What are the Facts and Fears of Solo Traveling???
With Solo Traveling being the new trend and the most significant rise in the Travel market, I wanted to write this blog on what the most solo travelers fear the most.
Last month I took myself on yet another solo journey to get the feel of what Solo Travelers are feeling and experiencing when on the road alone.
In all my blogs, I have always talked about my own experience and emotions. This experiment was very insightful, to say the least.
With my experiment, I talk to many different people. All solo travelers from different backgrounds and walks of life.
I carefully studied five women and two men, traveling for different reasons on tour. Three of them paid extra to have the room to themselves. The tours are prices for twin share, and if you want to have a room to yourself, the cost is almost double, which is outrageous. Extra charge for a solo traveler to have his or her own room applies with all tour companies and cruise/s. Four of them signed up for twin share.
Trafalgar does offer the option to share your room with a total stranger. This is supposed to help keep your cost down as a solo traveler. The four women who signed up for a shared option with a complete stranger, where paired alphabetically. In the day and age of modern technology and all the facilities available to match people more compatibility, I was surprised to see the thought process behind how people were paired.
Client A – Was an experienced solo traveler. Took the option of sharing to save money.
Client B – Has traveled with sister before, maybe once solo. Took the option of sharing to save money.
Client C- First-time solo traveling, Took the option to save money
Client D – is me. Experienced Solo Traveler, Took the opportunity to see what it is like for people who share and to saving money.
A and B were sharing together. The problems with the share have put A off using Trafalgar again and sharing accommodation with a stranger again.
C and D were sharing together, The problems with sharing were interfering with both of them enjoy the trip. It was not as bad as of a situation as for A and B though.
Things that were causing problems were all inside the room, outside the room, during the day, it was simple, you go sightseeing, you talk to other people on tour, you take in all the beauty of your surroundings, etc. After checking in to the hotels, the problem will begin,
– one takes two baths a day.
– one has the TV on all night.
– one has aircon on, making noise all night (even when it is not hot).
– one takes a shower in the middle of the night.
– one is a night person, while the other is a morning person.
– one huffs and puffs too much with regards to smallest things.
– one talk to themselves.
– one talks to spirits /dead people.
– one gives a lot to keep the peace. etc. etc
As a solo traveler, you will have to master the art of problem-solving. Take each situation and use your intuition and life experience to work out the solution that suits you the best. For example – sleeping with the TV on all night is not acceptable in general. You can do this in the privacy of your own home, where you are not upsetting or disturbing another person, but when you are sharing with a stranger, do the right thing, and don’t feel like you are doing the other person a favor because you are not. By feeling bad about yourself, you are only going to create more problems.
Here is the thing, no one is right or wrong, just the match between these strangers is all wrong. Hence these four people walked away from the tour with very bitter feelings, what otherwise could have been the best times of there lives because the places they visited was mind-blowing.
At the end of the experiment I came to this conclusion, Top 5 Facts and Fears of Solo Traveling is –
(1) PERSONAL SAFETY
The first concern all solo travelers had (even the experienced single travelers) was personal safety. Personal safety was identified in a few different areas by each traveler because all of them were aware of being in danger, some were worried they could be stabbed or rapped in there sleep. In a hostel room or share accommodation set up, the person sleeping in the bed next to you could be anyone. A drug/alcohol addict or have anxiety/ mental health issues. The truth is no one knows the background of anyone in shared accommodation set up. The question you have to ask yourself before you hit the road on a Solo Journey is, what is more, important to you. MONEY or YOUR SAFETY. My advice, if something feels wrong, talk to the hostel management or tour director.
(2) COST OF TRAVELING SOLO
The second concern most solo travelers had was the cost of traveling solo. The Travel industry does not cater to single travelers. Most prices are based on a couple or twin share in accommodation, guided tours, cruises, etc. If you travel with people, you can typically share the cost of the taxi, or share the cost of a big meal or share the cost of accommodation. The way I see it is, if you are a budget traveler or traveler with limited finance, you are going to have to sacrifice few things. Traveling is different for everyone, some people save money on doing something they haven’t seen or done yet, to spend on wine later that night or expensive material things. Some people will not have that wine or expensive handbag to see or experience something they haven’t yet. No judgments, but you need to know which one is you and be content with that.
(3) EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
Traveling alone can get lonely, especially if it is your first time. I crave alone time, so whenever I am alone, I love it. But with my current experiment, I notice people are scared to be alone. They will sit there listening to people talk about annoying or boring things, instead of sitting alone. I see my time as the most precious thing I have. Once it is gone, it is not coming back. I make choices to do what I feel is right for me without hurting other peoples feeling in most cases. I try anyway. For the first time Solo Travelers, I would suggest to work more on your mindset and learn few things about traveling solo before you hit the road. You can take advantage of my FREE 5-day cause – CLICK HERE
(4) EATING OUT ALONE
The biggest challenge for solo travelers is to do things alone, especially eating out alone. The reason most people fear this is the fact that society is so used to seen and accepting people doing things in couples or groups. Then it comes down to each person’s mindset. I love eating alone; I get to taste my food – enjoy every bit of it instead of having conversations with people and not even paying attention to what I am putting in my mouth. I have a few tricks for people who do not like eating out alone, go to the restaurant early, before the dinner rush, so it is not full that way you feel less anxiety about your dining experience. Talk to the waiters and waitress that helps with getting settled and relaxed.
(5) TAKING YOUR PHOTOS
That’s right, Taking photos of yourself. I was quite surprised this was top 5 concerns of Solo Travelers, but I think social media more dictates this than anything else. We need to look amazing in all photos, and we need to tell the world we where here doing this or eating this, etc. They say sharing is loving – let’s go with that. I use selfy-stick for iPhone to take photos of myself, I usually don’t like taking pictures of myself, but readers need to know if I really was there … :). Most of the time if you are solo traveling in a group situation one of the other group members will take a photo for you. Be careful asking a total stranger to take your picture. Sometimes you will not see your camera again. I witness this in Barcelona, it did not happen to me, but I felt sad for the gentleman who watched his iPhone go like the speed of light right in front of his eyes.
#Travelquote: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain
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