Although it seemed scary at first, solo travel is empowering and has the ability to transform my entire life.
I have the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone, meet amazing new people and total freedom to do what I want, when I want and where I want it.

It betters me in every possible dimension as I deeply get to learn and know myself without even trying.

However, there can be some disadvantages when traveling solo and it can also be highly frustrating, stressful and troublesome. On top of that, add personal safety concerns, cost and loneliness.
It definitely seemed scary at first, but all those worries quickly disappeared after I realized that every problem has a solution.
And, with few tools and strategies I was able to largely overcome them!

Besides the disadvantages, check all of the awesome advantages of solo travel by clicking HERE.


Here are some disadvantages and simple tips on how I manage them:

 

 

1. Planning stress 


If you have fewer planning skills, this might be a tough one for you – as it was for me. As much as planning things is exciting, it can also get stressful and overwhelming.
There won’t be splitting tasks and discussion on the best choice for accommodation, transportation and activities. Everything is my responsibility.
Not planning things well had seriously ruined the quality of my trip as well as my experiences.


How I manage it now:

  • I do my research on everything. Accommodation, transport, activities at my destination. Basically everything.
  • I write down everything and any kind of opinion or tip. When I am done, I simply compare things and choose what works best for me.
  • When I step out of the bus, train or plane, I make sure I know my way to my accommodation.
  • Schedule my arrival during daylight.
  • Doing my research about the weather so I won’t pack the wrong clothes and items.

Notebook

 

2. Nobody to split the expenses 


Although there are many cheap alternatives when it comes for solo trips, I wasn’t able to split many things with anyone.
For example, when I wanted to take a taxi due to safety after a late night party, the cost was only on me and I didn’t have anyone to split it with.
Also, the wanted accommodation is charged by room and not the number of people.
Again, I ended up paying the whole thing all by myself.


How I manage it now:

  • I stay in hostels! It’s super cheap and I always have an amazing social experience.
  • If I’m overwhelmed by hostels sometimes, I use airBnB. There are plenty of options to choose from so I can end up paying a minimal price and staying in a whole studio just by myself.
  • When it comes to the transport issue, I take an Uber which is way more cheaper.
  • And if Uber is not available in the country, I try to make friends that will hopefully be willing to help me out and maybe give me a lift. You will be surprised how many good people are out there. I just make sure they are super reliable.

 

 

3. Safety risks – more danger and less help 


Don’t forget that we live in a dangerous world full of rapists, pickpockets, murderers and frauds.
Traveling alone means being more exposed to danger and it means that all the dangers and risks are projected onto one person.

I mean, sure, there are many good people around that are willing to help out, but I am just risking on trusting them.
Having someone whom I could rely on to watch my back or someone I am familiar and comfortable with is way waaay better.
Also when I’m in a group, I have other people to look out for scams, to steer me away from danger, and make me less likely to get lost.

Danger sign

How I manage it now:

  • I read as much information as I can about my wanted destination before I book the ticket.
    If it’s your first solo trip, try to avoid choosing a difficult destination. Feel free to do that only after you have gained some experience because that way you will be more conscious of the dangers that lurk around the corner.
  • If possible, I make sure to arrive at my destination during the day.
  • I carry a photocopy of my passport or ID.
    I also save a scanned copy on my DropBox, Google Drive or simply my email.
  • I never flash my valuables.
  • I don’t tell strangers where I am staying. The accommodation should be the safe haven.
  • Always keeping my belonging super close. I never keep my wallet in my back pockets.
  • I dress appropriate. Whether it’s just because of the culture or not, I make sure I’m always dressed appropriate so I won’t drag that much attention to myself.
  • I keep emergency cash hidden somewhere in my suitcase or backpack.

 

 

4. No one is next to me to help if I get lost 


Sure, getting lost has definitely helped me find myself, but what when I really got lost at night and got lost in a creepy area?
Especially when my offline map decided to glitch, my battery was low and when I am visiting a country where I d
on’t know the language.
I ended up feeling helpless as there wasn’t anyone around to help me.


How I manage it now:

  • I try to avoid going out at night alone as much as I can.
  • I always bring an international (or local) sim card so I can easily use mobile data without ripping off my wallet, which helps me to use an online map or reach out to some friends that will help me.
  • Never leave my accommodation without fully charged powerbank!
  • I take care of my facial expressions and try to blend in and look like I’m a local in the area.
  • I always try to avoid eye contact, especially at night.
  • I don’t walk the streets staring at maps. Instead, I wander around and discretely use my map or phone to guide me.
  • And most importantly – I always bring pepper spray with me.

Map

 

 

5. No one to watch my bags 


Being able to leave the bags somewhere before I enter a toilet or getting something to eat without a burden on my shoulders is often my under-appreciated comfort.
Sometimes I only wish to be luggage free for a moment, but there 
isn’t anyone to look after it.


