Why You Should Travel Solo For Your Next TripFebruary 15, 2019
-Words by Rosalina Leonardo-
There is a lot to gain when traveling. Even more, when traveling by yourself. The experience is absolutely life changing. Travelling alone means not having anyone else to rely on to get the most out of your trip. It means only you are in charge of yourself, and consequently, finding your place in the world- making use of the multitude of knowledge and experiences you accumulate in your adventures.
There are many advantages to traveling alone. Below is a list of useful, helpful benefits; and basically, why you should travel solo for your next trip.
Here’s how solo traveling can change your life:
1. Traveling solo will force you to be a problem solver. It will teach you independence and will make you better at putting yourself out there since you have no one else to rely on. It forces you to hustle- making you run the fastest you have ever had to to catch a train, or bus, or flight; or make you use those muscles you never thought you had when lugging around a heavy suitcase up a flight of stairs to your room in that quaint, little b and b.
2. Traveling by yourself will make you more comfortable in your own skin. It will increase your self-awareness. You’ll get to know who you really are; discovering more about your own personality and what things and activities you enjoy. Some of these realizations may surprise you, it might be something you never thought you would like to even try.
3. Traveling alone will give you strength to deal with the various challenges of life. As we all already know, many things do not work out the way that we want. You get disappointed receiving the order you were not at all expecting because you completely misunderstood the menu. And all you can do is laugh at your silly misfortune because there’s no one around to complain to.
4. Traveling on your own will take you out of your comfort zone. And that can be a good thing. It makes you way more flexible. It will teach you to push your limits. If you have only ever walked a distance of 500 meters in your entire life, realizing that you can actually walk a whole kilometer is a wonderful and proud feeling. When traveling solo, you will also learn how to deal with the unknown. When things happen to you for the first time ever in your life, and you have no choice but to deal with it yourself, you can then say, “achievement unlocked!”
5. It will make you brave. If you are travelling with somebody who is afraid of heights, or cannot swim, or hates the outdoors, you will probably steer clear of some potentially amazing adventures. And even when you yourself are all these things, traveling solo will allow you to face your weaknesses.
6. You will learn how to make things happen. Not having someone to ask for you- about an activity you wanted to try or a place you wanted to check out- especially if you are mostly shy, will force you to just come up to a stranger and ask. If you want it bad enough, no one else can make it happen for you. Just you!
With all the above being said, traveling alone is a celebration of your freedom. That it is something you can do, whichever way you want to do it. Remember, traveling alone does not have to be lonely. Sometimes, the best company is yourself.
If you have already decided that solo traveling is something you want to try, your next step is to figure out where it is you want to go. There are many great solo travel destinations. Solo travel is not only for those with no financial restriction. You can still travel alone even with a tight budget; especially when your goal is simply to travel (regardless of location.)
Solo travel on a tight budget is as easy as ABC according to a guide written by Solo Traveler Janice Waugh. Deciding on your destination is as simple as knowing how much you are willing to spend on the adventure. If you have no money for plane tickets, travel somewhere you can access via a bus, train or ferry. If you have some money for airfare, there are websites that will allow you to see which flights are within your price range.
In a separate blog post, Solo Traveler gave a list of budget destinations all over the world. The list of best solo travel destinations includes the following:
- South Korea
- Łódź (pronounced as woodge), Poland
- Houston, Texas
- Puerto Rico
- New Brunswick, Canada
- San Antonio, Texas
To better prepare you for your first solo adventure, below is a list of solo travelling tips:
- Pack light. There are so many benefits to learning how to travel light. You can eliminate having to pay for excess baggage fees. Even better if you only have your carry-on, you save more money without checked-in baggage. You can forget airport trolleys, or tipping porters. It will be much faster and easier for you to pack again when transferring locations or going back home.
2. Be proactive. If you are not sure of yourself, ask for help. It can be more difficult or, heaven forbid, more dangerous for you if you choose to guess what the street sign meant or which bus to take, and end up being wrong. If you need more information, just put on a smile, and ask for help.
3. Learn a few words in the local language. Making an effort to communicate in the local language is an indication that you are a friendly visitor. It will be appreciated and sometimes reciprocated. They will also make an effort to communicate in your language.
4. Take advantage of free tours. In many tourist destinations, there are scheduled walking tours you can join for free. You will get to know more about the area, at no extra cost, and maybe meet new people.
5. If you want to dine at a fine restaurant, do it at noon. They usually have the same executive chef so the quality of food will still be great but the prices are lower (lunch menu vs dinner menu). At this time of the day, the lights will be higher and the crowd will be less romantic.
6. Bring a book. If you feel awkward hanging out at a coffee shop by yourself or dining out alone, read a book. Having something to do will make you look and feel more comfortable. It will especially help when you’re not in the mood to be approached.
7. Take a stroll. Going for a walk is the best way to get to know a place. It is the perfect opportunity to soak up the culture and local scene. And, who knows, you might just make a new friend.
8. When going to a non-English speaking country, make sure to research ahead how their transit system works. You can also ask the staff at your hotel before you head out, just to be sure you have things right. Also, you can ask them for special deals for tourists.
9. If you’re planning to check out the local nightlife, stay sober. Drink responsibly so that you have your wits about you. In any case, it is also a good idea to connect with the staff. Chat with the bartender or your server so that they will have your back.
10. Keep your valuables safe. Always know where your purse is. Even better if you don’t carry a purse- just wear clothing with pockets. If you’re not carrying a purse, keep your mobile phone safe with a versatile, protective case.
When traveling abroad alone, your smartphone will be your best travel partner. It will save you from getting lost. It will capture all your best memories. It will tell you where to go and what to do to get the most out of your adventure. It will keep you connected to friends and family back home. And so much more. It is important that your mobile phone, and other gadgets, stay protected.
Catalyst offers two lines of premium, protective cases for the solo adventurer- Waterproof Cases and Impact Protection Cases. Waterproof cases are perfect for traveling to places with rainy weather; or if you’re planning to go swimming, whether it is at a beach, lake, waterfall or pool. Impact Protection cases are perfect for adventure trips involving extreme activities like trekking or mountain climbing.
The Catalyst cases are a combination of high-performance waterproof and drop proof cases. Catalyst is known for having superior acoustic performance and engineering that features their patented True Sound Acoustic Technology™ and rotating mute switch. The hard-coated dual optical lens is fully sealed from snow, dirt and dust. An integrated screen protector provides perfect touch sensitivity while the clear case showcases the phone's stylish design and fully supports Wireless Charging. The water resistant case will protect your smartphone from scratches. The Catalyst case is designed and engineered to give you the confidence to take and use your smartphone anywhere.