9 Reasons NOT to Solo Travel. Seriously.

If I had a penny for every article I have read recently about how amazing it is to travel solo, I would be a very rich woman. Well, I would at least have enough to pay for a Tinder upgrade and find myself a hot travel buddy. Sometimes, and I’m scared to say this, I hate travelling alone.

All this talk about how incredible it is to travel solo and how ‘everyone should do it at least once it their lives’ is such a load of recycled rubbish. Sure, traveling by yourself can be amazing sometimes and there are certainly benefits do doing it at least once, but it’s about time someone laid down the facts about what it’s really like to travel by yourself. Solo. Alone. With no friends. Not even one. Is it fun to travel alone? No, sometimes it’s NOT! Solo travel depression is very real thing and not every solo travel trip ends with stories of “the best trip of your life”.

Here are 9 good reasons why you should do whatever you can not to travel solo on your next trip. For the love of God, find yourself a travel buddy. An acquaintance. A lover. Anyone who will turn your solo adventure into a trip to remember and one you can share and reminisce on in years to come.

9. Solo travel is expensive.

When you are traveling by yourself, everything is suddenly so much more expensive. There’s no one to share that expensive taxi ride with you. No one to rent that car with. There’s no one to split the costs of a hotel room. Many tour groups actually penalize you for being alone, and force you to pay humiliating ‘single supplements’.

8. Eating alone is depressing

Would you go to a restaurant back home by yourself? Didn’t think so. Trying to find restaurants where people won’t judge you for being alone is an absolute pain. You either sit in a nice place nervously, wishing your food would arrive faster so you can leave quicker, or you succumb to only eating at crap fast food joints so people won’t have enough time to see you eating alone. Half the enjoyment of eating out is sharing a meal with others, tasting their food and enjoying some good conversation. Eating alone sucks. Planning to do it anyway? Here’s some good tips about eating solo!

7. An album full of selfies

Anyone who has travel led alone even once is sure to have mastered the art of the travel selfie. But there really are only so many angles you can take of your gigantic face with the Pyramids, Great Wall of China or the Eiffel Tower in the background. Continually having to ask strangers to take your photo while you stand alone and pose can get tiring pretty fast, and you also risk your camera or phone getting stolen each and every time you hand it over.

6. Traveling alone can be dangerous

When you travel alone, you are taking a risk. You will always be an easy target and will, sadly, might even have some really horrible experiences. You won’t have a buddy to fall back on. You will have to defend yourself. There will be no one to help when your wallet gets stolen in Barcelona with all your money and cards or when your bags get taken after you have fallen asleep on a 12 hour bus ride across Northern Vietnam.

5. It’s hard to make friends

Have you ever walked up to a group of people in a bar and tried to make friends with them? It’s hard, right? They will most likely smile and then turn away. Making friends while traveling can be really difficult and leave you feeling drained at the end of each day and with a horrible feeling each time you wake up and know you have to do it all over again. Sure some people are nice and you will find some like-minded people in hostels and in bars on nights out, but those people move on or fly home and leave you right where they left you, looking for new friends.

4. Solo travel is boring

Unless you are a seriously introverted person who likes to hang out by yourself all day back home, solo travel can get boring. Quickly. There are only so many museums you can visit by yourself, books your can read and activities you can do before you start to wish, “Man, I seriously wish I had a friend to do this with”. Cycling around a city by yourself? Boring. Doing a sightseeing tour by yourself? Boring? Even mad bucket list activities like skydiving or shark cage diving are a million times better if you have someone to share the adrenaline rush with.

3. You will question all your life choices.

Spending a little bit of time alone is great. Spend too much time alone and suddenly your mind starts to fill with endless thoughts about life choices, your career, past relationships and what direction your life is going. The smallest things, like seeing kids laughing or watching the sunset, can trigger a waterfall of emotions. A little bit of deep thought never hurt anyone, but it can get too much when you become overrun with emotion throughout your trip.

2. It’s harder to laugh off the small things

When you travel with a friend or a group, it is so easy to laugh off the small things such as missing your train or getting extreme diarrhea or getting scammed into buying tickets for a bus that does not exist. When you are alone, these problems become magnified and, at times, make you want to cry, scream or even pack your bags and fly home.

1. You have no one to share your memories with

Even your friends and family back home, who I’m sure love you dearly, will only be able to cope with 2-3 days max of your endless travel tales. They get it. You spent some time abroad. You met some Maasai warriors. You ate a rat. After one week max, they won’t want to hear about it. If you have traveled with others, you can spend as long as you like reminiscing about that crazy boat ride in Laos or those dodgy milkshakes in Bali. You will always have that bond between you, and it is an incredible bond to have.

Authors note: I have had many, many positive solo travel experiences. I think everyone, and I mean everyone, should take a solo trip at least once in their life. It will shape your personality, give you confidence and help increase self-esteem. This post is simply a reflective piece on 10 years of solo travel.

88 thoughts on “9 Reasons NOT to Solo Travel. Seriously.”

  1. AnonymousGuy23

    Hi Janet.

    Thank you for this article. Thank you so much. Why? Because as we speak, I’m in Thailand at the moment, 4 days away from home and honestly I can’t wait to go back. I loved traveling alone for the first 15-20 days (don’t know where was the point it turned a bit sour), meeting a lot of people, just seeing the new world unfold infront of my eyes BUT now I kinda got tired of it. Tired of same questions every two days (Where are you from? What do you study? Where have you been so far? Where are you going? Bla bla blah…) I was really depressed about myself, especially because everyone I’ve met, my friends and even many blog posts said the same: going solo is the best thing ever. Yes, I agree, but only for some time, as I’m an extrovert and love to share moments wih my friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some wonderful people over here, but they’re not my real friends I’d rather share (some) moments with.

    I really thought I was the weirdest solo traveler in the whole world. And you were right – after I was alone for too long, some stupid thoughts came to my mind. Doubts avout the future, doubts about myself. But I guess it’s all part of the experience (I try to see it as self-discovery). I also noticed that after some time, my confidence goes rock bottom, as I have no close friends nearby to talk about my insecurities. But again, looking on the positive side, I’ve discovered a couple of things about myself that need to fix. As a matter of fact, I just realised that I don’t want to smoke cigarettes anymore.

