The number of travelers that prefer hitting the road alone continues to grow, yet many tourists remain convinced that solo travel is too risky for them. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. There are many reasons why you should not only try solo travel, but in fact may end up preferring it to almost any other kind of travel out there!

If you still need to be convinced, read ahead on what you can get out of traveling solo, and the best 5 destinations to explore alone.

1. You Can Set Your Own Itinerary


There is nothing worse than missing out on half the attractions, neighborhoods, and restaurants you wanted to see because the other members of your travel group weren’t interested, or wasting countless hours arguing about what to do and where to go. When you travel solo, you are free to make up whatever schedule you want!

2. You Meet More People on the Road


When you travel in a group, it can be hard for locals or other travelers to approach you, and you will also be hesitant to slip out of the comfort zone of your friends’ company. Solo travelers always forge more connections with locals, expats, and fellow adventurers, which makes for truly unique moments you wouldn’t experience otherwise on the road.

3. You Are Free To Be Impulsive


With group travel, it’s hard to deviate from the day’s plans and leave the rest of your group out in the cold. With solo travel, you can let your curiosity take you wherever it may lead! See a charming side street? Follow it! Intrigued by a hole-in-the-wall restaurant? Head on in! It’s all up to you.

4. You Will Gain Confidence and Learn to Rely on Yourself


A solo traveler knows there is only one person to deal with problems and figure out tough situations on the road – him or herself. Traveling alone will give you a deeper understanding of, and belief in, your own abilities and decision-making skills. Almost every solo traveler returns home feeling more confident than before.

5. Your Opinion of People Will Improve


For the most part, solo travel will beat the cynicism right out of you. You will be amazed by how many people will offer to help you figure out the metro system, find the way to your hotel, discover the town’s best restaurant, and show you around while offering you tips, meals, and their phone to use. At the end of their journey, solo travelers tend to believe the world is actually kinder than they previously thought.

Convinced yet? Check out our top five destinations for solo travelers!