There is no doubt that going off for the first time and traveling alone is a little, well, daunting.
Don’t worry, I’ve been there.
There are of course both pros and cons to traveling by yourself, let’s discuss.
Pros of Traveling Solo
The main point to realize, is that I say here “traveling alone” – but to be honest? You’ll hardly ever be traveling on your own. You will meet other backpackers and travelers in hostels, at cafes, in museums, checking into flights, at the bus or train station. It’s inevitable – and you’ll have lots in common to talk about, because you’ll both be doing the same thing. That’s a real pro of traveling solo, is that you are more likely to meet a lot of people compared to traveling in a group or with someone else.
You will also learn a bit more about yourself. It’s a trip where you get to whatever you like, whenever you like. There is no-one else saying what they want to do – you get ALL the choice. That’s a pretty nice feeling, especially for the younger folk who are on their first trip. It can be a realization of just what is possible in the world. Cheesy? Sure, but it’s true.
Cons of Traveling By Yourself
There are of course some cons to independent travel.
If you have a friend with you, their is less culture shock. You also get some security in the sense that there is TWO of you (one can help the other get to the hospital if needed, for example).
A lot of people find the idea of traveling by themselves extremely daunting, and bringing someone along with you will ease that discomfort you have of meeting the unknown all by yourself. This is something you get over very quickly if you travel solo – and I talk from personal experience.
Whatever you decide, I would recommend traveling solo for at least a portion of your trip. In my opinion, the pros far outweigh the cons. Traveling solo is both fun and engaging and you will get yourself into more situations where you will experience things. Use some common sense, and you’ll be fine! Have fun out there!
No matter if you’re traveling alone or with friends and family, finding a travel doctor is highly recommended.
This article was written by Tom who owns and operates http://www.activebackpacker.com. His site will provide you with all sorts of information from specific backpacking tips to a massive resource article all about planning a trip to Europe.