5 Big Reasons That Solo Travel Rules

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INSIDER SECRET: When you travel alone, you might be motivated to try a new activity just for the sake of interacting with others.

These days, we humans are more self-sufficient than ever. We trust dating apps enough to meet up with strangers for first dates. We get in cars with Lyft and Uber drivers we’ve never met, assured that we’ll end up where we need to be. And we order everything from clothes to bananas online. So it’s no surprise that with our ever-increasing ability to function independently, solo travel is on the rise as well.

Traveling solo around Kauai offered the ultimate freedom.
 

Booking a trip on your own looks like an easy task on paper but there is often a lot of fear of the unknown that comes with journeying solo.

Your Miles Go So Much Further

Here’s the first benefit of traveling on your own. When you book a solo ticket, there’s only one person who needs to get the time off – you. This means that you have the ability to maximize your miles by finding the lowest fares for your travel date. Does it make more sense to leave on a Saturday than on a Friday? If so, jump on that flight and relish the ability to make decisions for yourself, without having to coordinate with someone else. Are you new to the concept of racking up reward miles to trade in for free flights and other travel perks? Check out our guide to getting free flights with credit cards.

Enjoy the Ultimate Travel Flexibility

You are the only one making decisions.  My friend Dan sums up independent travel in a sentence. “You can eat wherever and whenever you like,” he says.  You can also make plans on the spur of the moment with other people — like the new friend you met on the train, who suggests that you switch your plans and head to a remote beach town in Croatia with her for a few days. You don’t have to negotiate this with your travel partner, and you’re free to head off on you own again if it does not work out. No strings attached. But the nice thing about solo travel is this – no compromises, total flexibility.

Find Out You’re Pretty Brave

When you travel alone, you might be tempted to try a new activity. It’s a great way to expand your horizons, meet new people and develop a little self-confidence that you didn’t know you had. Read about the adventures of another Million Mile Secrets traveler who went scuba diving in Mexico.

There Are No Mistakes in Solo Travel

So you missed the train by 30 minutes? Guess what? The only person who is mad at you is you. And what’s the rush? You’re traveling on your own, you get to go wherever you like and there are no set rules. It might lead you down a totally different road to a different destination altogether. Sure, it might be exhausting making every decision yourself but the payoff is feeling self-assured about spending time on your own.

Get Over Your Fear of Loneliness

The fear of being alone might be one of the most intimidating factors when it comes to traveling solo. There are so many activities that we’re used to doing with other people. Eating at a restaurant, checking into a hotel room, ordering a drink at a bar, attending a concert – these are all activities that you can do on your own, but often don’t. Traveling solo gives you the chance to slow down and spend time on you own and take a few risks. Go see that band your boyfriend doesn’t especially like. Eat that dish your friend wouldn’t want to share with you. And dance like no one is watching – at least, no one you know.

I love solo travel, but it’s not for everyone. Have you ever traveled by yourself? Would you do it again? Or are you considering a solo trip sometime in the near future? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Jan Mardis
1 year ago

I just got back from a solo trip to Montana. It was great, I love that I can go and do just what I want. Had a great tour of yellowstone, visited a museum, climbed a mountain, made a new friend in a bookstore. Which lead to going for a drink at a great wine bar, and a lift back to my hotel so I didn’t have to pay for a ride. And since I I have a very Southern accent, everyone wanted to talk with me. Met the nicest people there.

Andrew Wan
Reply to  Jan Mardis
1 year ago

Sounds like you had a wonderful time 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

TDHill
1 year ago

I had always traveled with my husband, or 3 kids, and when I finally traveled internationally alone, it was rather intimidating, but I found I really like it! If you have your phone with you while you’re eating, it’s like all your friends and family are there with you! And getting to change my plans on a whim or sleep late or eat when I wanted or not wait on anyone… these were really positives and it felt really liberating! Joining walking tours in cities, or various activities, or staying at hostels or friendly places can allow you to meet more people on the road. It can be a real hoot! Enjoy!

Sharon
1 year ago

I traveled solo from USA to Germany in 2013 & joined a guided tour so although I was solo I wasn’t totally alone. It was great!

Sharon
1 year ago

I tr

Sally W
1 year ago

3 years ago I dove in to the points game and completely covered a 3 week trip to Norway to go back to the areas where my family emigrated from. It was my first solo trip and while yes, there were times I wished I had someone to share certain moments with, I loved being able to go where I wanted, eat what I wanted and it got me out of my comfort zone in regards to meeting people. Best thing I ever did!

Erin
Reply to  Sally W
1 year ago

What a cool idea, thanks for sharing! 🙂

Thomasa
1 year ago

I travel alone 95% of the time and it suits me just fine. I don’t have to wait for anyone else and I’m on my own time schedule.

MaryAnn
Reply to  Thomasa
1 year ago

I’ve traveled alone for more than 50 years, in some pretty dicey places, and wouldn’t have it any other way. I would also suggest leaving your phone at home and interact more with locals, which should be the real reason for travel.

Skooby
Reply to  MaryAnn
1 year ago

Been doing the same since 2007. Wouldn’t change a thing. I think I would get totally stressed out traveling with someone else. Waiting for them to make a decision, dealing with mood changes, etc.

And just like you indicated, I leave my smartphone back in the room. No need in taking it with me unless I’m going to be gone all day far away from my accommodations.

Otherwise, I’m old school….always make a small copy of a local area map that I keep folded up in my pocket, for just in case. I carry a compass with me too, no matter where I travel to. I never depend on a smartphone, that can be stolen/lost or simply malfunction. I can say, in traveling like this, I’ve met many people around the world, that I still contact and visit to this day.

Erin
Reply to  Skooby
1 year ago

I love this! What a great idea to leave your phone in the room. That way you can truly disconnect and explore in the most organic way possible.

Sonya
1 year ago

I’m actually leaving in 2 weeks for London & Paris, my first solo international trip. I’m used to eating alone and living alone, but this is getting out of my comfort zone. Last night I considered cancelling my trip. Thank you so much for this timely article!

Skooby
Reply to  Sonya
1 year ago

Girl, you better go! 🙂

Sonya
Reply to  Skooby
1 year ago

I’m going, I’ll check back in when I get back. Trip isn’t until Aug 9-19th. Thank you all for the support. I think it was just nerves. I’m better today.

Erin
Reply to  Sonya
1 year ago

I’m so glad it was helpful! I truly believe that solo travel is the best way to discover how amazing and brave you are. You’ll have the best time and so many great stories to share when you return.

TDHill
Reply to  Sonya
1 year ago

Sonya, you are going to have so much fun! It’s normal to feel scared before adventuring forth. Feel the fear and do it anyway. You’re going to love it. Be sure to reach out to people, don’t be shy, and you will make friends along the way. Have a great time! (Tessa)

Andrew Wan
Reply to  TDHill
1 year ago

I’ll second this comment!

After the first solo trip, it gets a lot easier and it really is wonderful to have the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want, without having to check with your travel partner!