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I know taking your fist solo trip is scary, but the benefits of travelling alone far outweigh the nerves you have before you set out on your first solo trip.
Trust me. There are tons of benefits of travelling alone. Some you may not have even thought of before you take off on your first solo trip!
There are also some downsides to travelling alone as well.
That’s for a different article though! We’re just focussing on the amazing benefits of travelling alone and how much travelling alone helps you grow as a person.
I truly believe that anybody who has the ability to should travel alone at least once in their life.
Even if it is just a weekend trip to a nearby city.
There are countless advantages of travelling alone that I can’t cover them all in one post.
I’m just going to cover the top perks of travelling alone that impact people’s lives the most.
They also apply to most people. My fellow introverts don’t have to worry about reading that meeting new people and forming friendships is one of the best parts of travelling alone.
It can be, but the advantages on this list apply more broadly no matter your travel style or personality.
I can tell you from personal experience that the benefits of travelling alone on this list are powerful and can be life changing in some cases.
1. You Get Good at Problem Solving
I said it in my post about conquering your fears of travelling alone, and I’ll say it again here:
Solo travel is all about problem solving, and you get good at is fast!
It might not seem like it on the surface, but one of the biggest benefits of travelling alone is learning how to solve problems by yourself.
You have nobody to bounce ideas off of or rely on. You are 100% responsible for solving any and every problem that come up when you travel alone.
I’m not saying you’ll run into any problems when you’re on a solo trip. Far from it!
In fact, 99.9% of all solo trips run smoothly, and there are no issues.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t problems that need to be solved.
They just may not look like problems.
Something like figuring out how to get back to your hotel if you’ve wandered a bit further outside the tourist area than you anticipated.
Or trying to decide where to eat when you’re hangry and making a decision is impossible.
And if you’re anything like me, that will happen far more often than it should!
All these little decision that may not seem like much add up, and you come back from your first solo trip and realize you’re a boss at problem solving.
You will have the skills to confront any problem that comes up when you’re home.
Whether it is work related or a personal problem, your solo travel experience has prepared you to think through and solve problems better than before you left.
You may not realize it at the time, but it is truly one of the most valuable benefits of travelling alone!
2. Gain Independence
I was 21 when I took my first solo trip (three months through the Balkans and Eastern Europe).
It was the first time I had ever been alone and boy was it a wake up call on what it meant to be independent!
I had just graduated with my BA and lived a sheltered life still living in my parent’s basement. I had only been overseas once before with a friend the year previously.
My first solo trip was quite the lesson on learning how to depend on myself!
Whether you’re as sheltered as I was or you’ve had more life experience, one of the major advantages of travelling alone is you get a boost in independence.
You’ll be amazing how even the smallest of things like eating at a nice restaurant alone or taking a group tour as a single boost your confidence.
I feel like the increase in self independence and confidence that comes with travelling alone isn’t talked about as much as it should be.
Travelling alone can be super empowering.
Especially for young women.
It is honestly one of the biggest benefits of travelling alone and one I’m super grateful for.
3. Learn Who You Are
This advantage of solo travel goes hand in hand with most of the other ones on this list.
You truly, truly get to know who you are as a person when you travel alone.
You learn what you enjoy (and don’t), what your strengths and weaknesses are, and what makes you happy.
There isn’t the noise of your friends, family, and co-workers around you.
It is just you and the place you’re exploring, and you’re guaranteed to get home from your first solo trip with a better understanding of who you are as a person.
You’ll probably encounter some speed bumps along the way (I sure did!), but eventually you’ll get to know yourself better than you ever did before.
And you’ll keep learning the more you travel alone!
It is one of the most special and personal benefits of travelling alone.
Getting to know yourself better without any distractions or people influencing you will help you so much the rest of your life.
People tend to underestimate the power the comes along with knowing who you are, what you like, and what you want out of life.
It makes you unstoppable!
And don’t worry if you come back after your first solo trip and don’t have it all figured out yet.
It is a process and takes time.
I didn’t feel confident in who I was and what I wanted until I took multiple solo trip. A few of them were months long trip too.
But each solo trip helps you get closer to who you are at your true core.
And that is a really special gift that not everybody gets to experience in life.
4. You Grow as a Person
Learning who you truly are and growing as a person go hand in hand.
You can’t really have one without the other!
No matter what age you take your first solo trip (or any solo trip), there is always a way for you to learn and grow as a human being.
Whether it is learning patience when something doesn’t go as planned or learning acceptance when you experience a new culture.
Or anything in between.
Solo travel forces you to grow as a human and makes you a better person.
Or at least it should if you’re doing it right. 😉
Personal development isn’t always easy. It can be frustrating and scary, but it is always worth it.
I can hardly think of another activity that pushes you into personal growth and being a better person than travelling alone.
It is such a unique experience and tests you in ways that aren’t normally found in everyday life.
I’ve never met an experienced solo traveller who wasn’t an empathetic, kind, caring, and amazing human being.
