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Solo traveling can be pretty fun: not having to listen to anyone, moving from place to place completely on your own time, and never having to wait in lines because places can normally accommodate one person in a jiffy. But every so often, traveling solo has its pitfalls. Here are 11 real but funny reasons why solo traveling can suck.
Don’t fret though. I’ve also listed solutions to all these “problems” you might have traveling solo.
This list is compiled by travel bloggers who have all traveled solo before. Thanks for your help! I couldn’t have done this without you.
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My Funny But Real Reasons Why Traveling Solo Sucks
There’s no one to share food with
This is by far my worst issue when I solo travel! I love to eat and try a lot of dishes in foreign places, but when I’m traveling by myself, I need to limit myself to a dish or two because a girl can only eat so much.
Solution: In my post recent trip to Lisbon, I absolutely loved A Cevicheria. With no one to share food with, I couldn’t try all the dishes I wanted so I went back again! If you love a place and want to try everything, just go back.
Don’t worry about going to as many restaurants as possible in a location. Shift your mindset to trying all the best food possible in a location.
There’s no one to push you to go out at night or out at all if you don’t want to
I used to be a on-the-go type of person, but in the past few years, I’ve become a creature of comfort. Occasionally, I’ll go out for drinks by myself, but if I’m back at my Airbnb or hotel after dinner and am not up to going out, I won’t force myself.
I’ve even gone to some hotels and not left my hotel at all because it was the end or start of a trip, and I was too tired from all the traveling to make it out and wanted to enjoy all the hotels’ amenities.
Solution: Ask yourself if you’re going out if you want to or because you feel like you have to. You can also ask yourself if this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and use that to push yourself. Be logical about it and stick with your decision.
There’s no one to take photos of you.
Since there’s no one to take photos for you, you either need to ask strangers and hope they won’t run off with your phone or camera, take seflies, or just forgo any photos of you at all. If you’re a blogger or Instagrammer and need photos for your social media, you know this is a true struggle.
Solution: Lately I’ve been bringing around a tripod and remote control to take photos of myself for my blog because frankly, strangers don’t get the shot I want. The nerve wrecking parts about this is the embarrassment of taking photos of myself and the worry that someone will run off with my tripod and camera when I’m taking a photo of my back, but really so far, no one has stolen my stuff.
As for the embarrassment of taking photos of myself, I’ve had to swallow my pride and get over it since it’s part of my job as a blogger. You get used to doing it after a couple of times. Ignore the stares and focus on yourself ’cause other people are just curious and don’t matter in the long run!
↠ The portable tripod I have is by ZOMEI, which is what I used to take the photo above. It folds up small enough to put in your carry on, and the carbon one is extra light. There are less expensive versions of this so just click around the related products until you find the one that fits in your price range.
Other Bloggers’ Funny but Real Reasons Why Traveling Solo Sucks
There is no one to complain to or blame when something goes wrong.
It’s inevitable. Something is bound to go wrong when you travel even if it’s the smallest hiccup. That’s the nature of traveling; you have to go with the flow. But sometimes, going with the flow is easier when you have someone else to complain to, which is not an option when you’re traveling by yourself.
For example, when a budget airline is being super strict about the one carry-on weight limit, it’d be really nice to have someone to grunt about that with. But without a travel partner, you’ll have to be the bigger man and suck it up.
by Patti of the Savvy Globetrotter
Sarah’s Solution: Try to let the small problems roll off your shoulder. As for the big ones, be proud of yourself for being able to tackle them all by yourself!
There’s no one to watch your stuff when you use the toilet
You know how places get super crowded and you need to claim your table before someone else grabs it? Well, what do you do when you’re by yourself and need to use the toilet? Do you risk losing your table or losing your stuff? It’s a tough conundrum that you’ll have to decide when you’re dining solo.
by Steffi of Beach Bum Adventure
Sarah’s Solution: I like to leave my jacket or some type of clothing on my seat and take my important stuff with me, or if I’m at a market or someplace crowded and can tell I’m sitting near decent, friendly people, I ask them to watch my stuff. Most people I’ve met are SUPER KIND to solo female travelers.
