5 Reasons Solo Travel Sucks

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Okay, so I know that I occasionally publish posts on my blog about how awesome it is to travel solo. And it's true that I've gained a lot of things — mostly related to my development as an independent and confident woman — from traveling on my own.

But you know what?

Solo travel isn't always fun. In fact, sometimes it just downright SUCKS.

5 Reasons Why Solo Travel Sucks

If you got my August newsletter, you'll remember that I struggled early on during this trip to find my “travel groove.” A lot of it was due to my having to adjust back into the solo travel mentality — which took a while. There were some days when I just wanted to scrap my whole trip and go back home to my family and friends.

I've gotten past those first faltering weeks, however. And I'm thankfully back into full-on travel mode. But those tough first weeks reminded me that travel — solo travel or otherwise — is NOT always fun.

Here are 5 things that suck about traveling alone:

Table for One

I'm used to doing things on my own by now, but one thing I may never be 100% comfortable with is eating alone at restaurants. When I'm traveling alone, I try to avoid sit-down dinners out in public as often as possible. I hate the weird looks I get from hostesses and waiters and even other diners — YES, I am eating alone. Please stop staring.

How to make it easier: Since wifi can't always be counted on at restaurants, I never rely just on my phone for distraction when I'm dining solo. I usually try to have my Kindle with me as well. Reading while eating a meal for one makes me feel less self-conscious. Plus, maybe it makes me look more intellectual and like I don't give a shit that I'm alone?

Monteriggioni Italy

Your Own Security Guard

You know when you're in an airport or train station and you really really have to pee because you've just drunk an entire liter of water because it's hot and you just walked half an hour with your life on your back? Yeah, I've been there. And it really sucks when you're alone and have to drag ALL of your bags into the toilet stall with you.

How to make it easier: Not really a whole lot you can do except ask a stranger to watch your biggest bag(s) and take only the valuable stuff with you. I've resorted to this a few times, but at least twice my “guard” has up and disappeared during his/her shift! So annoying.

The Forced Selfie

It may seem like a silly thing, but when you travel solo it's often difficult to get awesome photos of yourself in cool places. You either are forced to take really awkward selfies, or you are at the mercy of complete strangers — most of whom, in my experience, have no business owning/using a camera of any sort.

How to make it easier: I used to use the “find someone with a nice camera and ask them to take my photo” trick. But these days, with almost everyone toting around a DSLR (90% of them probably never taking it off the Auto setting), it doesn't always yield good results. Another option is to get something like a Xshot camera extender to make taking selfies easier (though by no means less awkward).

Florence selfie
Florence selfie

Hello, Extroversion

I am naturally a bit of an introvert. Or maybe I just hate people, I don't know. All I know is that I'm usually not the first person to strike up a conversation (with strangers, friends, doesn't matter). If I AM the first, it's usually because I'm forcing myself to. When I'm traveling solo, then, it's not as easy for me to meet people as I would like it to be. Yes, I still manage, but I'm by no means a social butterfly and often find myself exhausted after a day/night of forced socializing.

How to make it easier: Well, I could just stop being so weird. But, since that probably won't happen, I HAVE found some ways to make things easier on my solo self. I go on walking tours. I book group tours and day trips from time to time. This summer, I've been traveling around Europe with Busabout, which means I see a lot of the same people over and over. Without fail, there is always SOMEone who will talk to me first and pull me out of my shell a bit.

Me, Myself, and I

When you travel solo, you really can only count on yourself — for safety, company, entertainment, self-control. You don't have anyone holding your hand. Usually I find this pretty empowering… but it can also get a bit lonely. I run into lots of couples and sets of best friends traveling together, and I almost envy them. As a solo traveler you DO meet people (even I meet people, despite my sometimes stand-offish ways), but meaningful, long-term relationships (friendships or otherwise) are hard to come by when you are saying goodbye to people every few days.

How to make it easier: Short answer, you can't. Constantly saying goodbye is never going to get easier. In fact, I think it just gets harder and more tiresome the more you do it. Sure, you could completely shut down, tune out, and become an emotional robot. But who wants that?

Cesky Krumlov rafting crew
New Busabout friends


So there you have it. The 5 reasons why I personally think solo travel sucks sometimes.

But, even on the worst days, I still wouldn't trade it for anything!

