In a few a few short weeks I am heading out on a solo travel adventure to Nicaragua for 6 weeks!

There is often a stigma attached to doing things alone. Our first reaction to seeing someone eating alone at a restaurant or sitting by him or herself at the movie theater is that he or she didn’t have anyone to go with. We feel sympathy for them, pity, even.

It should not be that way. A lot of people actually prefer to do things solo.

When it comes to traveling solo so many people balk at the very idea. They think it is dangerous and that they would be lonely. I beg to differ.

I traveled solo through Europe in 2009 and it was an amazing experience. You learn so much about yourself and you will meet people.

7 Reasons For Solo Travel

  1. You can do what you want to do, when you want to do it

If you’re traveling in a group, everyone has their own opinions, tastes and preferences. So although you might want to go hiking up a mountain, others in a group might not. Travel alone and you won’t have to deal with this problem.

2. You will come out of your shell and your comfort zone

Unless you genuinely want to be by yourself at all time when on the road, you will be forced to step out of your comfort zone and open up to people you don’t know. Even if you’re the most extroverted person in the world, you’ll find when travelling solo that you’ll talk to others much more than if you were with your friends. And you will probably make some amazing connections with those people that you talk to and do things with.

benefits of solo travel

3. You find out what interests you in the world

If you’re traveling in a group, you’re less likely to stop when something catches your eye. You might fear you’d be holding up your group by making a pit stop. But, when you travel solo, you have the freedom to investigate your intrigue. You get to travel at your own pace.

4.  You become more independent

Some people may not really like this benefit of solo travel. But, when you’re traveling alone, you’re truly on your own. You have to make decisions on where to go, and what to eat and how to get from place to place. This decision making ability comes home with you and should benefit you even when you are not traveling.

5. You can stick to a budget

I am a die hard believer in minimalist travel so staying on budget is a big deal to me. The temptation or peer pressure to get involved in activities that involve a lot of money won’t be as prevalent when you’re travelling solo. You won’t have a friend saying ‘Come out for just one drink!’ or ‘This 3-day boat tour would be soooo cool – let’s do it’ when really it’s not something you ever wanted to do. Instead you’ll have your own minimalist travel budget to help you make decisions and stay on track with your spending.

minimalist travel packing list

RelatedMinimalist Travel Packing List

    6. You become more observant

Normally, on trips, you spend a lot of time conversing with your travel companions and put your attention on them. Without the disruption of others, all of your focus is on your surroundings, as it should be. Wonderful things happen when you are free from distractions; you see things you might have missed otherwise.

    7. You can be more spontaneous

Doing things at the drop of a hat when you’re in a group is difficult. Even if some of your travel companions might be up for what you want to do, others won’t, which could result in you not doing what it was you wanted to do. Solo travel removes this problem. Do what you want to do when you want to do it.

Related- 10 of the Best Travel Backpacks

After traveling through countries where nothing seems familiar, not knowing a word of the native language and finding your way through foreign streets to a destination, you will realize  there is nothing in this world you cannot do. There is simply nothing you cannot accomplish. You become fearless. You Change The Code.

Are you a fan of solo travel? Please let us know in the comments and please be sure to share this post. Thank you.

“Change The Code. Change Your Life”

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176 thoughts on “7 Reasons Why Solo Travel Is The Best Way To See The World

  1. I’m not really a solo traveler, but I totally agree with you! I know that being a solo traveler can also give you lots of opportunities that you can’t really have when you travel with others. Good luck and have fun on your next adventures! Happy holidays! 😊

    1. Hi Karen. I would love to travel with a friend or two as well if the opportunity ever presented itself. But I love my solo travel adventures 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

  2. Same here, I love solo traveling .. I love this sense of freedom when I can be spontanous, improvise my moves and slow down to observe what’s calling you. It also give more chances to interact with the locals and experince the different culture.

  3. Love traveling on my own! Alone in Paris, I can visit rare book and map dealers (something no one else wants to do!); alone in Boulder, I fly a sailplane; alone in Tahoe I enjoy my favorite hikes. I savor the time; enjoy meeting new people; and pursuing MY adventures.

    1. Awesome! Yes solo travel allows the freedom to do your own thing. To follow the path that you want to take. If you meet other like minded travelers so be it. If not, well that is okay as well. Wonderful comment. Thank you very much.

