Traveling solo is a challenge for some. It can be the worst of times but also the best of times. I’ve traveled solo many times – sometimes by choice and sometimes by necessity. Whether you’re a life-long single like me, or recently divorced, or anything in between – solo travel can be extremely rewarding.
- Do everything you want to do, when you want to do it.
- When you are solo, locals seem to be more friendly. I’ve had some amazing opportunities due to traveling solo – including Tea with Jam and Bread in a yak herder’s home in Kyrgyzstan and lunch in an Armenian village.
- Locals even may look out for you. When I left the Amazon jungle in northern Ecuador when a bus strike was going on, I hung out for hours with oil workers that were also waiting for the bus. They protected me when a guy was harassing me and helped me find a taxi when we arrived in Quito in the middle of the night.
- It’s so much easier to meet other people and when you’re solo – but you need to be approachable
- Every so often, you can get the last seat on a tour that you wouldn’t be able if you were two or more. In Norway, I was able to get the last spot on a great tour to the Troll mountain, and I grabbed the jumper seat on the bus in the front with the driver!
- It can be inexpensive. Depending on how you travel and where you stay, it can be way cheaper than group travel. I find I can often travel for 50% cheaper than the least expensive tour I can find to any destination.
- It’s not unheard of to spend several days in a row by yourself when traveling solo. No one to share special locations and event with.
- Eating meals in restaurants can be sad. I find that I can mitigate this by bringing something to do or read. I also like going to night markets where you can interact with locals.
- Sometimes men get the wrong idea when you go to a bar to have a drink and listen to music. This varies greatly by the country.
- It can be expensive. Taxi rides, car rentals, and hotel rooms cost the same whether there’s one person traveling or two. In places like Cuba where hostels are basically non-existent, your sleeping costs are double if you’re solo.
- Could be more dangerous. Every so often you hear about a solo traveler that disappears or dies while out for a hike or out for the night.
What do you think about traveling solo?