I was 25 when I embarked on my first solo vacation to Kerala. Six years on and I still remember how I felt when I boarded the flight there — a heady mix of nerves but also anticipation. Finally, a trip that lets me do what I want, whenever and however I wish it! Read on for some of my most compelling reasons to travel solo, at least once in your life.
It’s a lot easier to plan for
Say goodbye to syncing annual leave calendars and compromising on flights, hotels and all sorts of other travel logistics. When travelling solo, you need only consider what works best for you. You also have more freedom to tweak your schedule around to score some value-for-money travel deals.
You can do whatever you want
Whether your idea of a perfect day involves hitting six museums in nine hours or lazing all day on the beach with a beer in hand, solo travel is your ticket to spending your vacation exactly the way you dreamed it, guilt-free.
It’s extremely empowering
Traveling alone is as empowering as it is scary. Whether it’s realising that you can actually read a map without your direction-savvy travel buddy (yay!) or winging your way out of hitches and potentially sticky situations, solo travel often brings out your inner strength and resourcefulness.
You’ll be in great company
The one thing I love about travelling solo is enjoying me-time — lots and lots of it. I have embraced the pleasures of dining alone, and it is extremely liberating to not have to engage in constant conversation. Going solo also makes it less intimidating for others to approach you. I have made great friends while on the road, one of them an 80-year-old grandma from the UK who still travels alone!
You’ll experience great service
Hospitality staff tend to be more protective of solo travellers, and you may sometimes get better than usual treatment. At an Ayurvedic resort I stayed at in Kerala, the service staff often sat with me at mealtimes so I wouldn’t dine alone, and offered to accompany me when I left the resort to explore the surrounds. When I treated myself to a birthday getaway in a spa hotel in Yogyakarta, the reservations team upgraded my room to a suite, while the restaurant manager ordered me a plate of off-the-menu pancakes, just because.