RELATED: Why Traveling as a Female Rocks (and Why it Sucks)

Do you have anything to add to the list?


*Note: Most of this is very snarky, and it's meant to be that way. I by no means hate traveling solo. I just wanted to illustrate that it's not all unicorns and rainbows! (Though, if it was, how AWESOME would that be??)


"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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107 Comments on “5 Reasons Solo Travel Sucks

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  1. I’ve never really thought about it, but I realized I’ve never traveled solo. More power to you for doing so. Even if it isn’t all cupcakes and champagne, at least you are out there seeing the world.

      Very true, Kimmy. Most of the time I enjoy traveling solo. But it definitely has its moments!

    Ugh, so true about eating alone! I’m in the middle of a solo trip and spent about an hour wandering around SoHo looking for a place to eat where I felt comfortable. Ended up just grabbing a sandwich and eating in the park. I’ve found it’s the little things that have tripped me up the most.

      I do that ALL the time, too! One of the most annoying parts about traveling solo for me.

    Another bummer – when you’re in a cool place and you just want to turn and say ‘look at that..it’s it just awesome?” then you realize you’re on your own. I myself travel most of the times solo, and while it’s great (freedom of choice and such), there are times when you just need someone to tag along. Keep up the amazing work 🙂

      Yes, I totally agree! Sometimes you just want someone to share those amazing memories with.

        This is by far the worst part of travelling alone – its juts never the same when sharing something awesome second-hand! 🙁

          Agreed! That, and, with Facebook and my blog and everything, by the time I get home everyone has usually already heard/read about my adventures. So I hardly ever get to share anything even second-hand!

            I quite like solo dining. You know those couples you see dining out who hardly speak to each other or spend the whole time looking at their phones. I would rather be the person sitting by myself. I do prefer doing it at lunch but if I am going to do dinner I do an early sitting or sit up at the bar and eat. Do it with your head held high and everyone will be envious . I take a notepad and pen and my kindle. I used to live around the corner from this really nice little restaurant and the amount of women that would dine alone there made me realise just how many people are out there doing it. Tapas can be a bit of a bummer by yourself but I always try and make it work. I might not get to experience the restaurant if I don’t just “what ever”.

            I’ve taken to bringing my Kindle with me – it definitely makes me feel less weird about eating alone!

    I always feel exactly the same: I’m also an introvert, and don’t always force myself into meeting new people, especially if there are a bunch of people hanging out together at the hostel. It feels weird to go there and introduce yourself. It helps that I usually make friends with the people in my dorm, but it’s only for a few days.

    I’ve also found out that, at least for me, friends you like to go out with in your home town can make horrible travel companions, so I don’t complain. Travelling solo is very looked down upon in Italy: Wwhen I tell my mother, relatives or friends that I’m travelling alone they never understand and let’s say that they pity me.

      Very interesting that you feel like solo travel is looked down on in Italy!

      I agree though that at-home friends don’t always make good travel buddies. That’s sometimes a great way to end a friendship!

    What about wanting to have a swim but having to look after your bag?

    I think party hostels are also kind of a problem, since they’re quite often filled with groups of people who have no interest in socializing with people outside of their circle, unless they’re of the opposite gender. This was especially apparent in South America where some hostels had swimming pools, bars, restaurants, maids, and hundreds of guests. I started picking the smaller hostels that had only one table in the common room, so everyone met each other every morning (if they woke up around the same time, anyway). It worked a lot better.

      Very good point! I’ve stayed at a lot of larger hostels on this trip, and I definitely agree – it’s so hard to break into an already-established group! I usually have much better luck making friends with fellow solo travelers.

    I travel solo 99% of the time. Hell, I live by myself so I’m probably alone a good 75% of the time in my normal life, and less so when I travel. All of which is good and by choice, BTW. But I digress.

    Table for one: You have hit upon my solution. Read. Put away the phone (!!) and read a book or its modern equivalent your kindle/iPad. But don’t let that get in the way of talking to people. I’ve had many a conversation with people at the table beside me. Often because they’re taking pity on the traveler eating alone!

    Your own security guard: At most I ever travel with one bag in addition to my daypack. And that bag is either checked or small enough that taking it to the bathroom with me is no big deal. The cynic in me would never trust a stranger of any sort with anything of value to me.

