They say people have never been more estranged from one another than these days, so of course Millennials would come up with things such as meals for one and solo travel. Maybe we have simply discovered there’s nothing wrong in enjoying life by yourself?
Finding a good travel buddy is hard, especially if you’re extra basic or super selective – thankfully, solo travel is a thing! Here are some reasons which make solo travel worthwhile!
Creating Your Own Travel Itinerary
Solo travellers have complete control over their own schedule. You can explore abandoned castles, chill in parks, snap pics of famous movie shooting locations or walk into every Starbucks you pass by – your travel experience is tailored based on your own taste, and no one can steal your precious time by convincing you to do something you really don’t feel like doing. In other words, you don’t have to make compromises about how you’re going to spend your time which is super important if your travel time is limited.
This also means that you can be as spontaneous or as organised as you would like to be – you can wander around the city and discover it by getting lost in it, or you can make a detailed itinerary. I would recommend the later; as much as spontaneity can be a virtue, if you’re staying at your travel destination for only a couple of days, you will want to discover as much of it as possible. Take some time and do your research – you will surely stumble upon things you didn’t even initially know can be found there. You will probably end up with an impossibly long itinerary, which is completely expected and perfectly fine because now you will have to define your priorities, especially if you’re going to one of those crowded, branched cities where getting from one place to another isn’t exactly easy or cheap. I know, you will want to try to squeeze in as many spots as possible into your itinerary, however, remember that spending a quality amount of time at a certain location is much better than taking a quick look around. Also, if the city ends up being too much to handle in one go, there’s your reason to come back in the future!
Getting Around The City
With your priorities in order, the next thing you should check is the distance between the locations you would like to stop by. Putting them into groups, based on where they’re situated, can save you time, especially in large cities. This approach can also allow you to divide groups by days and make your travel time more systematic.
Make sure to download a local travel guide, or some travel mobile app such as Culture Trip for on-the-spot tips of where to try local cuisine or what to do on the desired location once you’re there. The majority of the apps will reveal to you what’s nearby if you have geolocation turned on.
While metro or some other mode of public transportation is definitely the fastest way to reach all your desired locations, however, doing it by foot or bike is way more efficient, economical and enjoyable! Not to mention environmentally friendly. Walking or renting a bike isn’t only cheaper, it also allows you to completely immerse yourself into the city and see things you otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
Meeting New People
No matter if you travel solo or in a pair/group, meeting new people is always a good idea. However, when you find yourself alone in an unfamiliar place, you will feel more inclined to actually converse with people you meet along the way. And honestly, who wouldn’t be interested in a mystical stranger who’s wandering around a museum with a glazed look in their eyes or sitting in a cafe, checking in with people back home with a dopey smile on their face?
If a group of fellow travellers from your hostel invites you to join them for a drink, do it. If a local in a park wants to know more about you, tell them your story.
Simply because you’re travelling alone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re permitted from talking to people. Locals and tourists make the city you’re in as much as its sights and landmarks do, so human interaction is actually recommended for a full travel experience.
Becoming More Independent
For some, there’s nothing more challenging than doing things society deemed should be done in company, alone. For others, there’s no other way for those things to be done. There’s truly no greater satisfaction than conquering the fear of enjoying life by yourself and feeling comfortable in your own skin.
No matter your state of mind, making plans, booking tickets and accommodation, and consequently travelling to an unknown location by yourself is a true testament to your independence. Such step takes guts.
Wonderful things happen when you step out of your comfort zone.
Are you already thinking about your future solo travel experience? Good – take the step forward!