    Thank you again, it cheered me up =)

    With lots of love from Koh Tao,

    P.s.: sorry for any typos

  2. Call me small minded but generally the people I know of that travel solo are egotist types that do not get along with people to begin with. They know that anyone that spends a couple weeks with them will end up hating them in no time so they prefer the kind of superficial, temporary, polite, relationships that you have with people you meet on the road. By traveling they can delude themselves into their own glorified grandiose, man or woman of adventure, self image which they will wear like a badge of distinction later on. I knew a guy at work that everyone hated, name was Malcolm, but that didn’t stop him from bragging of his big adventure riding his motorcycle solo across the U.S. Bahhh, who cares, ha ha. Reality check people, going on a vacation is not like saving a bunch of orphans from a house fire. It’s a vacation. It doesn’t make you a hero or Marco Polo or Lewis and Clark or anything like that. You either had a good time or you didn’t, and if you experienced a foreign culture you might be a more interesting person now because of it. Still your stories are probably really quite boring for most of us. Don’t get me wrong. Travel is awesome but its not an accomplishment and neither really is climbing a mountain. It’s recreation and nothing more. Of course, in this world of facebook bragging is not really frowned upon anymore and solo vacation selfies will just continue to propagate. Maybe with everyone growing up in front of a computer screen kids don’t even know how to keep each other company anymore, anyways?

  3. I’ve travelled alone a lot, and never felt alone for a moment, because I always manage to make friends with the locals and find it really rewarding to do this. I come back with friends to keep in touch with in each country I visit.

  4. Kanishk Tripathi

    If I wait to find a companion for travelling, I’ll never travel at all. I don’t want to grow old with a regret of not doing something I wanted to when I was young and had the energy to do it. Often travelling with friends doesn’t materialize. Some may have work commitments, conflicting schedules. One or two friends from your group may be free but they may want to go with every friend in the group.
    Travelling solo may not be better for you but it’s better than not travelling at all.

  5. Each to their own, I guess. I’m a very sociable, outgoing person who loves company but I adore travelling solo. In fact, I choose to travel alone more often than not now because other people can be unreliable, it takes forever to decide where to eat or another girl has to do her hair or…. a myriad of reasons. It sounds like a crazy cliché but I really think I “found” myself whilst travelling alone. I had come out of a pretty bad bout of depression and found so much strength and peace in 6/7 months of solo travelling. I didn’t find the things you mention challenging – eating alone? It depends where you are, in some cultures people don’t care and other backpackers/travellers certainly don’t judge.
    I definitely feel you on the selfies though 🙂 and I appreciate your points. We all feel differently and that’s great! Happy Travelling.

  6. I have travelled solo literally all my life and I am 50 years of age (female). I used to take my Daughter when she was 3 years old off on great holidays. When she grew up and headed to University I knew I would be heading off on adventures alone!!! My first backpacking was to Asia, and I also took in Australia and ended up in Bali – it was fabulous – I hired a moped and felt so bloody free. I got the travel bug and left my job (in a bank in London) and house and moved to Costa Rica without any Spanish. I did a TEFL and I could have simply moved to Spain (I was in London at that time) but it would have been so easy to move back home and I wanted/needed to challenge myself and come outside of my comfort zone. It was one of the best things I have ever done. I ended up living in CR for 18 months. I then travelled all through South America alone with my backpack… by this time I had learned a little spanish (and I would advise anyone to have at least basic spanish when travelling in central or south america). When I finally got back to London after 2.5 years of travel I was so unsettled – I took off again – this time to walk the 1000 kilometre pilgrimmage to Santiago de Compostella – alone !!! I stayed in my Sisters holiday home in Valencia in Spain to help me research my trip – relax and read and prepare myself for this trek which took me all of 30 days. When I took my hire car back to Valencial train station – two guys attempted to mug me – they failed (but that is another story and that is the only negative thing that ever happened on all of my travels). I walked all of the Camino – which was the most awesome trip of my life… in fact I walked another 3 days to Finisterre and stayed there for a month contemplating life before moving to Gran Canaria. I could write a book on all the places I have been but mostly it is the people I have met along the way that give me the most memories… they were fantabulous. My only regret is not keeping a blog of all this. I am so envious of all you travel bloggers. My advice would be – just do it – do not be afraid – fear holds you back – I am pretty confident but this made me even more so. I did keep a diary of all my travels and I really hope one day to join all the dots and put it into my memoirs. In the words of the Costa Ricans (whom I love). Pura Vida.

  7. Interesting article. I thought that it was being ironic at first. I think it is good to show both sides. There is no right way to travel or best way for everyone. We are all different and experience life differently. I love traveling solo but understand that it is not how everyone would like to travel. Thanks for recommending that people at least try it once so they can decide for themselves 🙂

  8. intrepidtraveller

    Yup, I think we all agree that everyone should travel solo at least once but I just wish people would admit there are always downsides and it is not always as fun as people make out!

  9. Aubrie Engman

    I am really glad you wrote this article, because yes, there were some really great things about traveling alone (I just went on my first solo trip), but there were also a lot of things I like about traveling with friends, family or a boyfriend more.

  10. I like traveling solo, but it definitely has it’s downsides, as does traveling with others. You shouldn’t wait to travel with someone, but going alone does make it a bit harder, and does suck sometimes…on the other hand, I have travelled with people I’ve met on the road and had an awesome time with them!

  11. That is THE DIFFERENCE in travelling solo Happy or travelling solo Unhappy!!!! Just like FB is NOT for people that are not social…..DUH!!!

  12. I disagree with a lot about this post. I have spent a lot of time travelling solo, and I have enjoyed it, but I am starting to enjoy travelling with people I know. They are two different ways of travelling. I enjoy both, and I do think you should travel solo once in your life – it does change you as a person – you need to think for yourself, take risks – but you feel ALIVE!

    I wanted to address some of your points:

    9. Solo travel is expensive – only if you make it. If you travel solo, you need to plan smarter – walk, take public transport, ride share, hitch hike. The list goes on. I have done some tours when I have been on my own, as it is a good way to meet people, and I pay the same as what a couple or group of people pay. I stay in hostels to meet people to hang out with for the day, share taxis or other expensive things, which I have done many times.

