“But isn’t it lonely?”
As someone who enjoys traveling alone, I end up explaining myself on the regular. For many, the idea of enjoying a journey without friends or family around to share the experience is simply, well, weird.
But in fact, solo travel comes with tons of benefits — and it’s way more liberating than lonely. (Especially with tons of camping clubs and other communities to help you connect with new friends and save money. Passport America is our favorite!)
Taking on the road alone for the first time can be intimidating, though, no matter how adventurous you are. But if you’re curious about adventuring on your own, we’re here to help convince you it’s not just doable — but totally awesome.
So grab your trusty road atlas and get ready to start crossing destinations off your bucket list. Here are some of the best reasons why you should travel solo and how to get started.
Benefits of Solo Travel
First things first: What’s so great about solo travel, anyway?
Well, let me respond to that question with a question. How many times have you had an incredible trip in mind — and the money and free time to do it in — but you couldn’t quite seem to get all your friends’ or family members’ schedules to align? Or maybe you did pull off gathering up the fam for a vacation, but couldn’t agree on where to go or what to do once you got there.
Traveling solo allows you to take on the world whenever and wherever you choose, without having to deal with the logistics of creating an itinerary that works for everybody. It’s your way on the highway, so to speak.
And if it’s your first time taking on solo travel, you’ll quickly realize a second benefit: being “alone” actually makes it a whole lot easier to make new friends and really get an understanding of the local culture. Whether it’s someone you meet on a hike or simply your next-door neighbor at the campground, you’re constantly surrounded by new friends you simply haven’t said hello to yet — so you’d better get busy making introductions! Before you know it, you’ll have a whole new crew roasting up s’mores and laughing around the campfire.
But enough about how great traveling on your own can be. What are the steps you need to take to do it?
Destinations for Solo Travel
Figuring out how to plan your solo travel adventure is just like creating any other kind of trip itinerary: It depends on what you’re looking for.
For instance, the best solo vacation ideas for young women traveling alone might be different than the ones for solo travelers 50 and above. Along with practical concerns like a city’s safety statistics, your preferences regarding the weather and the available activities will also play a part in your decision making.
Another concern for many singles traveling alone is finding cheap solo travel destinations — because after all, when you’re on your own, you don’t have anyone to split costs with. This can make solo travel more expensive than going with a group, although the incredible freedom you gain is more than worth it in our opinion!
Of course, there are all sorts of good places for solo travel, and the best cities, towns, and destinations are up to your discretion. Whether you’re looking for a small, sunny town by the beach or a sprawling urban metropolis — or something in between — anywhere you can go with friends or family, you can travel to solo!
Still not sure where to start? Here are two books that might help you make some decisions.
- Fly Solo: The 50 Best Places On Earth For a Girl to Travel Alone
- Travel and the Single Male: The World’s Best Destinations for the Single Male
Don’t forget, though: The very best destination guide is your own personal travel wish list. Get out there and make those dream vacations come true!
Solo Travel Advice
Even if you’ve already got a destination (or six) in mind and are well on the way to creating the perfect personal itinerary, you may be looking for some practical advice as to how to best enjoy solo travel. For instance, how do you cut costs low enough to make traveling alone possible? What’s the best way to meet new people on the road?
Fortunately, we’re not the first people to take to globe-trotting solo — not by a long shot, in fact! There’s tons of great literature out there to help guide you through this incredible new adventure. Here are some of the most highly recommended books to help you afford and enjoy your singular adventure.
- The Solo Travel Handbook (Lonely Planet)
- Time to Take Flight: The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Safe Solo Travel
- Why Travel Solo? The 12 Ways Traveling Solo Transforms Your Personality and Changes Your Life
- How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter
Ideas for Solo Travel
We hope this post has helped allay any fears you might have about solo travel and that you’ll give it a try if you’re curious. It’s a fantastic way to see the world at your own pace and experience the most real part of a destination, meeting locals and exploring the attractions in new cities and towns in your own time. Or, if you’re headed into the woods, a great way to disconnect entirely for a week or two.
And don’t worry about getting lonely. Especially when camping in an RV, you’ll find you’re only alone if you really want to be; the travel community in general is full of authentic and outgoing people, and RV campers have a particularly strong reputation for being helpful and friendly.
But when you do find yourself with only your own thoughts for company, try to relax and enjoy it. After all, we don’t really get the opportunity to experience that kind of silence very often — and you may just find you’re a great source of companionship.
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