Whether the idea of traveling solo makes you want to drop everything and head to the airport, or sends you into an anxious spiral, there’s no doubt that scoring alone time to rejuvenate and reconnect with yourself is absolutely priceless. Exploring a gorgeous locale with your whole squad is always a blast, but there’s a certain level of freedom that comes with seeing the world on your own. Here, five reasons you should try a solo vacation, along with a few pro tips for making it the best trip possible.
Me, Myself and I
You Can Do What You Want...When You Want
There's nothing like the freedom to decide what you want to do without considering the opinions of anyone else. Whether you want to explore ancient ruins at the crack of dawn, or drink prosecco on the beach for hours, the choice is solely up to you. Creating a full travel itinerary without the objections or preferences of others allows you to see and do so much more... or less!
Pro Tip: Make several photo copies of your passport and always carry a copy with you.
You'll Meet New And Interesting People
It's much easier to strike up a conversation with a fellow traveler when you're not galavanting in a group. You'll often meet people from completely different walks of life and have the opportunity to learn about their cultures, further enriching your experience. Making genuine connections with new people can be an exhilarating part of your solo travels, just remember to always listen to your gut if someone or something doesn't feel right.
Pro Tip: It's always smart to read the reviews before heading to non-touristy destinations, like hiking trails or secluded beaches. Often there are some things that locals may know that you may not.
You Won't Need To Pack As Much
Packing becomes much easier when you know that you'll be spending a lot of me-time. You'll find that you pack less unnecessary clothing like constricting party dresses or multiple pairs of heels, instead opting for items to elevate your solo experience, like a journal, therapeutic cosmetics, or craft projects for the beach.
Pro Tip: Laundering your clothes at least once during your trip will also allow you to pack less. Check with your hotel in advance to see if they offer laundry services or choose an Air BnB with a washer and dryer.
You Have More Creative Freedom
Traveling solo allows you to creatively express yourself through photos without being overshadowed by group pictures and clichéd shots. Feel the urge to spend five hours capturing the beauty of The Sagrada Familia? Go for it! There's no one there to stop you or offer critiques.
Pro Tip: If you don't have an international phone plan, consider purchasing an inexpensive pre-paid mobile phone when you land abroad, in case of emergencies.
It Forces You To Really Get To Know Yourself
When is the last time you've spent an extended period of time with just yourself? It's easy to get caught up in the hustle of daily life, and forget to take time to rediscover what makes you tick. Solo traveling does just that—it gives you uninterrupted time to reconnect with yourself. You'll be surprised how much you learn about yourself, and you might even come home with new-found passions and interests.
Pro Tip: Take a few hours on your first day to familiarize yourself with the area where you're staying—look at maps and learn the street names and optimal routes back to your abode.