    8. Eating alone is depressing – really? I find it quite nice actually. I don’t feel that people stare at me, or pity me. Sometimes it is nice to sit down in the middle of the day, and be with yourself, reflect on the day, plan and not have to make conversation if you don’t want to.
    I have made conversations with the waiters and other locals where I have been; they have shared with me places I should visit, or just talked about life. You clearly care too much about what people think of you

    7. An album full of selfies – I do have some photos like this, but what is the problem with asking someone to take your photo – I do all the time and it is never awkward, and I am never worried about them running away with my camera! If you travel as a couple, sure you only always have photos of each other and will have to ask someone if you want one together – same same!

    6. Travelling alone can be dangerous
    Not anymore dangerous than travelling as a group or a couple. Anyone is a target, no matter where they are. Learning to fend for yourself when things go wrong (in my case a motorbike accident) makes you a stronger person – more independent and confident, in my mind. You have to take calculated risks in life and travelling solo is one of them.

    5. It is hard to make friends – stay in a hostel – it is easier. Chances are you can meet people at the bar, in your room or wherever. I have made friends with someone on a local bus in Borneo who was travelling to the same place. We ended up travelling together for 2 days, and did a tour, which was cheaper as we travelled as a couple (even though we were both ‘solo travellers’). I made friends waiting at a ferry terminal, in hostel dorms, on flights, buses, or in a cafe. It is actually pretty easy.

    4. Solo travel is boring?
    Ok, so what is it about travelling that you like – do you just like being with someone? Sure a shared experience is better, but honestly, I travel to see and do things, and if I have to do it alone (which I often do), then I do it. Even back at home, I go places on my own, because I want to. I wouldn’t say I am introverted, but I am not an extrovert either – I am a middle of the road person. I like company, but I also like my own company.

    3. You will question your life choices
    Ok, sometimes I do, but I don’t just do this when I travel. It is good to reflect on where you are in life and where you are going. Just because you are 28 and not married, or have kids, a ‘career’ or a house – does that mean you have made the wrong choices in life – heck no! You should be comfortable with the decisions you have made; don’t lust after the life of others, or feel you need to fit in to the mould that society wants you in – make your own life and be happy!

    2. It is harder to laugh at the small things
    Is it? I have had many mishaps in my time of travelling solo, and yes they are stressful at the time, but you work through them.
    Don’t tell me you’ve missed a flight, lost money or had a major incident and sat and said “ah sure we’ll be grand” – no, you’ll just be as stressed if you are on your own, but as I said above in the section about travelling being dangerous, when things happen to you as a solo traveller, you become stronger – you have to fend for yourself. You become more independent! Mishaps are often what I relive and tell stories about as they do make great stories, which I still laugh about to this day.

    1. You have no one to share your memories with
    So travelling as a couple or a group makes this easier – how? Yes you can relive adventures, but to be honest that is why I blog. I blog not only for those that want to read about my travels, to inspire and help them, but I travel for me – I like to look back on where I have been.
    I know many travellers and travel bloggers that I regularly connect with and we have a number of travel inspired conversations. Travellers understand me, and we can chat on end about the trips we’ve made.

    But hey, everyone is different! I will still travel solo, and with others too when the opportunity arises.

    Safe travels (though they should be, if you are travelling in a group hey!)


  13. As someone who travels regularly for work by myself, I think this is spot on! I could’ve written it! I think what also can influence the experience is the destination, the reason for visiting and what activities you do…can make it better or worse!

  14. In my experience most of your points are inacurate. Two things worse than traveling alone, travelling with someone you’re not compatible with, and not travelling. I love solo travel and think it’s the best way to go.

  15. i really love this article. but actually i”m a new member join this blog. overall i enjoy reading some comment from this blog. i also like to travel and not alone. for me if travel alone sometime make bored . for me it depend on people what they like actually.
    thanks for the tips from journalist of the run.
    really appreciated.

  16. WrongWrongWrongX9!! Maybe some people shouldn’t travel solo!! Maybe it depends on one’s personality, experience, sense of adventure…etc! Maybe some should never leave home or never travel without a buddy!!

  17. This article is fun and obviously it’s on your blog so it’s based on personal opinions of the writer and as such should be taken with a grain of salt. I’ve traveled since I was 3 months old and I am currently 34, I’ve traveled to more than 50 countries by myself and with friends, family, etc. and they are definitely different experiences. With that said, I am certainly not afraid of traveling alone and have fortunately for me being alone is one of the most freeing experiences I have when I travel because I answer to no one and if I decide I just want to sit in a hotel room eating room service for an entire day watching French soaps in Paris, it’s my prerogative and I answer to no one. With that said, here is what I think about the 9 reasons not to travel solo (and I do this in case someone decided NOT to travel solo because of this list).

    9- Solo travel is expensive.
    Sure, it an be but there are plenty of places you can stay for cheap if on a tight budget (hostels, couchsurfing, etc), you can stay in someones house with AirBnB and pay for a room (and hey you won’t be alone!), and there are plenty of tour operators nowadays who aren’t charging single supplements (google that if you don’t believe me). Lastly, if you are “humiliated” by a single supplement you seriously need to get some thick skin and probably shouldn’t be traveling solo in the first place.

    8- Eating alone is depressing.
    I actually love eating alone and it doesn’t depress me if anything it makes me appreciate the food a lot more. Don’t get me wrong, I love dining with people too but dining solo is one of my favorite things ever. And being judged by people? You seriously need to stop thinking about what other people think of you. Who cares?

    7- An album full of selfies.
    I am not a fan of selfies, selfie sticks, or anything like that. But I am a Professional Photographer so what I come back with is an album full of breathtaking images that will decorate my walls for years. Not only that but I can wait for hours at a spot for the light to be perfect without someone nagging that they want to move on to something else…

    6- Traveling alone can be dangerous.
    So can traveling with people. Nothing has ever happened to me while traveling solo (knock on wood) a group of my friends who were traveling, however, got mugged, beaten, and left clotheless. So…

    5- It’s hard to make friends.
    People are often super interested in me as a traveler and I’ve made many friends all over the world. I am actually going to stay with one in Johannesburg next month. And I am an introvert at heart.

    4- Solo travel is boring.
    Only if you make it.

    3- You will question all your life choices.
    And this is bad, why? A little emotion and self searching never hurt anyone.

    2- It’s harder to laugh off the small things.
    I crack myself up. That’s the beauty of solo travel, you learn to roll with the punches.

    1- You have no one to share your memories with.
    Have you heard the saying, “collect memories, not things” you can collect memories with or without people by your side.

