Should I Travel Alone or with Friends

You decided to go on a trip! One of the first decisions that you have to make and will affect the rest of your trip is whether you should travel alone, with a friend or with a group of friends. This is a major decision to make because you have to consider a lot of things before making up your mind. There are many advantages both when traveling alone and with a friend but there are some disadvantages as well in both situations. In this article you will find out about all these advantages and disadvantages that lie in each case of traveling, alone or with friends, and that will help you decide what is best for you.



Advantages of Traveling with Friends

Advantages of Traveling with Friends

Traveling is a unique experience that most of us wish to live with our friends. There are many reasons why traveling with your friends can result in such an amazing experience and here are some of them:

  A safe trip is the best trip and having someone with you makes a great difference concerning safety. Your friend will always know where you are and vice versa and since you will be traveling together you will be each other’s protection. Traveling in groups doesn’t make you vulnerable or an easy target. And you can always count on and trust your friends with your well-being and security. Good friends will always have your back! For advice and tips on how to stay safe during your trip, click here.

  You will never be lonely. Traveling with friends means always having company and someone to share experiences with, bond and make your friendship even stronger by learning more about each other and creating memories through your journey.

  This also means that your trip will certainly be more enjoyable and fun since you already know your friends, their tastes, interests and habits and there will be no arguing over what your plans for the trip will be. Traveling with your friends is also certainly less boring.

  Emotional and moral support is also something that you will gain from having your friends with you on your trip. Being with someone you know and trust means that your trip will be less stressful since you will face together any difficulties and problems during your trip. Feeling down or homesick is also much less possible when you are with your friends.

  One of the biggest advantages when traveling with friends or just a friend is the fact that you share the cost of the trip. So, the trip is cheaper. You can share the accommodation cost, the transportation cost, the cost for food and any other cost. It is an opportunity for you to experience as many things you can and save some money at the same time since you will be splitting most of the expenses. So, it is going to be a cost-effective trip for you all. For more tips on how to travel on budget click here.

  Sharing is also another advantage that you gain from a travel partner. Apart from sharing the costs of the trip, you can also share ideas of what to do next, the burdens of a trip and of course the experiences and the memories that you will create from it. Traveling with friends means that you can decide who is going to bring what and therefore share the weight of your luggage; one carrying the tent, another caring the first-aid kid etc. In addition, if you happen to forget something, there is a big chance that your friend has it.

Disadvantages of Traveling with Friends

Disadvantages of Traveling with Friends

Traveling with friends can be a very exciting experience and offer a lot of benefits for the travelers. But it can also be quite a problem sometimes. Here are some of the disadvantages that a trip with friends may be hiding:

  Irritation and quarreling can be a downside when it comes to travelling with your friends because of the constant contact that you have during the trip. This can cause quite a pressure and strain on the friendship because decisions must be made and this is not always easy. Having to make decisions under pressure could put your friendship at risk.

  Compromise is also an issue when you travel with your friends. You may have the same or even similar interests. But there can be times when one of you may want to do something that you don’t. Due to other factors, like limitation of time or money, you may have to compromise in order for the trip to continue and the friendship to survive. It is not always fun to do things just to go along with your friends and not because you really like it and want, too.

  Different budget among friends can also cause problems. In this case one may also have to compromise or the other won’t be able to join. This can be a deal breaker for the trip altogether unless the travel partners will be able to find common ground and plan the trip to fit all budgets.

  Problems may arise when it comes to overnights as well. What happens if one wants to spend a night with a person of interest? Will it be okay to leave the travel partner alone? This needs to be discussed before the trip so there will be no irritations or misunderstandings between the friends during the trip.

  What can also be considered a disadvantage is the fact that traveling with your friends may hold you back from making new friends. Having the security of your own friends may end up in you as a company to isolate yourselves from others. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t meet anyone at all but that you probably won’t be so willing to make new friends. Also when you are travelling in a group with your friends you seem more intimidating for others to come and meet you than being alone.

Advantages of Traveling Alone

Advantages of Traveling Alone

On the other hand, traveling can be an amazing experience even when traveling on your own. Although many think of that as a risky or intimidating idea, solo traveling has many advantages:

  Traveling alone means that you are free to make your own plans and create your own schedule. You decide about everything, you control your plans and can be as much flexible as you want. So, you don’t have to compromise about anything and there will be no arguments, tension or bickering. You don’t have to vote with others in order to make a decision, you spend as much as you want, you can simply do what you want when you want.

  This kind of independence spreads further more. Being alone in a place where nobody knows is quite liberating. You are willing to meet new people and you are also more approachable to locals as an individual rather as in a group of travelers. You are forced to engage with others but you can also meet other solo travelers that will be happy to join you and spend some time with you.

  Another important advantage of traveling on your own is that you will learn more about yourself and gain confidence. Since the trip is more challenging when you are alone you will have to overcome difficulties by trusting yourself and your own strengths. You also become more responsible for yourself and your choices. You will have the opportunity to discover your limits and realize your capabilities.

   You have peace of mind and time for self-reflection and self-discovery. Some people like solitude and traveling alone is a great opportunity to have plenty of time for yourself to think, write, read. There is no distraction. It is a chance to think about your perspective on life, interact with yourself and pay attention to details and small things of life rather than what museum to visit next or what is the best bar in town.

Disadvantages of Traveling Alone

Disadvantages of Traveling Alone

But as in the case of traveling with friends, traveling alone can also have some downsides:

  First of all, you are by yourself. Even if you make new friends it won’t be like traveling with your best friends. You may have moments where you feel really lonely. it’s you and your thoughts. You may live amazing experiences but there is nobody to share with.

  You may also feel helpless. Traveling alone means you don’t have the support and help of a friend, for example through the planning of trip or when you have to carry the heavy luggage. A friend can prove to be a valuable help through all the stages of a trip.

   Traveling alone also includes that there isn’t going to be any split of the costs. It’s all on you. The expenses will be higher than if you were traveling with someone else so, you have to be very careful with how you spend your money if you don’t want to run out of money. You also should take into account the possibility of having a higher budget for your trip.

  Traveling alone can also be more dangerous than traveling with friends. You may seem like an easy prey when wandering around all by yourself.  You are more vulnerable and exposed to danger and tricky situations and you will have to deal with them by yourself. It is difficult to trust someone you have just met, let alone when facing a difficult situation. So, you have to be extra careful and always inform a close person of your location and your plans.

Here are some general tips:

Here are some general tips

  If you are a woman you should think of traveling alone more cautiously. In many countries you should take into consideration the cultural and religious factors that affect the way women are perceived. Generally, it is safer for women to travel in groups in order to minimize the possibility of harassment and other risks.

  When traveling with your friends it is not necessary to spend all time together because it may lead to arguments and misunderstandings. The best solution is to separate for a while. A little time apart will give you the opportunity to relax and clear your mind and do the things you want to do. It will prove very beneficial for your friendship as you will avoid any unnecessary quarreling.

  When deciding to go on a trip with friends, you should talk beforehand and decide the budget of the trip and what you want to do. Everyone should agree and be able to afford it. Same budget means that you probably won’t be fighting or there won’t be anyone getting disappointed.

Traveling is certainly a great experience. Either going on a trip alone or with friends, you will gain many and different things that will prove to be useful for your future. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages for both cases of traveling. You can experience both and see what fits best for you. But for both cases the first thing you need is the will for discovery, fun and adventure.

Edited  by Sophia Gkoutziomitrou

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