Solo traveling, doesn't it sound exciting and scary at the same time? One thinks of solo travel only if he/she wants to explore new places with some strange beings or is too tired of the entire chaos in his/her surrounding. Let's just dive into a guide to solo traveling:-
I probably know what you are thinking. You are probably thinking that ‘guided travel’ should not be considered solo travel because the person is not alone. The traveler is with other travelers...therefore it is not a solo experience. To a certain degree you are absolutely correct, but consider this:
If solo travel is technically meant to travel alone, then the only way a Solo Traveler could be labeled as such would be if he or she traveled in a forest away from everyone – only to be surrounded by nature.
If a person were to travel to a foreign country, alone, and walk through the streets of an extremely crowded city for days, are they still Solo travelers Technically they are surrounded by thousands of people...
Oh, do you mean a travel partner/companion? OK, well then check this out: What if a person travels to a foreign country and meets a local person in a coffee shop, and they start exploring together in a forest? What about exploring together in the city?
Guide to Solo Travel
1) Meet people
Personally, this is one of my absolute favorite parts about traveling the world. There is nothing more rewarding than meeting a person and understanding how small the world is. How there are problems in each person's life. We are divided through different cultures, ethnicities, and lifestyles but are united as a human society.
When we travel the world solo, we go to many different locations and who doesn't like mountains, hill stations, wildlife, and peace in today's world which is full of chaos?
Sometimes the whole point of traveling is to experience as many different things as possible. And as solo travelers, we can go anywhere that we want, whenever we want.
3) Make awesome memories
Everyone’s idea of a good time is different from each other. My idea of making awesome memories is to meet local people and communicate with them as much as possible. The more different conversations I have, the more I understand the culture, customs, mindset, and a whole bunch of other things.
I think it is important to identify what specifically makes you happy while you are solo traveling, and make a plan to do that thing as much as possible. Find something that does excite you, and plan to do that as much as possible.
Don’t forget your camera!
4) Learn Things
I love learning new things and if you are a nerd then join my side. When I am traveling and meeting new people, I ask countless questions.
There are many different ways to learn. Maybe you wish to visit a place and pick up some local cooking techniques. You might want to pick up some local language skills. There is always room to learn something new because everyone in the countries you will visit is diverse from one another. Fun is had!
5) Learn to get along with anyone
Learning to make friends while traveling solo may be difficult at first. It is really necessary to get along with people with different cultures, lifestyles ,and ethnicities...
What I do is generally try to communicate and understand the culture of locals and then start sharing my tales which would help build a conversation from both sides.
Being able to make all of your travel arrangements is a wonderful perk of being a solo traveler. If you've just discovered a fantastic location online while doing research and want to visit there tomorrow, go for it! Just board a train, hail a cab, or walk there. Nobody is going to stop you. There’s nobody to stop you. No one is expecting you to do anything. You are in control.
7) Learn about yourself
I realize that this sounds a little strange. It relates to the idea that alone travel is good for the soul. However, as a solo traveler, you have a lot of options to make every day. What you'll eat today, where you'll go today, how long you'll remain there, who you'll ask for assistance from, where you'll stay overnight, etc. You have complete control over your vacation, as I indicated above. You will therefore make a lot of decisions every day as a result. You will begin to understand yourself and your capacity to manage yourself in practically any situation after doing this for a few days or weeks at a time. You'll begin to understand yourself better.
Maybe you will realize that you are weaker than you thought. Maybe you will realize that you handle things better than you ever could have imagined.
When you start to reflect on yourself you can always find ways to improve yourself.
CONS of Solo Travel
Planning can be exhausting. Every day you must know where you are going to go, and how you are going to get there.
You probably don’t know anybody who can help you, yet. You’re all by yourself. Ready, set, go! This can be daunting at times. Sometimes just going from your hotel to a specific destination and then coming back can be a nightmare. Some places are easier to plan and get around than others.
2) Solo traveling is more expensive
What? Yes, it’s true. Don’t forget that the most expensive parts of traveling are hotel rents(except if you prefer motels), food, and transportation. Generally, when you are traveling with two or more people, you can split the hotel room bill in two or more ways. You can order one big meal and share it. You can hire one taxi and split the cost. But when you are traveling solo,
you absorb 100% of these costs. Nobody is there to split it with you. Be sure to learn the epic ways to save money while solo traveling and that is the reason planning is given the utmost priority in solo travel.
If you are too adventurous sometimes you will travel to areas that appear to be a bit sketchy or you can say hidden gems where you need to look over your shoulder every couple of minutes.
People may try to pickpocket you, people may try to scam you, people may try to steal from you, etc. Be aware that bad things can happen and they can happen quickly. Educating yourself about local scams before you arrive will help prevent something bad from unfolding.
4) Language Barrier
When you travel around in the South or eastern side this can be a very difficult task to communicate with locals and understand their culture.
Are you ready to embark on this type of adventure? What will you do if someone approaches you and starts to speak in a language that you don’t understand...and then say something again...and then say something the third time but with a louder voice. Will you start to become scared? Angry? Frustrated? These scenarios do happen. Prepare yourself.
If you ask me do you miss your family and friends while traveling solo? So Yes we do sometimes feel alone but the thing is most of the time you find the correct people to travel with when you travel solo and if you are homesick, well, then this traveling solo thing may be a bit challenging for you... Especially if you plan on traveling long-term. One of the best ways to help with this is to simply have video chats with people back home every once in a while.
6) Meeting people and saying goodbye
As you have read above, meeting people is one of my favorite things about traveling the world. But one major thing that I have gotten completely tired of is making an amazing friend and then being forced to say goodbye and continue traveling...and at the same time, knowing that there’s a good chance I will never see that person ever again for the rest of my life.
So how lonely is Solo Traveling? Well, there have been plenty of times when I am alone at my hotel with nobody to talk to. There have been plenty of times when I went out looking to meet new people and have a conversation with someone, only to find that nobody was interested in talking to me. Sometimes you do feel alone in another country and there’s not much that you can do about it.
Have you ever had awful meal? Imagine visiting a place where you dislike the food every time you eat. Even if you ask for food that you are used to in your home food, the flavor is terrible. What will you do if you are in a situation where the food is disgusting and unbearable? Welcome to the uncertain world of solo traveling!
PROS of Solo Traveling:
1. Meet Local People
2. Amazing Sightseeing
3. Make Awesome Memories
4. You Will Have Time for Freedom
5. Learn New Things
6. Experience New Culture
7. Learn New Languages
8. Become Great at Getting Along With Anyone
9. Privacy / Can Be Alone
CONS of Solo Traveling:
1. Planning Can Become Stressful
2. Can Be More Expensive
3. Confusing Culture
4. Travelling Alone Can Be a Bit More Dangerous
5. Becoming Sick Can Be Challenging
6. Language Barrier
7. Home Sickness
8. Meeting Cool People and Saying Goodbye