Solo trips are like, a thing right now aren’t they? From the experience of traveling with people and traveling by my lonesome self, I can definitely attest that there are good and bad situations to both. There is a certain solitude in hitting the long open road alone, yet I find myself sometimes missing that human interaction.
Whatever the case may be…I was to give you the inside scoop on the pros and cons of a solo road trip.
Pros of a solo road trip
We will start with the good things first since I feel like I’m always complaining and telling you the bad shit. I can’t help it guys, just keepin it real.
Being able to stop whenever you want
This means a lot of things on the road. I have a bladder of an 80-year-old woman so the infamous “I gotta pee” quotes leaves my lips at least 5 times a trip. My boyfriend CANNOT STAND the fact that I can’t hold it like an adult, making the ride a lot more hostile. When I’m alone, I can stop whenever the fuck I please. The beauty of solo road trip.
Picture taking goes along with this too. I love to stop in random, not so stoppable places to get out and take pictures. The world is an amazing place and I need to document it from ALL (sometimes illegal) angles. Anything for my followers 😉 but again, I can do this when there isn’t anyone in the car to tell me not to!
You can dance to the beat of your own drum
On an especially long drive, I like to break it up by finding unique or even weird attractions to stop off to. The Oz Museum? Sure. Largest peanut in the world?
Count me in. If you’re lucky…you might have someone who loves to stop just as much as you do. But friends start to get set in their ways and that can cause road trip turmoil. You won’t have the hassle of trying to compromise on scheduling. Go and do as you please!!
Meeting new people
I am the definition of an extrovert. I could talk to a damn brick wall if I had to. Lots of people aren’t like that and only enjoy conversing with the friends they’re with. They don’t venture out to make new ones, which in my opinion is one of the best things about travel.
Those connections you make all around the world build a foundation for future adventures. Do you know how many good friends I have on this planet? DO YOU? It’s a shit ton.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of sticking to my pack when going somewhere, sometimes it’s just easier. I get it. But being alone almost forces you out of your comfort zone.
The whole car is yours
You get to stink it up with smelly farts and bring way too many shoes. You could literally have an entire car full of snacks and clothes. The possibilities are endless. With another person (especially girls) you double the amount of stuff you bring. Less room for snacks.
Staying with friends & family
This might not be ALL the way true because I don’t know what kind of friends you have…but when you’re alone, people are wayyy more likely to take you in! I stayed with my cousin in San Fran which was awesome because San Fran is expensive as hell, but if I was traveling with 2+ friends, I can’t say the offer would still be on the table.
They might not have space or care for big crowds which is totally acceptable. You might just lose out on the chance for a place to crash when you road trip with others.
Cons of a solo road trip
Okay, I guess now we can get on to the cons…but these cons are pretty subjective and can technically be considered reasons why you need a friend to come along.
Can’t share expenses
Gas might be cheap, but alone, you have to pay for it allllll yourself. That poor, pitiful bank account of yours might not be able to handle a $30-60 gas bill every 400 miles. No nicer Airbnb or meals to share either. Whatever money you have goes to fully supporting you!
Can’t share the driving duties
This one really got to me when I was gone on the road a whole month by myself. By the time I drove somewhere, explored and drove again to where I would stay, I was beat.
Hardly any time for blogging/video editing etc on the road. Not to mention the thousands of emails that started to pile up. Doesn’t matter how many hands-free gadgets you have, you just can’t be very efficient with working and driving.
Actually, the beginning of this post was all saved in my notes where I did talk to text while on the road. You have to improvise without having someone who can drive.
No one to take pictures of you
So I know earlier I did say stuff about picture taking…but some people are stuck in their ways. They don’t like to be bothered with stopping a million times.
On the other side of the spectrum though, it’s always nicer to have someone there to take pictures of you. I busted out my tripod and ran to catch that 10 sec. window so many times…just isn’t the same.
No one there in case you get lost
Lost can mean a number of things…on the road, in a city, hiking. All of these happened to me while I was alone. It’s a little daunting at times to know I would be hiking a National Park one minute, and all of a sudden I take a wrong turn and don’t know my way back.
I do live dangerously but can’t say I don’t freak myself out sometimes. You have to always be alert and aware of your surroundings when you are alone.
