The Downside of Solo Travel

the downside of solo travel

Solo travel is an amazing experience that can enrich your life in many ways. I love it and always try to encourage people to try this at least once in their life. But I also don’t believe in glossing over the negatives, so in this post I will be honest in sharing my opinion on the downside of solo travel.

Confronting Problems
They say that solo travel can be a form of escapism, but it also has a way of making you think about things. You are alone with your thoughts and things you have ignored may start to resurface. I have spoken to many travellers who say they have experienced this during a journey or two. I previously left a relationship after a 3-week solo trip, after realising how happy I was to be away from the guy. There were obviously other issues but that trip kind of forced me to confront the state of “in denial” that I was in. I once spoke to an old colleague who told me that she previously left her ex-boyfriend whilst on a backpacking trip with him. Travelling long-term with him made her realise that they were not compatible.

Sometimes More Expensive
In general, solo travel is known for being cheaper. But there are some instances where it can turn out to be more expensive. In recent years, I have noticed that some tour companies will either refuse or charge more for solo bookings. Some hotels do this too by charging a “single person supplement” for rooms. It can also be expensive when it comes to taxis because you are not splitting the cost with anyone.

Post Travel Blues
Many solo travellers can sometimes feel sad after returning home. It takes a few days to start feeling normal again. This challenge can be minimised by not going back into your daily routine straight away if possible. Take an extra day off work. It’s better if you land on a Friday and have the weekend to relax give yourself time to sleep, unpack, and unwind.

Feeling Lonely
Sometimes feelings of loneliness can crop up when you travel solo. Even for me as the ultimate introvert! Some places feel perfect for solo travel and others don’t. There have been some destinations where I thought “wow I honestly would have enjoyed this more with friends”. Amsterdam for example, I have been to twice with friends and had so much fun. When I went alone I genuinely felt quite lonely. Prague is another place where I felt a bit lonely.

Travel jealousy exists. You would hope that everyone would be happy for you but it’s not always the case. Sometimes friends and family will envy you after seeing all the photos and videos of your travels on social media. I previously had to end a friendship because she was telling everyone that my photos “looked photoshopped” and that I was lying about travelling abroad. Unfortunately, you cannot change how people feel, so sometimes the best thing to do is keep a healthy distance if it becomes extreme.

Many people have the idea that it’s not safe to travel alone. I completely disagree with this. It is safe, but I think travelling alone means that you have to sometimes take extra precautions (especially if you are a woman). There is nobody to “watch your back” so you need to be more alert at all times. When travelling with friends, we will happily walk drunk back to our hotel at midnight. Whereas when I travel alone, I generally won’t stay out past 7pm or 8pm, and I won’t have more than 2 drinks. But this is also subjective because it does depend on the destination. I feel safe walking around Portugal at midnight alone but I wouldn’t do it in France or Italy.

What do you think is the biggest downside of solo travel?

Click here to read about the things I have gained from solo travel.

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