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Freedom to do what you want – If you want to see something in particular, you can do it and not have to worry about the people you are travelling with. If you want to leave after five minutes or stay there for five hours, you have that ability and you do not have to rush for their happiness.
Learning – When you travel alone, you are more likely to talk to the people you meet and find out about them and where they are from. I have many fond memories of hostel kitchens and people talking the evening away talking about home and asking questions about others. In New Zealand, a gentleman made a crawfish and gave everyone in the kitchen a bit so we could taste it.
Schedule – If you are on your own, and not on a tour, one advantage is that you can set your schedule how you want. If you do not want to get up until noon but stay out partying until 2 am, it is not an issue. Keep in mind though, if you are staying in a hostel, that there is a good chance your roommates will be sleeping when you come in.
Like anything, there are downsides to travelling by yourself beyond having no one to watch yoru luggage at the airport. But are they enough to keep you at home?
No one to share with – Travelling on your own means you have no one to share the experience with. While you may have travelling companions, it is not the same as a friend/partner/family member.
Lonely – One problem with travelling alone is that you can get lonely. This is especially true if you are shy but like having other people around you. Depending on your personality, this may end up causing you to make friends and get to know others though. Be careful of getting in a trap of calling home/emailing too much, as it can make it worse.
Costs – Depending on how you are travelling and where you are travelling, it can be more expensive if you are on your own. Thankfully, many places have hostels you can stay in that are a fraction of what a hotel room costs, but you will likely end up sharing a room for the price. The more you pay, the fewer roommates you will have. If you are joining a tour, many give you the option of having a room to yourself or if you want to save some money, you can opt to share with someone of the same gender. You won’t meet them until you arrive.
There are some items that could be advantages to being on your own or could be disadvantages, depending on how you look at things. For this reason, I created a separate category.
Decisions – All the decisions are up to you. This isn’t always bad but sometimes it can be tiring to decide everything yourself. If you are travelling with a group, some decisions may be made for you though which can help.