Is Traveling Solo Better Than As A Couple?

As a young single traveler, I love my life on the road traveling solo, and being able to travel where I want, when I want, at the drop of a hat. Recently however, I read a post by AsWeTravel.com titled How Would Your Travels Change If You Were Single. In it they also asked solo travelers how their style of travel would change if they had to travel as a couple, and although you never know these things until they happen, it did get me thinking.

For the most part when I’m on the road I never feel alone. Travelers in general are a friendly bunch, and I find it easy to make new friends on the road. I like to party a lot, as much as I like to see the sights and discover a culture, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t wonder occasionally what it would be like to have someone to share this all with. In fact, it’s something that’s been playing on my mind a little over the past few months in particular.

There is no doubt that traveling as a couple would change the way you travel, for the simple fact that you have another person to consider with every travel decision you make. There have been times I have got bored of a destination and literally just packed my bags and left the following morning. If you are traveling with a partner however, and they don’t want to leave, it could be frustrating. Also spending so much time together could be an issue. There are some couples who thrive on spending every moment together, but sometimes you just need space from someone, and when you’re in the middle of a trip this could be hard. Also, you will at some stage have to make compromises about where you want to go, or things you want to do in a location. Yet even with all that, there are times when I see an awe inspiring view, or something funny happens and I am on my own, and I sometimes think in those moments that it would be great if I had someone to share it with.

There is a saying that goes – if you start traveling single, you’ll stay that way. I don’t entirely agree with this statement, but I do think as a long term traveler, it can be hard to find somebody who is compatible. When I am back home it is impossible to find anybody more than a fling because I know that soon I’ll be off on my next trip and so there is no point in starting anything. When I am traveling it is very easy to meet like minded people, but as with most relationships that start on the road, one of you usually has to go home, or wants to continue on their travels elsewhere, and you can separate as quickly as you got together. Also, one thing I have noticed about couple’s who do travel together is that they seem to find it harder to integrate into the group with other travelers, particularly at hostels. Part of the reason I got so good at making friends while on my travels was quite simply because I had to. When you’re traveling on your own it’s easy to push yourself to speak to people because you will eventually get bored with your own company. When traveling as a couple however, it would be so easy I imagine just to chat to your partner and not make as much of an effort.

Another more practical issue of traveling as a couple would be money. Sure you may be able to split things like food, and rent if you are staying in on place for a while, but in general you will have double the costs. There will be 2 flight tickets, 2 dorm beds, and 2 entrance fees to museums, galleries, attractions…etc, but in some cases you may only have one income.

To answer the question – how would my travels change if I was traveling with a partner? It would be definitely be different that’s for sure, but not neccessarily any worse or better. You would have more things to take into consideration in regards to your travel plans, but it’s definitely something that can be done (as proven by the many couple’s who travel the around the world every year.) Also, you would have someone to share all those incredible moments with. For me personally, I really enjoy the complete freedom of traveling solo, and couldn’t really imagine traveling with someone else right now, but I’m sure if Mr Right came along tomorrow I’d probably be telling you a different story!

4 Responses to “Is Traveling Solo Better Than As A Couple?”

  1. Vala says:

    Oh, I totally understand your point of view. I am a solo traveler also and cannot, most times, imagine sharing my time with someone else. I really enjoy the options of doing what I want, when I want that solo travel affords. BUT, if I was to meet someone, I assume my opinion would change. When I was in a certain part of Germany, there was this one time when I wish I had someone to share my time with but telling you the truth, I was happy being alone. Like you and most solo travelers, I made friends along the way and it is great that way. Having the company when you most need it and then moving on is kind of liberating to me. Right now, I love my travel style and have no desire to change it up.

  2. ayngelina says:

    I was just thinking about this today while sitting on a chicken bus. I know many of the experiences I have had are because I was alone and they wouldnt have happened if someone else was there.

    I dont think its better or worse, just different.

  3. Gray says:

    All good points, Jane. I’ve traveled with someone else a bit, and acknowledge that it’s nice to sometimes have a “built in” companion so you don’t have to put yourself out there to meet people. But overall, I prefer the freedom and flexibility of solo travel. My word of caution though is to never, ever, ever travel with someone who cannot or will not pay their fair share of the travel expenses. You run through your money so much faster when you’re paying for two.

  4. Hi Jane

    I agree. Traveling solo is not better, or worse, than traveling with a partner. I traveled alone for many years, but got married 5 years ago and have been traveling with my wife since (mostly). It is a blast. It is obviously more expensive if there is only one salary, but you have the opportunity to share your experiences and adventures and also get to meet many people on the way. In fact just as many if you want to. My take? With somebody if there is a very good connection, otherwise I am better off alone.

    Federico

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