It can be the best of times and it can be the worst of times when you travel alone. I will share some tips from my own experiences as well as sharing from what I have been told about traveling alone.
You could say I have extensive experience of traveling alone. I basically spent two years in London living and working was this not always traveling, it was spending a lot of time alone and seeing the sights and being a tourist alone most of the time.
Throughout that time I also did some traveling in Europe and traveling onto his and traveling to America as well. Most of these trips were alone.
Before I moved to Thailand I spent about eight months traveling all around the world. Again, much of this time was spent by myself. Along the way sometimes I was staying with friends but during the day I was out traveling and doing things myself.
Part of this trip involved driving around America by myself. So for three months, I drive around about 16,000 miles or 26,000 km all over the United States of America. I visited 40 states during that time and paid for accommodation only five nights out of that whole trip. the rest of the time I stayed with friends, I couchsurfed, or I slept in my car.
The good points of traveling alone
It’s easy, you can do whatever you want, when you want and how you want.
You can wake up early or late and it doesn’t matter.
You can pretty much sleep anyway, a dormitory, hostel, hotel, floor or in your car, without having to find rooms for many people.
You get the chance to meet so many awesome and wonderful people.
You can just go up to someone and say,”Hello, and how you going?” And probably making a new friend.
It’s easy to find people to join in activities with, mostly because you have a adjourned group to worry about.
You can just decide to go here or go there all change your mind completely and do something else, if the opportunity arises.
One day I was just on a train and a I saw all these people wearing baseball uniforms so I asked what was happening and they said there was a baseball game today. It was lunchtime on Friday, so I thought, I’ll go see a baseball game. I didn’t have to ask anyone and it was great because I went and saw the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Best of all it only cost me five dollars.
The bad points of traveling alone
Safety – This is one of the major bad points about traveling alone. You always need to be super aware of what’s happening in your surroundings. Watching out for yourself and watching out for your gear because there is no one else around. You also need to be careful when you are alone and traveling at night or participating in other night time activities in a strange city.
Lonely and isolated, even with social communications and other things like Facebook and Wechat. It’s just not like having a mate beside you to join you and to help you. New friendships are okay, but that will only ever be at a very superficial level. Sometimes hiding away and going back to your room is great but other times you just want to be with some people you know.
I drove many hours and many days and I had to be always concentrating, so it would’ve been good to have someone along for the ride to at least just even chat with or maybe do a little driving.
While sometimes there are many other opportunities for accommodation, most of the time you’ll have to pay for a single room and you can’t share the costs and sometimes you have to pay a higher rate (or single supplement) if you’re doing a tour.
I will also be putting together some more posts with tips and tricks about traveling in groups or traveling with friends.
Please be sure to email or send me other suggestions, both good and bad, about traveling alone.