Maybe your friends are all strapped for cash and are unable to join you on vacation; or maybe you'd rather plan a trip without having to accommodate someone else's interests, style, and pace.
Possibly, you want your own "Eat, Pray, Love" experience and hope to discover just as much about yourself as you will about the world.
Whatever your reasons are, traveling solo can be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have in life.
In a 2015 study published by the International Journal of Tourism Research, Queensland University of Technology Business School sought to explain why Australia saw a 20% uptick in solo travelers from 2007 to 2011. By surveying 24 participants who had recently traveled by themselves, head researcher Professor Constanza Biancha learned that people opted to go alone.
"It was a chance to indulge themselves fully," Professor Bianchi said. "Traveling alone for holidays also provided some participants with the feeling that they had more control over their lives and actions. Solo traveling also offered some participants the possibility of reflection and self-discovery."
Four-time international solo traveler Kristy McNiff echoed these sentiments, reflecting on how empowering it can be to travel by yourself: "Traveling alone is also a huge confidence and character builder. Figuring out how to navigate a foreign city, remembering how to drive a manual car, or managing travel plans solo, you learn to be more resourceful and that feeling of accomplishment is all yours to enjoy."
When you're by yourself, you also have the opportunity to form meaningful connections with people you've just met. McNiff adds, "Traveling solo, you're bound to meet other friendly travelers on a similar agenda that you can join forces with when you want the company. It's easy to have more engaging conversation and you'll make friends faster than you ever would at home or if you were with a group."
But, whether you are about to embark on your first solo trip or your 20th, packing up your bags and getting on a plane by yourself can be incredibly nerveracking.
We wouldn't want lack of company keep you from going on a bucket list trip: that's why we've come up with a list of countries ideal for both first-time and experienced solo travelers. Based on data from the 2018 Global Peace Index — which ranks 163 nations on peacefulness — and the Happy Planet Index — which measures 140 countries on well-being, longevity, equality, and ecological impact — these destinations are safe to visit and likely to give you a warm welcome.
So summon up all your courage, book that ticket, and get ready to embark on the solo adventure of a lifetime.