Traveling alone, especially your first time, can be quite scary and daunting. However, once you experience solo travel firsthand, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll be hooked. Granted there are some challenges when it comes to traveling solo, but the rewards are much greater.
Why Travel Solo?
You’re On Your Own Time
After your first solo trip, you realize the impact it has on you as well as the benefits that come along with traveling on your own. Most notably, when you travel alone, you’re on your own schedule and no one’s opinions or ideas matter except yours. You’re able to be more spontaneous and make your own decisions. This allows you to be more flexible in your travel plans and activities, too. Your entire travel itinerary can be unplanned and actually be able to stumble upon surprise discoveries and adventures.
You’re In The Moment
Traveling solo also pushes you out of your comfort zone which isn’t always easy. For many people, simply the thought of traveling on their own and doing things by themselves is enough to send them overboard. However, when you travel solo, you learn and become comfortable being alone, especially when you try and do things that are out of your norm. And, as you move further out of your comfort zone, you begin to really be more conscious and present and actually be in the moment. There tend to be fewer distractions when you are traveling solo and so you become more observant of what’s going on around you. It’s in these moments that you really see the beauty in the details and make stronger memories that will last indefinitely.
You Make New Friends
In addition, you’re bound to make new friends along the way. It could be the front desk agent, your Uber driver, or just the fellow you strike up a conversation with at the bar. Typically, these newfound friends will be local and know all the hot spots to visit to really get a taste of whatever city you find yourself in. Sometimes, though, you may even make friends with fellow visitors with similar interests and join forces to have a trip of a lifetime. So, don’t be afraid to talk to people.
You Become a Better You
The biggest benefit, however, of traveling solo is a huge confidence booster and character builder as you navigate a new and unfamiliar place on your own. During your travels, you become more self-aware and taught independence as you become happy in your own company. Also, without anyone else to rely on, you become more resourceful and, in the end, experience a feeling of accomplishment. For some, this is even overcoming a fear. You’re ultimately putting yourself out there and building an appreciation for yourself. It’s during this self-realization that you become a better problem solver as well as build this sense of appreciation of yourself. Hence, also improving your mental health and state of being.
Tips for Traveling Solo
Traveling solo can be quite the undertaking and may have you feeling a tad bit anxious. Here are some tips to make traveling solo a successful and fun trip:
- Be picky about your hotel. Choose a hotel that is known for their guest services such as the Marriott brands. This will make a world of a difference when traveling solo. It’s also comforting to have a hotel that provides 24/7 service so that you are never alone.
- Try to blend in regarding the way you dress – nothing too touristy or flashy. When you are traveling alone, you don’t want to bring too much attention to yourself.
- It also helps to not be constantly staring at your guidebook or GPS. Plan things out before heading to your destination.
- Follow your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
- Don’t let on to other people that you are traveling alone. This might even mean you need to tell a little white lie or two.
- Talk to people! Especially the waiters, hotel employees, and other service people. They are the ones that really know the city you are in and can give you the most beneficial tips. You might even make a new friend in the process.
- Take time to kick back and relax. Traveling solo can be quite tiring and draining, so take some time to rest whether it be in your hotel room or enjoying a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop while you people watch. Remember, you’re on no one’s schedule but your own.
- Remember why you decided to travel solo in the first place. It helps to give your trip a three-word theme, such as relaxation, confidence, and independence. Don’t forget to keep your theme in mind your entire trip and with everything you do.
- Pack smart and light! Remember, it’s just you that’s traveling and too much luggage can be a headache. Only pack the necessities and try to choose things that serve dual purposes.
If you’ve never taken a solo trip, the time is now. Choose a place that you find new and exciting and go! You’d be surprised at what you’re capable of doing when you put your mind to it and face your fears and anxieties.
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