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10 Benefits of Solo Travel

Hannah Douch

By Hannah Douch

Last updated: 3rd May 2024

If you’re eager to explore the world, then why wait for others to join you? Going abroad alone can feel daunting, but there’s nothing quite like the freedom and opportunities that come with it. And the best part is that you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy the benefits of solo travel either. Read on to discover the top 10 reasons your next trip should be done independently. 

Benefits of solo travel

The benefits of solo travel are vast. There’s the chance to visit all the places you’ve ever wanted to see, and to tailor your trips exclusively around your hobbies. From cultural discoveries to saving some money while you travel, here’s all the incentives you need to book that next trip! 

1. Travel anywhere you want

Sydney Harbour Bridge at sunset.

The adventures are endless when there’s only yourself to answer to. You could go interrailing across Europe, island-hopping in Southeast Asia, backpacking Central America or taking an African safari tour. Now’s your chance to start ticking off that travel bucket list, before adding even more destinations to it.

As you’re the one in charge, you can travel for however long you want. Getting away for the weekend can be just as enriching as a longer journey away from home. If you're flying alone for the first time, check out our airport guide!

And you don’t have to go far either. Solo travelling is not about how much you can push yourself; it’s about enjoying the moment and embracing your interests. 

2. Experience other cultures

Your worldview expands while solo travelling. It’s one thing to be digitally connected to people from different cultures, and another to see these places for yourself. Solo travelling provides you with the chance to get to know local customs, familiarise yourself with a different culture and speak to people you never would have had the chance to otherwise. 

Culture shock is real and challenging for any traveller. The benefit of solo travelling is that you quickly learn how to adapt and be more proactive than you normally would. By the time your trip finishes, you’ll be feeling proud and confident of what you’ve accomplished. Like it is with anything, it gets easier the more you practise (or the more you book solo trips!).  

3. Meet new people

Solo travelling doesn’t have to mean you’re completely alone. There are several ways you can transform a solo trip into a social butterfly’s dream - from add-on activities and group trips, down to where you stay.

Hostels are the best places to stay to reap the benefits of solo travel. There’s a lively and welcoming atmosphere you just don’t get anywhere else, and since everyone is excited to explore the same place, making spontaneous plans is quite easy. 

It’s tempting to explore a new country completely on your own, but the reality is that it’s difficult to know where to start and easy to forget details. Group trips fulfil this desire for organised travel and offer a chance to meet new people from all over the world, while still encouraging travellers to spend their free time freely. 

There can be some snobbery attached to group trips because they’re not considered to be as authentic, but because the trips are led by expert guides, you’ll receive local-approved recommendations and helpful travel tips - rather than doing all the research yourself. Even if you’d prefer to travel completely independently, it’s still worth looking into free walking tours in a city to spice up your itinerary. 

4. Step outside of your comfort zone

Female traveler on zipline in Costa Rican jungle

No matter where you go, solo travelling is a milestone achievement. It’s easy to miss out on the things we want because we’re too nervous to take the leap. While it’s sensible to take precautions, travel anxiety can sometimes hold you back when it’s not always necessary. Once you’ve gone solo travelling the first time, it’ll give you an unbelievable confidence boost. Aside from proving to yourself how self-reliant you can be, you’ll likely come away with a future trip idea in mind. Other than all the opportunities you could explore, one of the greatest benefits of solo travel is how it changes your outlook in life.

5. Save (or spend) more money

Ever tried to plan a group trip, only to realise everyone has different budgets in mind? One of the most underrated benefits of solo travel is that there’s only yourself to accommodate for budget-wise! 

Since you’re not having to run accommodation, places to eat and travel routes past someone else, you can save money wherever you want. Equally, you may be in the mood to splurge money on an upscale hotel, dinners out and a shopping spree. Go ahead and make your trip as inexpensive or extravagant as you wish!

6. Learn a new language or skill

Solo travelling is not just adventurous; it’s educational. Exploring places independently opens the door to experiences outside of what you already know. 

If you’ve always wanted to learn a foreign language, there’s the opportunity to take language classes abroad, teach English or stay with a host family. You could elevate a beach-themed trip by working toward a PADI scuba-diving licence or learning how to surf. Even if you realise it isn't for you, the experience is never wasted.

7. Volunteer abroad

Koala perching on log.

If there’s a cause you’re particularly passionate about, then you could plan a solo trip around it. Volunteering at an animal sanctuary could give you the chance to interact with the wildlife, while environmental conservation and medical internships allow you to contribute to a community. 