There is just something about experiencing other cultures and peoples that pushes a person towards being better.
Growing as a person is one of the most rewarding benefits of travelling alone.
I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I had never travelled alone.
5. Sticking to a Budget Becomes Second Nature
Please don’t give me the stink eye for including money matters on this list!
Creating a realistic budget and sticking to it is one the biggest benefits of travelling alone. It is perhaps the most important advantage of travelling alone.
I mean you’re on the road by yourself, and you’re 100% responsible for paying for every penny of your trip.
You cannot go over budget.
Well, you can go over budget, but you will suffer for it later.
There isn’t anybody with you on your trip that you can bum a few dollars off of.
You can’t ask your travel mate to cover the cost of a hotel, and you’ll pay them back when you get home.
If you go over budget when you travel alone, you’re (to put it as nicely as possible) screwed.
You need to put on your problem solving hat and figure out how to get back on budget or else you may starve the last few days of your trip.
I know setting and sticking to a budget isn’t the most glamorous part of solo travel.
Hearing the word budget might even make you squirm and feel uncomfortable.
But it is an essential thing you need to do when you travel alone.
Even if you’re well off and have a lot of money. You still need to budget and make sure you don’t blow all your money at the start of your trip!
The best tip I can give you about budgeting for a solo trip is to set a realistic budget.
When I took my first solo trip, I read blog and blog that you can travel anywhere in the world of $50/day.
So that is the budget I set.
Well, let me tell you that it did not go very well and a few weeks in I had to revisit and re-evaluate my budget.
Luckily for me, I had some extra money in my bank account that I wasn’t planning to use on that trip.
Long story short, I ended up dipping into my extra money and pretty much came home broke.
I legit had like $2 to my name when I got home from my first solo trip. I would have come home in debt, but my dad decided to join me in Iceland for the last week of my trip.
He was kind enough to pick up the majority of the expenses that week. Otherwise, I would have been hooped!
After that trip, I realized that I’m not the extreme budget type of traveller, and I needed to adjust my budget to fit my travel style.
So, be honest about how much you plan on spending on your trip.
Knowing your travel style (or at least having an idea whether you plan on being a budget, mid-range, or luxury traveller will go a long way in setting you up for success.
And once you know how to budget for travel, you can easily transfer those skills to your everyday life.
Trust me when I say this is one of the benefits of solo travel you’ll be most thankful for when you get back from travelling alone.
6. Your Confidence Gets a Boost
Before my first solo trip, I was a shy, meek, quiet young lady.
I’m still a shy, meek, quiet, young lady, but now you can throw confidence in the mix.
I know that I can figure out any situation what gets thrown at me when I’m on the road.
Even in more challenging countries like China and Ukraine where English is rarely spoken, I have confidence in my travel skills and myself.
I would not have had that level of confidence if I didn’t travel alone.
Even if I travelled the same amount and travelled with friends or family instead of alone, I wouldn’t have the same level of confidence in myself as I do now.
No matter if you’re as unconfident as I was before my first trip or are already a confident person, you will gain even more confidence when you travel alone.
I mean you’re wandering around a strange city (possibly even a strange country) and have to figure everything out for yourself.
If doing that successful doesn’t boost your confidence, I don’t know what will!
This is one of the biggest benefits of travelling alone because it impacts the rest of your life.
Your confidence doesn’t just appear and disappear when you’re travelling alone.
It sticks with you, and you use it in other aspects of your life.
You become more confident in your relationships, your career, and every other aspect of your life.
The confidence you gain as a solo traveller can be life changing.
It was for me, and I hope it is for you too!
7. You Learn What (and Who) is Most Important to You
Okay. I’ll admit that this one is a bit harsh, but you honestly learn who and what is important to you and who and what isn’t when you travel alone.
Some friendships don’t stand the test of solo travel. Especially if you’re gone for months on end.
Some relationships become stronger.
You may learn that solo travel isn’t you thing. Or that it is the most important thing.
Even on a short solo trip, you really get a feeling for what is and isn’t important to you in your normal, everyday life.
Travel just has a way of showing you what is important!
What Solo Travel Taught Me
I’ve personally come back from solo trips and found that friendships aren’t what they were before I left.
Heck! My best friend when I left for my first solo trip ended our friendship because she didn’t like that I was gone for months at a time and didn’t give her enough attention.
It may feel hard in the moment, but travelling alone also shows you who cares and who you care about.
And what you do and do not care about.
I thought I would love working my first full-time job when I got back from my first solo trip. I was so excited to be an adult and almost bought a house.
Good thing I didn’t because the more I listened to myself and what I truly cared about rather than what society told me to do, the more clear it became to me that travel was more important than being a traditional adult.
Your priorities are probably different than mine.
Everybody cares about different things, but one of the biggest benefits of travelling alone is that you’re able to learn what you care about.
You may be the exact opposite of me and realize that being a proper adult is the most important thing to you.
It doesn’t matter what you come to realize.