    Selfies. You have a blog, so you’re kind of obligated. I hate having my photo taken and often have to argue with people who want to help me out by taking a photo for me.

    Introversion/extroversion: I am a natural introvert/shy person who’s trained myself to be outgoing when I travel. How else am I going to get value from my travel dollar if I don’t talk to people? I felt like I had truly succeeded when, at a hostel last year some friends from Colorado with whom I traveled for a while observed “Geez … you talk to *everybody*”. Another thing that I’ve found helpful at B&Bs or hostels is to chat with people (preferably other obviously solo travelers) and find out what they are up to that day. More often than not they are overjoyed if you suggest tagging along (or that they tag along with you doing your more interesting thing)..

    Constant goodbyes: Much easier these days with facebook, email, free texting, etc. I am in constant, if sporadic, contact with a lot of people I’ve met when traveling and have loose plans always to touch base with them when I eventually get to their part of the world.

    But really – most of what you have described is just life. The only difference is that travel is life amplified. All the same problems exist in your non-travel world. It’s just that you know a lot of people in that world upon whom you can call to help solve the problem.

    BTW, I actually *like* the look of selfies, with or without the extender. I think they are much more “real” than a posed shot that someone else has taken of you.

      Great comment, Rob! I like your statement about travel being life amplified – it is, for sure. Though I don’t run into any of these problems at home in my everyday life!

        I bet you do (or did) run in to some of those problems earlier in your everyday life – it’s just that you now have go-to solutions for them so you don’t notice. All the friends you didn’t have when you first started school, or first started university.

        I’m not the first person to observer the “life, amplified” thing. Which actually brings up a positive thing about solo travel. Not having to deal with other people!

        I’ve never had problems traveling with girlfriends or other friends, but I definitely vet them before the trip starts because I know of relationships (and marriages) that have died at the end of two months of incompatible travel. Short trips are a great way to figure out that your friends really are not “travelers” in the way that you might hope them to be. Not that that is bad, unless you’re stuck traveling with them for a month. 🙂

          I’ve always said any potential significant other of mine will have to travel with me before we get serious! Travel is definitely a make-or-break kind of thing for a lot of people.

    All too true! My only real problem with solo travel is the photos… The rest I’m quite happy about actually! I can do what I want, when I want, with whoever I want. Maybe I’m just selfish that way haha, x

      That’s awesome that the rest of it doesn’t really phase you! Rock on!

      I am the same. Unless I haven’t found my ideal travel companion, the benefits of solo travel so outweigh travelling with another for me – no compromise. When I am in a beautiful place, I love having it all to myself to soak it all in in golden awed silence, rather than have the experience adulterated by talk.

      I have absolutely no problem striking up chats with others. This is in fact one of the best things about solo travel – meeting lots of interesting new people. I don’t limit myself to talking to travellers either. I prefer talking to locals. I don’t go all the way there to not explore what the local people think, feel and see things -it’s the heart of exploring their culture besides the tourist attractions. People make a place.

    Oh yes yes yes, these are the exact problems or annoyances that I have too. I especially agree with the picture point – I hate having to ask a stranger to take my picture since it usually ends up being horrible. I don’t need to see my feet if you have to cut off the top of the Parthenon, thanks a lot. 🙂 I will take the selfie but it just doesn’t look as good as others. It can be frustrating! Also agree about the table for one. Sometimes I can’t have my kindle/ipad with me so it’s just me sitting there, staring at the walls, or the menu, or asking for another drink to pass the time. Actually that last one is fun. 🙂

      Sitting alone in the restaurant just staring into space is the worst!!!

    I too hate eating alone. I am kind of the worst and either end up getting take out and eating on a bench, try to eat at the bar if available or otherwise, just end up inhaling my food and getting out asap.

    It must be the big city gal in me, but I would NEVER leave my bag with anyone else. If I can’t carry it everywhere with me, I don’t bring it. Plus, I am super good at “holding it”. Someone asked me to watch her bag once and I said yes, but 10 minutes went by and my bus arrived. One guess what I did. Hey, she took a risk with a stranger in the first place, serves her right!

    The first time I went to Europe alone, digital cameras were not well known yet, hence I have exactly one picture of myself. Digicams have made it way more easy to reach out and take a picture of yourself now, then film cams ever did. I got so used to seeing myself at the same angle, that I actually turned people down to take a full shot.