    1. Absolutely! Traveling solo is where I am at in my life right now- my kids are grown and gone- but traveling with children can be an amazing experience! Have fun! Thank you for comment!

  4. Thanks for the tips, Mark! A nice read. I’ve just set up a first post on my travel blog and, like you, I’ll be travelling alone, and with as little as possible. I’m thrilled! I’m currently trying to build some audience so please do not hesitate to subscribe. 🙂

  5. Solo travel has recently piqued my interest and it is all I can think about now. Extremely jealous of your solo Europe trip! You definitely took the reasons right out of my ahead of why we all need a solo experience.

  6. solo travel is great way to see the world and make friends. It’s my thing. I am usually by myself when I’m off road, but i’m open to meet people and make new friends. Solo travel also makes me stronger, more independent and flexible as i don’t need to stick to any plan and able to make decision myself.

    1. Love this insight. You are spot on. Some people are able to meet people a bit more easily than others. I personally don’t meet people overly easily so at times I admit to being a bit lonely while do a solo travel adventure. I still enjoy it however.

  7. I used to live in Japan and got tired of waiting for friends to go on trips around the country with me so I decided to go it alone. BEST DECISION EVER! I saw so much, learned so much… You really learn to become kind of fearless? And it’s kind of peaceful in a way because you can pause whenever you want and simply take it all in. The owner of the little hotel I stayed at in one city drove me around for a day. I had friends to travel with sometimes and that was nice, but solo travel was great too in a different way.

    And if I can do it, anyone can do it. I used to be extremely shy and hated being on my own and quite scared of trying new/different things.

    1. So awesome and so true. Just TODAY I wandered around Leon in Nicaragua and found my way to the main cemetery. Wow. The crypts/tombs/gravemarkers were out of this world. I was there for over an hour. So yes being able to take your time and pause and take it all in is such a great thing about solo travel.
      Thanks so much for your comment!

  8. I’ve done solo travel in the U.S but when I’ve gone to Europe I usually go with a tour group. It is wonderful to set your own time table, i want to have dinner now, not later. It’s also great to decide, I’m going to the theater even though I’ve been sightseeing all day. I am a very shy person and I don’t make too many long term connections when I travel but I definitely can talk to people standing in line to get into a museum, etc.

    1. Yes. I am somewhat similar. I am older than most backpackers so they want to party a bit and I am certainly over that stage in my life 🙂 I walked around Managua, Nicaragua today for 5 hours. It was fantastic.
      Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Great post. I love to travel alone, I have been around the world by myself and absolutly loved it, you learn alot about yourself traveling that way. Keep the posts coming!

  11. Thank you for sharing. I will be traveling to Cuba in 3 weeks on my own and it is my first ever solo travel. I am so excited. I will miss traveling w my travel buddy/daughter but this is something I want to experience. People who i spoke to that travel alone told me I might get addicted to solo travels.

  12. I spent a little over two years traveling around Asia and for the most part I did it alone. I would leave for a new country or city and not know a single person there, how to get around or what to really expect. I find it exciting and liberating to solo travel! You really do learn so much not only about who you are as an individual but you’re able to see the world in a different light. Thanks for sharing this, loved it!

  13. Couldn’t agree more, particularly with regards to pushing yourself and being out of your comfort zone. Travelling solo for the first time was so scary, but really changed me for the better. I see it as a pivotal point in my life so far…

  14. Have travelled myself for years as it’s one of the best ways to travel for me I find – you take more notice of things, work things out for yourself, learn some of the language and really experience a place. A good thing is to be like the Littlest hobo – make friends in each place you go, keep in touch with some, meet up again with others but travel on your own as you can do as you please!

  15. Just came across this post and I must say, solo travel is not something I’ve done much of but I’m excited to be doing more of it in a few months! I love being on my own schedule and spending my money how I want to. I’m so ecstatic!

  16. This is a wonderful post. Travel with people close to you can often be intense and sometimes make you feel lonely in an unexpected way. Solo travel gives us the confidence to be more open and accessible to others. It’s enlightening!

      1. Definitely! I learned a lot about myself on that trip. I just did a solo staycation which was eye opening! Next time I solo travel I’m going to go even more outside my comfort zone and be more social. Get to really know the people of where I’m at.

