Travelling Solo – Advantages & Disadvantages

Travelling Solo – Advantages & Disadvantages

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Everything we do in life has some advantages and some disadvantages. There are two sides of every coin and same is applicable when we travel alone. Based on my experience, I am trying to consolidate these.
Let’s talk about advantages first –
* Freedom to go when you want and where you want. You are not dependent on other person’s choices and likings. Complete flexibility.
* You can decide where you want to stay, what you want to do, where you want to dine, how much time you want to spend in a place or at what time you want to start your day. You can decide everything as you like, there is an overwhelming feeling of Independence.
* You don’t need to share the room or adjust timing to use the bathroom with another person.
* It’s more likely to interact with new people/locals because you are not engrossed with your travel companion.
* You can try different things at your own pace without worrying about other person’s opinion so you may be more willing to try something new.
* You can change your itinerary in a split second if something interesting comes up without consulting or arguing (At times)

* When you travel alone, chances are you have researched better about places because you have no one to depend upon (Other than internet or locals)

* It’s a good confidence booster because you handle all situations on your own.

* You are considered brave person by others and at times you get better rooms or get better seats on coaches during sightseeing tours and sometimes you get extra help and care to be a solo traveler.

* You have to keep the record of all expenses (Smaller or bigger) because by end of the trip you are going to split the cost. It becomes a headache if you have to remember and note everything.

* You don’t have to argue with your travel companion for some on the spot small decisions.

Now, let’s discuss the disadvantages

* The cost of travel increases because there is no one to split the cost of room rent (Mostly room tariff for single & double is same), no one share auto/taxi bills.

* There is safety in numbers as there is no one to watch your back. You have to be extra careful about places you chose to travel to or places you are staying in or your mode of transportation

* If you are alone and fell sick or get injuries, there is someone to take care of in case of emergency but if alone then things become difficult.
* You have someone fall back on for planning or feedback—positive or negative.

* Dinner you have to eat alone, if you are not used to it then better get used to it.

* There is no one to compare your impressions with. If you come across something interesting, you wish there is someone to share it with.

* At times it becomes lonely eating dinner alone in restaurant (Especially being woman)

* It’s good to have the room by yourself but sometimes by end of the day you want to discuss your experiences of the day or maybe plan something for next day with someone.

* There is no one to watch your luggage when you want to go to the washroom at airport or train stations.

These were pros and cons. The most important part is what we should do and don’t do when traveling solo, I suggest that it is better to take some precautions when traveling solo  (That’s what I do when I travel alone or even at times when with a friend) –

* Plan and book everything in advance. Do research for hotel safety and mode of transport.

* Leave you basic itinerary at home or with relative or friend with hotel names (if possible numbers also)
* Arrive during the day because of its easier to locate your hotel or other accommodation at day time. If in case, you are not happy with the hotel then its easier to find another place during daylight.

* Some destinations are better for solo travelers, chose accordingly.

* Take trains I/O buses for long distance travel, if traveling by air is not possible due to different reasons.

* Carry some food and water, if you will be traveling by public transport for few hours.

* Don’t read maps on streets or show nervousness or lost look if you are confused or not able to find some place and lost. Look for some place like a cafe, where you can sit and rewind yourself.

* Day tours are a good way to explore the city, in some cities you may find walking or night tours. Choose wisely from the option available as these are safe and guided.

* Don’t go out on lonely stretches or alleys after sunset.
* Don’t get drunk or high on alcohol because to slows our reflexes.
* Keep some cash handy in your pocket or outer pocket of the bag and keep cards and most of the cash in an inside of pockets of your handbag.

Sometimes I enjoy traveling alone and keep all of above in mind and my previous experiences. By end of the day, it’s about you, so ollow your instincts and gut feeling because our sixth sense picks up things faster before we actually came across things.

Happy traveling.

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