Solo travelers often seem to get the short end of the stick. When seating gets tight on an international flight, they’re the first ones moved to the middle seat. They pay more at all-inclusive hotels and on cruises, and often pay a single-supplement on tours as well. In general, it would be easy to assume that it costs more (per person) to travel solo than it does with a companion. But that may not actually be the case.
Sure, if you’re going the all-inclusive or tour route, you may get stuck paying more for your single status, but if you are planning an RTW trip on your own, going solo may actually help you save money. First, you’ll need to abandon any notions of fancy hotels. As a single traveler on a budget, you just can’t afford them. The good news is that you’re not limited to dorm accommodations though. Many hostels and bed and breakfasts offer single rooms that offer more privacy than a dorm but cost much less than a double room. If you stay in these types of places, lodging won’t cost much more than if you were splitting a room with a friend.
But the real savings comes from one of the biggest perks of traveling solo. When you travel with another person, you may be able to split some expenses, but you’re also often pressured into spending more than you want to, or into spending money on things that aren’t a priority for you. Maybe you’d rather stay in a basic hostel so you can spend more on trying the local cuisine. If you’re traveling with a friend who demands a private bathroom, you’re dining fund quickly gets spent on higher-end accommodation. Of maybe you’d prefer cheap street food so you can spend money on experiences, but your friend always pressures you to join him at the local hotspot. Even if you make financial agreements before the trip, you may still find yourself compromising with your travel partner and spending more than you wanted to in certain areas.
When you travel alone, however, you make all the decisions. You can spend as much or as little as you want on accommodations, dining and activities because you have no one to answer to but yourself. In that way, traveling alone can actually help you save money in areas that aren’t important to you so that you can spend the money on what enriches your trip the most.
Photo by wanderinghome