Traveling alone for the first time may seem scary and unusual to some, but traveling solo allows you to open up your world view to many different cultures, backgrounds, and ways of life. You can experience many types of adventures that may have not been possible if you were traveling in a group. There are many advantages to traveling solo. Here are five of those advantages that you may experience:

Check out this inspiring TALK of SOLO TRAVELER Tomislav Perko

You Have Total Control

Have you ever really wanted to go somewhere new and all of your friends would rather go party in Vegas for the third year in a row? When you’re traveling solo, you can choose to go anywhere you want. The only person you have to please on your trip is yourself.

Not only do you get to choose the destination, but you have complete control over the entire trip. You get to decide if you would rather live luxuriously in first class on an airplane or if you want to savor the trip by traveling the entire way on a train. Then, you get to choose the activities you do. Scuba diving? Whale watching? Running with the bulls? It’s all up to you! You can choose to cross some items off of your bucket list, not someone else’s.

Also, if you party with the locals a little too much, you don’t have to worry about messing up anybody else’s plans by sleeping in and snoozing the day away. Having total control can make your trip a lot less stressful and a vacation is meant to be relaxing.

Related: Things You Learn While Backpacking The World

You’ll Feel Empowered

With all that’s going on in the world right now, traveling solo can be an act of bravery. When traveling all by yourself, you have no one to hold your hand if things can get a little crazy, like if your hotel reservation is mysteriously canceled. There can be challenges when you travel and conquering them by yourself can build up your self-confidence. Being a confident person is an important quality to have.

Staying at home and binge-watching Netflix doesn’t challenge you in any way. On the other hand, going to Austria to ski on the Alps by yourself definitely challenges you. Dealing with these challenges and coming up with solutions to problems will make you feel empowered, which is a great feeling.

Time to Connect with Yourself

Nowadays, we rarely have time to learn to know ourselves. I bet we all could talk for hours about our friends and their interests, but do we know ourselves well enough to talk for hours about our interests. Indulging in some time by yourself is the perfect way to become your own best friend. When you travel by yourself, you can reflect on who you are and who you want to be.  

By learning about new cultures and different ways of living by yourself, you’re rejuvenating your mind and allowing yourself some quiet time. An important aspect of solo travelling is reflection. While traveling by yourself, there will undoubtedly be some time for you to quietly reflect on yourself. You’ll be able to reflect on all of yourself – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Reflecting so heavily on yourself can give you some much needed insight into what you love about yourself, what you want to change about yourself, and what you want to get out of life. You could come home from Peru with the realization that you hate your 9 to 5 job or that you don’t like where you live. You may never make these realizations if you don’t experience the solitude of traveling solo.  

You’ll Save Money

Traveling is expensive. You have to pay for airplane tickets, hotel rooms, eating out, and much more. But, you’ll most likely save money if you’re traveling by yourself and not with a group. When you’re traveling by yourself, you don’t have anyone you’re trying to impress.

For example, if you’re traveling with your best friend and she wants to fly first class, you’ll probably end up flying first class even if you can’t really afford it. But, if you’re by yourself, you can choose exactly what your means of travel is. Also, traveling by yourself means you only need one bed. You could stay in a hostel or try couch-surfing, instead of paying a lot of money for a fancy hotel.

You can use all the money you save on adventures. If you’re only paying $20 a night to stay in a hostel, you’ll have all the more money to get take an extra surf lesson in Bali or ATV across sand dunes in Vietnam. Also, it’s easier to plan and stick to a budget if you’re by yourself. If you decide to spend only a certain amount of money per day, it’s easy to be disciplined if you’re traveling solo. If your friends are with you, they may be able to talk you into ignoring your budget for a cheap souvenir that you don’t really want or need.  

You’ll Make New Friends

When traveling by yourself, you may find yourself chatting with people that you wouldn’t have approached if you were with friends or family. These friends that you meet could be fellow travelers or locals. When hanging out with locals, you may experience a more immersive traveling experience.

You can find locals to hang out with on some Facebook groups or you can just meet them naturally. Strike up a conversation at a bar or on a hiking trail. Being in a foreign place can give you the confidence to talk to people, when you might be pretty shy back at home. If you stay in hostels, chances are that you’ll be bunking with a couple of strangers that are also traveling. You could invite them out to dinner or ask them to go sightseeing. If they say no, there’s no reason to be embarrassed. Chances are you’ll never see them again, anyway!

On Your Mark… Get Set… Explore

Whether you’re with a group or going alone, traveling is one of the best ways to broaden your horizons and open your mind to new cultures, ideas, and experiences. When you book your flight and explore a strange new land, you’ll discover more than a new corner of the globe–you’ll discover a whole new you.


Author Bio: Joanie Marks is a Southern California freelance blogger who has been writing about travel for nearly 10 years in popular travel blogs like Packed Perfectly and Cabeau. When she’s not planning her next international adventure, she enjoys hiking in the hills around her San Diego home.