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  • Writer's pictureHope O'Brien

Pros and Cons of Solo Travel

Pros of Solo Travel

Total Freedom: When you travel alone, you are the maker of your own adventure. There is no stress of making sure everyone’s needs are met; no expectations (whether they’re your own or someone else’s) to meet. When you travel alone, the only person you can go where you want, do what you want, and be who you want completely at your own will.

The People You’ll Meet: Don’t get me wrong, traveling with a friend or with someone doesn’t mean you won’t meet new people… but traveling alone is an entirely different ballpark of people you can meet. When I traveled with friends, I loved the comfort of knowing there was always someone next to me, but at the same time, I missed the feeling of being a clean slate that could jump from conversation to conversation into the late nights of hostel chatter.

Flexibility: Your schedule is your own! Say you fall in love with a city and want to stay a bit longer, it doesn’t even need to be a debate when you’re flying solo… you can just do it! Want to do that crazy adventure you’ve always dreamed of but don’t want to feel bad “leaving the group behind,” Well… you won’t have to!

Budget Control: This was something I became very aware of as I danced with the differences between my group and my solo travels. Budgeting is simply easier when the only budget, wants, and needs you need to think of are your own. Your money only goes to the experiences and things that truly matter to you… and let’s be honest, it’s easy to overspend when “everyone else is going to do this excursion too.”

Self-Discovery: Cheesy? I know. But it is beyond true that traveling solo is an experience that really makes you discover the most authentic parts of yourself, especially when you’re an entire ocean away from home! Every decision you make is your own and you have to learn to navigate environments that may be far out of your original comfort zone… but that’s the beauty of it! You find courage in the fear and growth in even the darkest days.

Cons of Solo Travel

Loneliness: I will not sugar coat the solo travel experience and try to claim it’s the best thing ever… nothing is. There will be days when you don’t meet someone new to chat with, or you’re isolated in a town that really feels like you’re the only person there. I often combated this by staying in hostels where I knew I would at least (hopefully) have some roommates to be near, but in reality, there are going to be days where you have to learn to be comfortable in the quiet.

Shared Expenses: While traveling solo might mean you are able to budget for your budget alone, it does mean the big expenses fall solely on you. Solo travel means no split hotel costs, no shared taxi costs, and no splitting of any form. If you’re like me and you’re traveling on a tighter budget, this may mean foregoing some luxuries in order to enjoy the experience. I chose hostels that range from $10 - $40 a night, depending on what country I’m in… and often I don’t get to eat out for every meal and cook in at the hostel.

Photos (cause yes they’re nice): As much as any of us try to say “live in the moment… keep it in your memories” in today’s digital age, it is nice to have photos and memories of your experiences. Traveling solo will absolutely make getting that perfect shot harder, but not impossible. Sometimes all it takes is asking a fellow tourist to snag a quick picture for you (always offer to take a photo for them in return… it’s just a nice thing to do.) And have fun with the chaos of the photos, they absolutely won’t always be professional grade!

Safety Concerns: Ladies or not, being alone can be daunting and can become a safety concern, especially depending on where you are traveling to. One of the most important things you can do when traveling solo is researching where you are going. Is it safe at night? What have others experienced? Is it less safe alone if I’m a woman? As someone that is a solo traveling female, I always ask at the desk of my hostel if the area is safe at night and often will read blogs of fellow solo travelers before I go. Safety is always first!

Planning and Support: When you travel alone, it all falls on you. I don’t mean to terrify you out of it, but it is important to know that your support system, in many ways, becomes yourself. All of the planning is up to you, if you’re like me and you’re the planner… this part is easy. If there’s an emergency or unexpected occurence, you are your main source of immediate assistance. My best recommendation, know the local emergency numbers and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it; you will find in solo travel that humanity is inherently good, and often people are willing to lend a helping hand.

Deciding if you want to solo travel? I spent the last year in 15 different countries as a solo female backpacker, feel free to leave your questions in the comments or reach out to me via my contact page!

Ready, Set,


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