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Saturday, March 12, 2016

7 Benefits of Solo Travel: Why it is Good for You!

Let’s face it, traveling solo is not for everybody. Each of us has different styles, preferences, and philosophies when it comes to traveling. Yet, I still encourage everyone to try it at least once in their lifetime. Traveling alone is an empowering experience with its own sets of pleasures and challenges that are rewarding in the end. It is good for your body and soul! Needless to say, it should be on everybody’s bucket list!

Here are, in my opinion, the 7 benefits of traveling as a single person:

1. Great sense of independence
Traveling by yourself means having a great of sense of independence and freedom in making your travel goals happen. You get to plan everything - where you want to go, how you like it done, and when you plan to do it. You can be in one location as long or short as you want and make changes in your itinerary anytime. There’s nobody else to consider as you rely on your own terms – no negotiations, no compromises, no dramas. Every little detail of your trip is entirely based on your own style and preferences.

2. It teaches you to be adaptable
Traveling solo teaches you to be more adaptable and flexible to different types of people and situations. The experience turns you, in a way, a better social animal. Whenever I travel on my own, I find myself being more open to having conversations with strangers and meeting local people. It sort of becomes a natural thing for me.

3. Better chances of getting hosted
Another benefit of solo travel is that it gives you better chances of getting hosted by a stranger or a local family. You get to meet people more easily too. This is especially true if you’re requesting to be hosted through Couchsurfing because more hosts prefer a solo traveler than duos or more. Similar websites such as HelpX and Wwoofing also tend to favor single travelers.

4. Gaining new friends and knowledge 
Traveling solo is a good opportunity to meet local people and fellow travelers from different walks of life, while learning from them interesting stories, knowledge, and ideas about traveling and other topics. This is among the benefits of doing trips as a single person that I treasure the most. It is always gratifying to immerse yourself with the locals and co-backpackers and gaining new knowledge and friends at the same time.  

5. Spending travel budget better
I have done some backpacking trips with my friends in the past and I find it more difficult to stay within my budget when I’m traveling with them than on my own. Solo travel teaches me to make better choices on spending and stay within my travel budget since I won’t be relying on anyone when all hell breaks loose. My spending habit is always better when I backpack by myself.

6. Best time to contemplate
Solo travel provides a lot of quality “me time.” Since you are traveling on your own, you are having a great deal amount of time and space to be alone and contemplate on things that matter to you. It is a good opportunity for self-reflection and thinking about how your life relates to other people and the entire universe. Of course, there will be times when you may feel lonely but it is a natural part of the process that every solo traveler eventually overcomes. That's what makes the experience more valuable.

7. A challenging yet rewarding experience
Traveling solo is a challenge in itself and by the end of your journey, you will be rewarded with good memories and better confidence in yourself. For sure, it will turn you into a much wiser, better person after the experience as it helps you re-calibrate the balance in your life. Bluntly put, solo travel is a priceless accomplishment that can't be taken away from you and you can brag about it.

Have you traveled solo in the past? How was your experience? Leave your comments below if you have anything to add to the list of benefits of solo travel. Cheers! 

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