Many people have niggling doubts before travelling alone for the first time. They worry that they won’t have as much fun without their friends and family around them. And they begin to wonder, is solo travel boring?
In this article, I will use my experience to answer the question: is it boring to travel alone? I will reveal the 8 times when solo travel can be boring.
Plus, I’ll share 10 tips for overcoming boredom when travelling alone.
And if you want to see the other side of solo travel, try my article: is travelling alone fun?
Use Nomadic Yak to plan your first solo trip!
Is Solo Travel Boring?
Some people will find it boring to travel alone. Often, the people who find solo travel boring are those who:
- Have no interest in the local culture.
- Have no interest in making new friends.
- Are overly worried about their safety.
- Are overly concerned with other people’s opinions.
- Have chosen a destination that does not suit their expectations.
However, most people will never experience boredom during solo travel. This is because they are constantly meeting new people, seeing new places and trying new foods.
Will you survive solo travel? Take the 15-question quiz: should I travel alone?
8 Times that Solo Travel Can Be Boring
1. Solo travel is boring: if you have to frequently catch transport
Solo travel is boring if you have to constantly wait for transport and endure long and uncomfortable journeys.
Many backpackers and adventurous solo travellers will find themselves catching transport every few days when heading to their next destination. But it can get tedious having to catch flights, coaches and trains so frequently.
Make sure you book a window seat so that you can admire the landscape. And take some entertainment such as e-books, podcasts and movies.
Also, take a break between long journeys and spend at least 2-3 days at each destination. You don’t want to rush from destination to destination and spend most of your trip on transport.
Try my 10 tips to make your first time flying alone more fun and comfortable.
2. Solo travel is boring: if you don’t interact with other people
Is it boring to travel alone? Solo travel can be boring if you don’t make an effort to interact with people and befriend other travellers and locals.
Some people may feel too shy or awkward to interact with others when travelling alone. As an introvert, I know that this was one of my worries before leaving for my first solo trip.
However, once you do start travelling alone, you’ll realise just how easy it is to make friends with other travellers. You’ll befriend people in your accommodation, when dining out, when partying and when participating in group tours.
Too shy to travel alone? Here are 10 things to expect from solo travel as an introvert!
3. Solo travel is boring: if you are overly worried about safety
Many people ask, is solo travel safe?
When you travel alone, you face unique dangers. You should therefore take special precautions and follow these solo travel safety tips.
But you shouldn’t be overly fearful or anxious about travelling alone, to the point that you prevent yourself from enjoying the trip. You don’t want to be scared to leave your room, explore your destination and meet people.
To minimise safety concerns, pick a destination that is suitable for your level of solo travel experience. If it’s your first time travelling alone, visit a country that is:
- Politically and socially stable.
- Accepting of your gender and sexual orientation.
- Free from widespread disease and pandemic.
- Provides quality emergency services.
- Popular amongst tourists.
I still join tours as a solo traveller if I’m visiting a particularly dangerous or difficult destination. See how I compare my solo travel vs group travel experiences.
4. Solo travel is boring: if you are worried about people’s opinions
People worry about what other people will think of them for travelling alone. They have this idea that people who travel alone must be lonely, creepy, cheap or boring.
In reality, no one thinks that solo travel is weird. In fact, solo travel is the #1 travel trend in the world. Over 15% of people travel alone and 25% of people want to travel alone!
Whilst there are many advantages and disadvantages to travelling alone, the pros outweigh the cons. Five of the benefits of solo travel include:
- Control over your itinerary
- Making more friends
- Finding love and romance
- Meeting more locals
- Saving more money.
It is these benefits that have made solo travel a popular and normal practice.
5. Solo travel is boring: if you avoid the local cuisine
It can be boring to travel alone if you avoid dining out at local restaurants and takeaways, instead opting to stick to the same diet that you enjoy at home.
One of the most fun parts of solo travel is the opportunity to try exotic dishes and cuisines.
When travelling alone, the boring option is to eat at international franchises (e.g. Mcdonald’s) and snack on the products that you know and love (e.g. Coca-Cola, Lays Chips, etc.)
Doing this means that you miss out on experiencing the culture. You might just love some of the local delicacies – like pavlova, prunes or baklava!
By avoiding the local food, you also miss out on the opportunity to meet other travellers and locals at bars and restaurants.
Abstaining from the local cuisine is understandable if you have dietary requirements. But if possible, I urge solo travellers to beat boredom by dining out often.
