Disclaimer: This post is not an endorsement for traveling by oneself. This post is solely intended to share the pros and cons of my solo travel experience. I recommend that solo travelers take reasonable precautions to ensure that they have a safe traveling experience.
1. Freedom! You can do whatever you want, including deciding your own schedule
If you want to cancel your plans for the day, and sleep in–guess what? You can. The only person you have to please on a solo trip is yourself.
2. When you are by yourself you are so much more approachable. With that being said stay on guard because there are people that intentionally seek to exploit foreigners who are not familiar with the land
Hostels common areas are great places to meet people, especially other solo travelers who are able to give you great tips about an area. You really meet some great people along the way. Beware of the creeps though
3. You learn new things about yourself
It takes great confidence to travel by oneself because as a solo traveler you are in what seems to be a completely different world (at least for me it seemed that way). Traveling by oneself makes you more aware of your interests and dislikes. You also have great stories when you return to your day-to-day life.
4. You can choose to be alone or around people
You should realize that you are great company! I enjoy being by myself, so as a solo traveler it was great being able to control when I wanted to be around others. With that being said, sometimes it can be lonely, and you may want to share experiences with others, which is why group activities, tours and hostels are great cures.
5. My tips (especially) for single female travelers…It is unfortunate that I have to list these tips and precautions, but it is very relevant.
-Be prepared. Know where you are going, what you can expect to see in your destination
-Always know the basics of a language for the country that you are visiting. This includes please, yes, no, thank you and help, among other phrases
-Always have an exit strategy (from shady situations and bad conversations among other things). This could be as simple as talking to another single woman or a family because they are usually willing to help in tough situations
-Do the walking tours. It’s a great way to travel safely, and you can (safely) interact with other strangers, which is great if you want to learn more about an area
-Know when to be assertive. If you do not want to disclose certain information to another person, then simply say so!
-Be prepared for people who inquire about why you are traveling alone, including border patrol agents
– Do not dress provocatively. I hate that I have to write this, but the best way to solo travel is to blend in with the local population. I would advise against dressing conspicuously
-Know the phone number for the police. To my American viewers especially, it is not 911 for every country
-Partner with other solo female travelers. They typically understand your travel concerns the best as they are in the same predicament. As such, they can provide you with the best tips. Plus, girl code is pretty universal lol
Laslty, enjoy your solo experience! Nothing else compares to it!