Solo traveling is the in thing these days. This could be due to the excellent flexibility and the independence travelers get from the experience.
But is it always an incredible and magical affair? Of course, the benefits of solo traveling cannot be underestimated. The freedom you get from solo travelling is on another level. No wonder most travel enthusiasts are getting out of their comfort zones and giving it a try.
Surprisingly, even with all the many benefits associated with solo traveling, this adventure can expose you to a number of difficulties too. Although the rewarding bit is more pronouncing, as a smart traveller, it’s equally important to get to know the other side of the coin.
The challenges are not meant to scare you but rather to help you get a great experience should you decide to venture into solo traveling. The most impressive part is, as long as you know how to handle them, you can enjoy your solo trips to the fullest.
If you love being around people you know 24/7, you may feel lonely should you decide to embark on a solo trip. You’ll be on that bus or flight alone. You’ll be in the hotel alone. You’ll eat your meals alone, go sightseeing alone and generally do all your stuff alone. If this doesn’t sound like fun to you, then you aren’t ready for solo travelling yet.
On the same note, solo travel does not automatically translate to loneliness because being lonely is not the same as being alone. What many people don’t know is that you can be among people you know and still feel lonely whereas there is someone who is around strangers but isn’t feeling lonely at all.
That’s why it’s good to know yourself better before considering solo traveling. If you enjoy your company and being alone is never a problem, you’re all set. If you feel more comfortable around your family members and friends, solo traveling may not be your cup of tea. And don’t feel bad about it, solo traveling is not for everybody actually.
If you like being around people you’re familiar with but want to try solo travelling, don’t travel too far from home. Homesickness will kill you. You can begin with a day trip and see how things unfold. If it doesn’t feel right completely, take a break and try it again later. If you enjoyed your day out alone, don’t be overconfident. Take another day and if the fun bit is still there, you can then go ahead and increase the distance which will automatically increase the duration.
The key point is to have fun. If you are not having fun when travelling alone, then why strive to do it? Get the company you really yearn for and travel together.
It’s a costly affair
By the way, did you know that traveling alone can cost you more than when you are traveling as a pair or as a group? The major cost of traveling revolves around transport, accommodation and food. When you travel alone, you get to bear all the costs but when you’re a group, you can split the bills amongst your fellow travelers. Thus, don’t get into solo travel because you think it’s cheaper. You might get disappointed before the adventure is over.
However, there are certain ways you can reduce costs when traveling alone. The only thing you need to do in exchange is to lower your standards. For instance, if the cost of a hotel room is too high, you can opt for dormitory-style accommodation. You may find that it’s even cheaper than a couple sharing a twin bed.
Risky to try new foods
Wait a minute, what’s the risk in trying out a new dish? While trying out a new dish isn’t a problem, the challenge comes if the new dish doesn’t settle well with you. If something goes wrong and you happen to suffer from food poisoning, who will rush you to the hospital?
Therefore, you find that you don’t have the freedom to consume any type of food you come across like it would have been the case if you’re travelling with your loved ones.
Also, even without the risky part, trying different dishes when travelling alone isn’t convenient either. You see, when you’re travelling with other people, you can all agree to order different meals and sample them all but when you’re alone you are forced to order only one meal at a time. Again, don’t expect good services when you’re a solo guest. In fact, some restaurant will even deny you their services or give you the worst table if they find out you’ll be dining alone.
Your safety is a big issue
You are more prone to muggers when travelling alone. You seem an easy target since you don’t have anyone to protect you.
But this is not usually a big challenge though. You just need to be more observant of your surroundings, trust your instincts, and avoid dark and lonely places. During the night, avoid walking in the streets alone. Instead, consider taking a cab. It may be expensive but for your safety, it’s worth it.
Furthermore, solo traveling doesn’t mean you have to be alone throughout the entire trip. It’s not a crime to join other travelers in order to venture to places you feel unsafe when alone.
No help in times of need
The biggest challenge of traveling alone is lack of help in case of trouble. We all need help when traveling at some point. You can get sick along the way, get involved in an accident or find yourself in any form of trouble. During such sad moments, you need someone close to you whether it’s your partner or a friend to take you to a hospital or at least take care of you.
Even if you’re not sick, you still need help to do a few things such as someone to hold your belonging when going to the toilet or help you carry your luggage. Such things might seem petty but you get to know their impact when traveling alone.
The bottom line
Solo traveling is super cool. It gives you the freedom to travel to any part of the world any time you feel like it. With solo traveling, you don’t have to consult anyone to plan a trip. It’s upon you to decide the place you want to travel to, make the necessary arrangements and head out. Over the same, however interesting solo traveling is, it’s important to appreciate the fact that this kind of outdoor adventure comes with a few challenges you should be aware of before you embark on your newfound hobby.
Knowing the cons of solo traveling shouldn’t hinder you from traveling alone though. Instead, they should be an eye-opener, help make your adventures more fun and fulfilling. So, don’t take the dangers as a hindrance but rather learn from them and make your solo travels unique and memorable.