There’s no one to appreciate your cheesy puns and not-so-witty rhymes
Traveling can make you delirious, and as a result, spit out some cheesy puns and not-so-witty rhymes. Who’s there to appreciate these ridiculous jokes born from jet lag? No one ‘cept your lonesome self.
by Samantha of There She Goes Again
Sarah’s Solution: Like I said above, laugh at yourself. Appreciate your funny, not-really-that-funny self.
There’s no one to carry your bags when you’re tired or lazy
This one’s for all the ladies with significant others or amazing friends– when you solo travel, there’s no one to carry your bags when you’re tired or just plain ‘ol lazy. You gotta muscle up and own all your stuff yourself. What a drag!
by Karen of Wanderlusting K
Sarah’s Solution: View it as exercise! It’s amazing how changing your mindset on a simple task can make it less annoying.
Also, you can treat yourself by calling an Uber or ask for help if that’s easier. I have fibromyalgia so if my bags are super heavy, I’ll grab an Uber to take me from the airport to my Airbnb, and 100% ask flight attendants to help me lift my bag in the overhead compartment.
There’s no one to ask someone for directions for you
It can be awkward asking someone for directions, especially when English is not their first language. When you’re not traveling with someone, you can’t say “DIBS NOT” and make your friend ask for directions. You have to do it yourself.
by Jem of Little Adventures NZ
Sarah’s Solution: Don’t be embarrassed about it. You gotta do what you gotta do. You can also plan ahead, and download Google Maps offline so you can avoid talking to people when you’re lost.
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There’s no one to watch your stuff when you go swimming
This is a tough one. You want to go swimming in the ocean, but there’s no one to keep an eye on your stuff when you’re in the water. So you have to hide your stuff in the sand under your towel, or just hope for the best.
by Matilda of the Travel Sisters
Sarah’s Solution: Most of the time when I’m at the beach with friends, we all tend to go in the water at the same time without anyone to watch our stuff so in that sense, it’s kind of the same. But still, you can plan ahead by only bringing your bare necessities to the beach like keys, one ID, and a little bit of cash.
If you want to bring your camera, passport, and have a lot of important stuff on you, then you could consider bringing a dry bag into the ocean. Your stuff won’t get wet!
There’s no one to take the middle seat on the plane
Without a friend or partner, there’s no one to take the middle seat of a plane, which means that you have to share your personal space with strangers for hours and hours.
by Elaine of Show Them the Globe
Sarah’s Solution: Hopefully you don’t have someone uber smelly or loud next to you, but do what you can to prep for a long plane ride. Bring entertainment, snacks, and earplugs!
There’s no one to split a cab with
Because you’re a tight a$$ and really don’t want to spend money on a cab, your options of getting back to your accommodation is walk two hours or take the extra long route on public transportation.
by Jub of Tiki Touring Kiwi
Sarah’s Solution: Don’t rule out taking Ubers because in some cities like Lisbon, Ubers are relatively cheap and could cost just as much as public transportation. Also, they might have UberPOOL so grab the app and double check before making the long hike back to your hotel.
Inspiration Behind These Real but Funny Reasons Why Female Solo Traveling Can Suck
As you can see from all the real but funny reasons above, these are really the bulk of our worries when we travel solo. Yes, we need to be more mindful of making sure that our phones stay charged to be able to contact people if we need help or we don’t end up in unknown areas at nighttime, but in reality, solo traveling doesn’t get that bad or dangerous.
In the grand scheme of things, our complaints are pretty mild. Not having someone to share food with or take our photos? We’re capable of handling so much more, especially for women– I mean, we have to deal with our periods every single month.
So if you haven’t traveled solo yet and are plugged into the hysteria of media that says this world is unsafe to travel alone, especially for women, I wanted to let you know that it doesn’t get that bad as long as you have common sense and plan accordingly. This is especially true if you go to destinations considered the safest places for female solo travelers to journey to.
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If you have any questions about solo traveling, feel free to reach out to me and ask questions (I love DMs). I’ve been doing it off and on since I was 20, not because I felt like it was cool or that it would make me a better person, but honestly I just didn’t want my life to be held up my family and friends who couldn’t commit to going on a trip with me. So much to explore, so little time!
I hope you get your piece of this world—with or without friends. You deserve it.
Thanks for tuning into these real but funny reasons why solo female traveling can suck. Join the conversation by commenting below, or check out my Instagram to get travel inspo and hear me rant about women’s issues every Sunday.
Have fun traveling!
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