Travelling on holiday with others is always fun. We've all done it, whether it was the non-stop party holiday with friends that passes in a heady blur of clubs and beach recovery days, or the more intimate getaway of exploration and romantic dinners with a partner. But that doesn't mean you can't have an equally amazing experience by yourself, if not better. Grab a selfie stick for those iconic photos, because you can do it solo at least once "" and actually, you should. Here are Out Of Office's top ten reasons why you should only pack for one.
It makes your trip simple from the beginning
Planning a trip with others can often be quite tricky. Figuring out when you can both get time off work, where your price range meets, where you both want to go, and what you want to do when you get there is pretty exhausting. Change 'we' to 'I', and things suddenly get a lot easier. Book your trip in a lunch break and start packing.
It'll help you make better decisions
Some may laugh at the idea of learning how to make decisions, but it's a definite skill that some of us lack. When you travel alone and want to make the most of your time everywhere you go, you can't dither. There's no one to ask what they feel like doing apart from yourself and once you've figured that out, you can go as soon as you're ready.
The only person to please is yourself
If you're someone who constantly worries that their companion isn't having a good time on holiday or gets frustrated trying to compromise, panic no longer. The only person you have to make sure has a good time is you. Want to spend half an hour a day meditating or doing yoga then you can. If museums and temples aren't your thing and you'd rather lounge on a beach with a cocktail, do it. If you itch to hike the nearest mountain instead, grab your boots and head out the door. It's a chance to be purely selfish for once with no judgement. After all"¦
Your itinerary is your own
We all have that one friend that we love, but who couldn't turn up on time even if they were a walking clock. Or the friend who blows their budget in the first week, forcing you to scale back your plans. Wait and scrimp no longer! Plan whatever activity you want for whatever time you want to do it at, leave as early or as late as you like, or spontaneously book a trip to anywhere you fancied heading to that morning. Everything is under your control and budget, and if you need to make adjustments it only affects you. It's a freeing experience that'll leave you much more relaxed.
You aren't really alone (unless you want to be)
This is something that you might need to remind yourself of a few times before it kicks in, but it's a lifesaver. You're travelling solo, but you don't have to be alone if you don't want to. Staying in a hostel? Talk to your bunkmates, or go downstairs to the communal area and make some friends to hit the town with. Staying with someone? Chances are that your hosts are locals, and if they're happy to share a house then they're usually happy to show you the best local hotspots around town. It's a more intimate experience of wherever you are than you could find in a guide book. And if you're in a luxury hotel, you'll likely find other solo travellers enjoying their holiday around the swimming pool or at the hotel bar.
You're more likely to talk to locals or learn the language
Whether you mean to or not, travelling with your friends or partner means you're unlikely to stray too far away from each other and your own language. When you travel alone, you need to fend for yourself and interact with locals a lot more to get the experiences you want, meaning you're bound to pick up at least a few words and friends. You'll start to notice after a few days that you've become less of an observer and more of a participant, a truly amazing feeling.
It'll boost your confidence
Never quite sure of where to go, how to get there and who to talk to? Once you've mastered a completely new system of transport from one side of a country to the other, found the best hidden restaurant from a friendly local and ordered dinner with a few shaky words of a foreign language, your confidence will soar. Soon you'll be so sure of your actions you won't think twice about what you're doing. And the best bit is, when you return it'll transfer to your everyday life.
It'll make you a better traveller
With no one else to focus on but yourself and your experiences, you'll become more attentive to the people and places you're interacting with. Not only will these mean you make more vivid cherished memories, but it'll also help you understand what you want to gain from a trip abroad. The result will mean you are more considerate of others and become a better traveller, more equipped to deal with independent travel in the future.
You'll learn more about yourself
Once you actually spend some time indulging your every whim and reflecting on how you really like to spend your time without having to agree with or entertain others, you start to find out a lot more about yourself. On a solo traveller's holiday you find out how you cope under pressure, how you manage your time, what your true interests really are and more. Use this knowledge to make some positive changes when you're back home, and keep learning.
The sense of satisfaction you'll get from handling a solo trip will leave you feeling so empowered, you'll know you can tackle anything. Think to yourself about every issue you conquered, every amazing thing you did on your own steam, and realise that you can deal with whatever life throws at you from now on.