Traveling Solo or Traveling with a Travel buddy – Pros and Cons

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During the last years, I had the chance to try different ways of traveling. From traveling alone to traveling with friends or my partner.

The people accompanying your trip often have a huge influence on the outcome of your travel and whether you are satisfied with it in the end. That’s why it is important to consider some things before you choose with whom you travel or whether to go on your own.

In the following article, you can find pros and cons of traveling alone or with a travel buddy. But first, let’s check what options there are.

Traveling with someone

Traveling with a friend

traveling with a friend, dragon berries, fun, taiwan
My friend Alina and me had a great time in Taiwan

During the last year, I traveled with several friends and to be honest, the trips haven’t always worked out the way I planned it in the first place. My way of traveling is quite special, I guess and it is not always easy to combine my travel habits with the ones of my friends.

That’s why it is important to check with your friend before deciding to travel together what kind of trip you want to have. What do you want to see/do? What is the budget more or less? What kind of accommodation are you going to stay in? Are you planning to spend the time just the two of you or are you looking to get in touch with locals/ other travelers?

In order to be able to have a satisfying vacation for both of you, you should definitely try to get solutions to the points listed above. If you have different opinions and wishes when it comes to these questions and you are not happy finding compromises, your trip is definitely not going to end well.

The more special your way of traveling is, the harder it gets to find a suitable travel buddy and the higher the chances that you have to compromise if you don’t want to travel alone.

But if you find a great travel buddy traveling with a friend also provides many advantages. Isn’t it wonderful to share great travel experiences with someone? Many people that travel alone are starting to feel uncomfortable or lonely after a while. This can’t happen to you if you bring your favorite travel buddy along. It’s not only fun to travel with a friend but also provides security for both of you.

Travel with your Significant Other

traveling with your significant other, partner, couple, japan, castle
We traveled Asia for 7 months together

While working in the Maldives, I heard from several couples that broke up during their vacation. And yes, somehow I can imagine that it must be pretty much of a shock when you suddenly hang out together day and night and maybe see your partner from a different perspective. It’s easy to get into discussions. Especially longterm travel seems not to be for every couple.

The same thing that I mentioned for traveling with a friend also applies to travel with your partner. You should definitely make sure what kind of vacation you and your partner are expecting. This way, you can avoid unpleasant discussions when figuring out that your dream relaxing beach holiday was considered a party holiday by your partner.

With my partner Eduardo I seem to have won the lottery. Our way of travel is pretty much the same. I guess that’s the benefit of meeting your significant other while traveling.

If your way of traveling fits it can be an amazing experience traveling together with your partner. It is simply a great feeling being able to share all these unique experiences that you are making while traveling and looking back together afterward. Moreover, you don’t have to miss your partner while traveling since he is right there with you. 🙂

An important point in order to avoid discussions is that you and your partner should be both take some time for yourself during your trip as well, especially when doing a longterm trip. If you are spending 24 hours a day together it’s easy to get annoyed by each other.

Have a walk by yourself, read a book, treat yourself to a massage, do whatever you feel like while your partner does the same by himself. For Eduardo and me it was easy to spend time apart from each other as both of us have our own projects. While I was working on this blog, he designed amazing websites and logos for his customers. (By the way, if you like this blog and want to have your own customized website or design, make sure to check Eduardo’s website and portfolios here)

Traveling with a group of friends

traveling with a group of friends, international, boat
On the way to Penghu Island with a group of friends and our Chinese Teacher that we met on the way

Another experience I made during the last years was a trip with a group of friends. In general, it is important to keep in mind that the bigger your group is, the harder it is to organize the trip as everyone has different preferences.

The big drawback of traveling as a group is that you usually have to comply with what the majority of the group wants to do. If you have other wishes which the majority doesn’t like it can be quite difficult to assert yourself. Especially, deciding where to eat often leads to problems.

Anyway, the benefit of a group is that you can also split in order to do different things in smaller groups. You can do that regarding restaurants, accommodation, and day-trips.

When going on a trip with a group of friends it almost always ends up being a lot of fun. And how could you feel lonely when traveling with your friends, right?

Traveling with a Group Tour

If no one you know is willing/able to travel with you but you don’t want to travel alone nevertheless traveling with a Group Tour is another great way to travel.

Just make sure to check beforehand whether the kind of tour fits your profile (what type of trip, age, etc.). Afterwards, make sure to compare reviews of the best tour companies in travel forums or on TripAdvisor.

The benefit of this kind of travel is that it’s easy to meet new people and make friends. It’s also a great opportunity for inexperienced travelers to see the world.

