The more the merrier? Although that is a quintessential saying, it doesn’t apply to absolutely everything – including backpacking. There are definite advantages to travelling with a friend or two. You might feel safer or more relaxed with a larger group. It can help cut down on costs and prevents you from getting lonely. Plus, you’re bound to make a ton of awesome memories backpacking with a group. But the same can also be said for travelling solo. Backpacking by yourself can be wildly fulfilling. It gives you a different perspective and experience than following a pack. It also gives you more freedom and opportunities than travelling with another person or two.
We’re not saying that backpacking solo or doing it with friends is better or worse than the other. The point to be made is that they offer two very different backpacking experiences, and depending on what type of adventure you’re looking for, one may be better suited to you. Below we discuss the benefits of backpacking solo than with a friend. Take these points into consideration before embarking on your next adventure to make sure you get the most out of your backpacking experience. What are you waiting for?
You Can Go At Your Own Pace
When travelling by yourself, then you call all the shots. You don’t need to consider anyone else’s opinion or demands, which will give you the freedom to travel in the way that you want. Especially when backpacking, which can require a lot of physical activity, you’ll be grateful to move at your own pace – whether that means taking your time or not waiting up for slowpokes.
This also means you get to make your own decisions about how long you stay in a certain place. Perhaps you’ll find a cheap flight and will want to go somewhere you originally thought you wouldn’t. Or, maybe you’re enjoying your location more than you thought and want extra time. The decision is entirely yours.
You Call The (Money) Shots
While backpacking is one of the more economical ways to travel, things will still add up. When travelling with more than one person, you have to consider the fact that everyone has different opinions about where to spend the most money. Some people are okay with cheaping out on hostels but want to spend more on food or entertainment, or vice versa. Others may prefer taking planes versus busses or trains because of their convenience and are okay with spending more. When travelling solo, you’ll get to make these decisions for yourself, which can relieve a lot of potential stress and conflict.
It's An Opportunity For Self -Improvement
If you backpack solo, you’ll be spending a lot of time with yourself. You’ll be wholly reliant on yourself to get from place to place. Not only will this cultivate your sense of independence, but it will do wonders for your self-confidence. The more experience you gain backpacking as a single person will help you feel capable of handling any situation.
Moreover, you’re bound to learn more about yourself. Most people don’t have the opportunity for extended periods of solitude. This will push you out of your comfort zone and may feel a bit odd at times. But you’ll have more time than ever to reflect on yourself and your life, which in turn will help you get to know yourself (and what you want and are capable of) better.
A Chance To Be Outgoing
Travelling solo doesn’t mean you’ll be alone. In fact, you might meet more people as a solo traveller than if you had a buddy or two. Travelling with a friend may encourage the two of you to just keep to yourselves. Why ruin a dynamic that’s already good?
But when travelling by yourself, you’ll be forced to be outgoing and talk to new people if you want a break from the solitude. You’ll be motivated to meet new people, which will bring new opportunities and experiences. Whether you find a cool group to share some drinks with for an evening or you end up hitting the road with them for a while, the people you meet while backpacking will become some of the highlights of your trip.
There’s Less Room For Conflict
Travelling with someone doesn’t always mean you’ll have conflict. But the chances are higher the more time you spend with someone, especially if you’re in close quarters. It can be hard making sure someone is a good backpacking buddy – and it’s even riskier if you’ve never travelled before. Even if there’s no big drama, spending so much one-on-one time with a single person can leave you both annoyed with one another.
But going solo means there’s no chance for you to conflict with another person. Sure, you might butt heads with people you meet on the way, but you have no obligations to anyone if you’re a solo traveller. The only type of conflict you might have is internal conflict – and, as per reason no. 3, solo backpacking is the perfect opportunity for self-improvement.