8x Disadvantages of travelling alone – Travelling Solo also has a downside..

That I would also share disadvantages of travelling alone here you might not have expected from me right away. But then again, just like in ‘real life’, travelling is not all rosy either. As if being on a trip is not real life…but that aside.

8x Disadvantages of Travelling Alone

Sometimes I would quite like someone else to figure out how things work in country X for a while.

For example, what to do when we are in country X and what is worthwhile and what is not. There is often some searching involved and if I am bad at anything lately it is travel preparation. I choose to spend my time differently when I am at home. E.g. studying Life Coach, teaching Yoga classes or just doing nice walks. Besides, I ‘of course’ also just work 38 hours a week.

Sand dunes of Mui Ne - Vietnam - 8x Disadvantages of travelling alone - Travelling Solo also has a downside..
On my first solo trip in 2012 – Sand dunes of Mui Ne – Vietnam

But sharing some costs would also be quite nice. Of course, I have to cough up everything on my own. Some things are not too bad and of course I only pay for them once, like a plane ticket. But in a lot of places I also just pay more, because I am alone and the price is often based on two people. And sometimes it’s just not possible to book a trip alone….

Travelling Solo also has a Downside

And so I thought it was about time for a list of disadvantages of travelling alone

I have to think it all out and decide too

Firstly, I always have to think and decide everything myself. That starts with the itinerary I am going to take. After that, I have to start considering which places I want to visit. What is really worth including in the trip. But also the daytime content for once I’m there. What am I going to do there? So figuring out what is on offer locally.

What is feasible in the days I am there and what do I really like and therefore worth spending my time on.

8x Disadvantages of travelling alone - Travelling Solo also has a downside.. Surfing lessons in The Gambia

How nice pre-fun can be when you sit at home searching the global net for all the fun places and activities…. I really do have more to do. It would be quite nice if someone else figured that out and came up with a ready-made plan.

And that the plan can then also get my approval of course 🙂

When you travel solo you have to arrange it all by yourself

Yes, of course I also have to arrange everything on my own. So then, after point 1, I have a plan for a trip ready then the real work begins. All the places I want to visit listed and then the booking can start. Then you have to start looking if you can find someone there who can arrange it for you. I am of spending your money locally and not sponsoring western companies. Not that I don’t favour them….

I just favour the location of where I am going more. They mostly have it worse and more difficult than us so I like to spend my money there.

Travelling Solo also has a downside.. - Spending your money Local - India
Getting in touch with some locals is easy in India

For travel within Europe, I think it’s a bit different. For my Alpe Adria Trail adventure, I still used a Dutch company to book it. Each time, though, I extended the trip by a few days and booked it locally.

I need to pay for my room alone

That’s what I find most unfortunate. So when I book a hotel, an overnight stay, I just pay double. Often, single rooms cannot be booked. I’ve had that in Ibiza and elsewhere in Spain. But mostly you book a room, which are for 2 or maybe more people. So those costs are shared by others….

Fortunately, there are quite a lot of good hostels with cabins, cubes etc. Then you have one bed that is separated by a curtain or walls and a sliding door or something. You then have a shared shower. But still a fair amount of privacy.

The shared rooms are often much nicer than in a hotel. You have quick contact with fellow travellers, which is often very instructive. I often find these very good intermediate solutions.

Travelling with a rooftop tent in Namibia
In Namibia I traveled by 4WD with a rooftop tent. It is a quite expensive way to travel

When I go hiking in nature I am alone

Unless I book a trip at a travel agency with a group, of course. But yes, that’s not always possible on my own. Unless there are more bookings, one more doesn’t tick up very much right away. Many trips I want to book do not go ahead yet because there are not enough bookings. This is partly because I travel in the low season, of course.

I don’t mind walking alone in nature.

But not everyone likes being alone far from civilisation. On the contrary, I have no problem with that. When I was hiking in Karpathos the other day, it did cross my mind a few times…. What if I fell. Far from civilisation, no one to find me like that. The path was totally impassable anymore…. I heard afterwards that this was because of two forest fires in the last few years. But all went well again, of course, and I can look back on a great hiking day.

