Traveling solo has its benefits and but also some downfalls. The same can be said about traveling with friends: there are things on both sides, both good and bad. Here are some five things that make traveling with others the way to go when heading out the door.
Safety – Traveling solo can make safety a little bit more difficult, having to watch your own back throughout your travels. However when you travel with others, you have others that can watch your back and make sure wherever you are, things are safe and nothing weird is going on. Having others can help you see a situation down the street that is not safe and will then help you make the right decisions. It just makes a lot safer when you aren’t really sure if a spot is that safe. While Japan is fairly safe, it never hurts to have someone watching your back.
Someone to talk to – Being alone on a trip can be very lonely and the quiet can get to you. Having someone to talk to while traveling is really nice to have. You can talk about the trip, reflect on old memories and just have someone to communicate with for a good laugh. It helps to break the silence and can add fond memories to your trip.
Being able to find places – When you travel solo, finding things are your own can be hard. When I traveled the first time to Japan in 2017, I struggled at times using maps and Google to find places. Seriously, at one point Google Maps had my meeting spot in the middle of an intersection (instead of the train station). Having another person that can look, research, and help you find things is just nice to have. Having another pair of eyes again can help you find where you are going, even if you are a little lost.
Share experiences – Ever see something so crazy and the first reaction is to turn to someone next to you and say “did you see that?” well, traveling solo, you don’t have this opportunity. However, when you are traveling with others, now you can get that instant reaction. Whether it’s in the moment or later on, you will always be able to share those shared memories together no matter what. I have fond memories with my friends while traveling around Shinjuku at night back in 2019 and running into some drunk Japanese guys that were hilarious. My friends and I can still recall their conversation with us and it still brings out plenty of laughs.
Evenings – Trips are fun, exploring is even more fun, but some of my favorite memories were after a long day and just sitting back in the hotel with a cold beverage. You get to rest your feet, relax, and have a few beverages to get you set for the evening. I recall sitting in our hotel in 2019, drinking beers and watching some Japanese baseball game (could not understand a word but it was entertaining). It was relaxing, giving us time to reflect and then prepare for the next day ahead. It was a great way to become closer friends and also just relax and just decompress after running around all day.