The Joys of Solo Adventure Travel

Poppy Backshall - Dec 14, 2022 - Inspiration5115Guided

Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes

Written by Neve McCracken

Choosing to pack a rucksack and take off on a trip alone has been one of the fastest growing travel trends since 2020, with an estimated25% of travellers going solo this year. With the pandemic now, hopefully, in our rear-view mirror, many have discovered that their attitudes towards travel have changed. They are eager to seize the moment and see the world now, without waiting for someone else. Thousands are also craving time outside in our wild open spaces and as a result, the number of people embarking on solo adventure travel is growing.

Why the UK is a Great Destination for Solo Travellers

lady enjoying solo adventure travel on a hiking holiday in Wales UK

Whilst Britain may not be known for its endless days of sun or exotic culture, its diverse natural landscapes, including 15 national parks, and unique charm have been rediscovered over the last two years and is now seen as an exciting adventure travel destination. For solo travellers, the UK is an excellent choice with its universal language, friendly locals and low crime rate.

A national rail network with frequent trains allows access to both urban and rural areas whilst cheap buses and an array of regional airports mean most locations are within reach; in this pocket-sized country, nothing is ever more than a day or two away. What’s more, the UK is filled with funky hostels, welcoming bars and a whole host of travel tours, providing the solo traveller with multiple opportunities to meet like-minded people.

The Joy of Going Your Own Way

solo travellers on a trail running camp in wales

Whilst opting for solo adventure travel may feel daunting, there are actually many benefits to going it alone:

1. You can do exactly what you want to do:
Arguably one of the greatest aspects of travelling alone is that you get to be completely selfish. From the overall destination to the activities you choose, the food you eat to the time you wake up, solo travel is an opportunity to completely indulge. This freedom can also give you the chance to explore who you are as a person, providing the opportunity to reinvent parts of your life or learn just what makes your soul sing.

2. Travelling alone makes you more open to meeting new people:
It’s always much easier to strike up conversation with just one person, rather than a close group of friends or a couple. So it’s actually much easier to make new friends on the road when you are alone as you appear more approachable. You will also have to be the one asking locals for directions or other travellers for recommendations, which means you are more likely to wind up getting to know people than if you’re travelling with someone else.

3. Boosts your confidence and helps you leave the comfort zone:
Leaving the comfort zone can often feel like a double-edged sword; you want to experience something new and exciting but sticking with the familiar feels much easier and more comfortable. Solo travel plunges you firmly into the deep end of the unfamiliar but in a good way; within a few days of chatting with locals and sharing a dorm with strangers, it doesn’t feel like such an anxiety-inducing way of spending your time at all, but rather a thrilling journey full of surprises.

Before long, you will inevitably be persuaded to take on that once in a lifetime trip white water rafting or mountain climbing!

Why Tours are the Perfect Option for Solo Adventure Travel

Whilst solo adventure travel is a fantastic life experience, there are still undeniably times where travel becomes more overwhelming, exhausting and lonely when you have no one by your side to take over the reins. For this reason, giving over some of your trip to an experienced tour provider can help take off the organisational strain whilst still allowing you to take part in memorable once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

1. Less stress, booking and itinerary planning:
Once you have chosen your destination and specific tour, you are free to put your feet up, flick through gorgeous travel photos and spend time shopping for the all-essential gear. With a tour provider, all the hassle of booking centrally-located hotels, co-ordinating the train timetable with the bus timetable and finding a recommended kayak hire can be left to the experts with their in-depth local knowledge.

2. Greater safety and greater insider information:
When booking with a tour, you don’t just receive brilliant excursions but also friendly local guides who are experts in their fields. Guides are not just there to provide recommendations on where to eat in town but also expertise on potentially dangerous activities such as climbing, mountain biking and paddleboarding. Doing these activities alone as a novice can be both unnerving and unsafe but as part of a tour group you are able to fully relax. Enjoy the experience and know that maybe, just maybe, you won’t be the most ungraceful person there!

3. Meet like-minded people:
Maybe you feel you have to partake in solo adventure travel because your friends would prefer a week lying in the sun. Yet by joining a tour group, you can be surrounded by people who share your passion for wilder pastimes and active adventures. It’s a fantastic opportunity to make new friends with similar interests and, after conquering a snowy mountain or spending a night in a chilly bothy, these are friendships with bonds that are hard to break.

An Adrenalin-filled Active Adventure

A group of solo travellers canyoning in wales

If wild activities, surges of adrenalin and days spent in stunning rugged landscapes are your cup of tea, ourAdventure North Wales tour could be the travel experience you are looking for. The best thing about a tour packed full of extreme outdoor pursuits is that you are guaranteed to be led by guides who have incredible knowledge of not only the sport itself but also the local area.

Trying to organise activities when travelling alone can be stressful and difficult. For example if you want to book a white water rafting trip but can’t find enough people to fill the boat, chances are you’ll wind up having to do something else instead. On a tour, this won’t be a problem. You’ll have a group of newly-made friends, consisting of other keen solo travellers, couples and friend groups, to cheer you on when the nerves start to kick in and stop you from backing out of something that has been waiting unticked on your bucket list for years. Similarly, you could always take on a mountain hike alone when travelling but wouldn’t it be better if you had a guide pointing out landmarks and filling you with stories of local myths, while someone else unexpectedly offers you a much-needed chocolate bar? Onour North Wales tour, you’ll also experience a night on a private island filled only with the squawks of seabirds; an experience it would be difficult to access and afford as a party of one.

Tripssuch as these provide the perfect blend of creating life long memories with a great group of people, finding moments of solitude in which to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature and do some soul searching. Scramble through the mossy river gorges of the Snowdonia national park as a group and push off in your kayak from the golden sand beaches of Anglesey, while enjoying the peace and quiet of a remote island filled with razorbills and cormorants or a peaceful afternoon wandering the quaint shops of Betws-y-Coed with its iconic grey slate buildings and bubbling river.

Learning New Skills and Getting Some ‘Me’ Time

For many, solo adventure travel provides an opportunity to try something new, something few of their friends are interested in pursuing. In this case, an organised retreat themed around trail running, paddleboarding or maybeour surf and yoga weekend could be the perfect trip to learn a new skill and indulge in a bit of ‘me’ time.

Our Surf & Yoga Retreat is based in the Pembrokeshire Coast national park and sees you spend two days learning to surf with local experts. Not only will they share their top tips on surfing techniques and the insider lingo, but also information on the surrounding beaches and wildlife. Whether you’ll be able to take all this in whilst laughing as a group at your inevitable inelegant splashes into the sea is another matter! The afternoons are left free, allowing you to have the freedom that is so important in solo travel. You can explore the tiny city of St Davids, hone your surfing skills further or spend time reflecting and relaxing with a calming yoga class, surrounded only by the sound of the sea.

Stay relaxed and even save money

On a group tour you won’t feel the relaxation from these activities unravel at the end of the day, as the stress of finding a nice hotel and arranging transport to / from the beach is all done for you. You can even save money as a solo traveller by taking part in a tour by opting to share a room with another eager wanderer who is going it alone. It’ll even give you a head start on meeting new people who share just the same amount of nervous excitement as you!

What aspect of solo adventure travel gets you most excited and causes your fingers to linger over the‘book now’ button?