How I manage it now:

  • I try to chit-chat with a family and kindly ask them to watch over my belongings for a moment.
  • I carry around some extra backpack straps and put my things there in order for my hands to be free.
  • I try to pack light because I’m more mobile and have less to lose when I pack light.

 

 

 

6. Sometimes I’m not brave enough to meet new people 


Back at home, I feel way more comfortable hanging out with people just because I have already built the relationship with them.
However, when I am on my own, I can come to a standstill when I face strangers, and decide to avoid moments like that and just turn on the Wi-Fi instead.


How I manage it now:

  • I practice self-love.
  • I realized that bad moments count as an experience.
  • Taking small steps and try to approach people with small talks only. Sometimes I just start from the waiter/waitress, receptionist or the barista.
  • I try to avoid overthinking the situation.
    After all, I am there on my own and I keep telling myself that if something turns out pretty bad, only I will carry that secret with me. And it’s more likely that those people will never see me again.

 

 

7. Difficulties at making new friends / temporary friendships 


While I meet new people everywhere and share memories with them, it got quite disappointing when I realized that many of the friendships I create turn into dust when we’re no longer in the same place.
Also, making like-minded friends while traveling can be really difficult and leave me feeling drained at the end of each day and with an awful feeling each time I wake up, knowing I’ll have to do it all over again.

Of course, there are some wonderful people and fellow travelers out there, but the truth is that they will probably fly in a new destination, seeking new friends.


How I manage it now:

  • Trying to take as many photos together as I can.
  • I exchange my social media contact or phone number and try to talk to them on a daily basis or even do a video call from time to time.
  • That being said, I try to continue talking to them and talk about deeper subjects and form even stronger bond.
  • After the stronger bond, I sometimes suggest them to take a trip together or invite them to my place back where I live.

Celebrating in the mountains

 

8. Taking photos of myself 


There were many times where I wanted to capture those magical moments that include me in the frame. But again, there wasn’t anyone whom I trust to take it for me.


How I manage it now:

  • Bought some super light selfie stick.
  • Invested in a light tripod.
    It really comes in handy when there aren’t people around me.
  • When I really have to ask someone else to take a photo of me, I try to judge how trustworthy the person looks before handing over my smartphone or camera.
    I always try to be as careful as I can. I really don’t want someone to run with it.

Black tripod and a sunset in the background


9. Experiencing some loneliness 


There isn’t a guarantee that I will find like-minded friends on my trip and that could mean being alone for some time.

There were days when I spent the whole day all alone and then getting to my accommodation and spending the night completely alone again.
That was the moment when I realized I am alone and I just wished to talk to someone.


How I manage it now:

  • Keeping myself busy: watch a movie, write in my journal, take or edit some photos etc.
  • Helping someone less fortunate than me.
    Traveling solo allowed me to get aware of all the things I got and how lucky I am.
  • Booking accommodation in a hostel.
    In no time, I can catch myself making connections with someone.
  • Hanging out in a hostel even if I am not staying there.
    Many hostels have big hang-out areas and bars.
  • Or even better, I do Couchsurfing.
    Not only I have free accommodation but I can create lifelong friendships.

Loneliness


10. Nobody to share impressions with 


On a similar note, true happiness is only known when shared.
That being said, when something amazing happens, I wish someone else was there to see it too.

For example, if I find something that appeals to me and my friend’s common interest, like if me and my friend are both huge pizza lovers, and I find some super yummy one, I have the desire to see the reaction of my friend.
Or even when I’m experiencing many of those “that was awesome” moments, I wish that there was also someone else to share them with me.

Simply taking a photo of the memorable moment isn’t always an option as it can’t replace the sincere emotions of the real person.
It often ends up with “you had to be there”.


How I manage it now:

  •  I use my free Wi-Fi and make a video call to my family or friends.
  •  I am using the “Hangout” option in the Couchsurfing app.
    You will be surprised at how useful it is.
  • Joining a pub crawl. I make friends and share moments while partying.
  • Traveling slower.
    I spend more time in the same place and make some connections
    with whom I can share many moments and things.Friends silhouette  

The truth is, even besides these disadvantages, being on my own only made me a better traveler.

I gained valuable skills such as dealing with various situations, people and places more quickly.
The trips have begun to feel like a fun challenge rather than an organizational nightmare.


 

Besides the disadvantages, check all of the awesome advantages of solo travel by clicking HERE.

 

How I manage the disadvantages of traveling solo caption over minimal orange sand desert with one person standing

 

Have you ever traveled alone? If you have, how do you manage to solve the disadvantages when traveling alone? 
If not, was this helpful and encouraging enough?
Did you learn something new?

Please let me know in the comments.