Girlfriend getaways and romantic weekends are wonderful, but sometimes it’s good to just get out on your own. Today, guest blogger Colm Hanratty from Homestay.com shares 7 reasons to go it on your own.
Most people never truly travel solo. Usually, there’s always a significant other, friend or family member along for the ride. There’s plenty to learn by venturing out into the world on your own to see what it has to offer. Something new is either learned, gained or shared with other fellow solo travelers. No doubt about it, sharing special ‘moments’ with others on the road is great, but having time to chill out with a book or people watch in a cafe in Paris or a beach in Hawaii is priceless. There’s something to be said for learning how to travel on your own.
Here are seven reasons solo travel is so great:
When traveling on your own for an extended period of time, everything is a learning experience. Travelers need to find work, get somewhere to live and find reliable transportation – all without the comfort of reaching out to the usual group of friends or family. Solo travelers are forced to figure everything out on their own, which will translate well when back in everyday real world situations.
2. You can do what you want when you want
Everyone has their own opinions, tastes and preferences whether in a group or solo. When traveling in a group, you might not be doing an activity you’re really interested in. So although you might want to go biking through the city or hike up a mountain, others in your group might not be so adventurous. Traveling alone eliminates this problem.
3. You have eye-opening adventures with new cultures
It’s true that whether with friends or on your own you can experience other cultures. But traveling with people from the same place you are closes you off to truly being immersed in the place you’re visiting. Solo travel allows you to lose yourself in the culture to get a real flavor for what the destination’s culture is like, which will create life-long memorable experiences.
4. You come out of your shell more than usual
You’ll be forced to step out of your comfort zone and open up to people you don’t know unless you genuinely want to be by yourself at all times when traveling. Even the most introverted person in the world will find themselves talking to others much more than if they were traveling with friends.
5. You have more time to explore
Solo travel means there’s nobody else’s schedule to pay attention to but your own. You get to do what you want when you want, and take as much time as you’d like doing it. This gives you more time to relax, explore random cafes or stores and see what you really want to see.
6. You meet more people
When traveling in large groups, locals assume you’re all set. Solo travelers are approached more often because people genuinely want to help you find your way around the area. On solo trips, locals could be inviting you to have dinner with a group of their friends in a New York pizzeria, you could grab a bite to eat with a fellow solo traveler outside a restaurant in a tucked away neighborhood in Rome, or spend the weekend with people from Hong Kong while in Versailles because they saw you writing in a journal at a bar. The possibilities are endless and it’s all because you decided to explore on your own.
7. You learn how to budget your money
There will always be a temptation to spend a lot of money on expensive restaurants, souvenirs or at bars when traveling in groups. Those pressures won’t be presented to you if you’re travelling solo. There’s no chance of having a friend say “Come out for just one!” or “This 3-day boat tour would be soooo cool – let’s do it” when really it’s not something you ever wanted to do. You’ll have your own budget to help you make decisions.
Solo travel is great for being spontaneous and adventuresome. You can be as carefree as you’d like and really sink your teeth into each and every experience.
Homestays are ideal for solo travelers as it offers the opportunity to meet local people, share a meal, chat about the local culture, learn a language and simply not be alone for a while whenever you’re in the mood for some company on your trip!