Solo travel isn’t for everyone though some people love it and in fact, prefer it to traveling with others. I’ll start off by saying that there are a few things I actually loved about it; you can read all about them if you scroll to the bottom.
However, my experience has led me to decide that I hate solo travel; I’m too much of a social bug, which is weird because I’m introverted and don’t love large groups. But I do love one-on-one time or small groups that I can joke around with and chat aimlessly to. When you’re used to that kind of travel, it’s pretty difficult to adjust.
If you’re thinking about taking a trip by yourself, DO NOT let my reasons dissuade you from trying. If you read them and you agree 100% with every single one, then perhaps it’s not for you. But if you are at all hesitant, then go! You may find you’ll love it. Even I have to admit that I’d try again if the right opportunity came along.
Why I didn’t love solo travel
No one to remember the trip with you afterwards. This is the hardest for me as I love reminiscing about my travels. We still remember trips we took years ago and will chat about them with fond memories. We’ll even joke with friends about mishaps that happened while traveling with them. It’s a fun way to treasure your friendship/relationship.
When you travel by yourself, there’s no one to share that memory with you because only you experienced it. And retelling your story to someone else isn’t quite the same. So you’re left with your memories and experiences.
No one to split driving time with. I road tripped solo in Arizona and it was really challenging to drive the entire time. I know some people love driving and can drive endlessly on a road trip but not me. I am maxed out after about three hours and then I need a break or A LOT of snacks to keep me awake. So I stocked up on food and hit the road. Surprisingly it wasn’t as horrible as I had imagined but I definitely love having someone else to take the wheel when I get drowsy.
Safety concerns. I think we’re more vulnerable in solo travel so I didn’t love having to be constantly wary of my surroundings. I also didn’t feel confident in hiking by myself. Call me crazy but I don’t love hiking alone. I find it boring and if I’m on a trail, I like to have my dog or a human with me. I decided to not hike anything too crazy while solo traveling but instead opted for some popular and tour-based hikes like Upper Antelope Canyon or Horseshoe Bend. There are so many people around that there’s no way you could feel unsafe doing them.
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No one to share a meal with. You might think it strange that I included this but I love trying different foods while traveling. Typically my husband (or my family) and I will each order something and then all split it. Kind of like family style dining. It’s a great way to taste different dishes and get a better feel for what a restaurant has to offer.
More expensive. When you travel alone, you don’t have anyone to split costs with you. If you book a hotel room, you’re stuck paying the full amount and it adds up over time, especially if you’re solo traveling for more than a week. I know some people opt to stay in hostels or private rooms on Airbnb but many people aren’t comfortable with that and so a hotel room is the best option. You’re also stuck paying entirely for a car rental and fuel. All these things do add up eventually.
I missed my guy. Cheesy, right? I’m a pretty independent soul but admittedly, I did miss him much more than what I expected. When you’re with someone every day, you grow to rely on that companionship. It was pretty difficult to chat via phone as we were both busy and sharing about my travels over the phone wasn’t that much fun. On top of that, I knew he’d love to see all the nature and landscape I was getting to see and being on this trip reminded me of the fun we’d had road tripping through Utah.
No one to take photos of you. Some people are amazing at taking photos of themselves, you would never be able to tell looking through their shots. Typically they’ll travel with a tripod, set it up and then use a remote control to snap the picture.
I’ve tried tripods and unless I’m shooting somewhere local, I find them cumbersome to drag along. And on top of that, I always feel extremely awkward in a public setting with just me and a tripod.
*All the photos in this post were taken by Andrew; I wouldn’t be able to take at least half of them as they were shot in awkward positions, tight spaces or quick street shots.
So there you have it. My crazy reasons for hating solo travel. They’re not for everyone; some people live and breathe solo travel and in fact, hate traveling with others. But we’re all different. And just because I hated these aspects of it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do it again. In fact, I found it challenging and something that took me out of my comfort zone. And I enjoy those types of situations because I know they will make me grow.
Surprisingly, there were a few things I loved about traveling alone which may convince me to give it another chance. I don’t love being entirely negative on a topic so here are my favorite things about solo travel:
- I had a lot of time to reflect – I was entirely alone with my thoughts for several days and it was a great way to reflect and not have the distractions of anyone else.
- I managed my own time – This was one of my favorite things about solo travel. I could do everything I wanted on my own time. If I wanted to wake up early and get going, I didn’t have to wait for anyone else. If I was tired, I went to bed.
- I didn’t have to feel bad about my schedule – I could pick exactly what I wanted to do that day without having to run it by someone else. When I wanted to hike Horseshoe Bend at sunset, I didn’t have to make sure my companions were cool with it. I just did it. It was freeing.
- There wasn’t anyone to annoy me – For as much as I love companionship, I do still get annoyed at others. I think everyone does. When you’re alone, there’s no one to get on your nerves, except maybe your own voice 😉