Solo Travel – 5 Reasons Why it is Not for Me or Everyone

Here’s me attempting a post that may be a surprise to some..I do not solo travel.

And, neither am I an advocate for it.

solo travel in Canada

Aside from the many posts I have done featuring me alone in my photos, it is actually, mostly un-solo. I travel approximately 8-10+ holidays a year if I am lucky, but I haven’t planned/ gone on a single solo trip so far. I can count with 1 hand the handful of trips that I had a couple of days solo on my own without any friends/ people travelling with me:

  • Canada ( 5 days out of 30+)
  • India ( 1 days out of 10)
  • Tokyo ( 1 day out of 10)

Yes, that’s about it. And there are reasons why I prefer it that way.

No doubt solo travel is growing. There has been an increasing trend of female solo travelers across the globe, and I have met many many such travelers during my voyages and travels. Indeed, there is much pleasure from getting to plan your getaways to your preference- type of attractions, places to stay base on budget/ how much time to spend in a particular place, not to mention the immense amount of people you meet in 1 trip when you solo travel.

For my Canada trip alone, despite me only spending less than 6 days in my 23 days trip without a friend by my side, I had made up to 30 over new friends from all over the world over those few days, and some of them I still keep in touch till now.

However having said that, I guess it’s time I jump into why despite such great experiences, I am still not a fan of solo travel, or traveling solo, and here are some reasons why:

5 Reasons why Solo Travel isn’t for Everyone

1. Experiences are best enjoyed with friends

Enjoying holidays with good friends and like minded people

I love immersing in the places I go and being overwhelmed by the scenery or bustling energy of a destination/ ciry. Yes, while traveling solo can give you full autonomy to go to places you might find difficult to convince a friend to go, but the pleasure derived from that moment of seeing something spectacular and you stare and squeal in sheer delight with the person next to you, its priceless.

Be it at the top of a ski slope in Japan before you speed down, or witnessing an awesome mountain top sunset in the Philippines, it’s nice to have a friend/ buddy next to you to share that immense joy/ excitement. There is something extremely infectious about that shared moment or memory when you look back on it.

Enjoying moments with friends on top of the jeepney
going crazy on top the jeepney on the way down the rolling hills on Philippines
Going crazy on top the jeepney on the way down the rolling hills

2. Better to be safer than safe

Safety is something on a higher yet somewhat reduced priority these days. With travel being so much more accessible and many more countries being more ‘tourist-friendly’ for solo-travelers ( mind you, friends traveling in India and South Africa alone), it has triggered a lot of travelers to visit the more off the beaten track places in the globe. However, there is a difference between being aware/ mindful of the danger in the places you go and negligent of danger that you might bring yourself.

danger lurks beyond the fog - solo travel not for everyone

Solo travel, despite making some acquaintances or friends along the road that you spend a day or more with, it will still have you covering quite a fair segments of your travel – on your own. And doing so, it will put you in a bit more risk versus traveling with another friend where you can look out for each other’s blind spots.

Eg. Doing road trips in South Africa where car theft is a common occurrence. Or squeezing through the bustling streets of India knowing that you have a friend watching your back/ or front, as you immerse in the surroundings. Hitch-hiking in Europe in pairs might also at least ‘help’ – when it is 2 in a car versus 1 driver ( not sure how exactly, but at least you know there is someone who is as serious about getting home in one piece as you. Seriously, try to avoid this unless you are really on a really tight budget.

Glamping in South Africa with 3 different cars
6 friends glamping in South Africa with a 3 car convoy.


Rock climbing or hiking expeditions overseas are also another type of trips you wouldn’t want to risk your safety on a line/ rope with people who you aren’t familiar with/ barely know. So it’s always ideal/ better to go with friends or buddies who are dependable and regard your life as high as theirs.

Rock Climbing with Lydiascapes
Rock Climbing with Lydiascapes

Hence, its always good to have someone in your trip having your back. Having said that, I have traveled with some people who have made us more receptive to attracting danger than being on my own 😉 There is what is commonly known as ‘easy prey’, where these group of travellers ( or tourists) come across less guarded in disposition, more vulnerable and ‘inviting’ to trouble due to the body language, clothing or even things one carry. Be mindful you or your friends don’t elude that energy or vible if not trouble will come your way.

So, do have some discretion what friend to invite on for a slightly more ‘dangerous” holiday.

Dangerous holidays ? Find out some tips on what to take note when going on one.

