12 Reasons Why You Should Travel Solo

Need inspiration to take that solo trip? From gaining independence to learning new skills, here are 12 reasons why you should go it alone.


A smiling woman floats in the Dead Sea. Photo © iStock / Joel Carillet

Some people travel solo without a second thought. No one else is available so off they go. That’s how I started traveling solo.

However, as the founder of Solo Traveler, the site for those who travel alone, I know that many people give the decision great consideration. I’ve received many emails from people asking questions as they plan for their first trip and others telling me that, after reading our posts for a couple of years, they are finally embarking on their first solo adventure.

Whether you’re a cautious planner or one who jumps into traveling solo, here are 12 reasons that you can expect an amazing experience.

1. Discover yourself

Solo travel is an opportunity to discover yourself as you discover the world. On a daily basis, we typically behave in a manner that family and friends expect. Traveling solo, you can try new things and follow your own instincts. Solo travel is not just about travel but also a break for self-discovery. When you return home, embrace the new you and your family and friends will be more likely to accept it as well.

2. Gain independence

Traveling solo is a great opportunity to practice independence and make all the decisions by yourself for yourself. There’s no need to compromise with someone else – you can do what you want, when you want. You won’t be dragged to places that don’t interest you and you won’t feel that you are dragging someone else. With no responsibility for another person, parent, partner or child, you can truly make your own choices.

3. Meet more people

Think about it. When you travel with someone else, you spend a lot of time talking with that person. When you travel alone, you can talk to anyone. Rather than having a closed stance to the world, you naturally position yourself as open. Whether you’re in a coffee shop or hiking, you’ll have more opportunities to meet people on your journey.

4. Get to know locals

Going solo raises curiosity, respect, concern, and interest from locals and other travelers. Yes, as a solo traveler you are somewhat of a novelty and people love to go out of their way to show you a good time. They will act like ambassadors for their hometown or city. I’ve received guidance, recommendations, coffee and even dinner at a restaurant simply by being open as a solo traveler.

5. More “me” time

Even if you enjoy spending time with new people as you travel, as a solo traveler you will find that you also have more time for yourself. At home you are likely pulled in many directions. Traveling solo, you can decide how much time you spend with others and how much you set aside for you. It’s your choice. You can find more time for reading, painting, or thinking, whatever your choosing.

6. You will learn more

The opportunity to move at your own pace and explore where and how you want offers great learning experiences. It wasn’t until I traveled solo that I tried and learned that I love hiking. Again, by traveling on your own, you don’t necessarily do what your circle of family and friends expect. You can try something new and add a fresh dimension to your life.

7. You are capable

Traveling solo you learn that you are a very capable person. Navigating unfamiliar places where things don’t operate in the same way as at home is a challenge but also demonstrates that you can rise to the challenge. Others notice this... including your parents.

8. You’ll gain self-confidence

Discovering how capable you are builds confidence. It doesn’t necessarily happen quickly. Be patient with yourself – with every new experience lived, your confidence will grow. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.” This statement is, to me, an absolute truth. With every trip I believe in myself that much more.

9. Engage with the destination

A solo trip is more about the culture, history, and landscape of your destination than about your companion. Going at your own pace, without accommodating the needs of others, can mean taking advantage of opportunities that arise that are important to you. Whether it’s the chance encounter with a local that you want to spend more time with or the need to return a second day to a museum, you are free to engage more deeply with your destination in whatever way you choose.

10. Nobody else's opinions matter

There are so many reasons to spend time on your own. One is to get grounded in your own opinions and perspectives. Traveling solo, you have the time to consider your life, career, relationships and more without the weight of someone else’s opinions. It gives you the opportunity to be absolutely true to yourself.

11. Demonstrate vitality

If you are a person over 50, solo travel can be a demonstration of vitality. It’s easy to see a solo traveler as an adventurer. As one, it is less likely that you will be seen, especially by younger people, simply for your age. Go on a solo adventure and return to work with a new perspective on life while you shift others’ perspective of you.

12. Challenge yourself

Life can fall into routine. It can land on autopilot. This is especially so for those whose lives were diminished due to Covid-19. Travel solo and shake things up and see what comes of it.

You may have noticed that none of the reasons above have to do with being single. Solo travel is about much more than that. For this reason, people become hooked on solo travel and, whether partnered or not, it becomes a requirement to keep balance in life.

Solo travel feeds your sense of adventure and need for personal time. Give it a try.

About the Author 

Janice Waugh publishes Solo Traveler, the site for those who travel alone. New articles are published every week. Solo Traveler also curates the only list of tours and cruises from a variety of companies that have a maximum of 20% single supplement. Many of the advertised trips have no single supplement at all. You can sign up for the Solo Traveler Newsletter here.

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  • kathleen caulfield said

    I've been traveling solo since my late teens and now am 60. Believe me it's the only way to go! Once in awhile I go with a group as "single supplement" but find that not one tenth as fun as going alone and experiencing the natives, going your own route. I'd love to write a blog on my experiences as a single, 60 year old solo traveler to encourage others. Maybe World Nomads should look at that and I'd love to write it. Leaving for Belfast early January to see my ancestry castle which is under development. Can't wait! Kathleen Caulfield

  • Marilynn said

    I took my first solo trip as a senior the year after my husband died. You are dead on with your comments. It was probably the best thing I could have done to move on with life!

  • Norah said

    I started travelling solo after doing two trips with a Univercity group as part of our Education Degree.
    I was so frustrated with what others thought was fun and an adventure so I launched out on my own. It was a great decision. My first trip included Paris, Holland, UK, Etc
    I have been to Eygpt, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Falkland Islands and Antarctica plus did both Islands of NewZealand and many of the Islands in the Pacific.
    I turned 80 a couple of weeks ago and am still hoping to fit in a couple more trips.
    So give it a go if you have never tried it and if you love people, other cultures and exploring new environments I will guarantee that you will love it too

  • MrDublinGuide said

    absolutely, we agree on all points. We love number 10. Nobody else's opinions matter. the best part is that you plan yourself and you can change the plan to your liking.solo travel is something everybody has to experience at least once in his/her life. It challenging, but has so many benefits.
    We would suggest Ireland's capital Dublin as a solo destination.Why?In 2016 Dublin was voted the 3rd mots friendly city in the world.People in the bars,pubs or on the streets will always give you directions, help you with any question you have and give you advises and tips.You always feel like nowhere else. Dublin has so many things to do.The best part is that its not a big city and its extremely easy to get around.And it’s not too small, and there is always something on.There are so many free things to do in Dublin, so you can have fun without even touching your purse.
    If you're coming to Dublin, remember, its a city of craic (fun). So have fun and enjoy every minute of it!

  • Robert Baker said

    Nepal this October will be my first solo trip and reading this and your comments, I am super stoked! Thanks for your adventurous spirits!

  • Catherine said

    Great article! I couldn’t agree more with you!

  • Ace Vision Treks said

    This article is always in my mind. Thank you so much for the great tips.

  • rick be said

    I often travel alone,but sometimes need
    to show others the way.I sometimes find that
    I join another that is"going my way".

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