Traveling solo is not a lonely experience anymore if you do it right. In the past, if you tell your friends or family that you are about to venture out on your own to a new destination, you would have been met with eye rolls and even protests. People might think you are a bit crazy. But traveling has changed in recent years, thanks to social travel apps that connects like-minded travelers around the globe.
In fact, people who make solo trips are considered more social than anyone else. They are the ones who tend to communicate more often with locals or other travelers as that’s the whole purpose of traveling solo. When you travel alone, you are also more likely to be approached by locals or other travelers and you have the flexibility to find a safe accommodation which is offered by locals so that you can socialize with them.
Why traveling solo is a social experience?
If you look at the stats & data related to travel, you will find more and more people are venturing out to explore the word on their own. It is a liberating and exciting experience that gives travelers independence, brings them out of their comfort zone, provides an opportunity to break free from the monotony of life, and gives them plenty of opportunities to meet other people.
Traveling alone further allows travelers to interact with other travelers (via social travel apps) who are as passionate as them about exploring new places and experiencing a new culture. Yes, leaving alone from home doesn’t mean you have to be at an alone planet the entire journey.
There is a myriad of solo travel apps such as Xoxo Tours, Tourbar, SoloTraveller, Eatwith and other similar apps which make the process of socializing easier during travel. With the help of such apps, you can make new friends on your trip as it connects you with other solo travelers in your city.
You may even make travel plans beforehand with a friend, connect with a local or someone with similar interests who is headed to your destination or simply choose a friend to dine with. Extroverts, eager to connect with people or meet a like-minded companion during their trip, take advantage of such apps.
Traveling solo is the new norm/Why are people traveling solo?
As per a recent report by Pinterest, the figures of solo travelers have increased by 593%. Also, according to Hostelworld, there has been a 42% rise in the number of solo bookings between the years 2015 to 2017. If you think it is only the men who are taking solo trips, you are wrong. As per statistics, searches for the term ‘solo female travel’ increased by 50% between 2016 and 2017.
In another survey conducted by Resonance Consultancy in Feb. 2018, 25% of US millennials were planning to take a trip alone in the next 12 to 24 months. Also, 40% of global baby boomers reported having taken a solo trip in 2017. So, why do people across the world are increasingly embracing solo travel? The reasons are many but it all leads to one thing - travel like a local.
Meeting like-minded individuals
Yes, solo travelers use social travel apps to meet like-minded individuals on the trip is one major reason for extroverts why people choose to travel solo. If you take a look at the different statistics provided by travel companies, you will be surprised by the figures of travelers who have traveled alone in recent years.
Dublin Airport stated that out of its 31.5m estimated passengers in 2018, 57% were solo travelers. Also, as per the data of Solo Traveler collected in 2019, subscribers to their newsletter for solo travelers increased from 33,000 to over 50,000 at the time of press. And people who take solo trips are socializing.
More and more companies are introducing co-living apartments where travelers can meet other travelers & interact with each other. For instance, companies are introducing apartment complexes with trendy shared social spaces, events programs or yoga classes. You can choose to stay and mingle with fellow travelers for a few days or months.
What’s more? social travel apps are playing an important role in connecting travelers across the globe. You can use one to find information about the location you desire to visit, meet a travel partner, find a local guide, locate local restaurants or just about anything associated with traveling.
You are more available when you travel solo
People who really want to make new friends or socialize with locals while making a trip, love traveling solo to unknown destinations. Being solo makes you more available for interactions. Other solo travelers are more likely to strike up a conversation with you as they will be curious to interact with other solo travelers. Other travelers, especially those who are solo like you won’t hesitate to join you for a meal or outing.
People you meet while traveling can even turn into lifelong friends. But even if that does not happen, you had a friend for a moment, a day or even weeks. It is true that when you travel with old friends, you tend to stay inside the bubble and don’t often meet other travelers. Chat with locals if you are really interested to learn more about the culture of a certain place or expand your social circle. Various social travel sites are go-to sites for travel enthusiasts like you.
Difficulty to find common dates with travel friends
Another reason why travelers like to go on a solo journey is that they don’t want to be dependent on their friends to take any trip as many people are not able to match free time to travel together with friends. Blame it on different schedules or different interests, very often, travelers have to put on hold their travel plans or abandon them.
