When I first started traveling again, it was incredibly important to not be alone. As someone who lives with OCD and travel anxiety, it felt reassuring to have someone by my side. The idea of solo travel seemed too daunting. Then, two opportunities arose that I couldn’t decline. I’m so glad I went because I discovered the benefits of traveling alone.
I traveled to both Jackson Hole and El Paso alone. Despite being nervous, they ended up being great trips! While I missed having a companion at times, traveling alone wasn’t the torture I’d imagined. In fact, Josh joined me on my next trip to New York City. We had fun, but part of me missed my complete independence.
Did I really prefer to be on my own? I’ve thought a lot about my conflicted feelings and wondered what it meant. Turns out, those emotions are pretty common.
Advantages of Traveling Alone
It might be hard to believe, for some, but there are major benefits to traveling alone. It can be scary and daunting at first, but there are clear advantages. Every person’s reasons will be different, but here are some of the things I love about solo travel:
- Everything’s done MY way. I can wake up when I want, change my plans without notice, eat where I want, and go at my own pace. Ahhh, so wonderful!
- No one touches my stuff. I can disinfect my hotel room, put the “do not disturb” sign on the door, and feel (mostly) confident that my things won’t be handled by anyone else.
- Making mistakes is less of a problem because no one’s depending on me! Flight delays, terrible restaurant, wrong movie tickets? No problem. It’s easy to pivot when you’re on your own!
- I can feed my soul and be vulnerable. If a sunset moves me or if a shrine humbles my heart, I can cry freely knowing this is my own personal journey.
- I’m forced to grow. Without anyone to share responsibilities, I’ve learned to do more things for myself.
- I pay more attention to my surroundings. Without someone chatting with me all the time, it’s easier to just take in the sights and be fully present.
- I’ve become more confident. I’ve never outright doubted myself, but I’ve also felt like certain things would be “too hard” alone. Now, I know that I can do it!
- I decide when and how to leave my comfort zone. I can try new things or take risks without having to worry about someone else’s feelings.
- My trip, my budget. It’s so much easier to keep track of money when you’re the only one spending it! Want to splurge on a souvenir or fancy dinner? The price tag is a lot smaller as a solo traveler!
- I know myself better now. I used to think struggling to make decisions on vacation was normal, but when I traveled alone, I didn’t have that problem. Since I wasn’t taken someone else’s needs into consideration, it was super easy to make decisions about what to do and where to eat. It gave me a lot of insight into myself.
Solo Travel Survey
A recent solo travel study showed that one of the top advantages of traveling alone includes enjoying “me time” or rewarding ourselves. An astonishing number of respondents globally have either traveled solo (or are considering it), regardless of age, gender, and nationalities.
This is remarkable because vacationing is often considered a group or social activity. Are we witnessing a major shift in the travel industry?
Klook polled nearly 21,000 respondents across 16 markets and discovered that 76% of them have either traveled alone or are considering it. Then, they broke it down into generational preferences and found this to be true among:
- 80% of Generation Z (18 to 24-year-olds)
- 79% of Millennials (25-39)
- 73% of Generation X (40-54)
- 71% of Baby Boomers (55+)
- 74% of women
- 78% of men
WOW! That’s absolutely incredible. I’m almost embarrassed to say that I really wasn’t expecting that number to be so high for Baby Boomers, but that’s a sign of just how much we are changing as a society. People are living longer and trying to enjoy the time they’ve got on this Earth without needing the approval or companionship of others.
While the interest in solo traveling has increased globally, one market stands out from the rest — Asia. “Between 69% and 93% of travelers from Asia have either traveled solo in the past or say they are open to the idea,” Klook explains. “In western countries, by comparison, that number hovers between 60 and 69%. When asked about their reasons for flying solo, half of the respondents said they wanted to enjoy uninterrupted ‘me time’ or reward themselves, which suggests that travelers value their independence more than ever.”
If there’s one place I’d feel safe reaping the benefits of traveling alone, it’s most of Asia. I’ve walked the streets of Japan late at night many times in the past 20 years and I’ve never felt scared. I’m hoping to see South Korea and Singapore in the near future. Asia is my happy place!
What Is Klook?
If you’re unfamiliar with Klook, world-leading travel activities and services booking platform, you need to go to their site as soon as you’ve finished reading this post. I’ll admit that I didn’t know about them until 2019, but the service quickly became a HUGE part of my vacation planning. Before I go on, I just want to say that this is NOT a sponsored post.
For our trip to Japan, we planned to visit Universal Studios Japan and Fuji-Q Highland. We struggled to understand the official websites as the way theme parks are run in Japan is very different. Plus, the translated web pages made it very hard to understand what we were doing. That’s why I found Klook and it changed EVERYTHING!
Related: What to Pack in a Carry-On Backpack
Not only did we find the tickets we were looking for, everything was incredibly easy to understand and the prices were AMAZING. We booked everything through the website interface and then downloaded the app. When we got to the park entrances in Japan, all we had to do was pull up our bookings. It worked seamlessly.
Plus, you will find great inspiration (and deals) for things to do at your destination. It’s really a great resource for solo travel and more. We were booked to visit Japan and South Korea in 2020, but our plans are on hold for now. When it’s time to rebook, though, we’ll be scouring Klook for ideas. They even have BTS-inspired tours in Seoul for K-Pop fans like us!
Explore the Best Solo Travel
Considering solo travel? Klook has tips, destination guides, and inspiration for adventuring on your own! I’ve been spending a lot of time checking out their Guides and Itineraries sections while working on my post-COVID travel planning (a girl can dream, right?!).
When we finally head out, it will be our first time taking Josh to Asia. In fact, due to the pandemic delays, his first trip might also be for our relocation! What better way to learn more about your new home than to venture out like a tourist?
A few things (see below) stood out on the Klook site for a several reasons because they’d be great as a group or on our own as solo travelers!
- Top 10 Things to Do in Osaka (you know Dotonbori and Universal Studios Japan is on there!)
- The K-Pop Fan’s Insider Guide to Korea (we have this bookmarked!!!)
- 15 Must-Try McDonald’s Menu Items From Around The World (we loved the unique McDonald’s food in Japan and Orlando!)
Whether you’re an experienced solo traveler or you’re planning your first independent vacation, Klook is a great resource for finding amazing things to do at a fraction of the cost. Again, this is NOT a sponsored post or an ad. We just happen to really love Klook! We use them every chance we can get and can’t recommend them enough!