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Sports travel packages for singles? Is that possible? Most sports require at least two players leaving many solo travelers sitting on the sidelines. There are some surprising exceptions. A case in point? Visiting the Great Barrier Reef’s neighboring rainforest, I spied a “boat-less water skiing” center! No need to find a driver. Just pay the entrance fee, grab a rope and spin around a small man-made lake complete with ski jumps! While that is the ultimate example of “independent” solo sports travel, that is rare.
Another example of solo sports activities? Returning to the US from a business trip in South Africa, I had a four day stopover in the Cape Verde Islands. Off the coast of Mauretania and Senegal, the weather was perfect for golf! Lacking an existing expertise for golf, I decided to try my hand at miniature golf, My “team of one” headed for the miniature golf course and as usual, found most of my shots sailed off the fairway narrowly missing any passersby. This made for great entertainment until I had to tally up my too large golf score and only wished I had had an eraser to “improve” my really bad scores! I knew there must be a better way to have sports travel packages for singles. Here are some practical options to consider.
Option One: Sports Travel Packages for Singles: Go to a resort offering your chosen sport.
Many resorts in the Caribbean and in Great Britain have their own golf courses or shuttle buses to nearby courses. Other providers have “Golf Buddies”, or can sign up visitors to join fellow golfers on the nearby links. Do find out ahead of time if they can match up foursomes for solo travelers. This may be a real issue off-season so bear that in mind.
Destinations famous for winter sports have golf or tennis available in the summer. Think about the fabled ski resorts of the US West, like Sun Valley, Big Sky, MT and New England’s Stowe and Killington. Once demand ends for spring skiing, prices are lower, and outdoor sports are key Even adult camps are seen in the United States where you can have an active vacation without finding travel partners. Again ask ahead of time if they can match partners for solo travelers.
Option Two: Sports Travel Packages for Singles: Before you leave home, book lessons with an independent provider at your destination.
One February, I went on a solo tour of the Nordic region in combination with a work trip to Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Before going, I researched medium-priced hotels near the famous ski area, Lillehammer. I emailed the front desk and discovered there was a public bus daily that whisked skiers to the slopes at Hafjell. Upon arrival, I caught the bus and joined a four day class. Unfortunately, my stylish ski outfit was still languishing in lost luggage somewhere between Washington and Norway. Not to worry! I arrived for my first day of classes in a jacket from the hotel’s “lost and found”, the remaining half of my business pants suit and stocking-feet stuffed into rental boots. After some good natured ribbing by my classmates, I was off to really great Intermediate skiing and surprising sunshine.
Option Three: Sports Travel Packages for Singles: Join a sports club at home or abroad that offers group travel packages.
At home in Washington, DC, I joined a local ski club that sponsored trips abroad. We traveled to the small country of Andorra, based in the Pyrennes Mountains, for economical, world-class skiing. It had quaint villages, budget lodging and world-class snow for experts as well as novices. I signed up for an Intermediate ski class to get the lay of the land. It also gave me the chance to meet new friends and ski buddies. I felt that I was “solo no more”. It was one of my very best solo trips ever.
Although this was designated a sports trip, it was a “two-fer”. It made it possible to see much of Barcelona en route making in a combined cultural/historical tour. Besides not having to find a ski buddy, this is an economical way to have a sports trip with the option for sharing with other solo travelers.
A real benefit of the Internet is that there is easy access to a global community for virtually every interest. If you can’t find a local sports group at home that travels abroad, select several destinations. That way you can contact their websites to connect with them or receive their recommendations for local groups.
More ways to have a sports trip as a “team of one”.
Option Four: Sports Travel Packages for Singles:
Find a tour operator that has active, sports tours and packages.
If you don’t have a local group for your chosen sport, the easiest solution is to search adventure travel for destinations for tours that fit. Bear in mind that the best known destinations like the Swiss Alps for skiing will be the most expensive. However, that is a quick way to begin to research options before moving on to less famous (and less costly) destinations, such as my trip to Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.
Several good options are Explore Worldwide and G Adventures. Both have tours for all ages and at a wide range of levels.
Questions to ask before booking:
- How large are the groups?
- Are the sports features limited by seasons or changes in weather? For example, after years of hearing about the fabled Argentine ski region in Bariloche, I was disappointed one Aug to find lots of ice on the ski slopes.
- Look for tours that provide opt-in and opt-out daily programs. For example, European barge-tours can provide bikes or options to walk as each day begins.
Sports travel packages for singles? Let us hear your own stories and solutions for being a solo traveler on a sports vacation.