    I am the same at making friends and talking to people and I totally agree with tours. A great way to meet people with no strings attached.

      I do the same thing as you often when it comes to eating. Though more recently I’ve just been forcing myself to go out when I need a real meal!

    I love solo travel, and I’m usually pretty good with most of what that entails, but I’ll admit I find taking photos of myself traveling alone very awkward. There are a lot of places I’ve visited where I haven’t taken any photos of me there because taking a photo of myself (or worse talking to someone to ask for them to take a photo for me) just feels weird. Yet I could sit down in a restaurant alone, and have like an 8 course meal, and wouldn’t feel odd about that at all.

      I think it’s brilliant you can do an 8 courser on your own! I think I can too, except I don’t eat very much. I have no issue dining alone because of selfconsciousness, more that time seems to drag out more with no conversation. Unless the seat offers a good view of some happening street life, I just get bored eating alone. That is my problem.
      If I can strike a chat with the waiter or neighbouring diners, then I am good! I’ve had really great chats this way. Everyone is interesting if you can find out what is the interesting part in them that interests you!

        I get really bored, too! Hence usually taking my Kindle along when I’m alone.

      The selfie conundrum seems to bother a lot of people when traveling solo!

    Oh, the selfies. They’re definitely my biggest issue with solo travel. If I take one, I feel like everyone around me is noticing how awkward I look. Or, if I actually work up the courage to ask another tourist to take my picture, as you said, it usually doesn’t even turn out very good. And you can only ask them to retake the photo about twice before it starts to get uncomfortable.

    All I can say is that selfie photo of you is adorable! Your photos are always so vibrant in color!

    Solo travel does suck sometimes but waiting for someone to travel with you sucks even more. I will take solo travel over no travel every day.

      Amen. I totally agree! Which is why I travel solo so often – I’m not about to wait for someone to go with me!

    It is the WORSE having to drag everything you own into the bathroom with you. I’m glad you’re back into the swing of things.

      Ugh, I know! I think I mostly added that one because I have to deal with buses and airports and trains tomorrow.

    We hope that this post is a asset for solo travellers.:)

      I hope so too! I mean, I still would definitely recommend solo travel. But I don’t want to fool people into thinking that it’s always amazing!

    Totally agree with you! The top of the list for me is not able to take nice photo of myself, especially when I arrived at some iconic landmark, I just need to have a photo with myself inside it. It is kinda like a prove that says that I have been there! It is either taking selfie with the big head and the tiny iconic landmark behind or blocking it completely with the big head. In my recent solo trip, I also came to realise that not everyone with a good professional looking camera are good photographers (but the chances are better!). It is a hit and miss, so what I do is to get different people to take a photo for me if I am not satisfied, of course I will wait a while before getting the next person in case I offend the previous person. Sometimes, they will include some tourists behind or at the edge of my photo in those not crowded area which can kind of irritate me that my photo is spoiled. You know, I can go on and on about the selfie part. 😛

    When you practice eating out alone in public can be pretty daunting but after a while you will realise that nobody really care or notice you. I guess it is just about being comfortable and it is not as though they are going to talk all day about the girl who sat down for a meal all by herself, who are they to judge anyway. 🙂

    I think being able to make the decision and have your awareness heighten at all times can also be either a pro or a con at times. You feel the empowerment of making decisions but there are times you just want to rest the brain and let others take over.

    In anyway, no combination be it solo or with travel partner(s) is perfect. It has its own good and bad. =)

      Haha I’m the same way with photos! If I finally see something really cool or iconic, of course I want a photo with or in front of it to prove that I was really there!

    Seems I’ve been traveling solo for decades with occasionally throwing in a (short-term) partner. The hardest for me was eating in a restaurant alone. My solution, look for another solo and ask if I can join them. Has made for some interesting meets.

    The airport pee problem really sucks. Could stalls be made any smaller so you can’t even turn around. I’ve learned to pack smaller.

    Seems I have very few photos of self, especially that don’t cut off some part of my body in an unusual way. Not good at selfies.

    I’m friendly, so have to be a little careful with that.

    What I miss the most about solo travel is sharing an inspirational view, in real time.

    Best of all, I make All my own decisions.