  18. The author should question herself why she finds it difficult to socialize with other groups. That’s the main goal of travelling solo. Why? Does she have attitude problem? Is she introverted? Lolz. The rest of her list here is nullified once you master the art of making friends with strangers who shares the same passion as you.

    And for God’s sake, you just need to do your research if you want to go solo and save on your trips.

  19. I agree! I LOVE traveling alone. I just convinced my daughter to take a trip to another country and not be afraid to eat alone, meet new people, make friends, learn the culture and make her own descisions. It is very liberating and it gave my daughter a new sense of independence and confidence. She actually prefers it now, impressive since she used to be a girl who couldn’t walk into a room alone.

  20. Guess I’ll just stay at home, stare at the tv and wait to die then.
    Seriously it’s negative bollocks like this that could stop someone apprehensive from really broadening their horizons and growing as a person, just so you could air your pathetic little opinions

  21. All I’m saying is, I travel ‘solo’ and encounter none of these problems. In fact, quite the opposite. Not sure what kind of traveling you’re doing where you are paying for tours, staying in hotels and eating at restaurants?

    I know that whilst i travel ‘solo’ I’m never alone for more than a day or two, then I meet people at a hostel, or anywhere else for that matter. In fact, in 7 months I’ve probably spent about a week or two alone.

  22. Wow, thanks a lot for this post. I was and I am considering going solo for the first time in my life this summer. I’ve read so many articles about travelling solo that I was completely sure that the only thing possible was to make a new friend at every corner, to even meet the love of my life and have the best trip ever, perfect, with no flaws and almost like a movie but thanks to you now I can be more realistic about what can I feel at some point during my trip and I am really considering book it, not because I am scared but because it is an intense experience (both positive and negative) and I have to be honest with myself about being able to cop with the bad moments of travelling alone.

    At the same time and even though I am super grateful for your post if you really think travelling solo has its positives and negatives and you really support trying it at least once maybe it would have be better to post in the same post the two sides of travelling solo, it would show more of what your opinion is and what the reality is: it can be a cool experience but you have to be honest and be prepared to face bad moments.

  23. Hi! (Sorry for my english)
    I was reading this and thinnking: :3 I like to eat at restaurants by myself from time to time! (hahah) when I am doing things on my own 🙂 The same than going to the movies alone. It is nice, not boring at all, because you enjoy things in a different way. And I’ve met other people that do it also. I think it depends on how much you appreciate yourself, how much you know yourself, how autonomous you are, how independent you are on your decisions and how little you care about what others think. And I think that can be related with the society you come from. I’ve met a lot of autonomous Latins, French and Czechs, but I think USA culture cares about other people prejudices… that relates to the ability to enjoy life, to cherish memories you do by yourself, and to laugh at simple and small things.
    About the funny “selfies” topic xD I think it really depends on how social are … The truth is that, again, everything depends on your personality, autonomy, culture and priorities, how much you enjoy an experience or not, whether you are alone or with someone. Because, if you’re submissive, you are ashamed to do things alone, you can not make decisions by yourself, you can not laugh at simple things and you always need someone to follow; you are not a pleasant person to be with… And probably there are a lot of things you would like to do but you can’t, because you don’t dare to do it by yourself :/
    Regards 🙂

  24. I couldn’t disagree more. I have always traveled alone, as a women, to, so far, 30 countries. I always find people, and those who also travel alone seem to find each other. It is rare that I get time alone. But to be alone is important, to self reflect, and to get stronger. We must not depend on anyone to entertain ourselves. It also gives you strength and courage to speak to people, and make new friends. I love to travel alone, as I am free to do whatever I want. I never have to answer to anyone or wait for anyone. I can go freely where I want when I want. “There is always room for one” is my motto, and I find myself being invited to join people all the time. Also, I can walk away when I want. I love my own space and time. To travel alone to character building. If I had to wait for anyone to get their shit together I’d never have seen over 250 cities in 30 countries. I now have friends all over the world, and have found myself in situations where people invite me to join them, and stay in their houses, offer me rides. If I am alone, it is not long before I meet someone else alone, and we team up. Sorry, but I don’t think this article is accurate. if you want to live cheaply you can, also you can find budget accom or couch surf. This discourages people. Try writing about something that will encourage people to take risks and live a little.

  25. I prefer traveling alone. For some reason whoever I travel with sooner or later will just start pissing me off. That includes my boyfriend, my numerous friend and even my sister. I love dining alone and I do it often at home. And I don’t have a single selfie. Honestly people prefer having a ugly photo of them and a tiny piece of Eiffel tower or a pyramid instead of beautiful landscape? And I’m not traveling to make friends, I’m traveling to see places and culture. And yes I am introvert and I prefer spending time alone that with someone. But thats just me 🙂

  26. Jennifer Hopkins

    I couldn’t disagree with this article more. I’ve travelled all over the world, sometimes with people, but more often alone. I’ve had some of the richest experiences while travelling solo. I feel sorry for anyone who can’t eat at a restaurant by themselves or who can’t stand to be alone with their own thoughts. That’s just sad. Travelling, especially solo, teaches you what you’re really made of, forces you to use your brain and problem solve and gets you outside your comfort zone so you can grow as a person.

  27. This is a great article! It definitely shows the downsides to solo travelling, though I think #3 could also have a positive spin. I wouldn’t necessarily say these are reasons not to travel solo, I’d be more inclined to just call them disadvantages. Although travelling with a buddy can have its drawbacks too! I’m a solo traveller, and I love it! I’m looking forward to reading your take on the benefits of solo travel too 🙂

  28. I experienced many similar problems. I got the most help from couchsurfing.com, so I could find somebody to have a beer with, do activities and sometimes even showing me around. Most people there know your situation and can support you.

  29. I couldn’t agree more.

    While you a lying on a beach in paradise, sipping another cold drink you think, feck this, I want to have a conversation and a good laugh.

    After all my travels, almost exclusively alone, I would hesitate to accept a free ticket to yet another ‘amazing’ destination unless there was someone coming with me.