6. Solo travel is boring: if you avoid sightseeing and activities
Solo travel can be boring if you choose to laze around in your accommodation rather than go sightseeing or partake in activities.
Sure, a rest day now and then is great for recovery and relaxation. But if you’re travelling alone, staying in your hotel room all week will eventually get boring.
Try to go sightseeing and visit a local attraction at least once every two days. This way, you get a good mix of fun and relaxation without getting bored.
7. Solo travel is boring: if you choose the wrong destination
You will find it boring to travel alone if you choose a destination that doesn’t suit your style of travel.
Before booking a destination, think about:
- How do you want to spend your trip (sightseeing, relaxing or both)?
- How much money do you want to spend?
- What kind of accommodation do you want to stay in?
- What kind of people do you want to meet?
Backpacking is an adventurous style of solo travel. Backpackers do a lot of sightseeing, spend less money, mostly stay in hostels and meet lots of other solo travellers. Great backpacking destinations include Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, South America and Europe.
Other solo travellers may prefer a more luxurious trip. Luxury solo travel usually involves more time relaxing, spending more money, staying in private accommodation and less interaction with other travellers. Luxury solo travel destinations include parts of Europe, North America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Find the perfect trip for you by using my list of the 193 best places to travel alone – I’ve scientifically ranked every country in the world based on accommodations, attractions, tours, safety, cost and more!
8. Solo travel is boring: if you choose the wrong accommodation
Solo travel can be boring if you only ever stay in private accommodation and rarely get the chance to interact with other travellers.
Whilst private accommodation can be great if you want a few days to yourself for rest and relaxation, it can also be isolating.
This is why I recommend that solo travellers mix up their accommodation throughout their trip. Try to stay in both hostels and motels/hotels/rentals.
Hostels are a great way to beat boredom when travelling alone. You meet lots of other solo travellers, do day tours together, eat together and then party together at night.
Motels, hotels and private rentals are great for when you just want some time to rest. Plus, they come in handy if you need to work or just want privacy to phone home.
10 Tips for Beating Solo Travel Boredom
Is solo travel boring? Only if you are unwilling to experience other cultures, meet new people and overcome your fears.
In saying that, there are a few things that you can do to beat boredom during the quieter moments when travelling alone:
- Take a gaming console or mini board-games
I always travel with my Switch in a sleek carry case to protect it. Inside, I also store earphones and a USB-C cable so that I can charge it on planes, trains and coaches.
I’d also recommend getting a 1TB SD card so that you can save all your games on one card (you don’t want to be swapping SD cards all the time because they’re easy to lose).
My Nintendo Switch Setup for Solo Travel
- Choose hostels and hotels with fun facilities
Some solo travellers get bored because they stay in boring hostels or hotels.
Most hostels organise basic activities for backpackers, such as sightseeing tours and bar crawls. But only a few hostels go the extra mile and offer fun facilities such as:
- In-house bar or nightclub
- Games room
- Swimming pool
- Shared kitchen and dining area.
And don’t worry if you prefer to stay in private accommodation – even hotels and motels can offer fun and sociable facilities such as a:
- Fitness centre (great place to strike up a conversation);
- Spa and wellness centre;
- Restaurant or bar;
- Swimming pool.
When using sites like Hostelworld and Booking.com to find accommodation for your solo trip, filter the results to include the facilities listed above.
After all, having fun is one of the reasons why you should travel alone in your 20s!
- Carry one of your creative hobbies
Are you a musician? A writer? An artist? A knitter? A cook? A coder? A dancer? A yogi? A footballer?
Continue practising your hobbies and talents whilst travelling alone – they will help you to beat boredom and grab people’s attention (a great way to make friends).
When I get bored during solo trips, I’ll whip out my travel-size guitar and strum out a few songs in the hostel common area. Some fellow guests will sit and listen whilst others will join in on their own instrument (I know, it sounds like a hippy circle).
Here are a few creative ideas that are travel-sized and easy to transport:
- Call friends and family at home
Quiet moments offer the perfect opportunity to call home and catch up with family and friends.
Relay your travel stories and tell your loved ones about all the things you’ve seen, done and learned. But don’t forget to also ask them about their home lives and what they’ve been up to.
Whatsapp is my favourite app for video calls whilst travelling alone. Its low data mode means that I don’t chew through my local data plan. And it tends to provide the best connection when the WiFi or phone signal is weak.
- Journal about your adventures
When you find yourself with 5 spare minutes during your solo trip, beat boredom by writing an entry in your journal.
