Solo travel or a trip with a friend: which is better? Alastair Humphreys helps you decide
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 (or show it to your friend and let them decide for you).
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.
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? Am I wrong?