Throughout the years, I have planned a fair share of solo adventures, and to this day, solo travel is something I enjoy. It is the kind of adventure that allows you to reflect and grow, and there are so many more benefits of solo travel.
While many people intentionally make the decision to travel alone, I did not. Funnily enough, it was the unintentional result of me traveling to attend conferences on my own. It was not until I flew to Turkey on my own and had some downtime during that trip, that I realized that I had inadvertently become a solo traveler.
Less than two months after that, I was already on my next solo trip, and for the first time, I decided to extend a solo trip beyond the timeframe of the conference. And if I am honest, I have not looked back since then as I love the freedom solo travel grants me.
It might be great to travel with friends, and I definitely enjoy exploring new places with friends too, but there is something special about stepping out of your comfort zone, taking risks, and pushing yourself to grow. As you travel alone, you gain a completely different perspective of the world around you, as well as yourself.
While it can be daunting and might scare you, there are so many benefits of solo travel, and I can only encourage you to give it a go. And who knows, maybe these 12 reasons to travel alone will be the final encouragement you need to venture out on your own.
Why Travel Alone & what are the benefits of solo travel?
Over the years, I have had many people ask me why I want to travel alone. Some asked out of curiosity, while others clearly disagreed with my decision to travel alone. And I understand both positions. Solo travel is not for everyone, and it can be hard to understand its appeals and benefits if you have never traveled alone.
Sure, there were some comments and remarks I could have gone without, but at the end of the day, the negative things do not matter. After all, they were unfounded, and when asked “why not?”, no one could give a good reason I could not counter. After all, there are many reasons to travel alone and it is hard to argue against it when confronted with the benefits of solo travel.
Some might have argued that it is more dangerous, but based on that logic, so is going to the supermarket alone. After all, it comes down to the fact that being alone makes you a more likely target.
Concluding, I would say you can travel alone to another country if you feel comfortable walking around alone in your own city. It is not really that different from a safety point of view.
However, you should obviously still do your research and check what to look out for as you would when planning group trips. Some places are safer than others whether you are traveling alone or with a group of friends, so just plan your trip accordingly. And maybe start out by exploring destinations that are perfect for first-time solo travelers.
1. Freedom & Flexibility while Traveling
One of the biggest benefits of solo travel is having the flexibility to do whatever you want and go wherever your heart desires. When traveling alone, you have the freedom to decide which places you want to visit, where you will stay, and how long you’d like to spend in each location.
You do not have to coordinate your plans with anyone else and can stay in one place for however long you want without having to worry that others might miss out on something because of you. This also means you can choose to extend your trip or even cut it short.
These things mean that solo travel is ideal for you if you are not sure what exactly you want to do during your trip, and just want to plan things as you go along.
Solo travel is likely the best way to travel if you just want to roam around and make decisions on a day-to-day basis based on how you are feeling.
2. Focus on the Things you Love
When traveling alone, you can soak up the culture and enjoy activities that are tailored to your interests without having to consider someone else’s preferences.
It allows you to focus on the things you love and make your own decisions along the way. Given that you do not have to work around the travel plans of others, you can spend your entire trip solo hiking, at cooking classes, touring archeological sites, or whatever else it is you like the most.
Solo travel is the time for you to do what makes you happy while only being limited by your budget and the law.
3. A Journey of Self-Discovery
Solo travel also enables you to go on a journey of self-discovery. You can focus on yourself without being distracted by other people and get to know yourself better.
It is a chance to discover what makes you happy. You can reflect on who you are, and who you want to be. Given that there are no outside distractions, you have the time to make plans that will help you be happier in the long run.
4. Confidence Boost
Traveling alone is one of the most empowering things one can do. Being in a new environment and realizing that you are having a great time, despite being alone, changes you. It changes how you see yourself, and how you face challenges going forward.
Given that you will have to tackle any challenges that arise while traveling on your own, you gain confidence the minute you overcome problems. So if you are having a hard time feeling confident making decisions independent of others, solo travel might just be the adventure you need.
Ultimately, solo travel makes you a much better problem-solver, which will benefit you in your everyday life.
5. Making New Friends
Another benefit of solo travel is that it makes it easier to make new friends while traveling. After all, you have no choice but to connect with strangers when you know no one. Therefore, solo travel encourages you to meet new people from around the world.
Whether it is locals or other travelers in your hostel or even at a café, you can have meaningful conversations and exchange valuable knowledge. It is a bonding experience, and in my experience, these conversations with new friends can lead to long-lasting friendships.
I met many of my close friends thanks to traveling. Some of these friendships are the result of meeting during conferences, while other friendships are the result of joining solo traveler group trips. And of course, I have also met people whose friendship I value a lot during press trips.
I would say that these friendships are ‘easier’ as you are more likely to find a common connection. When you are already on a potentially life-changing adventure, you are more open and it is easier to let others in. And of course, there is also the fact that the experience of that great journey unites.
As a solo traveler, you can be more spontaneous when planning trips as you do not have to coordinate your efforts with any travel buddies that might then just drop out of the trip at the last minute.
And of course, solo travel also makes it a lot easier to change your plans on a whim during the trip. You do not have to discuss the changes with anyone and can just do what makes you happy.
Throughout the years, I have changed my plans for a trip on a whim several times. One of them was during my second time in Hong Kong. It was only a day-long layover on my way back from Australia, and I was planning to explore the city some more.