      There are definitely both positives and negatives. And, usually, more positives, thankfully!

    I find the toughest thing is when you are remembering your travels, there is no one to turn to and say “Hey, remember that time in ……………………”. I’ve been struggling a lot recently with travelling alone and the implications when I return, At the moment, I’m technically not travelling but living abroad and I feel like I’m drifting away from my friends. If someone had traveled with me, I feel like I would still have some connection with those people who, at one point, knew everything going on in my life.

    The eating alone thing has never bothered me, and I quite like some of my selfies, but most of the time I’ve gone to seen the iconic sights with someone I have met in the hostel. The one notable exception being Iguazu falls.

    At the end of the day, I love traveling solo, I love meeting new people,. even if I do have to put myself out there a lot more than I normally would.

      That not having anyone to share with… yes, I totally understand and agree with that. The more I travel, the more amazing experiences I have, the more I ache for someone to share them with. And no, Facebook doesn’t count!

    oh, this, all of this! I’ve been travelling mostly solo for over 10 years now and while I really love it and enjoy it most of the things mentioned by you bother me as well. by now I’m used to eating on my own but when I see weird looks of people around me it discouraged me big time… and selfies? I so hate them yet keep taking such pictures 😉

    another downside for me is that I’m not all that brave to discover the city’s nightlife on my own. I’m not talking about going to the wild party and getting drunk as I don’t really do that when I travel (big waste of time and money for me;) but simple going for a walk and see the city’s lights can be a challenge. the weird thing is I feel so much safer in Eastern Europe or post Soviet countries and I had no problem with walking alone in the night in places like Yerevan, Tbilisi or Kiev yet I kind of freak out in let’s say London…

      I didn’t really consider the nightlife bit, but I’m definitely the same. I don’t really drink, so I would never dream of wandering into a bar alone in a strange city!

      I do often force myself out at night to see a city lit up, though.

    I would have never thought of bringing my Kindle! I always get awkward eating alone even if I’m NOT traveling. You are indeed quite the intellectual! The photos would definitely be a struggle for me. I’ve got big dreams and I just want my photos to match up. Is that too much to ask? 😉 Thanks for giving some insight on more of the negatives of solo travel. I always love to read both sides!

      Haha, I’m with you on the photos! I actually JUST had this conundrum again yesterday in Pisa. I wanted to get a really awesome shot of me leaning against the tower, or trying to kick it over. I had 3 different people take photos of me, and I’m not in love with any of them! Ugh!

    Really true! I love traveling, and solo travel is nice in some respects, but I much prefer traveling with a partner!

    Also, I still am not 100% comfortable eating alone. I’ve gotten much better since it’s not seen as weird in Asia, but like you, I often sit there reading because I feel less alone somehow! haha

      I’d like to try traveling slightly longer-term with someone else. At this point in my traveling life, I think I might enjoy that more (assuming it was the right travel buddy!).

    “I am naturally a bit of an introvert. Or maybe I just hate people, I don’t know.” I feel like this almost every day. I totally agree that it gets harder to constantly say goodbye the more you do it; for me it’s got to the point where I’d almost rather avoid getting to know new people so that I don’t have to eventually say goodbye, but since I’m not currently travelling solo (in fact, I’m travelling with an extrovert!), I get roped into new people and new conversations quite often. I’ve found though, that if I’m not the one who has to make the initial effort to start a conversation, I can usually get into it and enjoy the company quite easily.

      I’m the same, Sam – if someone else initiates conversation and gets me talking, I DO usually enjoy a good chat. I just have trouble actually being the instigator!

    […] couple of travel bloggers actually write posts that are not all sunshine and rainbows: Amanda lists reasons she’s found solo travel to be difficult (I can relate to these!) and Kate gives us a new perspective on what being a “digital […]

    I love how you gave tips on how to make solo travel easier! I always found that Couchsurfing helped me.

      I’ve only Couchsurfed a couple of times. It IS a good way of meeting people. However it sometimes stresses me out, because of the whole being forced to be social with your host part!

    I started my first solo trip in South America 9 days ago and have already experienced all of these! Things I never used to think of before have suddenly become an issue. The other day I realised that I was almost at my stop after a long bus journey and that I had to go to the toilet quickly before we got to the station so that I wouldn’t have to lug my backpack into the bus station loo with me! Also, travelling in the low season makes it much harder to meet people at hostels, it seems.

