Great advice! I have travelled alone many times and really enjoy being on my own and (most importantly) having my own room. When I do go on holidays with my friends or my sister I really want my own room as I am a bad sleeper and likely to want to read/watch TV etc at odd times) but I don’t feel I can ask them to pay the extra money for two single rooms. Travelling alone is wonderful in this aspect and I have never felt lonely as if you want to socialise there is always the opportunity to do so.
If you are of a mind to travel you should. Don’t hang around waiting for your friend(s) to make up their minds or the time to accompany you. Don’t put off your travel because you are too young (or too old) or you should be thinking about your future and career. If you do, chances are, you will never get on that plane or hit the road.
Don’t let others put you off. There are so many myths and negative perceptions about solo travel it’s enough to stop you from stepping out the front door and going to the local shops. We give you the other, positive side of the picture and clear up misconceptions about travelling alone.
So plan that trip, book your tickets, pack your bags, lace up those walking shoes and head out the door. Your experiences and adventures will enrich your life and make your travel dreams come true.
It is better to travel with someone
This is very often the first argument thrown at you. This is debatable with several points in favour of having a companion. However, it is not always better. People you know well (or thought you did) and like can turn out to be awful travel companions. You will discover resources, strengths and capabilities you never knew you had.
Your experiences, discoveries and memories will not be diluted or influenced by the tastes, priorities and plans of others. You eat, drink, sleep, travel change direction, take pictures, chat with whomever and do whatever you want, whenever you want. No need to check or adjust your itinerary with another. It’s just you.
It’s a big, bad world out there
You cannot live your life in fear. There are risks everywhere and to everything, even in your own town or city. Life is full of perils and so is travel. Some precautions you could take to lessen the odds of danger coming your way: Avoid flaunting flashy jewellery; don’t wear clothing to advertise yourself as a tourist; struggling to read your map on the street or dangling that expensive camera from your neck.
So a pinch of caution, a teaspoon of intelligence, an ounce of alertness and a healthy dollop of intuition are the best ingredients for a great and safe solo holiday.
You will be lonely
Never! In fact the opposite is true. You may occasionally be alone but that is not the same as lonely. Hostels and hotels along the tourist trails are full of friendly people who are doing more or less the same as you are. You will meet like-minded fellow travellers, home-stay owners, knowledgeable fellow passengers and other wonderfully interesting people with advice, tips and information. When you travel alone you will open up and reach out to people – almost unconsciously. You will wind up sharing meals, jokes, stories and experiences. You will hardly ever be lonely. Really! In many instances you will may need to escape to your room or a quiet spot just to be by yourself.
A Stranger is Danger
Don’t talk to strangers! So what are you going to do? Stare at the walls; bury your nose in a book throughout your trip? That advice made good sense when you were a child. When you travel every one is a stranger. Even other members of a safe, cosy package tour are strangers.
When you are on the road you have to make the effort to meet and interact with people, especially the locals. It’s my belief that if you haven’t seen the sights, met the locals and eaten the food you have never really been there. Those are the ways in which you will get to experience, understand and enjoy the local culture. Your fellow travellers as well as locals will turn out to be interesting people with stories to tell. They will tell you the best places to eat, get shopping bargains and give directions. They can advise you on the quirks of local transportation and good times to visit the sights and a whole range of local conditions. And you will make friends.
Trust your instincts to the hilt. Walk away from someone who is annoying or making you uncomfortable. If you have the slightest misgivings about somebody don’t hesitate to be blunt and tell them to leave you alone.
Language will be a barrier
Yes, it will be a hassle but not an insurmountable barrier. In fact travelling alone, with no help, you will probably pick up a foreign language faster. Of course, learning a couple of key phrases before you start out won’t hurt.
That said, you have to remember that English is spoken nearly everywhere. Some of the accents and phraseology may baffle you (or make you giggle) initially. I have been to Thailand and France on a solo holiday without knowing either language and managed quite nicely, thank you. People really do make the effort to help.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
Of course there will be problems, tests and glitches on your journey but finding solutions to them will serve you in good stead. You will become so much more resourceful, resilient, positive and confident. And it will have come about by travelling solo. Now that isn’t so bad, is it?