Solo travel is one of the fastest-growing travel trends. While some people prefer the freedom and thrills of travelling solo, others simply can’t wait to get back out there and are going at it alone. And while solo travellers are becoming more common, there are still plenty of myths about solo travel out there. From misconceptions about why people travel solo to bogus rules on how to travel as one, we’ve debunked the top 10 solo travel myths.
1. You have to be an extrovert to travel solo
One of the most common solo travel myths is that you have to be confident and outgoing to make it on your own. While it can be easier for extroverts to blend in and meet people, introverts are great at solo travel too. Introverts are often better at embracing time alone and once they meet people, they’re great at having meaningful conversations. If you’re an introvert and you’re worried about meeting people, you’ll be surprised at just how easy it can be.
You could join a tour, take a class, hang out at a cafe, or go to a show, and you’ll find a lot of people naturally reach out to you. If you want to start a conversation, try asking them where they’re from, where they’ve travelled, where they’re going next, and their favourite places. It leads to many interesting conversations plus you might even pick up some great travel tips.
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2. Solo travel is only for single people
Don’t rule out travelling alone just because you’re in a relationship! Forget the solo travel myths that you should always travel with your partner – solo travel is for everyone, whether you’re single or married. Many couples have different hobbies, so if you want to explore a new place, why not travel solo and indulge your interests? It’s important to respect your partner’s choices and lifestyle, plus spending time apart is always healthy for a relationship. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder – and it’s true!
3. Solo travel is dangerous
There’s always some risk involved on a trip, whether you travel solo or in a group. If you do your research and read up on travel safety tips, there’s no need to let fear control your life. If you are feeling anxious, try taking shorter solo trips closer to home first, or join an organised tour that can take care of the planning for you. It’ll help to build your confidence to travel solo – so you don’t miss out on life’s greatest adventures.
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4. You’ll get lonely if you travel solo
When people worry about getting lonely when travelling solo, it helps to understand the difference between being ‘lonely’ and ‘alone’. They don’t always go hand in hand! Just like you can be surrounded by people and still feel lonely, you can be alone while travelling and feel totally comfortable.
It’s a wonderful thing to spend time with yourself when you travel alone. You can take yourself out for dinner, pamper yourself, embrace your own interests… The options are endless. And if you do find yourself craving some social time, you can always join a day trip or an organised tour and meet new friends and like-minded travellers.
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5. It’s more expensive to travel alone
When you’re not splitting the costs of hotel rooms and taxis with your other people, it can seem like costs are starting to add up. But the good news is that there are plenty of ways to save money when you’re travelling solo. You can stay in shared rooms to save money on accommodation, take public transport or shared taxi rides, and you’ll find it easier to snag last-minute spots on group tours and excursions. Plus, you can manage your own budget when you’re travelling solo, so you don’t spend money on someone else’s wants and needs.
When you travel solo with Trafalgar, you’ll even enjoy discounts off the standard single supplements on a range of trips, from Portugal to Spain and Italy.
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6. You should stay in hostels when you travel solo
Solo travel seems to have become synonymous with hostels… But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can stay in any type of accommodation when you’re travelling solo, from luxury hotels to campgrounds. While hostels are a great place to meet people when you’re on your own, there’s also plenty of other options like tours, workshops, classes, and bars.
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7. It’s awkward to eat out alone
Eating out is one of the best parts of travel – and you shouldn’t miss out just because you’re flying solo! If you’re new to eating alone in a restaurant, start with less formal places like cafes or bars. Or try easing into it by bringing your phone or a book to distract yourself. You could even join a cooking class or food tour to get to know the local cuisine first. Once you get used to eating out alone, you’ll open up a world of amazing culinary experiences.
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8. Solo travel is only for when you have no one to go with
One of the biggest solo travel myths is that it’s only for people who don’t enjoy the company of others. But while many people start travelling solo because their friends or family couldn’t go with them, it’s not always the case. You might choose to travel alone simply because you enjoy your own company. You might want to develop some new life skills or maybe you don’t want to compromise on anything for your trip. There’s nothing wrong with choosing to spend some quality time with yourself. And you don’t want life to pass you by while you’re waiting for your friend’s schedule to match up with yours!
9. People who travel alone are running away from their problems
Solo travel is an empowering experience often associated with big life events like loss, low points, and breakups. And while travel can be a wonderful experience when you’re going through life’s hurdles, you don’t have to be on a soul-searching journey to go travelling alone. If you’re wondering why you should travel alone, remember you can do it just because you want to. Don’t wait for a sign for the universe – get out there!
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10. You can only travel solo while you’re young
Whether you’re 18 and heading off on your first solo adventure, or you’re 80 and ticking off your bucket list – there’s no age limit on solo travel. In fact, the best part about travelling solo when you’re older is that you’ve got a lot more wisdom, skills and experience to guide your adventure. Solo travel is one of the most liberating experiences you can have – and it’s never too late to try it.
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Do you have any tips on how to travel solo? Let us know in the comments below!