No one to share experiences with
What’s the use of seeing the Grand Canyon or the Northern Lights if you can’t share that with someone? Traveling by yourself, especially on a road trip can be exciting but lonely at the same time. Experiences with other people make the moment feel more real.
Someone else to bask in the glory of a beautiful sunrise or extra yummy meal after a long hike. I found myself trying to converse with anyone I could just to share and trade stories with. Camping kinda sucks by yourself. Wine tasting just isn’t the same when you’re the only one doing it…experiences are everything.
Table for one
Like most of my points, this is subjective. Some people don’t mind eating alone, I definitely don’t. But on a long haul trip where you just want to have a glass of wine with someone familiar starts to take a toll on you. I love to splurge on nice meals while on vacation, IT’S VACATION.
Having to do so alone though makes it way less fun to be eating a $50 steak by the ocean. I guess you just gotta cheers to yourself and hope the waitress doesn’t assume your Tinder date stood you up. What’s worse is if you’re camping.
Definitely, a lonely feeling of eating 10-day old snacks, leftovers and stale beer for dinner while slowly crying because you have no one to complain about it with.
The moral of all this? There are two sides to every story…but I think in this situation, you should gather up at least one person to take a road trip with. My trip would have been a lot easier had a friend came along. Instead of wondering though, see for yourself! You can read my How to plan a road trip in less than a day, and get started on planning the ultimate vacation now that you have the pros and cons of doing it alone.
Have you been on a solo road trip before? Did you like it better or were you wishing someone was with you? I need to know!! Until the next time though…
xo Bonvoyage Babes
I love love love this!!!! It’s so true though that if you take a roadtrip by yourself, you have no one to share duties with! It’s quite the struggle!
Such a struggle!! All you need is one extra person to make it amazing!
I really like this post about traveling solo it is such an experience ! 🙂
I guess going solo on a trip is a thing now a days. If only I know how to drive a car. I will definitely go on a solo road trip. But I don’t. And I agree with your cons. I recently went on a road trip in Europe with friends. I must say I saved a lot because we share the expenses from gas to food. If I had done it alone. It will cost me a lot.
I used to love travelling solo because like you said, you can do whatever you want whenever and inevitably it kind of forces you to make friends if you are so inclined. But after travelling with Darcee for the last several year, I do love the fact that we can share so many experiences and create wonderful memories together. Plus she is great with socializing with other (She is Belle, while I can sometimes come off like the Beast!)
Exactly!!! Awe that’s so sweet. I really wish my boyfriend could travel with me more often!
I’m a big solo traveler, but I think whether it is better or not just depends on personality. Some people just love being around other people, and others (like me), don’t. Although, I do think everyone should travel alone at least once. It’s very empowering to discover you can be totally self-reliant, even when shtf as it does often when traveling.
I am definitely both ends of the spectrum. I love being around people but also traveling solo.
I agree with you on all these points. I like a bit of both…some bit of solo and some with friends. I enjoy the freedom of solo and sometimes it helps me think better. A little space of my own . But then I do miss the banter of my friends and family at times.
Yeah its hard because you kind of want the best of both worlds!
I truly love your perspective on this topic. I used to travel Solo as well and I truly agree with all what you have shared. There will always be Pros and Cons even in anything that we do. But behind the Con’s of traveling alone I still really enjoy it and I feel like I can do whatever I want while I’m on the road. This is truly a great post. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
Thanks so much! Exactly!!
I’ve been on solo road trips, but never driven myself! I biggest fear is if my vehicle would shows up some trouble, I’d have to repair it all by myself!!! That’s what has kept me from it so long. Meeting new people is always the best part of solo trips.
Yeah I was definitely nervous of that too!! I had a couple things happen but nothing major thank god!
I don’t know if I could ever go traveling alone! Although I like the thought, I think that I would get really bored being by myself all of the time. Maybe another option would be to go with a friend but take a day where you both go your separate ways and explore the area! That way you get a little bit of both.
It definitely can get lonely but that encourages you to go out and meet new people!!Your idea is great too!!
I think I’d only like to do a solo road trip if I had a van….then I could sleep in it, cook in it, etc. Wouldn’t want to stay in hotels and camp along necessarily. Great post!
Yeah that would be awesome too!! I just didn’t want to have to rent a car or anything so I took my Acadia!