  17. Couldn’t agree more. I’m very sociable, but I genuinely prefer travelling solo- off to Europe next week!

  18. I started off with a solo trip up and down the east coast last summer, and had graduated to solo travel to London and Paris. It was amazing. I had no clue how OK I’d be. I was better than OK. It was the best trip I’ve taken. Heading to Chicago solo in a few weeks.

    1. Nice!. Yes the first steps are often the hardest. But once you get a taste for solo travel you realize how amazing an experience it can be. Have fun in Chicago!

  19. I remember when I used to travel solo–A LOT. I felt so much more independent on those trips and met more people than I normally would have. Your post makes me miss those days. Thanks!

  20. Love this! So so true. I have done both and he experiences of solo travel have been more eye opening because of the way you have to put yourself out there! And the spontanaeity was a whole next level because you have nowhere to be nowhere tonplease. Sah true! The benefits of having mates is going home and having the yarns to share about your trip. Plus the security is comforting. But agreed, solo yolo is awesome. Great read 😊😊😊

  21. Great insights! Sometimes I just need to recharge and travel solo. People have different food tastes, different ideas of what to do, and different sleeping patterns, which definitely affect travel.

  22. I completely agree. The freedom and happiness travelling alone brings is immense! & it leaves you with only “you” time which is so important. Especially when you’re out in the World on your own! Love this piece man.

  23. I have never tried solo travel but I am currently travelling around the world with my boyfriend and yes we do have our ups and downs but we have really learned off each other and to be honest we are alot stronger now.

    Would still love to try solo travel out though 🙂 I feel like you grow alot quicker too.

    Thank you for this read xx

    1. Wonderful that you are traveling with your boyfriend! Yes you would have ups and downs. Such is life 🙂 It will be interesting to hear if you ever get a chance for some solo travel as well.

  24. Thank you for posting this. There are a lot of places I want to go, but none of my friends will go with me. I’m trying to work up the confidence to start traveling solo.

  25. Interesting article. I’ve never travelled alone apart from maybe one time when I was sent to Alicante from work. I felt lonely. I didn’t have anyone to share great moments with. Although I’m not saying no to traveling solo, I’d definitely give it one more try! 🙂

    1. Yes solo travel can be tricky at times. I had moments of loneliness on my trip but I am a bit older than a lot of travelers so it is harder to connect at times. However I did meet the right people at the right time . Also I learned to be mindful of my emotions and to just enjoy the moment for what it was.

  26. Agreed with all of this! I also think that when traveling solo, you’re more likely to make new friends along the way. When you travel with someone, you already have someone to eat dinner with or bounce ideas off of. But when you’re on your own, it encourages you to reach out not only to other travelers, but also to locals, and that can give you en entirely new experience.

    1. So true. It depends on the person. I am 46 so I don’t want to come off as creepy when traveling and just throw myself out there to everybody but you do connect with the right people. Man, I met some incredible people when I was in Nicaragua.

  27. I plan to travel solo to Europe, mainly Northern Italy for a few months, your experience and thoughts will stick with me, thanks for shedding light on solo traveling!

    -N

  28. I don’t solo travel. Not because I don’t want to, but because I am always invited on trips, or I want to visit a friend and have other friends who want to visit them as well.

    After reading this post, I must say I do see your reasons and do not argue with them at all. I would like to solo travel at least once. However, if I can add, when you go with a small group (no more than 4), I think it can help, too. When I was with my friends this past trip, we all stated 1 or 2 things that we each wanted to do/see and planned for everyone to do/see what they wanted.

    It helped me get to know my friends that much more, plus, I got to experience things I would have never done otherwise. Some I enjoyed, some I realized I didn’t care for. But how would I have known, had I not done it?

    Thanks for letting me comment and thank you for the great read!!!!

    1. Thank you for the comment. I would not mind traveling with friends but it is not easy for them to ever travel it seems(money, work, etc.) I am very fortunate AND grateful to be able to do this HOPEFULLY every year for 6-8 weeks at a time.

  29. Very recognisable! Personally I think voluntourism a great way to travel alone, as you will work with a group of people on a shared goal which is a great connector. Have you ever done that?

    1. NoI have not. I was going to volunteer at a hostel when I was originally was going to travel to Portugal but then I ended up going to Nicaragua and that plan changed. I agree that voluntourism would be a fantastic way to solo travel!

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