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There are a huge number of reasons to go on holiday by yourself, yet to many, a holiday alone by a beach seems like the most ridiculous idea in the world.
A common worry is that it’s going to feel a bit like when you go on holiday and become a third wheel, guarding all the drinks and bags while your friends go off and dance. In other words, a bit pathetic, and very lonely.
It’s absolutely nothing like that, I promise you.
If you need a little convincing, then read on and let me talk you into taking that plunge, and getting out there by yourself. If I manage to convince you, then I’ve also got some killer suggestions for where to go, and how to get there.
Believe it or not, nobody cares that you’re by yourself at the beach
I wont flat-out lie to you and pretend that absolutely nobody will notice that you’re there alone. Traveling solo is a brave venture, and one that few are brave enough to do under any circumstances, especially women, truth be told.
However, noticing that you’re alone, and then caring that you’re alone are two entirely different things. Someone may even inquire, purely out of curiosity. In this case, you have three options (although I wouldn’t really recommend option two):
- You tell them, simply, that you fancied a break by yourself
- You can lie, tell them your friend is sick in bed
- You slip them your business card and tell them you’re working
- You tell them it’s none of their business
I tend to opt for the third option. It’s a great conversation starter, it gets the word out about my content and nobody questions why I am ‘working alone’. Also, it’s the most true explanation for why I am alone, in my case. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself a little bit.
Nobody knows that (at the time of writing) I don’t actually get a set wage for what I do. They simply have no reason for disbelief.
Remember that many things only have shame attached to them because we go out of our way to attach it.
Wear your solo travel badge with pride, and tell them that you wanted a holiday where you called all of the shots (and drank all of them, if that’s your thing).
You’ll gain more confidence than you ever thought possible
It’s an ironic thought that going on holiday alone could actually help you be a more confident person, but it’s true. You learn to be more decisive, and you learn to have more weight behind your decisions, instead of blithley going along with whatever your friend wants to do.
Even when it comes to simpler decisions, such as what to wear that day, or how to do your make-up, you become the one who decides if it works, and there’s nobody around to tell you otherwise.
It’s not as dangerous as you might think
If you’re a woman, you’re going to hear warnings about the dangers of solo travel way more than if you’re a man, but regardless – the general consensus among non-travelers (funny, that) is that traveling alone is dangerous and that you should avoid it at all costs.
For the most part, a little forward planning and common sense (don’t get in unmarked cabs, don’t walk around in $1,000 jewelry, etc) should see you completely safe for however long you decide to travel for.
You get to call the shots. All of them.
This goes along with the suggestion above, where you build confidence from vacating alone. When friends go on holiday together (or couples), regardless of how well everybody gets along, there’s always going to be The Dominant Friend and the Submissive Friend.
The Dominant Friend makes the decisions and makes the Submissive Friend think that they also wanted to do that thing, and there’s often a risk of disagreement or argument if The Submissive Friend puts their foot down and demands the right to make a decision for once.
When you’re on a beach by yourself, you get to be the shot-caller. Do you want to stay on the beach, reading your book all day? Do it! Do you want to go for a hike? Do it! Do you want to go shopping and then drinking beers by the pool until dawn? Do it!
There is literally no stopping you when you’re by yourself. The sky (and your bank balance) is the limit!
Speaking of bank balance…
You’ll spend way less money
This is one of the first things that I noticed from a solo beach holiday, for sure. Being by myself meant that I wasn’t out drinking copious amounts of cocktails every night (and sometimes every lunchtime, dinner and the very occasional breakfast).
Drinking is one of the most money-consuming activities you can do on any vacation, and being alone means you’ll be less inclined to get smashed at all hours of the day.
Aside from that, you may be less tempted to indulge in what I lovingly call ‘tourist tat’; silly hats, beach inflatables, and whatnot. Your money will be much more wisely spent and, in some cases, not spent at all.
You’ll discover a whole new side to yourself. You may even like it!
I’ll forgive you for rolling your eyes at that heading.
However, doing something that scares you – such as going on holiday without any friends to tag along and be your wingpeople – forces sides of you to pop up that you normally keep hidden for fear of judgement.
This doesn’t just go for saying yes to things you previously never thought possible, but it also goes for saying no and standing up for yourself when the need arises.
You simply learn to deal with problems. You have absolutely no choice but to behave pro-actively when something goes horribly wrong, and just fly along with it when your plans change from under you, without panic, or relying on the dominant party to take charge and fix things.
That co-dependence that you believed kept you confident melts away and it makes you an even better person who may well come home more assertive and self-assured than ever.
Are you convinced? Fantastic! Here’s some safety tips to consider before you go:
- Learn to say no, and understand that due to language or social barriers, indecision or politeness may be misconstrued as a ‘maybe’ or a ‘yes’. If you’re unwilling, assert your decision by saying say no and walking away.
- Listen to your gut. Throwing caution to the wind can open some amazing doors, but listen to that little Mom-Goblin on your shoulder, it usually knows when something’s amiss.
- Don’t fall asleep in the sun! This goes for anyone, but when you’re alone, nobody is there to wake you up or remind you to reapply sunscreen, and this could prove life-threatening later on.
Still convinced? Here’s some great hotels in some of my personal favourite beach locations.
If the location (or hotel) you want isn’t listed here, check out Booking.com for some great deals all year round.
Sweet Homen 1 (Sunny Beach, Bulgaria)
If you’re looking for an apartment over a hotel, then Sweet Homen is your place.
Right on the beach front, it’s in the middle of all the action, and close to literally everything Sunny Beach has to offer, which is a great deal if you’re after good food, good drinks, beautiful ocean views and a wonderful beach strip that essentially becomes a night market once the sun goes down.
Hotel Anna Apartments (Knossos, Crete)
Right on the beachfront, these apartments are extremely modern and flashy considering that 7 nights in September is under £300.
Whilst you’d have to get a bus (or cab) to the main centre of Heraklion, there is a bus stop very close by, which should make getting around no bother at all; you’ll have the fun of sightseeing without the entire city of tourists and locals at every turn.
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