There are pros and cons to traveling alone of course, but, as a Sensor, I can guarantee that the pros far outweigh the cons… if you’re prepared for it!
Let’s look at the cons first, and yes I’m going to offer a solution to each con just in case you care to partake..!
Traveling solo – CONS
It’s more expensive.
Of course it is because you have no-one to split the cost of accommodation or transport with and we all know that those two items are the source of your top expenditure when you travel.
Solution: Be prepared. Know what your likely spend is going to be before you go and budget for it plus a little bit more.
It can feel less safe.
You can feel more vulnerable when you are by yourself because you have no-one else to protect you or help take care of your things. You need to be alert at all times.
Solution: Do your research before you go to make sure there’s a modest degree of safety on the ground and then stay safe. Don’t wander the streets aimlessly on your own at night, don’t make yourself a tourist target for petty crime, blend in with local customs and respect traditions, be a polite visitor that the locals themselves want to keep safe.
As an introverted Sensor it can put you out of your comfort zone.
Correct. Way out. You can’t communicate in writing all the time, you’ll be face-to-face with people who may not speak your language, you’ll have to ask questions and find things you may not be comfortable with…
Solution: Be prepared. Know a little of the language or practice your ‘sign language’, take a notepad and paper or have data on your phone for google translate. Know that you’ll have to interact with people but also know that you can take a day off and talk to no-one if you want to help you recharge.
You don’t share your experience with anyone.
This can be something that you get a little longing for – to be able to share your excitement with the person next to you when it overwhelms you or the desire to recall experiences after your trip.
Solution: Turn to the person next to you with that huge grin and share your excitement anyway. You’ll likely be returned the same smiling enthusiasm from a fellow tourist or a delighted (if somewhat confused) smile from a local.
With the easy access to social media, you can instantly or at least daily share your experiences and connect with the people you value most. No, it’s not the same as being there but it does actually come pretty close.
You might have to sit at the bar in the restaurant during peak-period.
Often a restaurant will want to save their tables for 2 or more people to make the most of the turnover during peak periods so you may be relegated to the bar or communal dining area.
Solution: Enjoy it anyway if it’s just the food you want or, if it’s the specific ambiance of the restaurant you’re after, see if you can go just before it gets busy so they can re-set the table for peak service after you leave.
You don’t get to taste as many foods.
You know – when there are 2 or more of you, you can share and taste twice as much…!
Solution: Go back to the same place again if there is more you want to try!
You’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone on many, many occasions.
Haha, yes! It does get another mention! Whether it’s having to open a door where you don’t know what’s on the other side, not wanting to ask someone a question to find out what you need or feeling like you have to go without because it’s just easier… I can guarantee you all of us Sensors have been there and felt the same.
Solution: Know that it’s going happen and then consider the WORST possible results when it does – if it’s not going to kill you, it WILL make you stronger so go ahead and take a big deep breath and dive in!
When I come to write this, that is literally all I can think of that I would consider a CON …
So now for the PROs.
You get to do whatever you want. No compromise.
It’s your choice – ALL the items on your wish list can happen if you want them to! And even though it’s great to do things with loved ones, it can sometimes be a disappointment when you have to compromise (even if it is your choice to do so)!
You can run on your schedule.
You don’t need to wait for others while they get ready or distracted with other things. Go when you’re ready. Leave when you’re done. Stay as long or as little as you like – without feeling guilty.
You can change your mind as much as you like.
Without having to consult anyone or compromise or feel bad for changing plans.
You can often squeeze into tours or onto rides being a single person.
If you’re at Disney World you’re set with the single-rider option, and other times tours or experiences often have room for ‘just one more’…
You’ll meet people naturally.
And it won’t feel like a chore. Instead of letting someone else do the talking because you’re the natural introvert, you might find that you’re bursting to tell someone about your day and end up sparking the conversation you wouldn’t normally do. Especially if there are two of you traveling solo that end up in one place.
It will be only you that creates the experience for you.
Your eyes, your ears, your nose, just your pure sense of the experience without anyone else’s input.
You have total control over your feelings/responses and the emotions of a situation.
You don’t need to deal with someone else who is hating the place, feeling scared or just having a bad day. You have total control over the way you feel about your circumstances in every moment. Yes, I know this can be said when others are also around but it’s so much easier NOT having to deal with someone else’s expectations too!
So maybe the number of pros and cons are about even, but when you add them all with the solutions you might find that the incredibly rich experience of new things, places, sights, tastes and sounds that traveling offers far outweigh the possible discomforts you might stumble across as a solo, introverted traveler.
My advice? Plan it, do it and love every second. 🙂