Should you travel solo or with a friend?

Traveller, adventurer, author and film maker Alastair Humphreys helps you decide if you should travel with a friend or brave going alone...

5 mins

On most of my travels I have been on my own. But I have also had many  great experiences when travelling with a friend. So which is better? 

Here are a few thoughts to help you weigh up the pros and cons and decide which works better for you...

Advantages of travelling with someone else:

Is it better to travel with a friend? (Dreamstime)
Is it better to travel with a friend? (Dreamstime)

  • It’s safer.
  • It’s cheaper: you can share rooms, taxis etc.
  • It’s less stressful: you share the haggling with touts and answering the same questions a million times from curious locals. You can keep an eye on each other’s bag while one of you nips into a shop or toilet.
  • Shared memories to reminisce over when you are old.
  • Someone to laugh with.
  • Less daunting and scary heading to strange and unknown places.
  • Less gear to carry: you can share the weight of the tent, guidebooks, medicines etc.
  • Easier to ignore the weirdo on the 24-hour bus ride who is determined to sit next to you and tell you their life story.
  • Travelling is less boring and lonely.

Advantages of travelling solo:

Is it better to travel solo? (Shutterstock)
Is it better to travel solo? (Shutterstock)

  • The trip is more of a challenge.
  • You meet more people.
  • There is less bickering.
  • You can do what you want when you want.
  • It can be more exciting.
  • Less time talking about Eastenders: you’re more immersed in the experience.
  • You realise you are capable of more than you imagine.
  • Great for self-confidence.
  • Less faff and trivial discussions about what flavour jam to buy.
  • Strangers are kinder to you.
  • Freedom, I mean real freedom.
  • Arriving in a place where nobody knows a thing about you is liberating.
  • Greater sense of achievement.
  • More peace and quiet, time to think, read, write, take photos.
  • Easier to tell outrageous lies about your adventures in order to impress girls...

My over-simplified solution is that travelling with someone else is more fun but going solo is more rewarding. What do you think? 

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