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2021 is the Year to Solo Travel

2021 is the Year to Solo Travel

We all saw what happened to the tourism industry in 2020. Cruise ships became ghostly quarantine pods, airline stock plummeted, border restrictions sprung into place, many tourist spots closed their doors and a few limitations to solo travel. Travel came to an eerie standstill and the worst part was none of us knew when it would go back to normal again.

Flash forward to June 2021 when vaccines are widely available, countries are opening their borders again, new flights are being added back to websites each day, and businesses are starting to make a steady recovery. Travel is back on the menu but… something is different. The hiatus of 2020 created a fundamental change in the way we think about travel. Do we go back to group vacation package deals? Do we wait for the once-a-year opportunity to pool our allotted time off to go to a single destination?

The answer is solo travel. With more millennials choosing to put off having a family, group vacations are bound to see a decline as adults feel comfortable to set off on their own. The rise of remote work has created a unique post-pandemic environment that has made travel historically more possible than ever before. With remote work here to stay, there is no longer a need for people to bundle their meager allowances of sick days and vacation days for one-week annual vacations with their families. Remote workers are free to go anywhere they want at any time, provided there is Wi-Fi to connect to their jobs.

While we are returning to a sense of normalcy, safety precautions still play a major role in any travel currently taking place—and this doesn’t just mean masks and vaccines. Traveling alone poses a significantly lower risk of COVID spread. Airlines and hotels are ramping up their capacity to pre-COVID levels, but many believe that those decisions are premature and risky. By solo traveling, you are lowering the risk of infection for both yourself, others around you and the cultural communities you interact with on your trip. A happy consequence of having that valid safety reason to leave behind piggybacking relatives is that you have the freedom to build your own itinerary.

In 2021, new and seasoned solo travelers will find that the best part about traveling to places alone is the empowering revelation that you can be totally in control of your own decisions when it comes to where you want to go, where you want to eat, how much you want to spend, the activities you’re interested in and what you want to experience. The inner confidence and self-love you develop from solo traveling are things that will live within you even as the pandemic passes over us.

After the economic crisis that COVID-19 caused, many people have struggled to recover financially yet are still itching to travel after being cooped up inside for a year. This is where solo travel comes into play. If you’re traveling by yourself, booking flights, accommodation, and creating an itinerary is much cheaper without the added expense of other people. Even if others are carrying their own financial weight, traveling alone ensures that each penny you spend is spent how and when you want to. You’ll never run into an awkward issue if your friend wants to go to an expensive restaurant while your bank is near dried up. Traveling with friends can be fun, but if you are someone whose wallet is still reeling from the pandemic and you still want to hop on the summer 2021 travel bandwagon, know that you are able to travel cost-effectively much easier when you are going solo.

The travel industry and travelers in general have experienced a rollercoaster of events between 2020 and 2021. While we can expect many things to go back to pre-pandemic normalcy (like high flight prices, sadly), there will be some major shifts in attitude towards travel. The pandemic has forced people to come to terms with the fact that our world is not just school, work, and sleep and that solo travel is actually quite cheap. Now, those who previously thought travel was inaccessible due to budget, job, or family constraints are suddenly finding doors swung open before their eyes—all thanks to the emergence of solo travel.

 

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By Sarah John & Chizoba Anyaoha


Tips on how to make solo trips cheaper? Share it with us @travsolo or submit your story above today!

9 Reasons Why You Should Never Travel Alone

Solo traveling is something everyone needs to experience in their lifetime. Once you travel alone for the first time you are likely going to want to do it again. But just like skydiving or eating vegemite it is not for everyone.

Here are some reasons why you should not travel alone.


You have a have a hard time being selfish

Traveling alone is going to be all about YOU – your interests, wants, needs, how long you want to stay up, how early you want to wake up & owning your traveling style. You get to do you 24/7.

You have a very hard time eating alone

Eating alone can be a tough pill to swallow, especially when you are surrounded by people sharing meals, laughs and creating memories together. Good chance you will eat most of your meals alone.

You avoid meeting new people

Maybe you are fine with the friends you already have back home. Traveling alone will force your hand to socialize with strangers from across the world from different cultures.

You are comfortable being completely comfortable

Traveling alone will force you to face some adversity you may not be used to experiencing, like having to deal with times of loneliness in foreign land. You may even end up talking to people with very different personalities you are not used to, trying new things for the first or eating foods you are unfamiliar with.

You shy away from making decisions on your own

There is no one else to help you plan where to eat, drink, sleep & go while you take a step back. Everything you do or don’t do is entirely up to you.

You are responsible for ALL Expenses

Thinking of splitting the hotel, cab or food bill? Guess again! Every cent will come out of your wallet for sure. If you are looking to save you will have to do a better job budgeting for your trip.

