In just two years, the number of people Googling solo travel has increased by 40% according to Solo Traveller. Similarly, one in four people admit to planning a solo adventure for 2018. So who are these people taking the plunge? According to one survey, this is a female-led movement with 72.4% of women sharing a desire to travel alone while only 27.6% of men are willing to do the same.
So why the sudden spike in single travel? What’s driving the trend in quality alone time? Though there’s nothing quite like sharing new experiences and foreign cultures with family and friends, there’s a host of compelling reasons why you should head out on the road alone this year (or at least in your lifetime). In this article we’ve unpacked the main reasons you should consider a solo adventure for your next holiday (and why it’s not only an experience reserved for backpackers).
If your friends are reluctant to step foot in a departure terminal or you live with a partner who’s tied to their morning commute, travel can start to look like an impossible prospect. Rather, this is your opportunity to book yourself a single room in a dream destination and take this extraordinary chance to discover the world your way.
There’s nothing to say that you can’t meet new people when travelling as a group. In fact, it can be a great way to encounter likeminded travellers; other families with young kids or retired couples making the most of their recently acquired free time. However, when alone and joining your hotels diving tour or setting out on a 3-day guided trek, there’s a certain candidness that independence affords; allowing you to approach (and be approached) by other adventurous souls.
It’s in these moments that we can have some of our most honest, most vulnerable, conversations. We learn about other cultures or foreign worldviews, but we also learn a little more about ourselves. Without the expectations of friends and family that follow us at home, alone with strangers we have the opportunity to define our beliefs and shed any façade we may have built for the benefit of others.
Thought you wanted to experience the Thai Islands but realised you’ve had enough beach time? No problem, take the sleeper train to Chiang Mai instead. Planned to visit three cities in three days but realised Jakarta had so much more to offer than you had anticipated? Easy, book a few additional nights to explore the bustling metropolis at your pace.
Alone, travel is on your terms. Make plans, change dates, swap hotels and stay a little longer. It’s your trip and it’s up to you how you wish to enjoy it, no ifs or buts.
It’s a cliché absolutely. Yet as so many of them are, this one’s grounded in a whole lot of truth. Spending an extended period of time (even a few days) by yourself allows for typically unattainable moments of reflection and self-discovery; truly an invaluable experience.
Travel is such a personal pursuit and when approached through the lens of a budget, travel preferences will start to differ very quickly. In a group not only must you contend with differences in desired itineraries but when you finally agree on a destination, suddenly disparate budgets rear their head and the conflict starts all over again.
Alone, you know what you can afford. You know when you can splurge on a luxury experience or when it’d make more sense to travel modestly. You retain total control of your finances and in-turn relieve one of the biggest stresses associated with travel.
There is nothing more satisfying than the little triumphs experienced after successfully bartering for a prized souvenir in a Vietnamese market, using your smarts to work your way out of a sticky situation or making it to the end of your trip after traipsing across two continents, alive, well and with all your luggage intact.
Solo travel presents a suite of unique moments to teach you about your innate strength, independence and previously undiscovered capabilities.