  30. I am going to have to disagree with you on pretty much every point in this article. I have found traveling solo is actually a lot easier and better than traveling with people for many reasons; but here is why I don’t agree with your points. Traveling “solo” actually IS the best thing a person can do. I have backpacked through many different countries and I can tell you that you are hardly ever alone. It is unbelievably easy to make amazing friends at your hostel or on tours of the city that you can share your experiences with. I have often ended up continuing my travels or meeting up with them again at some point along my trip. These people are also in my photos and help you laugh through the small stuff, as well as become long time friends I can continue talking about our travels with. Also it does not have to be expensive. Just be smart. Don’t take an expensive taxi when you can take a cheap tram or take a free walk, hostels are extremely cheap and don’t have fee’s for people traveling solo. Not to mention they are crawling with people doing the same thing you are and looking for new friends too. Eating alone in a restaurant is liberating, all you need is a tiny bit of confidence. Who cares if these forgein people see you eating a meal by yourself. Caring what people think who you don’t know and will never ever see again is a waste of energy. Contemplating the bubble that you have lived in is a good thing because it puts things into perspective. If seeing a child makes you cry uncontrollably because you don’t have one then clearly that’s what you want, so go find someone and have a baby. Stop crying about it. Lastly I saw that you said you have traveled solo many times as well and had a great time. I am not sure why you would say it’s such an awful thing when you have enjoyed it so much. Of course not everything will go as planned but that’s part of the fun. Also absolutely nothing in this earth is perfect, but traveling alone is so beneficial to people on so many different levels I find it horribly sad and close minded to try and tell people otherwise

  31. I found the article pretty bleak and I love travelling solo and I have loads of friends all over the globe. The article didn’t reflect any of my experiences at all and surely can’t be written by an experienced traveller?
    I leave home with me and my backpack and as soon as I land somewhere new my adventures begin and I find I am never alone. When you go with friends you rarely mix with others as you have no need, but alone you do and other people talk to you straight away. If you are scared of being alone or find it difficult to mix with others then maybe travelling solo isn’t for you. But I have to say I admire those who can and do because they are special. Thumbs up for the adventurous!

  32. Sarah, 1000% agree with your comment. I used to travel with friends but then I had a mini-solo experience in NY and then, a couple of years after, I started to solo travel and never stopped. It is also also the greatest experience and achievement in my life and I made a lot of friends and shared a lot of things with beautiful strangers. And I never felt unsafe. It depends on how much self confidence you have. But we must admit that there’s a lot of people that don’t enjoy it. I respect them, but I also encourage them to give a try to solo travel.
    Let’s face that solo travel is no fun when you go to hotels and restaurants. I really recommend going to hostels, do housesitting or couchsurfing and eating where locals go.
    Anyway, it’s good to show the dark side of the moon but, as you Sarah say, do not impose notions on other people.
    All the best!

  33. I think it’s cheaper to travel alone because it’s easier to get a couchsurfing host and hostels cost the same because you pay by bed.
    I think it’s important to travel alone because you should enjoy your own company and independence. Sometimes, it does get lonely. but for every time I’ve been lonely there’s been a time I got to do what I wanted to do instead of compromise and a time I got to have real introspection.
    The problem I have with this article is it discourages people from spreading their wings and experiencing the world independently. however this is a great conversation piece.

  34. What is surely a load of rubbish is this article ! I guess the writer is just an antisocial or didn’t even experienced travelling alone. Leave your country alone doesn’t mean you will travel alone, I’ve never met so many people than when I travelled by myself. So please, don’t judge people who love travelling this way and keep your narrow thoughts for yourself…

  35. Traveling solo has its pros and cons, just like traveling with a buddy or group of people. To me this is not a matter of Black and White since you could do both depending on the circumstances. Let’s say for instance I want to go to Machu Pichu but nobody among my friends and usual travel buddies could go with me. Since Peru is perceived to be a safer place for solo travelers, I wouldnt have any doubts exploring that place on my own or with total strangers. I will reserve the rest of the world to another buddy who can explore it with me at the right time. Experience both and they will teach you a lot of different things…in a different way. Traveling solo helps you discover not only about a place but also about yourself. Traveling with someone opens your doors to exploration of a new place, new culture and being able to share it with someone. Aren’t we lucky we have the freedom and the privelege to choose both?

  36. Oooo… controversial! Nicely written, but I’m afraid I disagree on most points! Solo travel was one the best things I have ever done. Yeah, there’s ups and downs, but there are also many ups and downs to travelling with friends and especially a partner. I guess it just depends what you want out of the trip!

  37. I admit it’s fun to travel with family, friends, best friends, relatives and my beau BUT when I tested to travel alone, it was a different kind of fun. i have to get use to it though… however #8 doesn’t apply to me, I enjoy eating alone 🙂 looking forward to more of your posts 🙂

  38. I admit it’s fun to travel with family, friends, best friends, relatives and my beau BUT when I tested to travel alone, it was a different kind of fun. i have to get use to it though… however #8 doesn’t apply to me, I enjoy eating alone 🙂 looking forward to more of your posts 🙂

  39. While I don’t share your sentiment on a lot of points, I do agree with your ‘complaint’ of so many solo travel posts lately. When did this become a thing? When did it become a hashtag? When did solo travel become a travel style like going on safari? I travel solo mostly, sometimes I don’t but it actually doesn’t matter to me – what matters are places, experiences and connections made on the road – whether with a travel buddy, new people or myself.

  40. its true that sometimes its difficult to travel alone, but here’s 9 point why this article dont have to discourage readers that never tried to travel solo 😀

    9 – walk hitchike or do camping, its more or less free
    8 – read a book newspeaper or write while waiting for your food, dont care about what people think of you
    7 – dont take photos of you, be in the moment
    6 – your wallet can be picked in barcelona even if there are ten people with you 😀 be a minimum careful and everything gonna be alright
    5- you can meet every day new people, solo travellers like you, locals, in hostels couchsurfing+++ etc
    4- number 5 justify why it cant be boring to travel solo ( some moments in a day can be a bit boring for sure )
    3- i personally question my life choices even at home when not travelling
    2 – its harder to laugh about small things, thats right
    1- just talk once about your experience, you dont have to make a big deal

  41. I totally agree with what you wrote. Well, I thought about that also 3 years ago. But solo travel actually change all of those perspective. Those points that you just wrote, it doesn’t seem to matter again when you already step in the foreign country and you realize that you are totally ALONE. And that’s when the strength came over me, and you’ll know that you are capable of doing everything SOLO.

    I’ll try to keep open mind, it’s always nice to travel with friends and family. But when you are alone, you are free to do everything you wants. You can say “Hi” to strangers and it doesn’t matter if they ignore you or say hi back. Because hey… you’re in foreign country where nobody knows you. So what the hell?

