Traveling alone has its cons. But that shouldn’t stop you from taking that solo trip you’ve always dreamed of. With a few smart hacks, the disadvantages can become great opportunities.
And in this blog post, you’ll discover how to turn the disadvantages of going solo into great opportunities.
1. Feeling lonely
This is one of the biggest and most obvious disadvantages. It often stops many people from venturing solo.
I too have had my fair share of moments when I’ve felt lonely. At one point, I was at the Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world when suddenly the feeling of loneliness crept in. Another time, it happened when I was in Riga, Latvia. It’s painful.
But did that stop me from traveling alone? Nope!
As a matter of fact, the time when I felt the most isolated was when I was on a group trip. And the time when I felt the most connected was on a solo trip.
Whenever loneliness creeps in, just talk to people around. Say hi. Start conversations. Face time your close friends and family.
These little things are the perfect anecdote to the feeling of loneliness.
2. Feeling unsafe
There’s safety in numbers – and for good reason. Someone alone catches the attention of bad people more quickly than someone who’s in a group. After all, it’s easy to corner a single person than a group.
Once after getting scammed, I ended up in the street of Paharganj, Delhi – one of the scariest places to be in, especially at midnight. I still had to walk back 1 km to get to my hotel. To make things worse, I had heard stories of people being robbed at knifepoint here.
Then came a glimmer of hope – I saw the police and begged them to take escort me. But they just assured that the area is safe, asking me to go on my own alone. I was crying the whole time.
With no other options left, I took the courageous step with tears in my eyes – to take the bicycle taxi back to the hotel. If getting mugged was written in destiny, so be it. I reached the hotel without any danger.
The stories just put ghosts in my head. But it was a scary experience.
To counter this, just Google or talk to locals and find out whether the place you’re traveling to is safe or not. Never ever compromise on your safety!
3. Getting bored
Boredom often sets in when you are on your own. It happens when we can’t find novelty around.
A smartphone can be a good remedy to deal with boredom. You could watch a move, listen to songs and kill time. But sometimes, this option doesn’t exist. You might need to preserve the phone’s battery to take pictures or navigate around after reaching a new city.
Then how do you deal with boredom? I’ve already shared some tips in another article on keeping boredom away while solo traveling. The most important thing is to talk to people. Who knows – it could lead to some amazing friendships down the line.
4. Solo travel can be expensive
Apart from travel tickets, finding a place to stay is one of the biggest travel expenses. In a group, this expense gets divided because of sharing.
But it doesn’t happen when you’re alone.
Hotels and apartments are expensive options. That’s why many solo travelers stay at hostels to cut costs.
Taking a cab is another big expense. No one to share the ride also means no one to share the cost. Due to this, it’s often better to take public transport wherever possible. Use a cab only when you want to reach places where public transport doesn’t go or for convenience.
5. No one to look after you if you fall sick
While returning from Russia, my friend fell sick. It was painful for them even to walk. So I had to carry their luggage, book cabs and buy the medicine.
For a moment, take me out of the picture. Then imagine the situation of my friend. Even taking a connecting flight back to their home city had become a challenge. But what if they had an entire month of travel left? Things would be worse then.
Falling sick limits options. And when you’re alone, it gets even worse. You’re in pain but still need to manage many things on your own.
If you fall sick, prioritize your recovery before you hit the road again. Health and safety aren’t things worth compromising.
6. Waiting for someone for trips, experiences
For some travel experiences, it takes two to tango.
Once, I planned to take a river cruise in Chiang Mai, Thailand. But after reaching the port, I had two options – either pay for 2 tickets or wait till someone shows up. Taking me alone on the cruise wasn’t profitable.
So I had to wait for an hour before a Moroccan woman showed up. She was amazing and made my trip memorable 😉
But I probably would’ve canceled the plan if she hadn’t shown up.
That’s the beauty of solo travel – By being forced to wait, you could come across someone who’ll make your trip memorable or even change your life!
7. Trouble-taking pictures
There’s no buddy to click pictures. As a result, most of your travel photos will be selfies.
But there’s an upside to this too! You can ask people around to click pictures for you. And this is often a great way to meet new people and exchange numbers.
“Hey, could you please click a picture for me?” – is one of the most genuine ice breakers. Very rarely does anyone say no to it 🙂
8. Too much responsibility
Too much freedom also brings responsibility with it.
Because you’re alone, being lazy or irresponsible isn’t an option. If there’s a bus at 7 am in the morning, you need to set the alarm and be up on time.
In other cases, planning for the trip ahead could be a headache.
“Where should I go today?’
“Which bus to take?”
“If I take a day trip, will I get a transport back home from there?”
“Or should I just sleep?”
There were times I wished someone had made these decisions on my behalf. But then again, I wouldn’t sacrifice my freedom for what it offers.
9. Nobody to share your experiences with
On the road, you become the star. Your journey becomes the movie. Almost every day will be a story. Sadly, you won’t have a companion to share it with.
I’ve been in this situation countless times – Many stories but no one to express it with. Also, whenever I share my stories with my family, friends or relatives, someone always cut me off and change the topic. Things became so bad that at one point, I stopped telling stories and they began to die inside me…
That was until I realized there was a better option…
Thanks to the internet and big tech companies, you can share experiences with millions of people from any small corner of the world.
And as you leverage the power of Google, Youtube, Instagram, the world will watch your journey. Sharing my story so they don’t die within me is one of the reasons you’re reading this travel blog now.
Go travel solo, make memories and share it on a platform!
There’s a not-so-fun side of solo travel. Most of the time, you’ll encounter boredom and loneliness. But, as you read above, there are anecdotes to convert the disadvantages into great opportunities!
Have fun exploring the world on your own!