3 Reasons You Should Take A Vacation — By Yourself
You’ve read all the research, you’ve mapped out where you want to go, and you’re ready to plan for vacation. But when it came time to compare calendars with your family, friends, and companions it’s been harder than you anticipated to get on the same page. Don’t get discouraged, you can still make your vacation happen. Sure, it's great to vacation with the people we love — a sentiment echoed by Jillian Dara Rinehimer in her recent post for Thrive Global — that we can get the most out of vacation when we share those moments with someone else.
But spare us a moment for a simple counter-argument: taking a vacation by yourself can be just as—and in some cases, even more—valuable as one you share with others. Here are three reasons why.
1. You’re predisposed to meeting new people.
So what if your friends don’t share the same travel ambitions as you? That doesn’t mean you have to give up on your bucket list. It might be a tough one for the introverts out there, but just because you're not vacationing with someone in tow doesn't mean that you can't foster the same bonds with new people in new places. Creating new relationships with people can be one of the most rewarding aspects of vacationing by yourself. Visit the local watering hole, take a course at a local community center, or just strike up a conversation — you might be able to make a new lifelong friend when you take a day by yourself.
2. You’ll have a real opportunity to reconnect with yourself.
Traveling alone may mean you’ll be more tempted to check back in with what's going on at the office. But taking a vacation by yourself offers you a real opportunity for self-reflection. Taking a day trip to a museum, a long weekend in the woods, or a week touring a new city are all great ways to provide yourself with a real break. There's nothing better than giving yourself the time to rest, refresh, and recharge so you can return a better, more productive employee.
3. Most of the time, it's just plain easier.
Americans leave 662 million days unused each year. One of the biggest reasons is that less than half us are setting aside time to plan the use of our vacation time each year. But when you're taking a vacation by yourself, a lot of the typical excuses that prevent you from planning drift away. When you're focused on the one person you know best, the hand-wringing over how long a trip should be, where you should go, what to do and when to do it, and the ways to get there tends to decrease significantly. In some cases, this might mean you get to fill that itinerary with all the things you've always wanted to do; in other cases, it might mean something as simple as taking a day off to explore your immediate surroundings. The best part? Everything is totally up to you.
At the end of the day, the only person who needs to sign off on a solo adventure is you (and maybe your boss) — what are you waiting for?
Note: The data and statistics referenced in this post have been updated since we originally published this post. Learn more about the State of American Vacation 2017.
February 3, 2017