Solo Travel vs Travelling with Someone

After writing about my how my love for travel started it got me thinking about what kind of travel I like most. Specifically, whether I prefer solo travel or travelling with a companion. In the last eight years I have mixed up travelling solo with going on holiday with Carl and occasionally with close friends. I actually wrote a post a couple of years ago about the benefits of travelling alone which I still completely stand by, but I also appreciate that travelling with company is fantastic too!

solo travel

When I first started travelling all those years ago I did a lot of it on my own. I went to Australia by myself, although I never felt too alone as I stayed in hostels which were full of other solo travellers. Essentially though, I was on my own, I had to fend for myself and I loved it. I felt a sense of accomplishment at being able to negotiate living in a new country and figuring things out for myself – it did wonders for my confidence. In fact, those experiences in Australia gave me the confidence to go on holiday by myself to places like New York, Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

solo travel

Reasons to Love Solo Travel

Solo travel allows me to be selfish. I can pick the destination and decide exactly what I want to do without having to compromise with someone else. I realise how selfish that comes across, but I think we all need to make time to be a bit selfish every once in a while whether that be through travel or not. When I go traveling solo I love to wander around for hours at a time with no particular idea of where I will end up. Carl on the other hand, prefers a bit more structure so I can’t wander quite so freely when we travel together.

solo travel

There is also the fact that as a photographer and blogger I like to take a lot of photos! I can take hundreds (if not thousands) of photos during my trips abroad and sometimes that doesn’t make much fun for the other person. Carl never really complains about me taking photos but I still feel a sense of guilt a lot of the time. Solo travel allows me to indulge in my love of photography without the guilt of worrying if whomever I am with is bored stiff!

Solo travel isn’t always fun and games though, when things go wrong such as luggage not turning up after a flight, or bank cards not working I can’t rely on someone else to sort these things out for me. While this is a good thing for building up life skills, it can make a trip very stressful.

Also, let’s not even get started on how much time you have to think! If you don’t like being left alone with your own thoughts for large amounts of time then solo travel probably isn’t for you! Thankfully being an only child I spent a large part of my childhood alone so I am used to this concept and actually quite enjoy my own company!

Carl Mammoth lakes

Travelling with someone is good too!

As much as I love solo travel, it isn’t something I want to do all of the time, and I have the best time travelling with Carl. In fact, Carl and I would never have met if it wasn’t for travel and it has played a strong part in our relationship since meeting in Australia over five years ago. Carl is my favourite travel buddy, we have similar travel styles and thankfully we get on really well when travelling (minus the odd argument here and there!). There is no denying that there is something special about being able to share my experiences with him. Not only do we have fun at the time, but we have lots of memories that we can reminisce about over a glass of wine for years to come. Carl and I still regularly talk about our time in Australia, not to mention all the other places we have been lucky enough to visit.

solo travel

It isn’t just Carl I enjoy travelling with either, one of my favourite ever holidays was a trip to Thailand I took with my friend Leanne and I also had an amazing time in Bruges with Cecilia! I love travelling with people as much as I love solo travel – as long as my travel partner is on the same wavelength! I think we have all had bad experiences travelling with people who just take a completely different approach than you do!

solo travel

My favourite thing about travelling with the people is sometimes I get to see things I wouldn’t normally see. Occasionally, I will end up going to a tourist attraction that perhaps if I was on my own I wouldn’t have bothered seeing. An example of this is when we went to Alcatraz on our holiday last month. I wasn’t really fussed about going but Carl wanted to and it ended up being one of my favourite things we did in San Francisco – imagine what I could have missed out on!

Do you love solo travel or do you prefer travelling with someone? Or like me, do you love both? Let me know in the comments below!

10 Comments

  1. Sarah 26th July 2016 / 7:12 pm

    I loved reading this! I really enjoy spending time alone, but I’ve never travelled abroad on my own. I’m going to Athens solo in November though and can’t wait to give it a shot. For me I couldn’t travel with friends because, much as I love them, our interests are just too different. The one time I did there was a lot of arguing, which we never do in our daily lives. Travelling with my boyfriend will always be the best for me though – we’re really compatible in terms of the things we like to see and places we like to go, and he does a brilliant job at putting up with me and my photo taking 😉
    http://www.moonandforest.co.uk

  2. Hannah Walter 26th July 2016 / 8:37 pm

    This was a great read..I’ve actually never travelled alone so think you are very brave to do so! I wish I had as much courage as you do to do these things…what you have said here though makes complete sense – I think there are benefits to both travelling alone, and with other people (as long as you all have similar interests as you say!).

    Suitcase and Sandals Blog XX

  3. Stephie @ Tea in your Twenties 27th July 2016 / 10:43 am

    Sounds like youn and Carl have the same altering approaches to travel as Rick and I! I never plan where I’m going, preferring to just take it all in when I get there, but Rick loves a good spreadsheet! We are beginning to find a balance though! I’d love to get some solo travel in soon, but atm I can’t afford to travel alone and then on holiday with Rick, and so I save for the later one instead xx

    http://www.teainyourtwenties.com

  4. Kerri 27th July 2016 / 11:59 am

    I love travelling as a couple, just me and Kris. I don’t like to travel in a group or with a friend or two. I will travel with Kris and Kris alone. Or I’d travel by myself, but I’ve never had the opportunity to actually do that. I’m hoping in the future I can do this. Starting with a trip to the UK in September, Kris is off to a conference so I have 2 and a half days to entertain myself and I’m really excited for it! Plus, you know, unlimited photo time!

  5. Kez 28th July 2016 / 3:33 am

    Your so brave to go solo! My sister does a lot of solo travel, but I prefer the security of knowing someone else is there!

    Kez | acaciasdreams.com

  6. Lizzie 28th July 2016 / 11:04 am

    I haven’t ever actually travelled solo, you’ve definitely made me consider it though!

    http://www.thebutter.co.uk/

  7. Dannielle @ Chicadeedee 29th July 2016 / 2:24 pm

    I’ve never actually done solo travel as even though I may have started off going places on my own, it was always to visit other people. I just like being around people so I think even if I did end up going somewhere on my own, I’d end up making friends to hang with. I love that I’ve got Adam though because we both like a lot of the same things, and like you said, force each other to see/do things we never would have otherwise and they end up being really cool!

  8. Katie Hodgkinson 31st July 2016 / 4:31 am

    I’m a solo traveller myself and I am SO glad I did it, the pros outweigh the cons tenfold in my opinion. It has increased my confidence, helped me to stick up for myself and given me the chance to meet so many amazing people. I like the freedom and it’s also taught me how to enjoy my own company! I haven’t ever had the fortune of being able to travel with a group of people yet, like a road trip, or just going the same way, I’ve only bumped into people along the way who I met before! I would LOVE to try travel with company at some point and it’s definitely on my list.

    Katie
    http://www.katiehodgkinson.com

  9. Camila @ AdventitiousViolet 4th August 2016 / 3:35 pm

    I have never really solo travelled – i’m quite the introvert and enjoy time by myself, but that also mean i’m not great at talking to random people and making friends, so I definitely prefer to share travel with a friend or significant other. I’m quite flexible with my travels too, i mostly enjoy walking around, so it’s not too bad. I do want to put myself out of my comfort zone and travel somewhere by myself before I’m 30, it’s just a little challenge 🙂

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