      Ah yes, low-season travel is even trickier! But you’re only 9 days in – I’m sure you’ll find your travel groove soon and find your own ways to deal with these little annoyances!

    I love solo traveling and am about to embark on my annual solo road trip in a few weeks. The eating alone every night is dreadful – that’s why I usually try to find a restaurant with a bar so I can zone out on the football game to avoid the staring… I don’t even like football but it’s better then fending off onlookers. I tell myself perhaps they are staring because they are too insecure to travel by themselves 🙂

      Eating at the bar is another great tip for when you’re traveling alone – even better if there are TVs you can watch!

    There are more positives than negatives to solo travel. I am a different person when I travel. I find myself more open to people. The hardest part of solo travel is the constant saying goodbye to people.

      Oh yes, definitely more positives than negatives!! I wouldn’t still be doing it otherwise. 🙂

      I agree, too, that the constant goodbyes are probably the hardest part.

    That’s a pretty good analysis. At first I thought it was impossible to think travel sucks but you make some really good points.

      “Sucks” of course is probably a bit harsh a word to use (honestly, it just made a catchy headline!), but there ARE negative things to traveling – solo or otherwise. Thankfully there are way more positive things, which are usually what I prefer to write about!

    What I miss the most when I travel solo is the sharing part — share the excitement, the fascination, the happiness of being in a foreign place. It just isn’t as fun to be alone to enjoy those feelings!

      I totally agree! And, once you HAVE been able to share those things with someone, it’s hard to go back to seeing/doing/experiencing it all on your own.

    One plus thing about visiting cultural and historic sites when you’re alone: you can take your time exploring!

      That’s definitely true! In fact, traveling alone in general usually means you can spend as much (or as little) time doing things as you want! I DO love that freedom that comes along with solo travel.

    The most I have “traveled” solo is on overnight backpack trips. I found it to be a little TOO quiet. When I have those life changing or memory creating moments by myself it fills me up to the point I just want to explode because the only thing I can do is snap a picture and try to express the power of that moment to someone when I return. To me these moments become so much more real when they are shared.

    That said when you are alone the only person you have to make decisions with is yourself. Should we keep hiking? Is it time for lunch? Do we want to take a dip in that swimming hole? And when I run around up and down the trail for 30 minutes trying to decide on the best campsite option no one is there to see how crazy and obsessed I am.

      Good and bad, for sure. Just like all forms of travel, really.

      I’ll keep traveling alone, though, despite these things about it that I sometimes hate!

    AMEN Amanda!!!! There are some incredible upsides to travelling alone and recently the thought of someone coming to Oz with me bugged the hell out of me BUT at the same time, company can be a wonderful medicine for the soul when you’re feeling a bit self-conscious in a restaurant etc. Great post lovely 🙂

      Thanks, Toni! It definitely sounds like we’re on the same page when it comes to solo travel!

    I was wondering what do you do with your stuff if you fancy a random swim?

      Have to either just trust your stuff on the shore, or ask a stranger to look after it, unfortunately. I’ve only been to like 1 beach that had lockers where you could lock your stuff up…

        Trying to pluck up some courage for my first solo trip and I love the sea but didnt think of this when I go with my partner to Cornwall we take minimal things and leave them in a beach shelter but have left cameras, phones, car keys before which is risky but we have been fine so far

          Definitely don’t bury it in the sand and hope you’ll find it later – I met a couple who buried their shared wallet, marked by a stone, with a huge amount of cash inside. No prizes for guessing what happened when they came back from their swim…

    Lovely, lovely, LOVELY – I agree wholeheartedly with all of these things Amanda, but particularly the last bit! Eating out alone is so often a source of embarrassment for me, but I hate thinking I’m missing a local food because of it so I usually try to bite the bullet and embrace the moment. Although right now I. Looking forward to hostel-provided dinner, haha!

      Haha, I find myself eating a lot of hostel meals! These days, if a hostel has a restaurant attached, it’s a major bonus!

    Great read Amanda. I typically wander alone and explore alone at home anyways, so I definitely enjoy the solo travel style. But at the same time it does get extremely lonely at times, awkward at other times, and just straight up boring as well. I remember when I went bungy jumping for the first time in Taupo, and after it was completed all I wanted to do was rave about the feeling with other people…but nobody was there. Nobody so it happen. Nobody ran up to me excited to hear about it when I got back.