    I really recommend you to try solo travel once. Don’t worry, if you don’t like it, you can always come back. But just try before other people around you try to convinced you more and more to stay in your comfort zone, and in the end, you’ll never grow.

    Good writing though!

  42. Hi Lukas,
    Having travelled to 50 countries on 5 continents over a period of 10 years, this is meant as a reflective post, looking back at all the difficulties of solo travel. I also had many great experiences, but that is for another blog post. Just because someone did not have the same *extremely positive* experience that you had, does not mean they have never traveled solo. Solo travelers on Facebook have become extremely defensive about their lifestyle after reading their post, when they should just accept that everyone travels differently, has different experiences and that solo travel isn’t for everyone.

  43. Lukas Schenkels

    Although I really appreciate your effort to show the other side of travelling (alone), I wonder if you actually have ever travelled alone.. at least travelled alone outside your own country. It comes to me that the examples, wich you use to illustrate travelling alone, counts for a trip inside the borders of your own country. For example: American meets American or Dutch meets Dutch. Unfortunately most people start to wonder why your eating that diner alone or going for a drink alone, because you´re in your own country and it looks you’re friendless for a reason. For general reasons it makes you supsicious.

    I want to bring some nuance in your article, in the sake of every potential traveller that is about to make one of their best decisions in their life. Once you go for a travel outside you own country you will be (most of the time) not alone!! You meet people everywhere. On the streets, in a bar and above all in hostels. Even if you’re shy, you will meet people. Even if you’re crazy, you will meet people. You get inventations to eat together, go to a bar together or share a ride to a National Park to save money. People are exactly in the same position as you are. They want to have fun, they want to save money, they want to prevent the scenario that is written in this article above. Don’t let yourself be stucked by the anxiouty of making a boring lonely traveling. Let it go. Do it. It will go completely automatically and on the end of the ride you have done something you could have never imagined! If you want a pretty good picture of travelling by yourself or even just in general, watch: “A map for saturday”. Amazing documentary/film about making a travel alone.

    P.S. About all those question you ask yourself.. aren’t those questions in life that are f*cking important wich everybody should ask themself? Get the answers and grow, devellop and become your best self without any restrictions!

  44. Haha, small world! I have been based out of here a month. I work out of Punspace in the old city if you want to grab a coffee!

  45. I am a big fan of solo travel, but I read this article with my mind open, as even I know sometimes solo travel can have it’s downfalls. However, traveling solo doesn’t mean being alone, for me, it means having the freedom to choose whether to be alone, or whether to make friends for the evening or go on a day trip with a group, or even find a travel companion for a few days or weeks. Traveling solo has taught me that whether I am at home or abroad I can enjoy my own company, so doing things alone doesn’t bother me. But by no means am I an introvert, sometimes I crave and enjoy the company and conversation of others, and while I am traveling, I have never had a problem meeting other travelers, other solo travelers, or even locals to satisfy that desire. Also, traveling with loved ones from home brings about a different set of challenges. Traveling can be difficult and can test even the best of friendships. I have seen friendships ruined over travel due to different travel preferences, and simply spending too much time together. I actually find it more difficult to meet new people when I am already with a group, so I am really stuck with that group unless I choose to go off on my own, then again recreating the solo experience. I have my own travel style, and unless someone has traveled as much as me it is hard to find a good travel match. For example, I love my family, and it is nice to share experiences with them, but I really dislike traveling with them, and since my mom takes control of the planning and loves tourist attractions, I don’t get to spend time in the city the way I like when I am with them, and I also come home exhausted because we had to see everything! Totally not my style, but what can I do?Anyway, sometimes it’s wonderful to have someone to share with you, but I prefer to find these people on the road, and have no obligation or commitment to them, I have made lifelong friends this way, and I do have these people all over the world who have shared experiences with me.

  46. I just posted a comment as well but I wrote quite the opposite. Interesting because I’m in Chiang Mai as well :-p though I arrived here not long time ago.

  47. While most of the people disagree here, I can totally relate for my case. But then, it depends on many factors like the duration of your journey, the purpose of it, your age, in what area of the globe you travel and your character (confident/shy, optimist/pessimist, outgoing/reserved, …)
    I use to travel for periods of 3 months, on my own, without a planning.
    – #9 Usually the biggest expense is the rent; so with friends you may save at least half that money.
    – #5 New friends are more difficult to make when you’re on your own (but note that I don’t use guest houses for the moment). Being with at least another friends will create you more opportunities to get in touch with other groups.
    – A single male travelling for such periods (3 months+) will usually want to meet a girl, and again, alone it’s just harder, better to have a wingman or you might often look like a weirdo approaching girls just on your own, and have the feeling that you wasted your time when being refused, while time with friends is time never wasted.
    – If you’re into visiting the country with planned excursions, etc. your mind will stay focused and busy and the points above will be of less importance, that’s why I said earlier that it also depends on your purpose. Then about the age, I think that the more you get older the more hard it gets to make (local) friends (especially if you travel to conservative countries and you’re 30+).
    I can relate to the other points mentioned as well, but I never experienced to travel with someone else (cause they can’t travel for such long periods) so I can’t compare 😀
    It’s just my opinion and by the way I’m the shy/reserved type by nature so that definitely doesn’t help too 😉

  48. Well I don’t think someone can say “you have to travel alone” or that you can’t. I’m not either fond of the articles saying you have to do it at least once in your life, if you don’t feel like it, don’t do it. Travelling solo is sure a bad idea for people who can’t survive on their own, but since I live very well with myself and like my own company, I enjoy travelling solo. Sure sometimes I think it could be fun to go on an adventure with friends, but when it’s not possible, I’m thinking that it’s much better to do something on my own than stay alone at home on my couch doing nothing. In both cases I’m on my own but if I do stuffs at least I’m experiencing stuffs…