But after around an hour of walking through Hong Kong, I just did not feel like it. As it was, I was already having a hard time returning to Germany, so I just wanted a peaceful day without worries. So of course, I spontaneously decided to jump on the train to Hong Kong Disneyland.
The day ended up being exactly what I needed and I was so happy that I could change my plans without impacting the travel plans of anyone else.
7. Improve your Language Skills
If you are solo traveling to a country where your own native language is not spoken, you have no choice but to try to communicate in the local language at one point. After all, not everyone speaks English.
Therefore, you learn a new language by having no other option but to immerse yourself in it and by having conversations with the locals.
I am fluent in two languages and technically also speak some French and Spanish, but when around friends while traveling, I prefer to stick to English.
But then, when traveling alone, I give trying to speak the local language a go. And doing so really helps me practice my language skills. Of course, I make some mistakes, but that is fine. Oftentimes, the locals are more than happy that I was making an effort and even gave me pointers on better ways to say something.
8. Time to Rest
Solo travel can be a chance to take a break from daily life. It gives you the time to truly relax and recharge without having to worry about anyone else.
You can sleep in if you feel like it without having to feel bad about it as someone is waiting for you, and can sit in a café for hours without feeling like you are stopping your travel buddies from exploring the area.
Hereby, the best way to relax as a solo traveler is to slow travel. Doing so, not only allows you to see more but also gives you the time to catch a break from the regular life full of strict schedules and deadlines.
9. Cost-Saving Last-Minute Spots
If you are looking for a more cost-friendly option, solo travel opens up the possibility of finding last-minute deals. Oftentimes, there is only one spot remaining that is then offered at a discounted rate. Being able to claim those spots is one of the benefits of solo travel.
You can save money and still have the chance to explore amazing places, without feeling bad because you want to join a trip your travel buddies would not be able to join.
10. Expand Your Comfort Zone
Another benefit of solo travel is that it gives you an opportunity to push yourself out of your comfort zone. It is a great way to challenge yourself to explore the unknown and face fears or worries.
There might be no one to support you, but the fact that there is also no one that will judge you has a massive impact on one’s willingness to push out of your comfort zone. If you want to face your fears, you can do so knowing that you can back out without repercussions and teasing words.
And if you manage to do it – which you likely can once the social pressure is gone – you can celebrate the accomplishment and share it with others if you want to.
Just remember, that you are pushing your personal limits for yourself and not for the sake of others. After all, your solo adventure is all about your wants and needs, and it does not have to make anyone else happy.
11. No Conflicts with Friends
If you have ever traveled with a larger group of friends or even with just one friend, there is a good chance that the trip included at least some conflicts and fights. After all, you are around each other 24/7 and at one point, the smallest thing will set someone off.
Some minor conflicts are a part of traveling with friends, but sometimes it is nice to explore a place without any conflicts. Planning a solo trip helps you do that.
12. Set your own Budget
Solo travel gives you complete control of your finances and allows you to set a budget that works for you. You do not have to adjust your budget according to someone else’s wishes and can choose to only spend money on things that you want to do.
It is up to you to choose the best and most cost-effective accommodation, transportation, and activity options for your trip, or to splurge and treat yourself to a more expensive experience. Depending on your budget, you can choose to eat at cheaper local restaurants or eat at a fine dining restaurant that serves several courses.
As you are traveling alone, you do not have to adjust your budget to incorporate the potentially more or less expensive wishes of others.
I like only having to spend money on things I actually want to do, and consider it one of the biggest benefits of solo travel. It allowed me to explore Bangkok on a budget and gave me to freedom to increase my budget to buy a ferry trip from Tallinn to Helsinki during another adventure.
Meanwhile, there were situations when my own travel budget did not correspond with the travel budget of those I was traveling with when I was not traveling alone.
In my early days of traveling when I was on a backpacker’s budget, I sometimes had no choice but to spend more than I planned. And while I was happy to include the wishes of my friends, it did not feel good to have to abandon my budget.
And while my travel budget is higher these days, it still does not line up with the travel plans of many. After all, I spend a surprisingly large percentage of my budget on food and adventurous activities. And while I enjoy luxurious accommodations with jacuzzis, I also do not mind saving some money by free camping in amazing locations for a few days.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see the full disclosure for further information.
Planning a trip?
Check out these useful websites and resources I use to plan my own adventures.
Rental Cars: Discover Cars
Day Trips & Tours: Get Your Guide, Viator —or— Klook
Travel Insurance: SafetyWing
Airport Lounge Access: Priority Pass
Roundup: The Benefits of Solo Travel
As you can see, there are many benefits of solo traveling. Aside from leading to personal growth and teaching important skills, traveling alone is also good for your mental health.
It allows you to take a break from the concessions you make all the time to accommodate others and allows you to focus on what you want. For once, only you decide what you want to do and you have total control over your budget and schedule.
Therefore, solo travel is different from all other ways to travel. And everyone should give it a try at least once. Otherwise, you will undeniably miss out on the many benefits of traveling alone.
More about Solo Adventures
If you are interested in traveling alone, you might also be interested in these posts:
Solo Hiking Tips
Quotes about Solo Travel
Do you know any other benefits of traveling alone?
Let me know in the comments down below!
Did you enjoy reading this post?
Share it to let others know the benefits of solo travel!