    These are great tips to avoid some pitfalls as a solo traveler and make the experience keep upbeat!

      The sharing bit (usually tied to the loneliness part) is definitely the downside that gets to me the most, too.

    Oh god, getting a good picture of yourself!! So glad you mentioned that. Might seem silly but that’s what bums me out the most about solo travel. And you’re so right… even the people with fancy cameras still have NO idea what they’re doing. I always end up getting a picture of just my face and you can’t see anything behind me. Fun.

    Hang in there, remember you always have us to vent to on your down days! 😉

    Happy travels <3

      It does definitely help, having this blog to “vent” to. Plus, I think it’s good to recognize that there are plenty of down days when traveling, too! I don’t want to make it seem like this lifestyle is always fun and amazing (though usually it is!).

    The selfies! they haunt me to no end. I’ve taken some awful ones. I need to buy some kind of crane like tripod that I can operate with one hand! I’m okay eating alone, but the first time I did after breaking up my long term relationship was terrifying. I’d never eaten alone, alone until then. Now that’s easy for me (thank god).. The security guard thing, totally agree with. Sometimes I want to hand someone my bag and say, “Watch this.” Sigh, that will never happen I’m afraid. Great post, girl, brought me back to my first few months. Hugs!

      Haha so funny to have so many people comment on the selfies! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who HATES them!

    I’m not sure if anyone mentioned this (there are so many comments!) but I always put up a guard when I travel alone. I was in Goa alone in January and I was so scared of the random men coming up to talk to me all the time that I ended up putting up this rude barrier and treating every one of them as if they were a rapist when all they wanted to do was say hi.

      That’s one that I don’t think has been mentioned yet, but definitely is a good one to add to this list. I find myself doing the same thing in certain destinations!

    LOL on the forced selfie! We sometimes struggle with that even when we’re trying as a couple. The double awkward self portraits that always leaves one cut out. LOVE this post. I think I’m inspired to write a ‘reasons why couples travel sucks’ post. 😉 Hope all is well, A!

    being alone sucks very much as it is, and to go traveling alone is even Worse.

      Ah, it doesn’t have to, though! Plenty of people love traveling solo. 🙂

    Great post! What I do is make eating alone look good. I am anonymous when I am traveling so I actually enjoy it. No one knows you so why the embarrassment. I am reading the Hunger Games Trilogy on kindle so I get rapt up reading my book to notice if people stare or not. Stay confident travelers even if you are faking it. Also give it some time to get into the groove. Oh and learn to love meat on a stick and street stalls and night markets. I love traveling southeast Asia solo.

    Taking your money belt in the bathroom is a good habit and I do it even traveling with people I’ve met. I am in the Galapagos and it’s geriatrics and couples but the animals are my friends here. Off to Colombia next. Happy and safe travels to all.

      Taking my Kindle along with me always makes things less awkward!

    Where are all you people? I’m reading about all these great solo travelers but I feel like I’m not seeing you anywhere. I’ve been traveling for a year but mostly with my girlfriend. Of course we just broke up and I’m readjusting to solo travel (though I’ve done it before). I’ve no problem with most of these points – I love being alone, eating alone, etc., it’s pushing myself to be more extroverted that’s hard. I hate the small talk and answering the same 5 questions everywhere you go (What’s your name, Where are you from, What do you do, Where have you been, Where are you going?). I think the night life is the worst. Eating alone is no prob, try sitting at a bar by yourself for hours! Gulp…

      Haha, well we solo travelers often say couples are the hardest people to try and meet on the road, because they usually keep to themselves! I promise there are lots of solo travelers out there, though!

      Yeah, the idea of sitting at a bar alone does not sound at all appealing to me – mostly because I don’t drink, so it would be extra awkward!

    OH god the whole thing about people not knowing how to take pictures. I am by no means a professional photographer but damn some people are just terrible at it.

    I like road trips in the US and I must tell you, if there is a long drive with nothing really to look at, it gets a bit boring. I end up talking to myself quite a lot. While I love the me time, I wish I could teleport people in and out at will. Paying for gas alone also sucks! (or accommodation!)

