Is Solo Travel Selfish?

Updated June 17, 2020.

This Travel Tip Tuesday, we’re taking on an issue that lots of travelers–and those who love us–face from people in our lives. Are travelers, especially solo travelers, just selfish? I believe solo travelers are wise, confident, organized, responsible, and believe it or not, they tend to be less selfish and more thoughtful than your regular person. Maybe that’s not true of every traveler, but overall, it’s what I’ve found to be the reality. Here are a few reasons why solo travel is anything but selfish.

1. Solo Travelers Have a Broader Worldview

It’s true. You can read about a place faraway or see a report about another country on the news, but when a person is willing to see people and situations first-hand, they have a far truer understanding. Tons of people told me what they “knew” about Japan before I went off to live there, but the reality was so much more than others’ perception. Travelers, especially solo travelers, get to have experience on their side. And experience is usually humbling.

Fact: Solo Travelers are more likely to befriend locals than non-solo travelers.
Keep reading: Solo Travel Like a Pro

2. Solo Travelers are Resourceful

Necessity is the mother of invention, and solo travelers are in charge of their own necessities. When a solo traveler’s flight gets cancelled, they figure it out. When solo travelers are hungry and running low on cash, they find a way to make a cheap meal. When solo travelers get lost, they find their way. A selfish person pouts, complains, or gives up; a solo traveler will figure it out—because they have to!

Sometime you have to figure out how to debone your own fish, friends.
Essential info: How to Make Solo Travel a Little Easier

3. Solo Travelers are Self-aware

When solo travelers commit to going somewhere, they have no one else to rely on but themselves. They have to be super vigilant about their luggage, their cash, their steps, their time, everything. So if the traveler in your life sometimes seems selfish about their “stuff” or their schedule, don’t take it personally. It might just be their way of being self-aware to take care of themselves. They might even feel obligated to be responsible for you!

No one’s around to help you lug your stuff when you’re going solo.
Must read: Must-have Solo Travel Skills

4. Solo Travelers are Savers

They may seem like misers on occasion, but they’re really just trying to work hard and save up for something they believe makes them a better person. They’re not asking you to give anything up; are you asking them to give up their hard-earned cash to do something you want to do? The selfishness could go both ways, so just be aware!

A trip to Easter ISland is not cheap… it takes hard work and making saving a priority!
Think solo travelers are all filthy rich?
Check out 6 Ways I Afford to Travel!

5. Solo Travelers Are Humble

OK, they may not be terribly humble after their first solo trip. It may be all they can talk about for months. They might brag about it a little–or a lot. But the more solo travelers go, the more humble they become. They get into situations they don’t want anyone to know about (like that time I took a wrong turn in Prague and wandered in the wrong direction for an hour). The more they travel, the more they realize just how insignificant they are in the great big world. They also realize their mistakes are their fault—they have no one to blame but themselves no matter what happens to them. And we keep learning every time we travel.

Sitting pretty on the French-Swiss border!
Always be prepared for rude comments:
Solo Travel: Responding to Naysayers

Think you might want to try this solo travel thing? Read more in 5 Reasons to Travel Solo! What are your thoughts or questions about solo travel, or travel in general? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments section below.

And as always, check out all my solo tips, tricks, and favorite destinations on my Solo Travel Page!

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2 responses to “Is Solo Travel Selfish?”

  1. It is hard to plan a solo trip when my husband enjoys travelling as much as I do. I would feel bad leaving him behind, BUT it is on my bucket list and I will do it one of these days!!!

    1. I have to say I do love traveling with my husband, too!

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