Solo Hiking trip in Karpathos - Greece
Hiking alone wandelen in Karpathos – Greece

I did experience in Turkey that there were aggressive dogs on my path. In walked alone and behind me there was 1 and from in front there were several coming… if you are together then you can still defend both sides. Very glad that a scooter passed by with two men on it which I accosted and stayed with me.

I also want to stress that walking in the city, where there are lots of other people, is not necessarily safer. Know who you are making contact with, feel your gut feeling and react accordingly. If it doesn’t feel right don’t enter into the conversation. I often have many short conversations. It is rare that a conversation or contact is longer or becomes more than just small talk. And that’s fine, I’d rather not take a risk when I’m travelling.

When I want a picture I need to make it myself or ask someone else

Of course, if I want a photo of myself in a certain place, I have to ask someone else. Or I grab my tripod/selfie stick and put it down. I only do this in places where it is not so crowded, as you are standing quite far away from your phone and to avoid someone running off with it … Or knocking it over because they don’t see that my phone is there.

Made with a selfiestick in Turkey on the Lycian Way - Disadvantages of solo travel
Made with my selfiestick in Turkey on the Lycian Way

At first, I found it embarrassing to ask someone else to take a picture of me but I have long since got over that. If there are people around I just ask them.

Tip: you can always offer to take a picture of them and then ask if they would like to take one of you too

Mostly I am eating my dinner by myself

I’ve got used to this over the last few years. Sometimes staff look at you a bit strangely and uncomfortably, table for 1? Um yes, or do you see someone standing behind me? I always have something to check out and look at when sitting at a restaurant. Many times I don’t have internet when I’m travelling in Asia and so I ask for the wifi code and I can continue planning or figuring out my trip.

The advantage is that I do always get to choose the restaurant and thus the cuisine myself.

Only my eyes are watching my stuff

When travelling alone, there is no one to watch my stuff for me. I always have to watch everything myself and can hardly ever burden another person with that. Do I want to go to the toilet in a restaurant, on a plane or on a boat…. Then either my stuff is left unattended or I take all or part of it into the toilet. This is not always convenient but is something to think about.

Tip: I often have a small shoulder bag next to my big bag that holds most of my valuables. I then take this with me if I leave the big bag unattended for a while.

I can not share my experience immediatly…

For me, this is one of the most common reasons why someone doesn’t want to travel alone. I actually miss that most when things are not going my way for a while. When I feel I need help or just want to vent my irritation.

8x Disadvantages of travelling alone - Travelling Solo also has a downside..
6 days of horse riding in Kyrgyzstan, I shared a lot with my local tent mate and guide Merim…. Who I met years later in Dubai

Also, of course, it’s great fun if you can look back on that great trip or situation later with someone else – Remember? When… and this happened…. etc.. I am now also experiencing this with a number of colleagues with whom I have made several trips in recent years. So you experience the same journey on different levels several times.

So I went to Austria with Nicole and did the Rickshaw Challenge in India with Nicole and Maaike. And then we also went to Oman with a total of 6 lovely ladies! We still reminisce about it with fun and laughter.

I do love good company in a great country - Oman
Sitting in a bedouin tent in Oman

‘Every disadvantage has its advantage’ is of course a well-known saying and it certainly applies here too!

7x Disadvantages of travelling alone
Travelling Solo also has a downside..

If there are disadvantages of ‘travelling alone‘, there are also advantages to travelling alone. And that also makes me want to go out alone again and again. Basically, I can counter every named point above with a point as to why it is precisely so nice to travel alone.

But most of all, the ultimate feeling of freedom is great! I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do, that I am not 100% committed to.

Working on your self-esteem? Then go on a journey alone!

I have never learnt so much about myself in such a short time. I am learning to trust and build on myself. Realising that I can handle much more than I had thought of beforehand perhaps. If something goes wrong, or at least, doesn’t go the way I thought it would, I think of something else very quickly. Working solution-focused on travel works wonders. You are here, you are going to do something and in the end everything you do afterwards is a perfect choice and experience.

