Solo Traveling: The Benefits Far Outweigh The Downfalls
Only a few years back, traveling alone was something that only briefcase carrying salesmen were known to do. Times have changed and traveling solo is now an exciting adventure for many seeking to explore exotic countries and intriguing locations. Though some still prefer to travel with others, there are amazing benefits to traveling alone. There are some good points as well as downsides to take into consideration when traveling alone, especially for women.
The greatest advantage to solo traveling is the ability to do whatever you want, whenever you want. When traveling with others there has to be an agreement on what to do each day. If you want to hike a mountain trail, but the others want to explore the shops in town, most likely you will end up shopping and never experience the hike. Traveling alone gives you the freedom to choose how to spend the day without concerns over what the rest of the group prefers to do which ultimately, gives you a more rewarding vacation.
When traveling solo in an amazing country you will be able to meet many new friends to tell friends back home about. Often times when visiting other countries in a group, the locals will be more timid to talk to visitors. However, touring the countryside alone will have the locals feeling more at ease to engage in conversation. When you take time to sit and chat with the locals you can get a glimpse into the local culture, learn about the customs first hand instead of reading about them in the guidebook, and you can learn about where the locals go which are sometimes the best places to check out.
Unfortunately, traveling solo has its negative aspects too. One of the worst parts of solo traveling is the cost. When traveling with others there are a great many things that are split among you such as the hotel and meals. A single room can be quite expensive when traveling alone and if you stay in a hostel, the price is good, but there can be days where you tire of the others sharing the dorm. When sampling the local cuisine, it can become expensive for a solo traveler as you do not have anyone to split a meal or groceries with.
Many solo travelers are concerned about the loneliness they occasionally encounter. It is difficult to visit an amazing location and not be able to immediately share the beautiful sunset you just witnessed. If traveling a long distance, it can also become lonely with your friends not there to take your mind off of the long journey. Safety is always a concern whether you are traveling in a group or alone. If traveling alone it is important to be cautious of things around you. Many women travelers become targets for crime, but using precautions will help you feel safe. Just keep a hold of your purse and follow your instincts.
Traveling alone can be extremely exciting and rewarding regardless of the downfalls. There are a number of experience that you would actually miss out on if you travel with a group and plus, there is a certain self-satisfaction that you feel when you experience a place on your own. If you are new to the idea of traveling alone, try starting out with a small adventure to get the feel of how exciting solo journeys can be, then move your way up to longer trips.
Maria Freeman writes for Briefcases Direct, a website that offers a unique luxury briefcase selection direct from the manufacturer. She is a freelance writer and self-appointed world traveler who left San Francisco to travel the world, starting in Asia and made her way through Western Europe in 3 months. Maria is based in Manila, Philippines and spends more than half of every year seeking out new adventures, great food and the best bargain shopping in the world.