Things that you can note in your journal include:
- Exciting things you did and saw that day
- People you met
- Foods you tried
- Lessons you learned
- Mishaps you overcame.
In 20 years time, your heart will fill with nostalgia as you flick through your journal. You will show your kids how adventurous you were and how much the world has changed.
Personally, I keep my journal on my iPad using an app like Notion (it takes up less space in my backpack). But you may prefer to write in a travel-size paper journal.
Take a photo each day and attach it to your journal entry (this is where the Kodak Printomatic really comes in handy – see below).
The Most Popular Travel Journal on the Internet
- Includes journal entries, bucket list, map, calendar, budget, blank photo pages and more.
- A5 size with hard cover – small and protected from damage.
- Pen loop, bookmark and stickers.
- Use quiet moments for mindfulness
First-time travellers often worry: is solo travel lonely?
Yes, there may be a few moments during your solo travel that feel a little slow, boring or even lonely. For some people, this may even contribute to solo travel depression.
But you shouldn’t feed into the negative emotions.
Instead, use quiet moments to meditate and practice mindfulness – you should almost instantly feel a cool sense of comfort wash over you.
If you don’t know how to meditate, I highly recommend The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – this book has added years to my life by teaching me how to deal with stress.
You may even want to listen to a guided meditation on YouTube or Spotify.
- Create, edit and share social media content
When you’re bored, explore the area around your accommodation and capture the scenes with photos or video footage.
You may choose to specialise in photographing one type of subject – such as architecture, animals, people or food. Or you might generalise in a bit of everything.
Then head back to your room and whittle away the hours editing the images and videos on software like Instagram, Lightroom, Affinity Photo, Capcut or DaVinci Resolve.
Once you’ve added some flare, share it through social media and start growing your following – you may just be the next David Attenborough or Gypsea Lust!
This Camera Captures Both Print and Digital Photos
- Instantly print vibrant photos and stick them in your journal or give them to travel buddies.
- Also has a MicroSD card slot so you can save retro-style photos digitally.
- Compact enough to slip into your pocket. Includes travel case for protection.
- Download your entertainment before leaving
Some of the most boring moments of solo travel are during long journeys on planes, trains and coaches.
To keep yourself entertained, download e-books, podcasts, music and films onto your phone or a tablet device.
But don’t rely on mobile data to stream your entertainment whilst travelling. In many places, mobile reception is very limited.
Instead, download your entertainment over WiFi before you leave home or at your accommodation.
- Chew through your reading list with Goodreads
Set up an account on Goodreads and keep track of the books you’ve already read and the books you want to read.
Goodreads sort of gamifies reading and makes it more fun.
Whenever you’re bored during your solo trip, pull out your book and update your Goodreads to show how much you’ve completed. You can even add friends, family and travel buddies to share reviews and your progress.
I find that physical books take up too much space in my luggage when travelling alone. So, I save all my books digitally on the Kindle app.
- Seek out a free walking tour
One of the reasons that people get bored when travelling alone is because they don’t have enough interaction with other people.
Befriend other travellers and have a heap of fun exploring local attractions by joining group tours to nearby sights.
Whenever I arrive at a new destination, I join a free walking tour (if I can find one). This gives me a chance to get my bearings and immediately make friends.
Chances are that you’ll add some of your fellow group members on social media and meet up later that night for a meal and drinks!
Summary: Is it boring to travel alone?
You will find solo travel boring if you are not willing to step outside of your comfort zone.
The people who get bored when travelling alone are those who have no interest in experiencing other cultures or making new friends. Often these people are overly-worried about other people’s opinions or their safety.
On the other hand, the people who find solo travel exciting are often adventurous and curious about the world. They want to meet new people and learn about how they live. They also want to explore amazing sights, taste exotic foods, educate themselves and develop their mind and soul.
Find More Solo Travel Tips on Nomadic Yak
Is solo travel boring? Is it boring to travel alone? The answer: only for some people!
If you’re the daring type, solo travel is for you – and Nomadic Yak is here to help!
Nomadic Yak helps solo travellers to plan journeys that are adventurous and authentic.
Every article is written by me, Harry. I’ve travelled to 40+ countries over the last 5 years – alone.
Is it your first time travelling alone?
I’ve shared 100s of solo travel tips on how to save money, make more friends, build a social media following and much more.
Plus, you can use my solo travel destination guides to discover international sights and attractions that few other travellers get to witness.