Picking Solo/Singles Trips: As a female solo traveler, I have journeyed through Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe. I have often connected with a few days river cruise or local tour. I have frequently been the only solo traveler. Fortunately having traveled for work enough, I am comfortable eating alone in a restaurant. However, when I joined a Yangtze River cruise, I was in for a real twist. I called it the “Standup Buffet”. Just like a crowded cocktail party, there was no place to sit! There were plenty of tables so how was that possible? As I made by way to tables set for even numbers, many seats were saved. If I went to sit down, inevitably someone would say: “That’s my husband’s, wife’s, son’s or daughter’s. My guide was no help. One of the last days of the cruise, I had a great idea. I spoke privately with the hostess in the dining room. I asked if 2-3 tables in the front could have 7 or 9 places set not an even number. It worked like a charm! There was now room for a solo traveler. This is but one of the issues from traveling alone.
One alternative is to go on a solo or singles tour or cruise. They may not be 100% individual travelers but make up a group within a large tour or cruise ship. At least, it is one way to have a team when you need them for meals or sightseeing but some time alone, too.
Picking Solo/Singles Trips: How to Choose:
1. By age: Are you a millennial? A senior? Age does not always determine how a group will divide up for more strenuous activities on the tour. On a recent tour I joined two seniors who were great fans at home of taking 50 mile bike rides. (I hesitated to mention how my daily rides were on a stationery bike in my health club.) However, each generation has its own music and tastes which can influence how good the fit is of traveling together.
2. By activity level/destination? Is your goal to relax and have a spa trick? Rock-climbing or hang gliding would be your idea of fun? One challenge about joining a group is that you may not be able to get free time or opt out at will from set tours. So take a good look at the number of excursions each day.
3. Faith-Based: Do you want to connect with singles of your own faith? This comes up especially in singles tours that have a large focus on finding a dating relationship or “significant other”.
4. Community: Are you looking to vacation with a specific community? There are many tours offered globally ranging from LGBT travel to special interests in the arts or sports-focused from skiing to golf.
5. Singles v. Solos: Women-only tours have been popular. However, solos and singles tours are another alternative to meet like-minded travelers. Note that singles versus solos trips and cruises often focus on dating/making social connections. Solo tours and cruises will skip that implied pressure for “matching”. As a result, they are likely to attract a wide variety of tourists interested in a particular destination or subject rather than being social.
For other solo travel tips, see our Blogs on top destinations for the holidays and year-round.