No one to take Instagram-ready photographs

We all have friends who become our “professional-but-not-professional” photographer, taking our pictures with every type of lighting and angles they can find to get the best Instagram-ready photo to post. Selfies are easy to get but it would not be your ideal photo for those looking to impress. It is harder to set up a tripod around tourist attractions. You would be lucky to find strangers who can take a decent picture for you.

You worry too much about your safety

Traveling alone usually does not have any safety nets, especially without having family or friends looking after you. You are responsible for being aware of where you go,  your surroundings, taking safety measures & watching your back during the night.

You have a hard time saying goodbye

You have met some of the most amazing people on your solo adventure, created long-lasting memories and shared personal stories with each other, connecting on a really genuine level. Strangers who you have become friends and now it is time to say goodbye? Traveling alone can be like that.

Thanks for reading!

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By Chizoba Anyaoha


What travel type are you? Tag us on IG @travsolo on your solo adventure.

How to Budget While Traveling Alone





Looking for new places to go while on a budget? Glad you are!

But I want to travel alone. Still possible to save? Absolutely, as long as you focus on the key essentials!

Traveling, whether it be to a new town, city or country, requires money to book your flight, reserve a room or eat the finest cuisines your new surroundings has to offer. We all want to experience everything we can without feeling guilty, ashamed and regretful when checking our bank accounts — regretting every financial decision made post-trip. We all have been there where you try to find the cheapest items on the menu, in order to save a few buck without feeling you are missing out. While traveling alone allows you to completely make money-saving decisions on your own, it can be a bit more expensive at times.

Here are some things to consider when planning to save for your next solo trip.

Figure out how much your trip will cost you.





Pick out destinations you want to visit, see how long you want to be away for & see how much the trip will cost you in total — It is reasonable to cut your ideal trip by a few days if your budget is a bit low.; a flight to Vietnam or Indonesia may be expensive but the cost of living is pretty low — costing about $10 to $15 per day. From there, do your research on more local areas to stay in; they tend to be cheaper compared to touristy ones. Set up a daily allowance based on how much you need to spend on accommodations, food, & transportation — the top necessities for any trip.

Staying at a Hotel or Hostel





Just like choosing a new apartment, each option has their pros and cons. Hotels offers privacy, quietness you may need while Hostels provide the social environment to easily meet other travelers. While the latter is much cheaper, you’ll ultimately will be sharing a room with strangers who may or may have the best hygiene or mannerism. The former is more expensive, provides less social activities, & less likely to meet other travelers. Another option is to split a couple days between the two & see what works best for you. If you are truly looking to save I suggest staying at a hostel. Another option to strongly consider is an Airbnb rental, where you get the privacy you need & option to hang out with the local who rented you a room, if they are free to do so.

Getting Around





While there are many ways to get from one place to the next, some are more expensive than others. Using public transportation is by far the best way to really save, it may not always be the most reliable but at least you will have more money to spend for food, drinks and activities. Use this as an opportunity to sit back and view the scenery. If you find yourself in an unsafe area or feel uncomfortable late at night, a cab ride might be worth the few extra bucks

While some places do have cheap services such as South America, wish we can say the same for Europe. Good thing is Europe has some of the fastest & cleanest metro systems out there, with with easy commute. Hop on the train, bus or scroll around on a bike, great opportunity to ride with the locals, experience what they experience & check out new spots from different angles.

Food





We can all agree this is the most important part of the trip, because we all have to eat at some point right? No pressure to splurge on every restaurant you come across! Figure out how expensive meals are, many times you want to eat out, decide on your food budget & how often to cook inside on some days (easier to do at a hostel).

Activities





Choose what you are actually interested, rather than going to all of the places everyone is going to. Remember, your budget is different than other people. Just like food, we want to experience everything we possibly can & have the best time possible.

While there are free events around, the options are pretty limited most times. Google search “Free Tours” in the destination of choice  & a couple of names will pop for you to sign up. Check out hostels in your areas, as they usually throw free weekend activities. Put aside some money to try out new activities, you are in a new city so you should give yourself time to try out new things!





Final Thoughts

Even though you are less likely to split the bill with someone else you are able to control how much you want to spend, without worrying about a second opinion, feeling guilty about spending more or less than your travel buddy and feeling like you are not allowing yourself to have the best time possible. Once you have set up a budget you are able to understand your needs versus your wants — only thing left is to prioritize your happiness. You have come a long way planning your solo trip alone, jumping on a plane into the unknown & venturing off into a new culture — so ENJOY IT!

Thanks for reading!

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By Chizoba Anyaoha


What travel type are you? Tag us on IG @travsolo on your solo adventure.