Traveling Solo

Traveling solo, big wall of china, smile
On my first Solo Trip to Beijing, China

Traveling Solo: For many travelers unthinkable. but for me definitely an amazing experience I wouldn’t want to miss. Of course, before I left for my first Solo-Adventure, I was pretty nervous. I had a lot of doubts and was scared I might feel lonely. In the end, I ended up in China not lonely at all. Instead I found so many reasons why traveling alone is awesome.

I booked a bed in a dorm and therefore, it was super easy meeting other travelers which I could go on trips with. When doing this kind of trip with my roommates, I was able to meet even more people and locals.

Some days, though, I was doing trips on my own, as well. At first, it was a little intimidating walking around alone in Beijing without knowing anyone being so far away from home.

But after a while, I realized how much fun it can be exploring a city all by yourself. Another thing I realized is that it is quite easy to meet new people when being alone and much easier to get in touch with locals.

Pros and Cons of Traveling alone or with someone – A Comparison

Pros Traveling SoloPros Traveling with SomeoneCons Traveling SoloCons Traveling with Someone
Flexibility and Freedom of ChoiceHigh flexibility and freedom of choice as you can decide everything by yourselfRather low as you have to coordinate everything with your travel buddy/ies
AccommodationIf you are using tools like Couchsurfing it might be easier to find a place for one than for moreIf you share the costs of a room you can usually save a lot of moneySome accommodations don't offer single rooms and you have to pay more for a double room or share your room with strangersIf you are traveling with a group it can sometimes be hard to find a place for all of you together
Time for yourself / Time spent togetherYou don't feel obligated to spend all your time with someoneYou don't feel lonely as there is always someone with youMany (longterm-) travelers feel lonely at some pointIf you spend too much time together it often causes discussions
SecurityIf you are traveling with someone/ with a group, you usually feel saverEspecially Female Solo Travelers sometimes feel unsafe
Meeting new peopleWhile traveling alone it is easier to meet new peopleIf you are alone, usually more people approach to you; even if you actually feel like being alone
Sharing experiences/ memoriesSometimes it's just more beautiful to share experiences with othersIt can be disappointing if you have no one you can think remember your trip with
Getting to know yourselfWhile traveling alone you often find yourself in totally new situations and learn a lot about yourselfTraveling together is a great opportunity to get to know your friend/ significant other better
Getting around/ Solving ProblemsCollective Intelligence: If you are confronted with a problem or lost it is usually easier and faster to find a solution as a groupIf you are traveling solo you sometimes have to rely on the help of strangers
BargainBeing a group can make a difference when bargain for prices as the business would lose more than one potential costumer when not complying with you

Traveling solo or with someone – A conclusion

You can see that there are many benefits to traveling alone as well as of traveling with someone. In the end, it totally depends on you what kind of traveling you prefer. The easiest way to find out which way is most suitable for you is to try.

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8 thoughts on Traveling Solo or Traveling with a Travel buddy – Pros and Cons

  1. Some of my best friends have turned out to be my worst travel partners. I have learned from that and I do not travel much with friends (or family). A lot of people tell me they want to go on a trip with me and I decline in a polite way or change the conversation. To me, the biggest con of traveling with somebody is the possibility of severing the friendship forever. And, believe me, I have seen that happen (and it is sad). The other thing is that after spending several thousand dollars on a trip, I want to be able to have the freedom to decide what I want to see and do. Thank goodness my husband is my perfect travel partner.

    • Hi Ruth,

      Yes, I totally agree. I also have made quite bad experiences when it comes to traveling with friends. But luckily I have one friend as well as my partner with whom I can travel perfectly together 🙂 I am happy your husband and you also fit together that well when it comes to traveling!

  2. Love this comprehensive breakdown of traveling solo or with others! My boyfriend and I traveled full-time around the world last year (and survived together ha) and I’ve taken trips with friends before. I have the opportunity to do a solo trip this summer and am very excited about it!!

    • Hi Krista,

      I am happy you can try different ways of traveling (and you and your boyfriend survived your trip of course haha). I hope you enjoy traveling solo as well 🙂

  3. Hello,
    I will be taking my first out of country trip in 50 years(except Mexico) to Europe and will be going solo. So as a senior citizen(government criteria but not in my eyes) and being a female it is a bit intimidating so this article was very reassuring for me. I know I will miss having someone to share it with but I have an agenda lined up that works for me. I will be using Skype to connect as I go but I have to rely on my own personality and common sense to navigate this journey. Sounds easy huh-we will see.

    • Hi Deborah,

      thank you so much for your comment! I am happy to hear that this article is reassuring for you! The first time traveling solo feels so intimidating but I am sure as soon as you are on the road you will love it. It’s so easy to connect with people no matter the age or culture. I hope you have an amazing trip! 🙂

  4. Very informative. Alone time can lead to self-discovery and personal growth as you navigate unfamiliar situations on your own.


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