Travelling Alone: the pros & cons
For some, the idea of setting off with nothing but a backpack for company is utterly terrifying. For others, it is the best and only way to travel. We take a look at some of the pros and cons of travelling solo.
The major bonus of travelling on your own is having the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want to do it. With nobody else around, you can plan your itinerary to suit your own particular travelling style.
Travelling alone allows you to adapt and change your plans at short notice without debate or compromise.
Solo travellers tend to be more approachable than groups. You’ll be able to mingle with other backpackers, and make lots of new friends en route.
No matter how much you like your friends, spending 24 hours a day with one person can become tiresome. If you do plan on travelling with someone, it’s perhaps best to test the waters first with a short trip, so you can familiarise yourself with their habits and moodswings.
Groups of travellers will always attract more attention than a lone traveller, particularly from locals touting for business.
Learning about yourself
When travelling alone, you’ll have more time to really reflect and learn about yourself.
No matter how independent you are, solo travellers will always suffer the occasional bout of loneliness. You can however combat this by heading to traveller spots to meet other single explorers.
Travelling in a pair or a group can feel much safer than being alone. You can look out for each other and watch over each other’s belongings. If you are travelling solo, there are some precautions you can take, for example, don’t arrive at your destination during the night.
Travelling alone tends to be more expensive. Hostels typically charge by the room, not by the number of people staying in them. People travelling in groups can split the cost of food and other expenses.
If you’re travelling alone, you’ll probably end up with lots of ‘MySpace’ style pictures, because you’ll have no one to snap your pic at all the wonderful places you visit.
No safety net
If you travel alone, you’ll be completely responsible for your own actions. There will be nobody there to look after you, or to tell you when you’re too drunk, or when you’ve spent too much money.