Solo travel doesn’t have to be scary or expensive. Here are eight compelling reasons you should start planning your first solo trip today.
1) Don’t let holidays go to waste
There are plenty of holidays and long weekends left this year. If you’re American, there’s Memorial day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and the Christmas season. If you’re a student, there’s summer and fall break. Don’t spend your holidays sitting around at home; choose one trip that you can take over a long weekend. Plan ahead, and you can find cheaper flights to places like California or Florida. Alternatively, towns a few hours’ drive from you are bound to have affordable accommodation in the form of motels or AirBnbs.
A solo adventure will give you something exciting to write about in your Christmas letter at the end of the year!
2) See somewhere you’ve never been
I love returning to old, familiar favorites, but solo trips are perfect for exploring new sights. Think of somewhere you’ve always meant to go but never have and commit to yourself to visit there. Check it off your bucket list; it will feel good to have that accomplishment under your belt.
3) Take time for yourself
Life gets busy, which is why it’s even more important to take some time to breathe. If you have a particularly busy season coming up at work or school, see if you can take a couple days or a long weekend off afterward to unwind. Traveling by yourself gives you time to think, process, and reflect. You can set your own pace and activities; you can sit by the beach all day if you want to. You will come back to work and life feeling recharged.
Solo travel will put you in new situations. You might have to navigate a completely new city on your own; you might have to try a new type of transportation, technology, or activity. I recommend fully exploring anything that comes your way, whether it’s a museum on subjects you didn’t think you were particularly interested in, a sport or activity outside your comfort zone (think rock climbing or zip lining), or an unfamiliar food. Solo travel reveals unexpected interests and teaches you what you are capable of. Make this year one where you try something completely new; you’ll thank yourself later.
5) Invest in a passport
It’s a little spendy, but hopefully having one will be an impetus for you to do more traveling! Besides, if you live in Minnesota or another state with the outdated form of ID, you pretty much have to get your passport. So it’s a good excuse to plan a trip by plane somewhere!
6) Become a global citizen
If you’ve never left your region, country, or continent, now is the time! In an increasingly global world where we are all connected by the internet, experiencing another culture firsthand will help you gain a better understanding not only of the differences between cultures, but also the similarities—and your own place in this big world.
If you live in the US, Mexico, Central America, and Canada are not far away, and even traveling to a coastal city like San Francisco will introduce you to a melting pot of people and cultures.
Additionally, many towns and smaller countries with major sightseeing destinations run off of the income from tourists—you can play a part in supporting these destinations and keeping them around for generations to come.
7) Prices will only go up
Inflation raises costs every year, so travel in 2019 will likely cost more than this year, and 2020 will cost more than 2019…doesn’t it make sense to travel now, when prices are lower than they’ll ever be again? 😛
More importantly, solo travel is cheaper than trying to go with a growing family one day. Kids, a career, and other school or family commitments all make it more difficult, and often more expensive, to travel. If you’re at an independent point in your life, don’t let it pass you by without seeing a little bit of the world.
8) The best time to begin is now
I know plenty of people who like to talk about doing things but never actually go and do them. I don’t think anyone should feel bad if they are guilty of this, but it makes me sad that there are people who dream of traveling their entire life and are never able to because other things get in the way. There will never be a perfect opportunity to take time off of work or splurge on a trip—you just have to go for it.
Don’t have the money to book a ticket today? Then take the first step—set aside a little bit from your next paycheck. Over time, it will accumulate into a travel fund. And the more you are able to travel, the more you will want to make it a continued priority.
Happy trails! What do you see as the biggest benefits of solo travel?
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