If you’ve never traveled solo before, the thought might be intimidating. Visiting a brand-new places is a daunting task on its own – doing it alone is no small feat. However, there’s something to be said for exiting your comfort zone once in a while. If the thought of traveling alone scares you, maybe that’s a sign you should consider it. Here are eight reasons you should go on a solo trip:
1. Building independence
One of the biggest reasons people opt out of solo travel is they’re not sure they can handle the trip on their own. If you’ve never taken on that type of responsibility before, vacation is actually the perfect time to give independence a try: You might just surprise yourself. Also, your solo trip will instill in you a type of confidence you’ll carry with you well after vacation is over.
2. Utter flexibility
When you’re traveling on your own, it’s significantly easier to manage a sudden change of plans. It’s simpler to reroute flights or train trips for one than it is for two or more, which means you’ll be able to get on the quickest trip possible instead of waiting for one that has room.
3. Great food
There are few things more irritating than wanting to try the local fare, but traveling with someone who only wants to eat familiar dishes. Solo travel gives you the chance to go to whichever restaurants and eat the types of cuisines you’d like. The same applies to the less-adventurous eaters out there – instead of being pressured to try things you’re not interested in, you can explore local options at a comfortable pace.
4. New people
Traveling with friends or family gives you a social crutch in your new place. Solo travel encourages you to meet new people and expand your social horizons. Making new friends on your trip isn’t just a way to socialize – it also gives you contacts in town for the next time you visit.
5. Your schedule
Gone are the days of visiting museums or going on tours you just don’t care about. When you travel alone, you have total control of how you want to spend your days. Although it’s worth learning how to compromise with a traveling partner, it’s also worth spending a vacation or two only indulging your own interests.
6. Immersive experience
Solo travel is particularly useful for people who are looking to learn a new language because it forces you to actually use your linguistic skills during your entire trip. When you travel with someone who speaks the same language, you can spend the majority of your time talking to him or her and never leave your comfort zone. When you’re alone, however, you’re required to at least try to speak in the local language if you want to speak at all.
7. No strings
Traveling with a partner makes you attached to his or her plans. If he or she ends up feeling unwell or is tired before you are, you have to adjust your schedule to suit that. Traveling on your own means that you’re the only thing standing in your way. This goes in the other direction, too – if you want to head to the hotel early or skip a tour you were expecting to go on, you’re not ruining anyone else’s plans.
The best and most important reason to travel alone: It forces you to spend time with yourself. You’ll learn a lot about yourself when you’re navigating a foreign country all on your own. You’re bound to return from your trip with a far better understanding of who you are as a person.