When most people think about traveling, they think about traveling with other people. Traveling by yourself -- solo travel -- is, however, a great way to travel. Traveling alone offers a freedom that is simply not possible in a group. Check out the five fantastic reasons to at least consider trying traveling solo.
1. Easier planning. The more people you have traveling with you, the more complicated the logistics. It can take an enormous amount of time (and stress) to work out details such as when to go and where exactly to travel. Going alone simplifies everything. You only have to consult with one person: yourself. Solo traveling is particularly suited to last-minute, spontaneous traveling.
2. Potential savings. The greater flexibility allowed by solo traveling can result in significant savings. For example, instead of having to travel when everyone's schedule lines up, you can go when tickets and accommodations are the cheapest. People with a frugal approach are especially likely to save while journeying solo -- there's no pressure to, for example, stay at an expensive hotel over a cheap hostel when on your own.
3. You have control. Compromise isn't a bad thing. But there are times where you want to be completely in charge. When you travel alone you can make every decision exactly as you please. No spending time somewhere you don't really want to be, getting up early when you'd rather sleep in, or moving on when you'd rather stay another day. Solo travel is an especially good option for people who are interested in activities or sights with less mainstream appeal.
4. A better opportunity to meet people. If you travel in a group you will likely spend most of your time interacting with your fellow travelers. That approach is okay, but it does make it harder to make friends with strangers -- especially the locals. Traveling on your own often provides a more authentic experience of the local people and culture.
5. Increased self-confidence. Traveling by yourself can be a big challenge, no doubt. Every decision falls on your shoulders. But bearing so much individual responsibility is a good thing from the perspective of personal development. Putting yourself in uncomfortable situations is good for you. Many people receive a huge boost in self-esteem and confidence from overcoming the obstacles they encounter while traveling alone.
The concept of solo traveling can be a little scary, and it is true that solo traveling isn't for everyone. But there are clearly huge advantages too. If the only reason you've been staying at home is that you don't think traveling alone is an option, it's time to start planning your first solo travel adventure.