I've been travelling for over 10 years and in that time, I've managed to experience both solo travel and also, travelling with friends and a partner. When I was in my early 20s, I mostly went backpacking with my friends during the summers. Then as I reached my mid 20s, I started to travel more with my partner. However now, that I'm in my late 20s, I'm finding that there will come a time where you want to travel and none of your friends or partner can commit for work reasons or financial reasons etc. Life is busy but I'm a big believer that you should never let this hold you back from going on your own solo adventure. You might find that you love solo travel more than travelling with people.

There's definitely pros and cons to travelling solo vs travelling with others, which I'm going to delve into in this blog post.


Travelling solo

Pros

  • In my personal experience, you meet a lot more people travelling solo than if you are travelling with friends/partner. When I travelled with friends or a partner, I didn't meet nearly as many people as I did when I was travelling solo. I did a group solo travel trip around Jordan and then, onto a fully solo trip in Croatia, and I kid you not, when I say I never felt alone. I met soooo many people, a lot of which were solo travelling themselves which allows you to just instantly connect. Hostels are also the way forward when solo travelling, you don't need to stay in the dorms, you can get a private room but they are a fantastic way to socialise with others.
  • There's something truly lovely about being independent and solo travel is great to solidify your independence. It's so important to know who you are as an individual and not be constantly joined at the hip with another human being. On a solo trip, you get so comfortable looking after just you. For once in your life, you don't need to listen to anyone else or please anyone else. You can listen to exactly what you need and just enjoy your own company - take yourself out for nice meals, or a coffee or go for a massage. As Tom Haverford would say in Parks and Recreation - Treat yo' self!
  • It might sound totally cliche, but you do get to know yourself better. You will be spending a lot of time with just you and you'll experience all the emotions on a solo trip, but you'll also have the time to do some self-reflection.
  • Freedom! You make all the plans for this trip, so do what you want, when you want. If you want to spend the day relaxing by the beach or take a day-trip, then go for it. You don't need to get approval from anyone else. This trip is for you and you only. Embrace it.
  • You only have yourself to rely on. I put this in the pro section because it means that when you make the plans, you are the one that is accountable for them happening. You also gain confidence, knowing that you are only one that can put the plans into action. Whereas, when you are travelling

Cons

  • Sometimes, solo travel can be lonely. I found myself on some parts of my own solo trip thinking it would be nice if there was someone else here whether it was when I was sitting myself at dinner or travelling alone between destinations or sitting alone down the beach. However, there was also times on my trip where I loved navigating the countries myself and being in my own company. Know that it's absolutely ok if you experience these emotions but try not let them ruin your trip. You will probably be on this solo trip for a set amount of time whether it's a couple of weeks or a couple of months or even years, try to stay present, see what you've already accomplished on your solo trip so far and appreciate this time you've got to yourself.
  • A solo trip tends to be more expensive. You will have to shell out for absolutely everything. In particular accommodation is the most annoying factor. A room with a double bed/twin beds costs pretty much the same regardless of whether you are the only one who is going to be sleeping in it or whether you were sharing it with someone else. However, if you were sharing it with someone else, then at least you could half the costs.
  • You won't have someone to photos. This might sound a bit trivial but it can get a bit annoying. If you want to take a photo of you at a really cool location to send to your nearest and dearest then you'll either have to prop your phone/camera away from you and set up a timer to take the photo or ask another person to take your photo. Both of which involve you having to trust that no one will steal your valuables.
Wadi Rum, Jordan.

Travelling with friends or your partner

Pros

  • You have another person(s) to rely on to make decisions. It can sometimes be a bit exhausting having to make all the decisions, plans and itineraries for your trip. So, having someone there to help out and take some of the planning duties of you can be a bit of a relief. Also, the people you are travelling with can  incorporate new activities into your plans which you wouldn't normally do but it might be something that you love!
  • There's something truly special about sharing travel memories with friends/partner. I absolutely love reminiscing with my travel companions about things that have happened whilst travelling especially the funny memories where things just didn't go to plan. I've found that it really strengthens your friendships or relationships when you have these shared experiences.
  • Travelling with others can work out much cheaper. You can split the costs for accommodation and taxis. You can also get the occasional discount on activities and excursions by buying a couple of tickets rather than just one.
  • There's safety in numbers. You are more vulnerable when you are alone than if you are in a group. I found when I was solo travelling, I had to be more switched on about my surroundings than I probably would be when I was travelling with others. That being said, don't let that deter you from going on a solo trip, I was perfectly safe on mines, you just need to use common sense (have a fully charged phone, stick to crowded streets, have a back-up battery charger etc).
  • You have someone to keep you company and talk too, which can be especially nice during long, boring journeys from place to place. Even, if you are just sitting in silence, it can be quite comforting knowing that someone is there.

Cons

  • You don't put in as much effort to meet other people. Since, you have your friends or partner to rely on, you can get comfortable just hanging about and talking to them day-to-day meaning that you don't meet as many people as you would on a solo trip.
  • Tension. Being around someone 24/7 can be a bit grating. You might find that you are starting to get agitated or frustrated by them especially if you are travelling for a long period of time.
  • The other person can disrupt the plans. At least if you are travelling solo, you make the plans and you only have to rely on yourself. However, when you book with someone else, they could change the plans or cancel the trip completely leaving your trip in jeopardy.
Pai Canyon, Thailand.

Which do you prefer?

Comment below... do you prefer travelling solo or travelling with others? I'd also love to know a reason for your answer!


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Kirsty x