However, you can choose to find & meet travel buddies by signing up on a social travel site. You have plenty of choices when it comes to social travel apps that will allow you to meet like-minded travelers who are looking to travel to the same places as yours. You can try out apps such as Xoxo Tours or Backpackr to find a travel friend. You don’t have to postpone your trip or dismiss the idea to explore a new place just because you don’t have a friend.
Traveling to find identity
Millennials more than anyone else crave independence and want to celebrate their individuality. They take up traveling as a way of finding themselves. Traveling alone gives them the opportunity to do anything they like and meet people who share the same passion as them, i.e., traveling. Solo trip is gradually growing as travel preferences become more and more individualistic starting from the choice of destination to activities, and food. Earlier travel was more family- oriented but it has changed now.
Solo travelers don’t have to compromise during the trip. When you travel with family or friends, there’s always some kind of compromise. At times, you are forced to go along with your friend to the shopping mall while all you wanted was to go hiking. Likewise, your family or friends may also have to make some adjustments too.
But when you are alone, you do exactly what you want to do. You get the flexibility to plan your trip the way you feel comfortable. It makes you more spontaneous and you can even change your plans on a whim and tour a different city. In case you need some information or connect with a local or traveler, there are always travel apps through which you can search travel partner who is heading to the same destination as you.
You can also be flexible about where you stay while you are solo. Apps like Travel Pal allow you to find a local/host around your area who offers free accommodation. If you join Xoxo Tours, which is a social travel site, you can find a local who can inform you about the safest or cheapest accommodations in the area.
You can take a trip like a local
Traveling is about coming out of your comfort zones, putting yourself to the test, and becoming immersed in the local culture that may or may not be different than your own. And the best source to learn about a certain culture, local cuisine or custom is from a local. Since it is not easy to ask random locals around about their favorite restaurants, parks, and clubs, you can make use of travel apps such as Tourbar and Xoxo Tours to connect with locals.
When you travel like a local, you will have more unique experiences. Your local travel friend who knows the ins and outs of their city will show you their favorite places, the best beaches in the city, the best food or club. You may even gain information about things that are not revealed in any travel book or guides. Your friend will help you discover the essence of their culture and local spirit.
Traveling alone is safer than ever and cost-effective too
As per the research made by Resonance, the two most important factors for solo Millennial travelers when choosing a vacation destination is safety (56%) and cost (51%). The requisites are the same as every traveler. Everyone is concerned about safety while traveling, especially travelers who tour the world alone. There are safe places on earth where one can go for a trip alone without having to worry about anything. But not all places are the same.
Nevertheless, you can always make a thorough research about the place/s you are about to visit by reading travel blogs or connecting with local people. Finding a travel companion who is a local is a great way to stay safe while you are touring a place that may or may not be unknown to you. He/she will warn you about tourists’ traps and may help you find a safe place for you to stay. You can also use Couchsurfing and Airbnb which are used by many travelers who make trips alone. Rentals provided by them are considered safer than hotels.
Also, you can actually save money while you travel alone though you have no one to split the bills with. Packing a few essentials before you leave, choosing the most affordable modes of transport and accommodation, planning ahead of your trip, and booking flights and hotels for your trips early are some ways to save money.
When you reach the destination, you can use public transport and dine at local outlets to save money while contributing to the local as well as global travel industry. If you are not sure about how to navigate in a new city, you can always pair up with a local traveler via travel apps or social travel sites. This way you can get a companion to help you out as well as someone to split some bills with.
You become more sociable and comfortable with putting yourself out there
Traveling solo comes with plenty of benefits. One of them is that you become more sociable. Since you learn to push your limits in different situations, to meet people, to try new things and to see what you really love, you will eventually become more comfortable in dealing with all kinds of situations.
People who travel are especially great in social skills. As you travel more, you will be able to communicate better, get along with others, develop healthy relationships, ask for help when necessary, make friends easily, protect yourself, and intermingle with the society harmoniously.
Though it sounds like taking solo trips can be lonesome, it is just the opposite. In fact, people who travel alone are more social than anyone else. You can meet and talk with travelers on the way which you probably won't do if you are already with your family or friends. You can also find travel friend or interact with like-minded travelers on social travel sites to gain information about your requisites or to travel the world together. While traveling alone, you can also mingle with locals or stay in accommodations which especially cater to solo travelers. If you are planning to go on a trip, consider going solo. You will definitely return back a more independent, bold, and social person who can easily adapt to any situation. In this modern-day, being a global citizen is very important. You can become one by interacting and mingling with people from different parts of the world who may or may not share a culture that is different from yours.