The benefits of going solo on your next liveaboard trip
Ever think of what it would be like to go abroad all by yourself? Or has the thought never occurred to you previously, but does it sound appealing? Maybe you’re already an avid solo traveler – if so, this should all be very familiar. In any case, allow us to explain to you the joys of solo adventuring!
- Be the master of your own destiny
- You’ll be completely, totally, utterly alone
- It’s more affordable than you might think
You would be forgiven if you thought this would be about single cruises. Sure, single cruises are a thing, and they’re great for their target audience, but we’re talking about something else here. For starters, you don’t have to be single to go by yourself. And you don’t have to go on a traditional cruise either, as a matter of fact. Liveaboard cruises are perfectly suited for people vacationing alone. Keep on reading to find out why.
Be the master of your own destiny
You decide when to go and where
When planning a solo trip, you can go wherever, whenever you like, without someone else weighing in on the subject.
You are the sole participant in the entire decision-making process.
That means no longer having to take other people’s planning into account, and finally going on that awesome trip on your bucket list. So for everyone that always wanted to go to explore the Blue Hole in Belize or cage dive with sharks in Mexico, but never could because their partner would rather go snorkeling in Cozumel; this is your chance!
“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.”
You don’t have to wait for anyone (and no one has to wait for you)
Are you the type that’s always ready to go but has to wait on all the others? Or are you sick and tired of people telling you to hurry up? Whatever the case, when traveling by yourself, those annoyances are out of the equation.
Take a half-hour detour to check the duty-free area while boarding has started? Don’t mind if I do! Hop in the car 4 hours ahead of time for a 30-minute drive to the airport “because you never know what might happen”? Well, alrighty then. After all, you know what’s best for you, right?
You get to do/skip whatever you want
There’ll be no one around to take with you on your little escapades. Sometimes you don’t want people to tag along, but you feel obligated to ask them anyway (God forbid they say “yes”). Other times you genuinely want people to join in, but they do so reluctantly (or even worse, you have to convince them), taking away from the experience.
The opposite also holds true by the way: you can avoid feeling pressured into doing things you don’t want to do or don’t have to dread people’s reactions when you tell them ‘no’.
By traveling alone, you won’t have to deal with any of this.You were so stoked about that moment when you used your best NLP and Jedi mind tricks to get someone to join you on that trip, but they think it's absolute trash, and they won't stop groaning about how unentertained they are the entire time.
You’re completely untethered from life back home
It’s important to take a break and get away every now and again to re-energize. That’s why vacations work: you are removed from everyday surroundings and immerse yourself in an entirely different kind of experience. You clear your thoughts, find some inner peace, and voilà, everything feels remarkably fresh when you return.
From this perspective, it would make sense to completely cut off all ties to your day-to-day life to maximize the reenergizing potential of your holiday trip. In other words: the less you have with you to remind you of home, the more detached you will be - and the bigger the payoff!
You’ll be completely, totally, utterly alone (and it’ll be awesome!)
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Autodidactic Life Coaching With A Twist
There’s something about being in a strange country where nobody speaks your language and have no one to fall back on. It's very confronting, even when it’s just during a holiday. You’re forced to make your own decisions, which can be liberating (no one will be second-guessing your choices) and scary (no shared responsibility) at the same time. Either way, you’ll soon feel more empowered and less insecure than before once you go back home.
Traveling alone will likely make you:
- more self-reliant,
- more assertive,
- more confident,
- and less dependent on others (including, but not limited to, seeking affirmation).
It will answer all the questions you might have about traveling alone; not only what it's like, but also if you would be able to make it on your own abroad. And lest we forget, it’s better to have remorse than regret. Except maybe when it comes to trying durian.
Once it’s just you in a foreign-speaking country, you’re the only that knows what you want - assuming you haven’t mastered the language (and there are no nosey expats around). This means you’re going to have get your point across somehow. Sure, translation apps have come a long way, but what if there’s no reach, or the battery is dead? Luckily, you picked up a translation booklet from a store at the airport before you started mingling with the locals. However, that still requires some hard work. Well, good! Studies indicate that “doing the thing” is a far better method of retaining information (i.e. learning) about said “thing”, than “reading the thing”.
This works great if you’re a complete novice to the language, since it provides a nice foundation. Some scientific studies even say that learning a language (among other skills) slows cognitive aging. If you’ve studied the language before, but haven’t had a lot of opportunity to use it since, it’s a great way to get back up to speed (here’s looking at you, high school Spanish). Even your non-verbal communication skills will get a proper workout. (Be careful with using certain gestures abroad, though.)
“I wondered why it was that places are so much lovelier when one is alone.”
The experience of a lifetime
While the experience of traveling alone might in itself already be a new one, it is actually a collection of novel experiences. Naturally, the same goes for anything you haven’t done before, whether or not accompanied by others. The key difference here is that you’ll be completely exposed to everything when you're by yourself. More often than not, people together will focus on each other rather than take in their surroundings. When it’s only you, there are no distractions, no insulation – just you and the raw experience.
You’re also more likely to connect with strangers faster when traveling alone. This especially holds true while on a diving cruise, where many like-minded people are bundled together. Interacting with these people (who usually come from all over the world) often leads to new and interesting views, perspectives, and insights. And if you’re the adventurous type (we know you are 😏), you’ll probably try something you wouldn’t have if in the company of someone less daring.
It’s more affordable than you might think
Dinner for one, please
Whenever you’re on your own, there’s often little desire to order another round of drinks or to make a quick pitstop for a coffee. Sure, you have no one to split the bill with, but the bill itself will likely be cheaper per person than usual. You are probably also less likely to bother with trinkets, souvenirs, and the like since there’s nobody to pull you into a tourist shop in the first place. Admittedly, these aren’t situations you would probably encounter while on a liveaboard, but they apply to the trip to and from as well.
There and back again
Truth be told, travel-wise, there aren’t many economic benefits to going solo, if any. The price of a single flight ticket will be the same whether you buy it together or separately. If you’re in the habit of renting a car on the airport, it will cost you even more, relatively speaking, since you’re the only one footing the bill.
And then there’s the cost of the accommodation itself, and well…
Supplements: good or bad for your (financial) health?
Almost all lodging businesses – and liveaboards – will usually charge you a single supplement surcharge when renting a room - or cabin - by yourself. Talk about a downer; you have all these benefits of traveling solo, only to find out you have to pay extra through the nose to experience it.
Well, guess what. You don’t have to. Recently, more and more liveaboard operators have been waiving their single supplement fees so you, too, can have the ultimate diving cruise experience you always wanted (but never could). So, for all you existing and future solo travelers, we have compiled a list of vessels perfect for an adventure trip to be enjoyed all by yourself: check them out here.
“Save your marriage, keep your friends, stay happy - travel alone every once in a while”
So, if you want to gain more control over your life, grow mentally and emotionally as a person, and experience liveaboard cruises to the maximum, you have to travel by yourself at least once. You get some time off from your surroundings (and your surroundings from you), and return not only rested and revived, but as a more complete individual with a renewed appreciation for what you have. You will end up becoming a better version of you because of it.
Posted: June 9th, 2020.
Last updated: March 23rd, 2021.