That’s always so beautiful how that works. When you look back you think, yes… it should have been like that. In the moment you bale for a moment, choose a new goal and go for it again. The beauty of it is also that you learn that other people usually have your best interests at heart.

Travelling solo in Sweden
Travelling alone in Sweden

So I learned that people you don’t know can suddenly mean a lot to you. Most people mean well and have good intentions when they want to help you or give you advice. Of course, you have to keep listening to your gutfeeling. Also, sometimes making the assessment that it is more convenient not to enter into the conversation with someone can be a correct one.

We don’t always have to be neat and polite…. But you learn that too well and quickly when travelling alone.

You are standing somewhere, things are not going the way you had imagined and another person comes to your rescue. Another person has advice or another person says just the thing that gives you the right mindset or thought. My confidence that things will work out has never been higher.

It can’t go wrong… it can only go differently than expected.

How do you like your own company?

I don’t think my own company is so bad. I challenge myself to go further, further outside my comfort zone in order to become stronger. Knowing that I can do more than I thought before makes me strong and happy.

Also, the thoughts that you can freely let run its course without interruptions tell me a lot. I always feel I can think more freely and broadly abroad. I get better and finer hunches and inspirations.

Especially since I have also done life-coaching training, I have learnt better how to examine my own thoughts. In recent years, I have been reading Ap Dijksterhuis’ books and they are so instructive in that area!

By no means would I be able and willing to do all trips with someone else.

Eg the Camino Frances. I walked this pilgrimage in 2016 in 35 in Spain. This experience has been so good, I learned so much about myself, about the world About what I want from myself and the world…. A pilgrimage you really have to walk alone…. Just joining all these other people. Let yourself be included in the worldly community of pilgrims.

But also the hiking trip in Portugal, Rota Vicentina was just great. Walking stretches together with another person, eating together with a couple, running into each other several times but still walking your path alone.

Disadvantages of travelling alone - Advantages of travelling alone.

But when I was hiking on the Alpe Adria Trail in Austria I really loved that. I hiked 10 stages by myself and 10 with a friend 🙏

But how about the 10 day Vipassana meditation. The first time in Chennai, India was such a good and inspiring lesson to me.. I got so many good insights for the rest of my life. I wish that for all of you too! And let me share this too, I was always convinced of the Mind over Matter principle. And it was made very clear to me again here!

When I did go to Nepal with someone else (was my 3rd time), I did waste at least a day or two on that when I saw my travel buddy on the other side. In the dusk, we did secretly have eye contact. Something that is not actually ‘allowed’ and I, we, shared so much communication. I stayed with it for days, reflecting my problems on his situation. Could he be having a hard time, wanting to quit but not doing so because of me?

And yes, I was having a hard time and would have stopped in a second if we could have talked. Afterwards, it turned out he was thinking the same thing only for me.

8x Disadvantages of travelling alone - Travelling Solo also has a downside..

The disadvantages of travelling alone have never stopped me from doing so.

For me, the disadvantages of travelling alone do not outweigh the advantages. Apart from that, this certainly does not mean that I do not want to travel with a nice group or with a good friend.

How about you?
Do you only see disadvantages of travelling alone or do you also see the many advantages?

Are you someone who sees a lot of obstacles on the road? And were those ‘obstacles’ always there afterwards? Or can’t you tell because you can’t bring yourself to go anyway. To challenge yourself and grow as a result? Let me know in the comments, I’m very curious about it!

Do you share these 8 disadvantages of travelling alone?

Also read the following inspiration blogs:

What you give your attention grows!

Tips for Mindful Walking

Use the power of positive thinking to your advantage

Boosting your immunesystem in a icebath

The Handstand is a Must do –  Read why

And do smile a bit more, the world will be a happier place because of it

Healthy Inspiration – What a Smile can Do for you – Safe and Healthy Travel

I hope do hope you enjoy this beautiful world as much as I do