      Hahaha, yeah, some people just shouldn’t be allowed to use cameras!

    How unfortunate that you haven’t had a great Travel experiences alone. I find the traveling alone affords me a lot of opportunities for traveling with others does not. Solo travel gives me far more opportunities to meet interesting people and you can be more spontaneous about your travel plans.

      Actually, if you’ve read other things on my site, you’ll see that I’ve had tons of great experiences traveling solo! This post was just pointing out the downsides – because there are downsides to any style of travel!

    This article came up after googling “Solo traveling for extroverts”. I have so many travel goals that are not being fulfilled because of friend schedules or budgets. I feel like now is the time to travel for me, no real responsibility, young, full of energy. The thing is for me, an experience is only as good as the people your with. I can be viewing the most beautiful sunset ever, but if I’m with annoying, negative people ill just want to get out of there. And conversely, I can be at the most bland, uneventful party, but if I’m with a group of fun people we’ll make it a blast.

    I’ve been mulling over the idea of traveling Europe solo for a while now. My grandmother did it when she was 26, my sister when she was 28. Im 23, and with all my life goals, I feel like now would be the perfect time.

    Ive gone on small road trips solo, but I had the mindset that I was going to work on my photography, so I guess I wasn’t set out to enjoy myself, just “work”.

    -Table for one: I would be mortified to sit alone at a table. I would never.

    -You’re your own security guard- Don’t see this as being a problem. Im pretty trusting, but have good judgement.

    -Forced Selfie- selfies are awkward even with friends. Not a problem for me.

    -Hello Extroversion- This is what I’m most nervous about. I make small talk with anything that moves, but that’s not the same as sharing and enjoying incredible moments with your people. Also, I’m one of those freaks that think having fun is one of the most important things in life. How does one have fun alone?

    Any advice for people who need people?

    Rant over lol

      Hey Liz! Have you considered a small group tour, or perhaps traveling with a company like Busabout? Busabout might actually be perfect for you! You can check out my post about it here: https://www.dangerous-business.com/2013/11/whats-like-travel-around-europe-busabout/

      You can also check out my huge solo travel guide, which addresses some of your other questions: https://www.dangerous-business.com/2015/08/top-9-questions-about-solo-travel-answered/

      And I’ve written a post about traveling as a introvert, too: https://www.dangerous-business.com/2015/11/8-truths-about-traveling-as-an-introvert/

    I love your writing , i however hsve never gotten issue to eat alone in restaurant , every restaurant do have table for one , else i ate at the bar ( in USA) , seriously when travelling the world i want to enjoy the food from those country too, i dont let people make me feel awkward, thats their problem not mine …., i paid a lot to visit the country and i will enjoy the food , the view , and the hospitality too , thanks god i hate my own selfie, i make picture from the country not from myself …, so tsking pics also not an issue for me , also as i always traveling super duper light( 60l) backpack for 2 months Australia, i have no issue to go to the restroom in the train ( i tried not to do it too often in the teain ), safety is the most important when you are female solo traveller, i tried not be really wasted at night and avoid dark alleys , and i always make sure to watch out and careful with what i said to strangers .., and when possible i contact local meet up group and couch surfing group , to meet up traveler from all over the world and share experiences … Bottom line , dont be afraid , have confidence , dont be shy, and most important things enjoy your trips the fullest ….Thanks God up till now i am still safe and still enjoying my trips …. Safe teavels y’all … Cheers from the lowland Netherlands

      Good for you, Ephie! You’re right that women need to be more careful when traveling solo, but it sounds like you have it figured out pretty well!

    I just had my first solo trip and it was a 50-50 experience for me.
    Problems I faced are like
    1) You need to beg for good photos and may end up with listening to ‘I am not your photographer, sir!!!’.
    2) You can’t say ‘look at that pretty girl dude!!!’ because there is no one with you.
    3)Renting a car is costly as you are the only one who is paying for it
    4) If you want to eat at famous hotel and there is queue then you probably won’t get table soon compare to group.
    5)As an introvert it’s more difficult to introduce yourself to other group
    6) If you are at beach and want swim then you need to find someone who can watch your bag.
    7)You can’t taste unknown dish from your friend plate

    The most important thing I learnt from my solo trip is, If you want to travel for peace then go to locations which are less crowded, less party alike and more natural.

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