Planning to travel alone for the first time and you start to get thoughts, is it a good idea?! Emotions can flow like a roller coaster. You might feel excited, you might feel down and all the “what if…” might take over your mind. But it’s okay.
All the traveling alone benefits listed below are put together from my experience as a solo traveler. I was on the road for 10 weeks straight. So these benefits of solo travel are made for people who like to travel a long time and visit the unknown. But these can be applied also for a shorter solo trip.
Offhand, is it weird to travel solo or is it going to be a life-changing experience? Let’s find out the advantages!
1. You will be more open-minded
It can make your trip harder as a solo backpacker when you are not being open-minded. At first, the willingness to be acceptive for new people, cultures, or new ideas might feel a bit uncomfortable. Well because talking to strangers or trying out new things is out of many comfort zones.
One perk of traveling alone is that there will arise a need to talk with strangers. Either you want to get some help with directions or just to talk with someone. By the time you will get more open-minded in everything and it doesn’t feel that much uncomfortable. Luckily local people also want to meet foreigners. People are so curious to get to know new interesting people from different cultures. One of the most important benefits of solo travel is that you become more open-minded to new experiences and contacts.
2. more confident in life
The idea of traveling by yourself might excite you at first. Awesome memories and fun are guaranteed. But soon after your mind starts wandering around the thoughts of what might go wrong, or what might happen. It doesn’t seem like roses and butterflies anymore.
I give you a little tip: just jump into action. It takes all the worries away because you don’t have time for overthinking. As time goes by we start to realize that we tend to overreact and think negative thoughts often before we take some kind of action. For example, planning a backpacking trip is more enjoyable when not worrying about things that might go wrong, but being open to flexibility and dealing with challenges on the way.
Eventually, most of the things will work out while traveling alone and what seemed impossible before is now easy thanks to the raised self confidence. It forces you to grow!
3. You will become a problem-solving expert
When you go traveling by yourself for the first time then you will face some problems (be ready). But the thing is, you never know what might go wrong or what kind of problems you have to face. You may run out of money, get stuck in borders, have language barriers with locals, or get injured. Unpleasant things can happen everywhere, not only when traveling.
The thing is that we can’t run away from our problems. This is not a solution because problems will follow everywhere we go. The advantage of traveling alone is that you are the only person who can deal with challenges. Your choices and decisions will be decisive in your problem-solving formula. How much better you can become when being more receptive to obstacles that life puts in your way. With practice, I can see it’s going to be a benefit of solo travel.
4. You will be more confident in decision making
In the beginning, traveling alone for the first time might overwhelm you by all the decisions you have to make. Where I am going to stay, how I get there, what to eat, what to see and the list goes on. You’re the only person who has to make the decisions.
The benefits of traveling look a bit harsh so far, but it’s only good for personal development. Also being decisive in decisions when your skin is in the game. There will be no more hesitations like “I don’t know” or “what you think about it”. Only you and your choices.
There is no need to worry about making mistakes because it is part of the process. There is a saying: “You either succeed or learn.” You probably don’t take the same road, when it wasn’t right for you. You learned from your mistake and tried another way. Take control over your decisions.
5. more out of comfort zone activities gets you stronger
Probably you have already heard that phrase before, but it’s one of the clearest benefits when travelling alone. Anything mentioned above or below isn’t easy to implement into your everyday life. Too damn uncomfortable. It isn’t easy to talk with strangers or to make important decisions. Your head plays out different situations that might go wrong. I know that feeling and that wrong assumption tricks with your progress.
But on the other hand, how would you know what you are capable of. How would you meet new inspiring people or get help? It’s by taking actions, even when being in a total cramp, caused by fear. You will get better with practicing.
For example, budget backpacking is one of the most uncomfortable ways to travel. Finding ways to get food, ride, and accommodation as cheap as possible contains a lot of communication with strangers. Also reducing some needs, like wild camping. After all, just traveling alone is something out of any comfort zone. Do more things that give you goosebumps. This is how you raise your standards.
6. life will be easier with less stress
Another benefit of traveling alone is that you take life much more easily. There are not many things to worry about. Nobody isn’t complaining about anything on your side, no work or school hassle. Just a time for yourself to enjoy every second. All the stuff accumulated in the homeland is staying there. The only things to “worry” about are what I eat and what I do. Easy stuff.
Sounds like we are running away from the things that cause stress. But taking time off, we understand that some stress can be easily removed. Because we tend to think things much bigger than these are.
Like backpacking Italy on a budget. Some things that cause stress, like I don’t have a roof for tonight, nobody isn’t picking me up while hitchhiking or the water bottle is empty. In our homeland, we are in such a comfort zone, that it’s logical to get these needs fast. If not, then with all the accumulated stress, we are done. But when backpacking solo, instead of complaining, we take action on that little stress factor. This one here can be life-changing turning points for mental well-being. Worry less and take life easier.
7. You will get more courageous
Well, that’s a logical point. Just traveling by yourself needs some courage. Your close ones would be impressed by your decision. Some of them would encourage and some would warn. But what would be life without some courageous activities like solo backpacking in Europe? From the news you will see a few horror stories about solo backpacking, but not thousands, if not millions of life-changing stories. The choice is yours!
