Sure, the prospect of setting off solo can seem daunting, but it will also open up a world of opportunities and self discovery. What are you waiting for?
"I can’t go travelling – I’ve got no one to go with."
Rubbish! This common excuse for delaying, or dismissing altogether, plans of seeing the world is one of the worst. Although the prospect of setting off solo can seem daunting, there are plenty of options for people who don’t have a willing partner or pal at the ready.
For starters, would going alone be so bad? Many travellers love the freedom they have when they’re on their own: there’s no need to make concessions, or miss out on something you want to do because the group doesn’t want to. Also, lone travellers are less intimidating – you’re more likely to be approached by curious locals or fellow travellers. Such encounters could open up unexpected travel experiences.
There are downsides. But nothing that can’t be overcome. Ultimately, travelling solo can be uplifting, eye-opening, occasionally lonely, sometimes tough but never, ever dull.
Solo hiker (Shutterstock.com)
The first question you’ve got to ask yourself is whether travelling solo is for you. It’s not unknown for adventurer Alastair Humphreys to find himself traveling alone – usually in some remote corner of the world – and he has put together a handy checklist to guide you through the dilemma of travelling alone or with a friend.
Finola, on the other hand, says just do it. And she gives you 9 reasons why solo travel is great.
Seasoned solo traveller Lyn Hughes takes a more considered approach and reveals what to expect when you travel alone for the first time.
Should you travel alone or with a friend? – Alastair Humphreys
9 reasons why solo travel is great – Finola
First time … travelling solo – Lyn Hughes
Backpacker girl meeting locals in India (Shutterstock.com)
OK. Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of travelling on your own. Solo travel has its own set of challenges and Lyn Hughes has put together the ultimate guide to solo travel that will not only help you conquer those challenges, but turn them to your advantage. It comes with a second part, so you know it’s good.
Solo travel evangelist, Emma Higgins, goes one further and offers practical solutions to seven particular problems faced by people travelling on their own. From getting the perfect shot of yourself in front of the Grand Canyon to applying sunscreen and dining alone, she has all the answers.
The most annoying thing about travelling solo is the often prohibitive single supplement. Sometimes you’ll end up paying double for only a fraction of the experience. Fear not: Lyn Hughes reveals 7 ways to avoid the single supplement.
Finally, as a solo traveller – especially if you’re a woman – you’ll face issues of safety and security that many other travellers don’t. Again, Lyn Hughes has called upon her vast experience to give you 13 tips to keep you safe.
Your guide to solo travel Pt.1 – Lyn Hughes
Your guide to solo travel Pt.2 – Lyn Hughes
7 solo travel dilemmas and how to solve them – Emma Higgins
7 ways to avoid the single supplement – Lyn Hughes
13 safety trips for female travellers – Lyn Hughes
Solo traveller taking a photo (Shutterstock.com)
Apart from the obvious problem of taking photo of yourself while travelling solo – already addressed by Emma Higgins in her article about overcoming the obstacles of travelling on your own – the same rules of travel photography apply.
Indeed, it could be argued that travelling solo gives you the time and opportunity to take even better photos. Without a travel partner nagging you to get a move on, you can take your time over composition and exposure and take the perfect image.
You may even want to consider it as a career. In that case, you’ll want to read our article about how to get paid as a travel photographer.
Still not convinced? Check out the photos our readers took when they were travelling on their own.
Get paid to become a travel photographer – Wanderlust Team
Woman waiting for a flight (Shutterstock.com)
Ready to start planning your trip? Our Solo Travel Guide is the place to start. Make sure you drop by our solo travel recommendations page as well, for top tips from the Wanderlust team. We’ve round up the latest solo travel news too.
If you have a particular question about solo travel, pop over to the myWanderlust Forum where our knowledgeable community are ready to spring into action and share all they know. Or check out the questions that have already been asked about solo travel. The answer to yours might already be there.
Solo travel guide – Wanderlust Team
Solo travel recommendations – Wanderlust Team
Riding off into the sunset (Shutterstock.com)
Here’s a selection of fantastic trips offered by our partners. We’ve also put together a list of 9 of the best trips for solo travellers that don’t charge a single supplement. From cruising in the Galapagos to horse riding in America’s Wild West, there’s something for every taste and budget.
9 of the best trips for solo travellers – Wanderlust Team
Main image: Solo traveller at sunset (Shutterstock.com)