June 22, 2017 — You are retired now and all set to do that traveling you dreamed about. Europe, Patagonia, Japan, the Caribbean – there are some any exciting places in the US and the world to visit. But there is one problem, you don’t have a traveling companion, and you are worried about doing it by yourself. Sometimes you might be in a relationship, but your partner either doesn’t like to travel or cannot handle it physically. We would love to hear from our Members who have figured out answers to this challenge. But rather than not traveling because you don’t have a companion, here are three suggestions for how to do it:
1. Travel with a group such as Roads Scholars (formerly Elderhostel). They have trips everywhere, and many of their customers are traveling solo. You might pay extra if you are not willing to have a roommate, but you will certainly meet people on your trip. Who knows, you might find a future traveling companion. Certain tour companies like SoloTravelWorld specialize in single travelers. A lot of adventure and biking/hiking travel companies like VBT have many single customers, as do the great outdoor trips led by the Sierra Club. Ask the tour provider about traveling by yourself – they want to help.
2. Go by yourself, but do it smart. You will meet more people in a hostel, B & B, or small inn than you will in an anonymous hotel. Eat at the bar, a self-service restaurant, a place so crowded you have to share a table, or with someone you meet in your travels. When coming back at night, take a cab or Uber. If you stay open to the possibilities, you will be surprised how many interesting people you meet.
3. Network to find a traveling companion. If you are in a hiking or cycling club, chances are a great traveling companion is there. If you know a couple who likes to travel and you know you all get along, ask if you can join them on agree a mutually agreed dream trip. Likewise if you know people who go on lots of trips, ask them about single travelers they have met who might be good companions. Use the Internet and social media to find groups or people interested in travel (always using common sense to stay safe!).
Comments and suggestions. What works for you as a single traveler. Please share your ideas and techniques for the rest of our single travelers.