The important thing is that solo travel has a way of opening your eyes and showing you what you truly care about.
Once you know that, you just have to fight to get what you want!
8. Understand Your Limits More
A lot of the times the narrative around travel- particularly solo travel- is that you need to push your limits.
The whole go hard or go home mentality.
I definitely think you should push your limits and comfort zone when you travel alone, but there needs to be boundaries.
Solo travel helps you understand where exactly your limits and boundaries are.
Once you know them, you can start to push them and break them down.
For example, you could push your limits by going skydiving for the first time. Not by going for a 7 hour solo hike when you’ve never hiked for more than an hour at a time before.
Both understanding/knowing your limits and pushing them are important.
But you can’t do the latter safely without knowing the former.
Being able to quickly and accurately understand your personal limits is one advantage of travelling alone that is hard to find anywhere else.
You can’t rely on somebody else to suggest you’ve gone too far.
Or to push you when they know you can do more.
That is 100% your responsibility.
So, get in tune with yourself, listen to your body, and push past a reasonable amount of the fear your brain is pushing into your mind.
Once you figure out how to identify your limits, you can bring that skill back into your normal life and put it into action in your work, relationships, and any hobbies or sports you partake in.
Gosh. There are just so many amazing things that come along with travelling alone. It is one of the most amazing things in the world!
9. Learn to Find Happiness from Within
This is one of my favourite benefits of travelling alone and something I truly lacked before taking my first solo trip.
Before I started travelling alone, I was in a very toxic and abusive relationship. I was completely dependent on my partner and lacked an ounce of self-love and self-respect.
About a year after that relationship ended, I set off on my first solo trip.
I was terrified to put it lightly, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life.
Learning that I could be not only happy but thriving all by myself wandering around the world was something I never imagined would happen.
I was kind of just running away on that first trip if I’m being totally honest.
But the more I travelled alone, the more I began to like myself and be content and happy being alone.
I stopped looking for outward validation, and my life drastically improved.
No matter where you are in your life before you depart on your first solo trip, I guarantee you’ll come back with a better understanding of what makes you happy and how you can find happiness within yourself.
I don’t care if you’re the happiest you’ve ever been or the saddest, you’ll come back happier after a solo trip.
Being alone with yourself for an extended period of time and learning who you are naturally leads to you being happier.
It is one of the most beautiful advantages of travelling alone and something I don’t take for granted.
Solo Travel Myths
Importance of Internet Safety While Travelling Alone
As we’ve discussed in this article, you are 100% responsible for everything when you travel alone.
That includes dealing with anything horrible that happens if you aren’t responsible when you use public wifi.
Trust me. You do not want to have to deal with the headache of cancelling your debit and credit cards while you’re abroad because someone hacked into your online data.
Not enough people talk about internet safety when they talk about solo travel (or travel in general), and I want to change that.
I want you to be safe and feel protected when you use public wifi networks.
Yes. That includes public wifi networks that have a password!
The only way to protect your online information and data is to install a VPN on all your devices.
A VPN essentially puts up a forcefield around your devices. It makes using public wifi networks just as safe as using your home wifi where you’re the only one who knows the password.
There is absolutely no excuse not to protect your online information when you’re on the road.
Your personal data is too valuable to leave exposed to hackers.
My philosophy is that if you can afford to travel, you can afford to protect your online data with a VPN.
My Favourite VPN
I’ve used a lot of VPNs over my years of travel. And I mean a lot!
Most of them I gave up using because they slowed my devices down to a snail’s pace, and I have no patience.
That all changed when I discovered NordVPN.
It is the fastest VPN on the market and the only one that doesn’t slow your devices down a noticeable amount.
It is the only VPN I recommend for traveller because it is so fast.
Plus it is super affordable, so even budget travellers can get a VPN without breaking the bank.
A single subscription protects up to 6 devices and costs less than the price of a single latte per month.
There is no excuse not to protect your online data while you travel.
The very last thing you want happening when you’re travelling alone is to have all your private information stolen and not have anybody around to help you figure out what to do.
There are only a few of the benefits of travelling alone.
There are so many other advantages of travelling alone that I can’t cover in a single post.
And the benefits of travelling alone are so personal.
You may find that some of the advantages of travelling alone you experience another person experiences the exact opposite.
Travel is so personal.
Everybody experiences it so differently and learns different things alone the way.
That being said, I think the benefits of travelling alone on this list are pretty universal.
Pretty much anybody who travels alone should experience the majority of the advantages of travelling alone on this list.
This list paints a very pretty picture of what solo travel is like.
But trust me when I say it isn’t all rainbows and lollipops.
Things go wrong. You get frustrated. Tears are shed.
But, in the end, the advantages of travelling alone far outweigh the disadvantages of travelling alone.
So, if you’re dreaming of taking your first solo trip but have some nerves and doubts, take this as your sign that you got this!
You can do it!
Take the leap of faith and book that trip because solo travel (even if you only do it once) will change your life forever.
In the best way possible!