3. Shared Planning and Decision Making

walkabout guangzhou shopping district

In my opinion, this is one of the best things one could have when it comes to travel, as I hate having to do all the work and planning in a trip during crunch time. Yes, when you plan the full itinerary yourself, you get to see and to do everything you want, but when trouble comes, sometimes you just want a nice traveling buddy who can help you book a train ticket while you dash to figure out the timings of your hotel shuttle bus. 2 minds can work pretty efficiently, vs just one person who is stuck with worrying about check out and chasing after the shuttle bus at the same time.

Examples of where this +1 resource will come in useful is eg. Europe backpacking trips, bustling cities like Tokyo and Bangkok.

4. Costs Savings

The most practical reason to not travel solo is – shared costs. And I am talking specifically with regards to road trips and campervan-ing trips, where your vehicle rental costs is going to be fixed, regardless of the number of passengers.

Places like New Zealand/ Australia/ Iceland and Scotland are destinations where they are best enjoyed by doing a road trip. For such trips, go with pals or friends who you know is unlikely to be a crazy kidnapper disguised as a fellow traveler.

get a car and driver to get around sri lanka is the best option
Get a car with a driver to get around sri lanka is the best option

5. Instagram Buddy 

These days, everybody wants an ‘instagram boyfriend’ 😉 #whynot

Okay jokes aside, it is really quite helpful if you have another friend with you to entrust your camera to – to take great holiday shots for you.

posing for amazing air shots in Bali
Jump shots with friends capturing photos
Wefie on the go | Yangshuo Climbing
Selfies with friends on the rock

Solo travel just makes it too difficult and risky to pass your camera about. Especially so for a person like me who like shots of me taken a distance away from the camera – as a smaller subject in the backdrop, like the examples below.

How small we are amidst the surroundings - solo travel not | female solo traveller | female solo traveler

Hence, I don’t think one would be too thrilled to turn around and see your new-found-friend-aka-new-found-friend-aka-stranger-aka-now-thief scurrying away with your camera.

An amazing shot like this was captured by Zac who climbed a tree to take it for us. How many strangers or even friends would do that??
An amazing shot like this at Mount Rinjani Indonesia was captured by Zac who climbed a tree to take it for us. How many strangers or even friends would do that??

So this concludes my little post about why solo travel isn’t for everyone, and some of the limitations of solo travel or traveling solo. No doubt solo traveling works once a while when you just want some serious personal time to yourself and do some kind of project ( sit by the streets and sketch/ paint the effiel tower).

Other than that, I won’t advocate for everyone to jump on the bandwagon straight away unless you have a kind of idea what you are going to experience, as there are a lot of factors that needs to be considered before making that trip – solo.

Share with me your thoughts about this?

why solo travel is not for everyone should I do a solo travel trip

To read about my ‘partially’ solo trip in Canada, click to find out more.

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  • Avatar of Qiao
    December 5, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Hahaha! Love your style of writing! ?

    • Avatar of Lydiascapes
      December 17, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      Thank you Qiao Ling for supporting!:D Keep travelling and reading.

  • Avatar of Rose
    May 15, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Hey Lydia, I agree. I have traveled solo a lot and I loved it. However, there are ways of traveling that aren’t that ‘solo-friendly’, like the rock climbing you do. Like you said, better to be safer than safe! I still to venture out on my own from time to time, but I do make sure my solo travels revolve around city trips instead of going hiking somewhere by myself. I would so die, haha!

    • Avatar of Lydia Yang
      Lydia Yang
      May 15, 2018 at 8:47 pm

      I couldn’t agree more with you, Rose! Traveling solo is not always a good idea. 🙂

  • Avatar of Terry Pickens
    Terry Pickens
    May 25, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    Yes, I love traveling with someone also. I traveled with my late wife for 25 years and now must get into solo travel for my next long adventure. Looking forward to it but also a bit nervous. Looking forward to reading more of your travels.

    • Avatar of Lydia Yang
      Lydia Yang
      May 26, 2018 at 11:08 am

      Hey, Terry, sorry to hear that an unfortunate event will make you travel solo. Nervousness is a normal thing when going into the unknown!

  • Avatar of Genevieve
    October 17, 2021 at 12:29 am

    Well, I’m several years out of date here, but I’ll go ahead and say this anyway.

    I’m really pleased to see someone as well traveled as this say this. I just got done with a solo trip that didn’t go well and I think I’d rather travel with buddies from now on. Traveling solo is cool and can be very fulfilling. But it doesn’t make you any less brave to prefer to travel in a group.

    Anyways thank you I think I’ll subscribe if this blog is still active

    • Avatar of Lydia Yang
      Lydia Yang
      October 27, 2021 at 12:41 am

      Thank you for your kind words Genevieve! Indeed you are right, and we learn it through the adventures we go on. Thanks for subscribing and stay in touch!

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