It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted a blog post here. Between lots of overtime at work, kitchen renos, maintaining my fitness level and trying to maintain a semblance of a social life, I have neglected Passportunities. I recently went out with my camera for the first time in over a month!
I’ve got a few pieces of content coming up but it’s been a struggle for me because I haven’t been on a trip in ages and I don’t have any coming up! I’ll be sure to share the planning process when I eventually have something in the books: I’m itching to get away and explore more.
I’ve written a post about Travelling with Friends and How to Meet People While Solo Travelling so I thought I’d write one about the Benefits of Solo Travel. It’s certainly not for everyone but for those of you contemplating it, here’s some of the advantages to travelling solo.
Ease of planning
One of the biggest advantages of solo travel, in my opinion, is the ease of planning. Your interests are the only ones that matter and if you want to plan to spend hours walking around Budapest to work on your night photography skills (like me), go for it!
The most time-consuming thing to coordinate with others is booking flights, transportation and accommodation (all the most important things to book). But, if you find a great deal on a hostel for a not so great location/sacrificing comfort, you can make the decision immediately rather than messaging everyone about their thoughts on the hostel.
Creating your budget
The second biggest advantage is setting your budget. I’ve read that travelling solo is better for your wallet and I’ll have to agree. I don’t mind grabbing groceries to tide me over during the day and eating one big meal out but when travelling with friends, it’s typically easier to eat out at every meal. There are tons of cost-saving measures when travelling (and in your regular day) that a quick Google search is helpful for but ultimately you can choose to stick to your budget; be frugal or be extravagant!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. It’s much easier to meet people when travelling solo vs. with friends. Speaking to a point later on in this post, you have to make an effort to converse with others rather than be comfortable with the friends you’re travelling with. There will always be someone else travelling alone and chances are they’re likely to strike up a conversation with you! I went out with a group of people in Prague after talking to two other solo female travellerss at a group tour earlier that day!
Getting to know yourself
You’ll be spending a lot of time alone and you’ll have an entire life to reflect on! I found out that I’m more confident and outgoing that I thought, am unembarrassed to talk to people/ask questions and willing to take time for myself. I also discovered I am heavily reliant in my day-to-day routine and eating schedule (I’m 100% a hangry person!) Who knows what you’ll discover about yourself!
Getting out of your comfort zone
You can’t rely on anyone else to do something for you: asking for directions or figuring out the transit system is something you have to do yourself. Maybe you aren’t the most outgoing person and need to force yourself to talk to new people. Or, you could be the opposite and enjoy being surrounded by people but need to figure out how to be in your own space alone. In any case, it’s good to push your own boundaries on occasion and travelling is a perfect way to do it. (Keep in mind, it’s 100% your comfort level and what you’re willing to try but give it a chance!)
You can travel at your own pace
Whether it’s taking it easy or planning a completely packed day, it’s up to you and only you to decide how you want to spend your trip. If you want to sit for hours at a café and people watch / read a book, that’s entirely your call. If you want to spend hours staring at a Van Gogh or visit as many tourist attractions as you can in one day, you can! I find it nice to be able to head back to the hostel for a nap or eat a late lunch because of how I’m feeling in the moment.
It’ll teach you skills for your everyday life back home
Personally, travelling solo has taught me a few things: the art of planning and executing said plan; to go with the flow and stressing about the small details won’t change the overall experience; confidence and how to meet/talk to new people in any situation; the art of packing and “closet capsules”; I enjoy spending time by myself and reflecting on my life; time management and productivity. The list goes on and everyone’s experience is different but I guarantee that travelling solo (and travelling in general) will teach you something that you’ll bring home with you.
Have you been on a solo trip? Did you love it or hate it? Let me know in the comments below!