Solo traveling is an exciting prospect, isn’t it! The independence of free movement and the option of following your own whims. The sense of adventure of roaming in different countries. The freedom of traveling in a rickety public transport bus or travelling deep into the hinterlands by trains seems highly fascinating. The idea of taking care of yourself on tour, planning your own travel and staying in youth hostels or budget hotels is an exciting one. Solo traveling is a highly rewarding experience as you gain plenty of memorable moments. However, solo travel comes with its own sets of challenges as well. Language and cultural differences, loneliness and homesickness are some of the challenges of solo travelling.
Check out the advantages and disadvantage of solo travel and decide for yourself, whether you are up for it or not.
Advantages of solo traveling
- Greater degree of flexibility – Traveling solo gives you a greater flexibility than joining a group tour or traveling with friends. You can plan your own vacation by booking flights, train rides or public bus bookings. You can stay in hostels or budget hotels and avoid splurging your wealth on plush hotels. You can eat at street side eateries or have a delicious gastronomic dinner at Michelin Star restaurants.
- No compromises – While traveling solo, you don’t have to compromise on your choices. Travelling in groups often results in compromising your choices when it comes to taking side tours, savouring food or travelling locally.
- Plenty of introspection – Travelling solo often leads to plenty of time at your disposal. This stress-free time while traveling allows you to introspect and retrospect about your life, helping you to understand your abilities, talents, and personality.
- Amazing experiences – The best part of traveling solo is the plenty of amazing memories that your encounter during your vacations. These memories, good or bad, actually helps you to understand the various aspects of our world that helps one to deal with various situations.
- Plenty of confidence – One of the best aspect of traveling solo is the surge of confidence that one gets after successfully completing a solo trip. You get to experience different cultures, languages, meet new people, try new cuisines and tread the unknown trails and paths.
Disadvantages of solo traveling
- Loneliness and homesickness – One massive negative of solo travel is the loneliness and homesickness that one encounters while staying in a different country. Different language, culture, cuisine can sometimes be very confounding.
- Safety issues – Traveling alone sometimes could result in safety concerns. Traveling in the off-beat paths or lesser known trails could lead to unexpected security issues which one has to deal. However, that is also the charm of solo travel. The real sense of adventure and exploration!
- Cost inflation – Sometimes one has to bear the cost inflation while traveling solo. You are in need of a cab but you have to pay the full amount as there is no one to share the cost. Traveling in groups is more cost effective but with its own set of compromises.
- Lack of support – Solo travellers often face the lack of support groups during their individual trips. There is no one to guide them on where to eat or shop from. Everything from destination visit to bookings has to be planned on their own.
- Awkward situations – Sometimes traveling solo can lead to plenty of awkward situations due to the lack of awareness about the local culture and customs. It can lead to being completely perceived as a fool by the locals and can invoke severe scorns and angry exchanges. Be polite, modest and apologetic and use your heads to stay clear from such situations.
Places to visit as a solo traveller
- New Zealand
- Costa Rica