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So you’ve decide to travel. Congratulations! Now a bigger question? Are you travelling solo or with a friend? I’ll list the pros and cons of both.
You do you. One of my favourite travelling sayings. You get to do what you want when you want. No waiting for others, no discussing where to go. You’re the boss.
With a Friend?
Safety in numbers. You’re less likely to get scammed or have crazy people approach you if you are in a couple or group. You’re less vulnerable and you are more likely to feel comfortable with friends you can trust if you ever get into a sticky situation.
It’s easier to meet people. If you are on your own, you are more likely to have people come and start a conversation with you. Most groups you see in hostels and travelling together are normally people that have travelled on their own and met everyone else.
With a Friend?
Someone to keep and eye on you and your possessions. And vice versa. Also helps at airports and train stations. You always have someone to watch your bag whilst you run to the toilet, instead of heaving up to 15kg with you throw a narrow door every time your bladder needs emptying.
You will never get bored of people. Even if it is your boyfriend/ girlfriend or your best mate, sometimes you will want some time alone to think, plan and take in what you’ve seen. If you don’t like someone, don’t talk to them or move on. No one is forcing you to be friends with anyone.
With a Friend?
Shit happens. There I’ve said it. Travelling isn’t all gold tinted Instagram posts. When the faeces hits the fan, it’s normally better if you have someone to help you and support you. You will get ill, you will lose your money, something will go wrong. When my car broke down in the middle of nowhere, I’m so glad I had someone with me to keep my hopes up and stay positive instead of letting me sulk at the steering wheel.
You are independent. You haven’t got to wait for the other person to pack a bag. You just go. You haven’t got to wait for them to take their 50th selfie with the Eiffel Tower, take your own photo and move on. Do you want to party until sunrise or go to sleep early and climb that mountain for sunrise? It doesn’t matter because you do what you want without a negotiation.
With a friend?
You will always have someone to take those special photos of you. No awkwardly asking a random stranger to hopefully get a good shot of you. Or setting up a tripod only for someone to walk in front of it. Your friend is your very own personal photographer to capture all those special memories! No more dodgy selfies for you!
I have travelled alone for most of my trips. However I have gone with friends for some of them as well. I love the freedom that travelling alone brings and that I can change my mind when I want to.
However I have travelled with a friend on a few trips and I have loved that as well. It’s having someone to talk to and discuss options with, having a shared experience and memories with another person you will laugh about for years to come.
I would call myself a social introvert. I love being alone and doing my own thing, but I like to have a social connection on my terms. I will always want to travel by myself if I were to plan a big trip of many months away. But if I was to go somewhere for a short while in between, I’d love to have a friend come with me. And if no one wants to come with me, then because I am by myself it will be easy for me to meet people along the way.
Dan is an avid traveller from London. His first big adventure was in 2010 living in Malaysia for 3 months and becoming a divemaster. He has been on the road almost constantly since 2015 travelling to destinations that aren’t on the mainstream tourist trail.