February 28, 2019 4 min read

Hey there, OTBT wanderers! Happy Plan a Solo Vacation Day!

There's no time like the present to start planning your next getaway. And while vacationing with family, friends, and loved ones is always a ton of fun, traveling by yourself is an experience unlike any other. Travel reports show that solo travel is on the rise in recent years, with more and more intrepid wanderers deciding to venture out on their own excursions.

While solo vacationing may seem incredibly daunting and even a bit scary, it is also an incredibly rewarding endeavor, and one that every Off the Beaten Track wanderer should consider taking part in at least once in their lives. And with 2019 already off to a great start, now is the perfect year to strike it out on your own, and experience the true joy and thrill of a solo trip.

Still need convincing? Here’s five reasons you should take a solo vacation in 2019.

(PHOTO CREDIT: jasminealley // BOOTS: OTBT's Gallivant Combat Boots in Mint)

It makes you more confident.

Most travelers report feeling more confident after returning from their first solo trip. And this makes perfect sense. What’s more empowering than knowing you’re able to travel somewhere by yourself, and have an amazing time doing so? Completing your first solo trip will fill you with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in knowing that you are truly capable of venturing out on your own. This kind of experience is great for your self-confidence, and it’s definitely worth it.

It lets you call the shots.

Whenever you travel with others, you’re often subjected to the will of the group. If you want to go hiking, but your travel companions all want to go to the beach, then the beach is where you will end up. When you’re traveling solo, however, you’re the one who calls the shots. You control the itinerary, and decide where to go, how to get there, and what you’ll be doing. Even simple decisions like where to eat are ones you’ll be able to make on your own. So you can try more of the things that interest you, and have a truly unique experience that’s suited to your own personal tastes. Now that’s what we call Off the Beaten Track wandering!

(PHOTO CREDIT: liveloveruntravel)

It’s an immersive experience.

Let’s be honest – when traveling with others, sometimes the things we remember most about the trip is not the location itself, but the fun we had with our traveling companions. The memories made and relationships strengthened are a great reason to travel with others, but sometimes if you really want an immersive travel experience, it’s best to go it alone. Chat with locals. Embrace the culture. Venture off the beaten track and discover little-known locations that may have otherwise been overlooked in favor of the more “touristy” attractions. Immerse yourself in the travel experience and you’ll find traveling alone to be more rewarding than you ever thought possible.

(SANDALS: OTBT's Meditate Wedge Sandals in Sport White // BAG: OTBT's Corina Wristlet in Pewter)

It teaches you problem solving.

When it comes to traveling, not everything will go according to plan. Flights might be delayed, luggage may get lost, and you may not be able to read the local signage. When you’re traveling with a group, you’d all put your heads together and deal with the problems, but when you’re traveling solo, it’s up to you to handle on your own. As terrifying as that might sound, it’s also the perfect opportunity to develop your problem solving skills, as you face your issues head on. In doing so, you’ll learn to rely on your own insights, improvise, and go with the flow – all valuable skills for any seasoned traveler and well-rounded human being.

(PHOTO CREDIT: jannarizzy // BOOTS: Commuter Lace-Up Boots in Cinder)

It forces you out of your comfort zone.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, traveling by yourself forces you out of your comfort zone and helps grow you as a person. If you’re used to traveling with others, it can be easy to grow complacent – to sit back and let others take the wheel. But when you’re taking a solo trip, you’re in charge of it all. You’re responsible for your time, finances, belongings, well-being, and enjoyment. And while that is very daunting, it’s also very exciting and empowering. Sure, there will be times when you aren’t prepared for what comes your way, or when problems arise that you’ll have to deal with, but with all of that comes the potential for some serious personal growth and development. Just think of what you’ll learn and experience in venturing out on your own, trying new things, solving new problems, and meeting new people. The possibilities are endless, and you’ll never know just what you’re missing until you get out of your comfort zone and go for it.

So, is 2019 the year you will go on your first solo trip? If it is, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to handle whatever comes your way. Check out our previous article for more great tips and tricks for planning your next solo vacation.

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