Traveling alone can be quite enjoyable, especially if you are someone who enjoys spending time by yourself. However, traveling without a companion changes a lot of things. For instance, you will likely incur more costs, because you will have nobody to split the cost of transportation and lodging. On the other hand, you will be able to do exactly what you want to do for your whole trip. There are equal amounts of pros and cons to traveling alone. The pros are fairly easy to figure out – the cons are listed below, to help prepare you for your trip.
Single Travelers Become Targets for Crime
Unfortunately, many places in the world that people like to travel to are riddled with crime. Tourists often become targets, because criminals know that tourists often carry cash, cameras, smart phones, etc., as well as passports and other important documents that are worth big bucks on the black market. When you travel alone, you become even more of a target, because you have nobody to defend you. Even if you can fight, it is not recommended as many thieves will carry knives or even guns. If you are confronted by a would-be robber, the best thing to do is run. If you’re in a situation where you cannot run, give them your wallet or something of value. Keep the majority of your cash, your passport, your ID, and your plane tickets in a safe place, such as tied around your leg, under your pants where they cannot see it. Lastly, try not to travel alone at night.
Travel Costs for Single Travelers are High
Another drawback to traveling alone is the cost of your entire trip will go up. Plane tickets will be about the same, regardless of how many people you are traveling with. Food will actually be cheaper, since you’re just eating for one. However, just about everything else will be more expensive. Hotel rooms are usually the same cost for 1 or 2 people, tour guides and groups will often be the same price for 1-3 people, and that’s just the beginning. If you plan on traveling alone, budget an extra 20-30% vs. traveling with others. And as always, have an extra stash of cash, or just a good credit card, hidden in a safe place (your shoes, hidden inside your hotel room, etc.) at all times.
Traveling Alone can be Boring at Times
For some people, being on their own is enjoyable and fun. For others, it can be boring and many people get lonely. You know yourself better than anyone – so make an educated decision about whether or not you will enjoy traveling alone. If you do decide to travel by yourself, make sure you bring enough items to keep you entertained on your own. Bring along a few books, a laptop, magazines, etc. to help pass the slow hours. Of course you should be spending most of your time enjoying the sites and exploring the area, but there will always be times where you are just sitting in your hotel room, trying to find something to do.
[Photo by: M.E.L]