    Travel is about enjoying so if you don’t enjoy travelling on your own, don’t. But some people do and for each reason you list not to I can oppose an argument:
    9. Go to a hostel and take the bus
    8. Yes I do sometimes go alone in restaurants at home and I don’t care if people judge, don’t give a fuck what other people think, I just live my life
    7. Well by asking people you might even start a conversation, and for the stolen risk, well just ask someone who has a nicer camera than you…
    6. Maybe yes but there are also good people in this world who will help you by taking you to the police and even giving you a bit of money so you can eat (I experienced it)
    5. Then don’t try
    4. Half true. When I’m sightseeing I dont get bored even if I’m my own since I’m discovering so many stuffs, but I have to admit that in the evening it can get pretty boring, well just like at home when I stay in and do nothing but read, surf the net, watch TV. I don’t meet my friends everyday, I can survive on my own
    3. I have these questions also at home and I just enjoy the moment. Man, I’m in an interesting place, no time for self pitying!
    2. Nope… Maybe you’ll think I’m weird but I’ll laugh at it still
    1. Sure but those memories are still mine. And when I’m feeling down, while bored at home doing nothing, I can think at this wonderful travel I did… And I don’t bore my friends with my tales unless they ask, like I love to know theirs…

    So it’s really about the way you see it, so I think every one should travel the way they like, there’s no reason to despise a kind of travel, there’s not one good way to travel, there’s just one which is the best for you, the other ways can be left to the others. 🙂

  49. I really like your perspective here. I agree that sleeping in a hotel room alone is pretty depressing! It is better to stay in a hostel where there are fellow travellers. Many of them would be solo and would be seeking friends just as you are. It becomes easy to make friends in a hostel.

    Eating alone is surely depressing. I remember many instances when I gulped down food without looking up. But, this is more in your own city. I just dread the possibility of a known face walking in the restaurant and giving you those sympathetic looks. But, when you are having a pizza overlooking a snow-clad valley, who cares if anyone judges you! You are with your own and the feeling of depression is overcome by a sense of serenity.

    Anyways, I am not a hardcore solo traveller. I have done just one trip when I travelled solo for 15 days. During the trip, I had opted for some volunteering work so that I don’t get bored easily. Plus I made some friends.

    Now, I am stretching the limits by going for a 20 day solo trip in Indonesia & Vietnam. Let’s see how it works out!

    Btw, I blog at Travelmax.in. Do give it a read!


  50. I eat out alone multiple times a week at home and no one has ever made me feel weird about it. That is nonsense.

    And I enjoy my own company and spend a lot of time by myself at home. So I also spend time alone when I travel. I find traveling with others a big struggle, I usually dislike those people after the trip and it takes awhile to rebuild the relationships with them.

    I can’t agree with a single thing on this list.

  51. All the points are valid, and ones like no-one to share memories with, dangerous, and occasionally boring I definitely agree with. Waiting for the train and bus never seems long with company. Having an extra person you know instantly makes the entire trip more relaxed. And no matter how many photos you take or how often you talk to friends, it’s not the same as having someone there with you, but I have had an awesome time phoning friends around the world on WiFi when I’m in front of a spectacular view. That’s pretty fun too!

    It’s more expensive because you don’t have people to split with. In places like Chiang Mai, having a place to split a room makes it basically the same price as booking a mixed bed dorm. It’s not as expensive as going around with friends who want to stay in hotels. 😛

    Between eating alone and eating with people when I don’t want company (even good friends), I’d choose the former.

    Meeting new friends isn’t that hard. Vice versa, I’ve found when I travel with friends, it’s harder to meet people or stick with people that both my friend and I get along with.

    Another reason I travel alone is actually because many of the things I want to do few people would also want to do (i.e. cycling long distance without a set route), and that’s just a matter of choice. 🙂

    I question all my life choices – always. hahaha. So true. But you do make me think of what pushes me to continually travel alone, even when it’s often not that comfortable. It’s still what I prefer, although I’ve had a great time on trips with friends. And we need an article like this once in a while to sober people up!

  52. Don’t worry, it won’t put me off travel. But it’s good sometimes to read some of the negative sides. When you only read positive things and then go on a trip, it doesn’t always live up to the stories and that in itself I think can ruin a trip. You start to feel like you did something wrong to make it not perfect. It helps to know that there are negative sides because then you can be prepared.
    Still, don’t think I’m ready for travelling solo just yet. I’m a bit of an awkward person so I don’t make friends too easily. The fact that I never go to bars makes the ‘talk to people in bars’ suggestion that many make a bit useless. Also, as much as I like being by myself, that’s when I’m at home and have all the comforts. When I go places, I like to go with others because then you have someone to share your memories with. But someday though I hope to build up the confidence to go travelling alone.

  53. Hello. Roughly 2/3 of my travel was with a partner and 1/3 solo, solo being the most recent. Here is my take on your comments.
    9. Expense. N/A, but tends to be cheaper solo.
    8. Eating alone. Yep, not so great. I distract myself while watching couples stare at their cell phones or eat in silence.
    7. Selfies. I actually like the selfie I took in Sweden with a Moose, and the one I took in Jordan with a cute Bedouin girl. I’ll pass on the endless selfies of lovers, with a just the tip of the Eiffel Tower poking behind them.
    6. Dangerous. Agreed. Every time travel to the Mediterranean it’s non stop invites from men attractive, well educated men to have dinner. I even got asked out while asking a man to help me parallel park my ‘wheel on the left hand side’ car. Jeesh.
    5. Friends. True, I only add 5-6 friends to my Facebook while traveling. I’m sure if I had a partner, I’d be adding 2-3 times that. Traveling solo I only get to have meaningful conversations with 1-2 people a day.
    4. Boring. Can be. In Japan, for 5 whole days I had the onsens all to myself. I was completely naked in nature, watching the waves lap the beach from the comfort of my heated, private pool. It was so silent I could hear the trees whisper. Bored as hell.
    3. Questioning… indeed. Like, ‘how is this trip a soul changing experience.”
    2. Laughing at small things. I force myself to laugh at inconveniences, like late trains, etc. Otherwise I’d hear nothing but arguing couples, because it’s always the man’s fault when the train is late.
    1. Memories. I’m a great story teller, I admit. People always tell me they live vicariously through me. It’s tough.
    Happy Travels.

