8 Benefits of Traveling Alone in 2024

One of the best decisions of your life is taking a solo trip. And for the vast majority of people, this will seem like one of the most daunting affairs, but there are so many endless benefits of traveling alone

A lot of people believe that their first solo trip has to be thousands of miles away in order to be considered adventurous or daring. When in reality, all you have to do is book a night or weekend away in your nearby city to test the waters. 

I went on my first solo trip when I was 17 years old to Montpellier France for a month. It was terrifying, exhilarating, and eye-opening. It forever changed who I was and I’ve never been the same, thanks to that one month. 

From that moment to right now, I’ve never stopped exploring and traveling solo. Of course, I’ve gone on vacations with family members, friends, and partners, but every year I take 2-3 solo trips by myself

1. Never having to Wait

I learned pretty early on in life that you can’t wait for people to do the things that you want to do.

A lot of the time you’ve got to go out and do it yourself.

If you’ve been waiting for your friend/partner/family to join you on that vacation for a long time that keeps getting delayed for XY & Z. Then this is the sign you’ve been waiting for. 

People will always find excuses and reasons why now is not the right time to go. It’s hard to hear and disappointing, but sometimes you’ve just got to break free, book that flight or hotel and just go.

One of the best benefits of traveling alone is never having to wait. 

I learned from a young age that traveling alone is one of the best ways to see the world. I spent much of my 20s traveling solo to France, Thailand, and the US. If I had waited for a friend or partner to be around to join me on those trips, I’m pretty sure I’d still be waiting. 

If you want to explore a new city or country, don’t wait. Take the plunge and go on your own.

2. Discovering Who You Are

This will sound like such a cliche, but one of the best benefits of traveling alone is discovering who you are. Traveling alone allows you to uncover what you love to do and meet like-minded people. 

As you explore the world or even your nearby city, you’ll begin to understand what motivates you to leave your comfort zone and head out into the world. 

It could be visiting a museum (and not having to rush through it because the person you’re with isn’t interested in it). It could be even sitting in a local cafe, reading a book, and watching the world go by. 

You learn about the level of your capabilities by traveling alone. Whether it’s solving a problem of not being able to understand the language around you, trying to figure out the voltage in a new country, or ordering a coffee, you’ll be so impressed with all that you can accomplish from a solo trip. 

3. Doing Whatever You Want To Do

Probably one of my favorite benefits of traveling alone is being able to do whatever I want. There is no more appeasing everyone in the group by trying to balance out everyone’s needs. Or being with a partner who refuses to do anything other than going to a pub and watching sports all day long. 

Photo by Timo Stern on Unsplash

The benefit of traveling alone enables you to do whatever you want to do, whenever you want. Want to explore the city’s museums, or take yourself out for cocktails? You got it! Fancy a late morning catching up on sleep in your hotel bed? Bring it on!

You are your own boss when traveling solo. And sometimes that can also be a burden in itself. I am notoriously impulsive, but if left to my own thoughts I’ll slowly start talking myself out of my decisions. Sometimes I will really have to pump myself up to go out and see the sights. 

This also boils down to the next point.

4. Travel at whatever speed makes you comfortable. 

Sometimes it can feel when visiting a new place for the first time that you need to tick off every single sight to see in that destination. You spend your days chasing metros, buses, and closing times in order to say that you’ve been to xyz. 

There is nothing wrong with this approach to traveling, but it can easily start to grind on your energy levels after a couple of days or weeks of cramming everything into your days. 

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Prioritize what matters to you and your energy levels. If you are comfortable with spending 12 hours of the day stomping the streets of Paris then that’s completely fine. 

But if you also are anything like me who loves to leisurely explore a city with long coffee breaks between sightseeing, then that’s also cool too. 

Travel at whatever speed makes you comfortable. 

5. Find Your Tribe

Hands down one of the most rewarding benefits of traveling alone is meeting like-minded people. Stay in a hostel or sign up for a local tour and you’ll meet an incredible amount of fellow solo travelers. 

Staying in a hostel is one of the easiest ways to meet new people. Some people may recoil at the idea of staying in a hostel, but they’re one of the best ways to meet new people. You also do not need to stay in a dorm room with other people when staying in a hostel, you can book a private room if you are uncomfortable with sharing. 

Photo by Timon Studler on Unsplash

Hostels all around the world offer so many opportunities to connect with fellow solo travelers. 

And if hostels aren’t your thing, look at Meet Up groups in the area that you are visiting. Participate in a free walking tour. Do a cooking class. Join a coworking space! There are endless possibilities in meeting new people and who knows who you might meet.

6. Your Own Company

This may be one of the more terrifying reasons for some people. But learning how to be comfortable in your own company is one of the best life skills that you can possibly learn. This is definitely one of the best benefits of traveling alone for people who can’t bear the idea of spending more than 5 minutes alone. 

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

I have one friend who cannot bear the idea of being alone. From morning to night, she needs to be entertained by friends, working, or with family members. Years ago when I proposed that she consider a solo trip somewhere, she scoffed at the idea. Now a mom with small children, she craves the idea of traveling alone for a short period of time. She’ll get there one day.

Learning to love your own company is one of the most wonderful gifts that you can give yourself. Spending time with your thoughts, experiences, and desires shapes who you are as a partner, friend, and child. 

7. Problem Solving

There may be a time when you travel alone that you may need to problem solve. Figuring out how to get from the airport to your accommodation in a foreign country. Dealing with lost luggage. Getting off at the wrong metro stop. Language barriers. 

When shit hits the fan and you are stuck or need help you will be surprised at how you rise up to the occasion. And it is usually during these times that the kindness of strangers kicks in. 

One of the benefits of traveling alone is solving those difficulties as they arise. Some may be completely minor bumps in the road, some may be boulders. But you will figure it out. And you’ll be proud of yourself. 

8. Regret

Getting through this one life that we all have can be daunting and challenging at times. It has its highs and lows. With the beauty of our lives, we all get one shot at making the most of it. 

For many, exploring a part of the world ranks high on most people’s bucket lists. And what a regret it would be to never experience the beauty of this planet.

Take the plunge. Book the tickets. Experience the benefits of traveling alone just once. If you absolutely hate it, then at least you gave it a shot. 

But if you loved it. Well, that’s a whole other story. Fall in love with the person you can potentially become. Discover the beauty of a foreign country. Meet new people. Or don’t. Uncover the benefits of traveling alone. 

Nervous of flying alone for the first time? Check out my tips on flying alone for the first time here and remove that apprehension from your life.

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