Maybe you currently have the travel bug, but perhaps those around you would rather not travel right now. Don’t worry. Traveling solo can actually be a great experience for many reasons. Not only that, but it’s also much easier to go on a budget-friendly vacay when you’re alone. Here are some reasons why.
1. You can travel solo when it is easiest/cheapest/most convenient for you
When you travel with a partner or friends, there’s a lot of coordination to do. There’s the work schedules, school schedules, childcare, etc. To get everyone on the same page can be a nightmare.
When you travel solo, you can book the most affordable flights for dates that work for you. You can score that window seat without feeling guilty because your partner loves an aisle seat.
You have more flexibility so that you can do a cost comparison and review prices for several different airlines. Once you find the dates, airlines, and flights that work for you, you’re already halfway there!
2. You don’t have to cater to other people’s tastes
You might want to travel on a budget, but your friend might have expensive taste. Traveling with friends or a partner inherently means that you must cater to their needs and desires when traveling, too.
Sometimes that can mean doing things you wouldn’t typically spend money on or things that quite frankly you think are out of your budget. When traveling solo, you can work within your budget and do whatever you want, whenever you want.
3. It may be cheaper
When you travel solo, in some ways it could be a lot cheaper. If you’re by yourself, you can easily book more affordable accommodations and save money. For example, you may be able to get an affordable Airbnb or hotel room looking for just one bed instead of two. You can easily take the Uber shared option if it’s just you as well.
4. You can save time
When you travel, you likely want to see some of the main attractions of your destination. However, the bigger the group, the harder it might be to get a time slot to visit museums, etc.
When you’re by yourself, you are far more likely to get seated right away at restaurants and get access to attractions faster. Remember, saving time is just as good if not better than saving money.
5. You can create a mini-retreat for yourself
I often take advantage of my location-independent work by creating mini-retreats for myself. A few months ago, I went to Mexico City, because I wanted to do a business retreat and get several projects off the ground and not have the distraction of friends, family, appointments, etc. I also wanted to pursue my personal goal of improving my Spanish. Many people were scared for me as a solo female traveler in Mexico City, but I felt safe and had a wonderful time.
Being by myself meant I could create the work/life retreat that I wanted. I created a trip that was purely catered to my work needs and personal interests. You can do the same! Have you always wanted to get away and write a book? Do it! Have you always wanted to be alone and process a really big life change? Get out of your routine! We can get so much clarity by stepping away from our regular lives and getting out of our comfort zone.
6. Schedule around free days
Many cities offer free museum days or days with different cultural programming like concerts or dance performances. When traveling solo, you can make a point to re-arrange your schedule so that you are hitting up the free days. If you’re with another person, you have to compromise on what you do day-to-day, so when solo, save that money!
Search [city] + free activities in Google and plan ahead. Spend as long or as little as you want in each place. Don’t like a particular museum? You can leave. Do you really love this one park? You can stay. The beauty of solo travel is that you can make those decisions in the moment without consulting anyone.
7. You may be able to save money on food and drink
I know that I’ve been out before and have felt like I needed to split a lot of things with friends. I’ve also been out when I’m not particularly hungry but the other party is.
Both of these situations meant I ended up spending more than I really needed to. When traveling solo, you can go for the uber-cheap or extra fancy. Not hungry? You can skip it. Want something on-the-go? Get a slice of pizza. Food and drink, in particular, can be a lot to navigate with another person, so this can be a perk and an easy way to save money when traveling solo.
If you’re on the fence about traveling because you’re single or your friends can’t go, I’m going to encourage you to book the travel already! Don’t miss out on life waiting for other people. You can score affordable flights, low-cost accommodations, and do activities that are within your budget. In many ways, solo travel can be better on your wallet and open up your mind. All you need to do next is figure out where you want to go next and when!