How to Travel Alone and Love It

Category: Singles and Retirement

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:

In Antarctica

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.

Go on a bike trip to Europe

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.

For further reading:
Rick Steves Advice for Single Travelers
Solving Baby Boomer Travel Problems
Avoid This Common Regret: Not Traveling More
Why You Should Travel Alone



Posted by Admin on June 21st, 2017

8 Comments »

  1. when you seem to require I list my “mail” – shall I assume you mean EMAIL????

    specificity will be appreciated

    Editor’s Note: Yes, email. To keep spammers from posting. Did you have a Comment?

    by carol king — June 22, 2017

  2. I have found that cruises are a great way to go as a single traveller. Aboard ship you can be as social or not social as you want with the many activities and events that they provide. You can choose to be assigned to a dining table so you have people to meet with for dinner each night. Shore excursions are a great way to have a built-in set of travelling buddies (always safer to be in a group when exploring a new area). Some ships offer hosted singles cruises and some (few) have single cabins or cabin share programs. The thing that I really like about cruises is that you don’t have to pack and unpack constantly, but you get a taste of a lot of different places in a short period of time.

    by Shauna — June 22, 2017

  3. Try OAT – Overseas Adventure Travel. No single supplement. Well organized, great tours, and small groups. On my trip to Israel with OAT, about half of the 16 people were single.

    https://www.oattravel.com/?omtr_sem=ps:Google:Search-OAT-Brand-Top-Brand-Top&gakw=overseas%20adventure%20travel&gamatty=e&mckv=s2upaDsE8_dc|pcrid|190671750889|pkw|overseas%20adventure%20travel|pmt|e&gclid=CjwKEAjw1a3KBRCY9cfsmdmWgQ0SJAATUZ8bm6Zq8bbgX7V8cO0xjzKZcbQbMICEFYMoaMOE_uMH_hoCXgrw_wcB (Look under “Solo Travel.)

    by Jan Cullinane — June 22, 2017

  4. I second the recommendation for cruises. You will meet interesting people from all over the world. It’s not necessary to get together with other singles, couples will welcome you to participate in shore excursions or events on board with them. I was in Barcelona prior to a cruise for a few days and connected with another couple staying at the same hotel. We went on several tours together and out for dinner a few times. We also did things on our own. That’s the beauty of solo travel–you get to do what you want to do. You don’t need to be joined at the hip to others all the time. Although it’s more expensive to get a cabin by myself, I find I enjoy my space and alone time.

    Another example of a good encounter from going it alone. I was in San Francisco with a group of women friends. I wanted to see the new DeYoung Museum. They wanted to do something else. So off I went on my own. Joined two tours with a really interesting docent. When I went to the cafe for some lunch, saw her come in. Invited her to share my table. Had a fascinating conversation–she was from Russia originally. That wouldn’t have happened had I been with friends.

    by Linda — June 23, 2017

  5. A third vote for cruises. My first one as a widow was tough (lots of memories and felt very lonely), but I have my 3rd solo cruise coming up and now I look forward to them. I catch up on my reading and sleep, and find them to be relaxing. I’ve also tried a tour group (mine was with Trafalgar). It was a good way to see a foreign country for the 1st time, and it was nice to be taken care of. They even picked up and delivered luggage to rooms each night, breakfasts were at tour tables in the hotel dining room so we all sat together, and people were required to rotate seats on the tour bus so everyone got to know each other. This kind of enforced sociability and the lack of control isn’t for everyone but I felt very secure with them. The age group of our 60 or so people included some families with kids, some single ladies traveling together, one or two solos and many older couples.

    by Kate — June 24, 2017

  6. I’ve taken several Road Scholar trips as a solo traveler and enjoyed them all. A few times it was about half and half solos or friends traveling together and couples. I choose to get my own room and the single supplement is usually pretty low, usually 25% max. They do have some with no supplement and usually offer a roommate matching service if you’re interested.
    Another vote for cruises but a different kind…river cruises. I’ve done that in Europe when they offer the cruise with no single supplement. As others have mentioned, both the singles and couples are friendly.

    by Tessa — June 24, 2017

  7. I’m taking my first trip with Road Scholar in August. 10 days in Canada. I also opted to pay the single supplement. Will post back how it goes

    by Stacey — June 25, 2017

  8. I agree with all of the cruise suggestions.
    I would also recommend train travel. I love cross-country and long distance trips. Because I travel alone, I prefer to book a sleeper on long trips. The roomette is perfect size for one person, and I can sit there and just gaze out the window at the scenery, catch up on my sleep or read a book. I can also have my meals delivered to my room if I want to skip the dining car. Like cruises, you can be social or not. Many people gather in the lounge car or observation car.

    On shorter trips, I try to book a first class or business seat, because they have single seats. If you want to be social, just book a regular seat.

    Trains and cruises have worked very well for me, and I’ve been traveling alone for 10 years.

    by Kelley King — October 7, 2017

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