During your trip, you’ll be actively making a small difference to the environment. Volunteering abroad is a special opportunity to make new connections and develop your skills. Who knows, maybe it’ll even inspire your future plans.

8. Build your problem-solving skills

Travelling will always be a little unpredictable, regardless of if you’re going with anyone. Understanding the protocol to resolve common problems is extremely helpful. Knowing which numbers to call can make a difference, as well as how to respond to travel delays or cancellations. 

Developing these skills will not only make your trip more enjoyable, but it could improve your resilience and ability to tackle uncertain situations. Even if there’s no issues on your trip, having a back-up plan is always a safe idea. 

9. It’s good for your wellbeing

With proven benefits to your mental and physical health - including reduced stress and increased exercise - booking a solo trip is more than a novelty. Work-life balance is essential for anyone to avoid stress and burnout, but it can be tempting to keep tabs in your downtime. Because you want to enjoy the moment while travelling, there’s less of a temptation to keep checking your phone. 

Solo travelling is not the ultimate solution, but it can provide you with the necessary space and time away to process emotions. It may not resolve an issue altogether, yet the change of perspective could make a significant difference.

10. Get to know yourself better

Lanterns and cherry blossoms in Tokyo, Japan.

Solo travelling means you get to fully embrace your interests. Art enthusiasts can plan a whole trip around which galleries they want to see, nature lovers can choose their top national parks and foodies get to hunt after hotspots. 

Maybe you’ll surprise yourself and discover a new interest while solo travelling. And it doesn’t end there. This hands-on experience will help you to find what makes or breaks a holiday. Do you prefer slower-paced travel, or are you interested in seeing as much as possible in a short space of time? What kind of accommodation do you feel more comfortable in, and what type of budget works best for you? 

The easiest way to answer these questions is to give solo travelling a go. After that first trip, you’ll be able to plan all the essentials and itinerary ideas more intuitively. And if you realise that solo travel altogether isn’t for you, that’s okay too.

Does solo travelling have disadvantages?

It can be hard to focus on all the benefits of solo travel when the underlying feeling is that you’re facing things on your own. While solo travelling can feel like an incredibly rewarding experience, the apprehension around it is understandable. Let’s take a look at how you can enjoy solo travelling despite the valid concerns.

Staying safe

Safety concerns while travelling exist no matter who you go with, but it’s only natural your fears will be heightened when you’re alone. It can be difficult to enjoy the moment if you’re constantly worried about your safety, especially if you belong to a group known to face harassment. 

Being cautious is a positive thing, and we always encourage travellers to do their own research and read government safety pages before visiting a destination. Instead of cancelling your travel ideas altogether, you could make alternative plans and visit destinations closer to home (or even stay in the country). That way, it’s less of a physical adjustment and you’ll be able to get your bearings quicker.

Staying social

Traditional boats on Koh Phi Phi, Thailand.

For all the freedom benefits of solo travel, going out can actually be much harder when you’re on your own. Be it safety concerns or not wanting to sit alone in a bar, sometimes solo travelling can make us see less of a place. 

One of the best ways to stay social as a solo traveller is to book onto a group trip. You’ll get to experience the best of both worlds: the freedom of solo travelling, but the security and excitement of going to places in a group. Not only will you be placed with like-minded travellers of a similar age, but you’ll also be led by a local guide and have an emergency support number.

Our Thai Adventure trip is our most popular trip and attracts a big crowd of solo travellers between the ages of 18 to 22. There’s enthralling evenings included on this particular trip, and if you plan it right, you could even attend Koh Phangan’s famous Full Moon Party!

Should you go solo travelling?

Solo travel opens you up to new experiences and the chance to grow outside of your comfort zone. The first time is always the hardest because it’s unfamiliar, but after that, you’ll likely come away with future trips in mind. Even if you decide that solo travelling isn’t really for you, it’s better to find this out than to always wish you had tried it. 

Around 70% of our customers travel solo, so you’ll meet plenty of people in the same boat! Most of our trips are group experiences and we offer Facebook Groups, WhatsApp chats, and Buddy Lists for many of our programmes, so that you connect with other travellers before you go. The guides will also help break the ice and get everyone involved. You’ll have a ready-made group of friends in no time!

And if you’re after solo travel inspiration or need a little extra convincing, then why not check out our trips?

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