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.
* 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 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)
* 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.
* 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.
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.