Problems of solo travel
Reading my blog, you will realise that I am a big fan of solo travelling. I do honestly believe that it is something that everyone should try at least once. However, that doesn’t mean that it comes without any potential problems or worries. Many of these can be avoided through some simple steps that I have already written about, but others are things that you have to bear in mind before embarking on a solo trip. Read on if you want to hear about some of the problems of solo travel and some ways that they might be overcome.
Solo travel means that you have nobody else that you have to please. There is nobody else’s opinion that you have to take on board when you go places. However, it also means something quite obvious. There is nobody else with you on your trip. Of course, there are times that you might make some great friends and travel around with them for a while, but this will not always be the case. Sometimes you are truly by yourself. That might be on a bus or train journey, or it might be a day or night in a destination. Staying in hostels is the best way to try and avoid the latter, but sometimes it isn’t possible. For me, when I was travelling around Europe, I went to Zagreb and didn’t really meet anyone that I got on with despite staying at a hostel.
So, what do you do as a solo traveller when you aren’t with anybody else? There is no doubt that you have to be comfortable in your own company. That might be confident getting on the right bus to the correct destination, or it might be going for dinner by yourself. Both of those examples are things that people are often worried about and to be honest it takes a bit of getting used to. However, once you have done it a few times, they become activities that you don’t worry about anymore. One of my top tips is to take a book with you when you travel. There is always your phone to watch Netflix or whatever on, but a book often makes the time pass much more quickly when you are alone.
I can’t sit here and write that there won’t be times that you might get lonely whilst solo travelling, but the positives certainly outweigh the negatives. As a solo traveller, you have the ability to go wherever you want to, whenever you want to do it. This is something that you can use to your advantage during those lonely times. If you aren’t enjoying a certain destination or a specific hostel, then it is only you that you have to worry about and you can just leave.
During my time in Zagreb, I altered my plans so that I could go to destinations further afield, rather than get stuck alone in the city. It’s important not to get into the ‘grass is always greener mentality’, but if you really are feeling lonely and struggling to meet your type of people, then your solo traveller superpower is that you can just move on.
This blog post is written from my experiences. It is certainly a different story for female solo travellers than it is for male solo travellers like me. Being safe is something that I also worry about when I travel but it is something of far more concern to many women. For me, you just have to look as though you know what you are doing. Walk with confidence, avoid going places that are not well lit, don’t drink too much alcohol unless you are with a group that you feel safe with and always ensure that you know how to get back to where you are staying. Certainly, don’t do anything that you wouldn’t do in your hometown and keep your wits about you at all times.
If you are a guy like me then do look out for any solo travelling girls that you might meet. Don’t get in their way or treat them like a child, but if you have gone out in the evenings, offer to walk them back to the hostel or share a taxi to make sure that everyone gets home safely. Likewise, there is nothing stopping you as a solo traveller, no matter your gender, asking others to walk with you places or share taxis, especially at night.
There are problems of solo travelling just as there are problems of travelling with a group. However, a lot of the problems can be simply avoided or at the very least minimised. It is never going to be fun every single second when you are travelling alone, but that is something that let’s you get the best out of the good moments.