Going on a vacation with your family or friends is really fun. However, if you truly want to explore a new place, it might be a better idea to travel by yourself. Solo travellers get to experience the culture of a place on a deeper level. Additionally, solo travel tends to be spontaneous, making the trip more exciting and definitely memorable.
Pros and Cons of Solo Travelling
The main advantage of going solo for a trip to anywhere is the flexibility. You get to dictate how long and how much you can spend in a certain place. Your choice of accommodations and transportation can be based on your whim or the amount of money you have left.
Locals also tend to trust solo travellers more. Your chances of getting invited to spend some time with the residents increase when you are alone.
Despite all these positive aspects, there are also some notable disadvantages to solo travelling that you need to address. Probably the biggest setback of travelling alone is the security. There’s nobody you can fully trust to have your back. You will be forced to carry all your bags all the time or finish your meals hurriedly if you need to go to the bathroom. You can’t just leave them unattended.
Another setback is the cost. Since you won’t be splitting the room or cab with a companion, you will need to shoulder the entire bill.
Finally, if you’re not used to doing things by yourself, you may suffer from bouts of loneliness from time to time during the trip.
Prioritise your personal safety
The key to staying safe during a solo trip is preparation. Before the trip, it may be beneficial to learn some essential self-defense skills. Be wary of bringing weapons like stun guns or pepper spray. Carrying these might be illegal in some places so it pays to ask ahead and check if you can bring them with you.
Conduct some research about the place. Find out how the locals typically treat tourists and what customs you need to observe during your stay. This way, you can dress and behave like the local residents and attract less attention.
Plan to get to your destination while it is still early. This will allow you to get to know the place somewhat safely because of the daylight. Finally, stay away from alcohol and drugs.
Cope with being alone
As mentioned, one of the disadvantages of travelling by your self is the bouts of loneliness. The best way to cope with this is to become comfortable with being on your own. Stick to your routines. If you drink tea in the afternoon at home, try to look for a good tea place near your hotel and go there every afternoon.
Make your hotel room your temporary home. Bring some familiar objects with you and decorate the room the way you’d decorate your own. Bring candles, family pictures, and even stuffed toys. Keep a travel journal and write about the best things that happened to you that day.
If you really cannot cope with the loneliness, try to get in touch with other travellers or join a tour group.
Want to trek in Nepal? Why not start with an Annapurna Base Camp trek?