When most people decide to take a vacation it’s a meticulous planning process. Scheduling time off of work not only for you but for your husband, wife or partner. Pulling the kids (if you have any) out of school and figuring out their class schedules and gathering homework and assignments. Figuring out an agenda that will please everyone involved–can’t get too adventurous or else the kids might not be able to keep up, but we can’t get too simplistic or the vacation is no fun for the adults. Then planning the agenda and making sure everyone sticks to it. No one oversleeps or expresses disinterest.
Planning a family vacation is closer to impossible than it is to enjoyable. But what if all of this, all of the headaches and setbacks, are entirely avoidable?
Let me introduce you to the wonders of traveling alone. Flying solo.
The alone time
To those who identify as extroverts this advantage may be easily sorted into the “disadvantages” column. Even those who do love being surrounded by people, however, can appreciate alone time. Sometimes the most relaxing time spent on vacation is spent in silence, allowing yourself to really soak in the sights and sounds of your destination without needing to entertain others.
No one to keep track of
This one will ring particularly true with those readers with children. Keeping track of the kids and, perhaps more so keeping them happy can be exhausting, particularly on vacation. Without children surrounding you at all hours of the day and night it is much easier to relax and keep yourself entertained. No longer do you have to keep tight to your agenda or make sure everyone is ready at once. It’s just you, and sometimes, that’s glorious.
Do what you want, when you want
There’s no need to make sure the children are as entertained by stargazing and sightseeing as you are. There’s no need to make sure to plan your vacation activities around the capabilities and interests of your friends or family. There’s no need to change your plans because someone decided not to tag along any more. When traveling alone you can do what you want–kayaking, hiking, seeing a monument or museum, or simply taking a walk–when you want. No restrictions or limitations other than what you can think of.
Of course, there are drawbacks to traveling alone. While it’s something that I would highly recommend that everyone try at least once in your lives, sometimes nothing beats a good family vacation or hopping on a flight with some friends to see a new area.
The opposite side of the coin here. While being alone can be liberating and relaxing, sometimes taking a vacation with your friends and/or family in tow can’t be beat. Without them around, especially on prolonged vacations, loneliness can set in if you’re not getting out enough.
This can be averted by taking proper precautions, but the lingering possibility of danger on the horizon can put a damper on any vacation. This is not to say that countries outside of your own are inherently more dangerous or violent than your own–simply that when you’re alone in a new area you may be left with no one to look out for you or no one to help out if you take a tumble on a hike or get sick in your hotel.
While cost can be a limiting factor in just about any travel, traveling alone can make it even harder to swallow. When traveling with a partner or group costs can be split amongst the group. The same can’t be said for traveling solo.
Traveling alone has both advantages and disadvantages, many of which are reliant on your own personal habits. You shouldn’t relegate yourself to only traveling alone every vacation you take, but a solo trip every now and again can be an overwhelmingly relaxing experience.