Imagine all the fun when hitchhiking, finding a sleeping spot, talking with strangers, or hiking in Cinque Terre. Life can bring many new interesting opportunities when being open to new things that need just a bit of courage to take off.
8. Ability to make changes on the way with flexibility
There can be situations, where you had for example a perfect plan on how to spend a weekend in Budapest. The schedule is strict and everything has to go on time. After getting stuck in a traffic jam you understand that you can’t go everywhere. If you go nuts, because of it, then you really can’t enjoy your trip. Maybe it would be much easier to accept the situation and rearrange your plans to add one more day or shrink your bucket list.
It was a silly example, but you get a point. Everything doesn’t go on the way as it was first planned. Traveling alone or just in life, there will be less stress when being flexible. Changing the master plan accordingly is the key to a successful life.
9. You will learn how to cheer yourself up
Traveling by yourself sounds depressing. Because there is nobody else on your side, only yourself and your mood. But this is the time “to find yourself”. In life, there isn’t going to be someone by your side all the time, someone who cheers you up, someone who listens. Many times that “someone” has to be you! That’s why learning how to take control of your moods is essential.
A great technique is self-talk. Feeding yourself with positive affirmations to feel better and not letting negative stuff take over your head. To be honest, it can feel weird at first, but it works. For example, when hitchhiking in Europe, and you feel hopeless then one of the best tip is to talk stupid jokes, laugh about the situation and feel the presents. Even when being next to the road half a day without any luck, then the next car will stop, when the driver sees a smiley face. After some time you will become best friends with yourself.
10. You will learn how to rely on yourself
One of the traveling alone benefits is to see what you are made of. The only person you can rely on is YOU. When problems arise, then there aren’t any friends or family members to help you out. You are the only problem solver. This is where you take responsibility for your choices.
When traveling solo then there isn’t also nobody to blame if it wasn’t the greatest decision. You can only learn from it. That situation again gets goosebumps, but it’s essential for every person’s development.
For example, while traveling to Europe alone, you have to cook, find a roof, get the right train, find ways to any destination by yourself. No matter what, all your decisions are the best ones for yourself. Either it turned out well or you learned from that.
11. You will find people who inspire you
When going on an adventure by yourself then you will make new friends. Is it straight from the streets, meetinf other solo travelers from bars after some encouraging drinks, or meeting locals from backpacking apps like Couchsurfing?
If you talk to people from different nationalities and backgrounds then you will understand that every person has their own crazy story. Sharing stories in-between broadens eyesight with new ideas for the future. You might meet awesome people, who inspire you to become a better person. For example, when you meet a person who can talk in seven languages and you are so impressed, that your new goal is to learn new languages.
Talking to strangers also improves you to have a better personality. If you respect another person, then eventually others treat you the same way. You get more help when you are being nice to others. Helps to become a better international communication specialist. Later in life, you can see that it’s one of the life-changing benefits of solo travel.
12. traveling makes you happier
One of the most important benefits of traveling alone is that it makes you happier. Would be logical after all these benefits of traveling mentioned above. Getting more courage, self-esteem, flexibility, and finding yourself. So many great words for personal development and after that solo travel these are reality.
The most talked-about perks of traveling alone are that it broadens your eye. You will understand that the world is much wider than it seems in your home country. People are nice everywhere, even when there are other preconceptions from negative news. In conclusion, you have a different view of the world.
Not to mention all these unforgettable memories with the locals, seeking out new beautiful places like Castelmezzano in Italy, or having new experiences, like volunteering with a WorkAway in Hungary countryside. All these new memories, discoveries, experiences will make every traveler happier.
Taking all together
I hope it’s clear now why to travel alone at least once in your life. How much you can gain from these benefits of solo travel and how you can use these perks later in life to succeed.
These advantages of traveling alone are related to improving your mindset and being more empowered. Also getting a better person by doing things that are out of your comfort zone like just going solo backpacking trips and interacting with locals. After all, it’s not that much about the new places you explore, it’s more about people you meet in those new places.
Be more excited about traveling by yourself, don’t make any wrong assumptions from a third company, take these benefits of traveling, and enjoy these solo adventure days when traveling around the world.
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Solo traveling is new to me. But i love it. As you said, traveling makes you happier. Great read
Thanks Kevin! Traveling indeed makes happier, either going solo or with company.
These are all so true!
Happy, that you know what I’am saying about. 🙂
I think that travelling solo would be so empowering! I can’t wait to travel again.
That’s true! Yeah, me too.
Well said. It’s important to remember that travel opens us to new experiences and grows us in amazing ways!
Resilience and confidence I believe are the two greatest benefactors when we travel solo. Having to rely upon our own path finding builds these experiences into lifelong learning lessons.
Yes, that’s the thing that why solo traveling will be a great experience! You can use that builded confidence later in life.
This is true for solo traveler. Traveling solo helps you become courageous, problem solver, and rely on your own. You have lots of time exploring the place on your own way.
Yeah, that’s true!