14 benefits of solo travel

These days, an increasing number of modern explorers are taking holidays by themselves. As the solo travel movement goes from strength to strength, we're here to highlight some of the positive benefits that you can enjoy by travelling alone.
Norway's Trolltunga. Photo: Shutterstock
Norway's Trolltunga. Photo: Shutterstock

There's nothing quite like discovering a new place on your own – taking it all in without anyone but yourself. Anyone who's done it can tell you that the benefits of solo travel are endless. Still, that's not stopping us from highlighting 14 of the most compelling perks of travelling alone. 


1. You can be completely selfish

This may be the only context in which selfishness isn't really a bad thing. Travelling with others means making plans with others. Checking out local landmarks, museums, restaurants and attractions can be challenging when each traveller has something different in mind. But what if you could spend each day anyway you like? Fancy spending six hours in a single museum, or trekking for miles in chilly conditions? Go right ahead.


2. You meet interesting people

When you travel with others, you typically stick together. In other words, you're less likely to wander away from your group. But travelling alone brings something truly valuable to the table – you'll be more likely to chat with locals, meet new friends and generally be more sociable. 


3. You can devour as many books as you want

Two major perks of escaping day-to-day life while on holiday include sleeping in and reading as much as you like. But when you're travelling with others, you're usually nudged to put your book down and come back to the group. Solo travel gives you the opportunity to read to your heart's content.


4. You come to know yourself more intimately

These days, we're constantly bombarded by stimulation; relentless connectivity to others, as well as the Internet. Rarely do we get the chance to sit with ourselves and simply be. Solo travel provides the opportunity to do just that. Being on your own in a new place serves as a permission slip to slow down, without the distractions you'd feel buzzing around you when travelling with companions. Being alone, and really embracing it, is a wonderful part of solo travel.


5. You can rest without feeling guilty

Feeling wiped out from a long flight? Or from exploring a new city on foot? Let's face it, there's only so much running around you can really do. But when you're travelling with friends, the pressure to keep going can be intense. When travelling alone, on the other hand, you can head back to your room for a guilt-free mid-afternoon nap.

Travelling alone can provide the restful break you really need. Photo: Darkydoors/Shutterstock


6. You step outside your comfort zone

When travelling with friends, you often troubleshoot travel hiccups together. Can't find your way around? The solution usually comes by talking it over. Taking a trip on your own means you have to get out of any tricky trip situations by yourself, which can help with problem-solving, dealing with pressure and developing self-belief. 


7. You're less likely to feel stressed out

When you're out and about with your regular crew from home, it's easy for old routines and group dynamics to creep up on you. Not so when you're on your own. You’re there for you and you alone – the only drama you’re going to experience is the drama you make yourself.


8. You'll have the time and inspiration to work on creative projects

Been dying to delve into a creative project? Whether it's writing poetry, developing a new business plan, or playing the guitar, travelling alone provides the opportunity – and inspiration – to tap into these desires. When you're untethered to the demands of others you'll probably find it easier to nurture your creativity.


9. It might make you happier in the long term

Research suggests that getting into holiday mode has the potential to increase our happiness levels. And spending time alone has also been shown to stave off depression. The takeaway? Heading off on a solo adventure just might be good for your overall well-being.

Solo travel can help you develop new skills. Photo: Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock


10. You'll probably improve your language skills

What better way to learn a new language than to throw yourself in head first? Full immersion in a foreign culture (and tongue) is possibly the best way to dismantle the language barrier. When travelling with others, you're more likely to rely on them for help with translating. And, let's face it, chances are high that you'll communicate with one another in your native language. When you're alone, on the other hand, you're forced to constantly practice the new language.


11. It'll give your confidence a boost

There is something to be said for heading out into the world on your own with no social safety net, so to speak. Forging a path in solitude and making your way through unknown terrain can do wonders for your self-confidence and personal authenticity.


12. It's more cost efficient

It doesn't take a maths wizard to see that travelling solo is easier on your wallet. Being on your own means only purchasing one set of flights, as well as single accommodations, excursions, meals, and so on. This may not sound like much, but if you're planning an extended trip, these expenses can add up fast. Going it alone means you'll have more cash leftover to spend as you choose.


13. You're less likely to be hassled 

Solo travel makes you less susceptible to being hassled. An over-persistent vendor is less likely to harass you as a single person simply because there’s less potential return. Travelling alone means you can more easily blend in with the locals which gives you more license to barter. That said, travelling alone doesn't automatically mean that you're completely safe from hustlers. It's always wise to watch your back when abroad, whether alone or in a group.


14. It can help your problem-solving and decision-making

Solo travel can help you to channel your courage, especially during times of personal growth and change. It can help you to clear your mind, creating some much-needed space to mull over major life decisions that you may need to make.


Ready to head off on your next solo adventure?

Our local experts can plan fascinating solo trips for you. Simply get in touch, telling us when you'd like to travel, and your ideas for the trip. We will then create a personalised itinerary for you, which you can amend until you're totally happy with every detail before booking. 


Updated 22 February, 2019