All the single ladies...
Tired of waiting around for a girlfriend to make up her mind? Or waiting for the perfect guy? Of finding someone who can get the same time off as you? Single travel does not have to mean … lonely …. expensive or scary. All it takes is a sense of adventure, some research and a “get off your butt” attitude!
There are some terrific benefits to travelling alone that you will soon embrace!
- You make all the decisions (good or bad!)
- You experience the area through your own personal perspective.
- You will likely meet new people more easily and be invited into their lives more readily.
- You avoid difficult travelling companions.
- You will get in touch with yourself and be surprised at how capable you really are!
So let’s deal with some of the misconceptions surrounding SOLO Travel. Will it be expensive? Not if you do a little research first. There are a number of travel companies who market directly to the single demographic. For example; Uniworld and Avalon Waterway Cruises waive the single supplement on some of their European River cruises. Small group tour companies such as G Adventures and Intrepid Travel offer a “Share Program” for single travellers. You can register as a single women willing to share with another single female. If there are no other single women on the tour then you get your own room at no extra cost! Your other option is to pay a reasonable supplement to have your own room and still travel with a group of people. The large motorcoach companies like Insight and Trafalgar offer similar opportunities. Cruising sadly is the least forgiving of the “single status” when it comes to pricing. The higher-end lines such as Azamara and Crystal Cruises offer single rates for as little as a 20% supplement however most cruise lines charge 200% of the double rate!
Will I be lonely? Well, no more so than you are now! When travelling alone the onus is on you to be approachable. People are respectful of a single woman sitting alone. I learned this myself on a cruise a few years back. After a couple of nights of sitting uncomfortably alone at dinner, I struck up a conversation with a couple over after-dinner drinks. Seems I had been the talk of the ship as everyone was wondering “what my story was”! Did I want to be alone? Once I made it clear that I was open to meeting new friends, my dance card was full!
Will I be safe? Many women are concerned in regards to their safety. Will they be harassed? Most countries are no more dangerous than the one we live in. Trust your intuition. Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t put yourself in situations that you wouldn’t be in at home. And above all else, if you need help ask for it!! Don’t isolate yourself in rental cars or large hotels. Travel via public transit, stay in small local boutique-style hotels, or better yet B&B’s. You will meet so many new people you’ll probably deliberately go off for some “alone” time.
Guide books are excellent sources for single travellers. The Lonely Planet series lists “meeting places for independent travellers” in most cities. This is a great way to connect with travel companions, cheap tours and transport. Remember, starting out alone does not mean staying alone! There are a lot of kindred spirits out there travelling by themselves. Join them!
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