  54. I read this article after seeing the headline and thinking it was a joke, like ‘You shouldn’t travel to Portugal because’, and then there’s heaps of stunning pictures attesting to why you should go there.
    Apart from your first point, every comment is inherently negative and coming from a place of fear. Eating alone in a restaurant in a foreign country will only inspire hatred and fear of the situation in someone who is insecure in themselves and unappreciative of the atmosphere surrounding them. Surely someone who is travelling will revel in people watching, absorbing the culture surrounding them, without the influence of another?
    Claims like “You will always be an easy target and will, sadly, have some horrible experiences.: when you’re travelling alone” are completely unfounded! You cannot speak for everyone, every country, every experience. As a blog writer please don’t fill people’s minds with a fear of travelling alone, simply to try to be different! “It’s hard to make friends” – well, it’s harder to make friends when you’re attached to someone rather than solo. “Solo travel is boring” – it’s easier to be bored with someone you know, rather than having your own fun completely in your own hands – in fact, travelling solo will ensure that you’re always having the most fun you can because YOU are driving it. The fun you have is YOUR idea of fun, all of the time.
    You may have travelled alone a lot over the past 10 years, but it seems like you’ve never truly appreciated or loved it. Please do not impose these notions on other people! While travelling with others is fantastic, travelling alone is one of the most liberating, fulfilling, exciting, mindblowing, enchanting, mesmerising and delightful things anyone can do! Do not write it off because of any of the points above!

  55. You’re definitely not crazy but please don’t let this post put you off traveling, even if it is solo!! I plan to write another post next week about all the methods/apps/websites that you can use which will make it a million times easier to head off on your first solo trip. I know this article reads as a very negative take on travel, but rest assured I love nothing more than traveling the world and will do whatever I can to encourage others to do the same. (With a bit of honest negativity added in every now and then for good measure!)

  56. So happy to read this! I keep reading things and listening to podcasts where people talk about how great travelling around the world solo was for them. I really want to travel but at the moment don’t have anyone to travel with and I’ve had a lot of worries about travelling solo, hence why I haven’t done it yet. You’ve basically outlined all of my worries here. I was starting to wonder if I was crazy for thinking these things.

  57. i wont travel alone cause its really very sad, its like watching youtube videos and laughing by yourself this time you try to control it cause you are outside people might think youre crazy

    i hope this journalist on the run will marry me so we can travel together… text me +639229905662 i promise ill laugh with you all the time..

  58. I love travelling “solo”. I started backpacking alone in 1994 and haven´t stopped doing it. Most of the time I join other fellow globetrotters for shorter or longer periods of the journey. I am “never” alone but meeting my human family and getting to know better my backpacking tribe

  59. I will most definitely be giving it another try. If I don’t persuade my usual travel companions to join me, that is. I have had some incredible solo travel experiences and will no doubt have many more, but my 3 month trip last year with a group of friends was one of the best trips I have ever taken.

  60. Travelling alone was one of the most AMAZING experiences in my life. Soon I hope to do it for a year.. Or maybe indefinitely. I met hundreds of warm, awesome people, lived crazy adventures, and it was super cheap 🙂
    I’m just saying, maybe you should give it another try, but opt in for couchsurfing, hostels and alternative travel instead of the polished commerical travel with hotels, tours and restaurants. It is an in redivle experience 🙂

  61. Sounds like amazing trip! I did Brisbane to Melbourne back in 2009 and must admit you will probably make amazing friends within 2 days and travel the whole way down the coast with them! Where are you from? There is a great group on FB called ‘GirlCrew Trips and Travel’ and you are almost guaranteed to find other people going to Oz at the same time as you. You won’t need it though…Oz if FULL of backpackers!

  62. NomadicJessie

    thanks for this article, you are right! There are soooo many articles and blogs circulating about the perks of solo travel, but not many to balance this argument. I myself do love solo travel, and am quite happy eating alone in a new restaurant or taking the chicken bus by myself. But it is always nice to break up the solo jouney with friends too, (because who does want an album full of selfies) and I have always been lucky enough to be able to do that. In mid July I am heading off again on a one way ticket to cairns to begin backpacking my way to Melbourne and while I am incredibly excited as always, I am also apprehensive as friends I am usually joined by for part of the journeys are off on their own adventures in Dubai and Ireland! Still, I can’t wait to get going! I love staying at backpackers because there are always so many wonderful people I meet and quite often, when no one has a set plan we often join up for a while anyway 🙂

  63. I mean, I could easily write a blog post about….20 reasons solo travel is amazing. But there are far too many articles like that out there already. 😛 Thanks for sharing your blog, I will check t out.

  64. Yes, and no. I love to complain but in reality I am also a huge fan of solo travel. I am just SICK of seeing so many of the same articles getting churned out each week with inspirational quotes. Travel is great. Solo travel can be great. But it is also difficult and heartbreaking and uplifting and enraging and exciting. All at the same time.

  65. Great article. In august I will hit the road for around 1 year. Just myself. After reading this article I confess I’m a bit afraid. But I’d like to know if you are talking about yourself in this article. Regards!

  66. Thanks Alberto. I certainly am an extrovert and don’t like to be left alone a lot, but this article was written with 10 years of personal solo travel experience in mind. You’re right though, it is very personal but I believe a lot of people will be able to relate.

  67. Alberto Tutsique

    “Most” of these are personal issues. I don’t have any problems with dining alone. Look at it this way, everyone is so busy with their company that they rarely even look and judge you. As for questioning the life chocies, that’s the result of over-thinking. And you can fix that by focusing on the present. It may not be simple as it sounds, but it’s possible. But I think whatever I’ll say won’t change who you personally are, clearly an extrovert who doesn’t like to be left alone. I’ve still enjoyed the article, thank you and have a good day.

  68. That is true! It can be fun to travel with people for a while, and then if you don’t get along, you can just go your separate ways. Then again, if you pick your travel buddy carefully enough, this shouldn’t be a problem. 😉

  69. The best part about traveling alone is that you’re not stuck with just one travel buddy, and you can find new ones wherever you go!

  70. Well, the good thing is that people who DO travel solo know that this is a bunch of nonsense.
    And as a reminder? LIFE is a solo. We’re ALWAYS alone even with others.

  71. If u are a little bit sociable u will never need to be solo. WORLD IS FULL OF PEOPLE. Locals and other travelers. Problem is if u are not able to smile a make new friends on the way.

  72. Thanks for your comment! I will be the first to admit that I do travel alone a lot, and most of the time I love it, but it really is hard work and there will be many occasions when you wish more than anything else that you had a travel buddy with you! 🙂

  73. I really enjoyed reading this. I always wondered how travelling solo could be fun but all the blogs I’ve read suggested it was great. This post helps bring some balance to my thinking anyway. I can identify with everything you’ve written – I love, love, love having someone to share my adventure with. Cheers 🙂

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