With any decision in life, there are advantages and disadvantages, pros and cons. When it comes to travelling alone, the pros and cons are many; therefore, it is up to you to weight them, to decide which path is right for you.
Advantages of Travelling Alone
Possibly the biggest advantage of solo travelling is the power to make every decision. No sharing in the decision making when it comes to sights to see, hotels to sleep in, and restaurants to dine in. When it comes to deciding what venture to pursue, your only limitations will be monetary.
While having complete and total freedom is a major advantage, there are others to consider.
To rise and shine?
Possibly the biggest problem I have when travelling with others is arguing about whether someone is tired and wants to go back to the hotel early. Additionally, there is the decision of whether or not to sleep in. Sometime you need the opportunity to catch up—reenergize. If you are not feeling 100%, you may not fully enjoy your trip.
You want to hit the snooze button? That’s entirely up to you!
If you and your best friend are having the time of your life, you are less likely to be open to new possibilities. To some, you may be seen as unapproachable. Furthermore, you are less like to introduce yourself to other people as you already have a travel companion with you. There is something to be said for the opportunity to connect with people from difference cultures.
All About the Money, Money, Money
People are willing to spend money on certain things. Here is a prime example: my wife hard is exceptionally picky when it comes to hotels, I don’t really care as long as it has a roof and a shower. My brother, on the other hand, spent most of his time in Europe resting on train rides and sleeping in hammocks.
When you travel with others, they may insist of luxuries or (what they believe to be) necessities that you had not originally planned on spending money on. Money causes more fights than anything in relationships, which includes travel companions.
Disadvantages of Travelling Alone
Just as there are numerous reasons to travel alone, there are just as many reasons to travel with a buddy.
Safety in Numbers
The most obvious disadvantage of travelling alone comes in the aspect of safety. With no one watching your back, you have a target on your back. This isn’t to say that you cannot have a safe trip while travelling alone; however, you may want to look into travel health insurance. Trip insurance can help with trip cancellations, injuries and illness, and if you get mugged or pickpocketed.
Furthermore, if you are alone, an injury or illness pretty much means your travels are over—a friend can get you around, the general public isn’t so accommodating.
One is the Loneliest Number
Some love to be alone—not I. If you aren’t an outgoing person, you aren’t likely to make new friends while on your travels. You will be making so many wonderful memories as you see and experience the world, the last thing you want to do is to make them alone.
Splitting the Workload
Sometimes it is hard to plan events for a lengthy trip. Having input from another person gives you a mental break from planning dozens of meals, planning sights to see, and lodging. Even if your travel buddy makes no plans, you can use them as a soundboard for planning—a little feedback—positive or negative—can help plan a well-rounded trip.