. Remember that and wish you great traveling!

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I'm a dual Canadian-American from NYC that moved to South Africa for work and ended up traveling all through the continent. I'm currently living the expat life in Frankfurt, Germany and traveling the world as much as I can. I'm a bit obsessed with scuba diving, churning credit cards so I never pay to fly, and eating the most questionable of foods in the most peculiar of places. My bucket list is the world, and some day I might make it there.