For decades it’s been a challenge for the solo traveller: Where do you go that’s (a) safe (b) where you can meet other people – not necessarily for romance, (c) not break the bank and – last but far from least (d) have fun?
Today there are huge number of options, thanks to the style of travel called “active” travel. We’re not asking you to climb Kilimanjaro, but we are asking you to ditch the hammock, swim away from the swim-up pool bar and maybe find a whole new you. And those of us in the active travel sector must be doing something right for the solo traveller, as fully one half of travellers booking these trips fall into that category.
You’ll note I say solo, not single. You’d be amazed at the number of such travellers who leave their partners at home, because their schedules don’t jive, they want to do a getaway with a girlfriend or pal, or because they want to pursue an interest that their partner doesn’t share. (Cycling holidays come to mind, but more on that in a later issue!)
A great option is small group trips, which are offered worldwide and often with a theme such as walking or culture or wildlife.
A typical solo active traveller on a small group trip is female, 40 plus, moderately fit – and very social. Women in particular appreciate the security of a group and a guide, and the opportunity to meet like-minded people from around the world. (“It’s like a dinner party every night!” one lady famously said.) That’s not to say we don’t see solo travellers of every age, either sex, and every walk of life.
However if you prefer your own company, many active travel companies offer pre-tested independent itineraries you do on your own, in a nice combination of freedom and structure.
And then there’s the single supplement issue – often a thorny one for singletons. Most small group tour companies offer a guaranteed share program; or of course you can pay a single supplement if you wish. Several companies – Headwater, Backroads and Explore come to mind, your Vision Travel agent can provide other options – even have departures designated just for solo travellers.
Another plus is that a lot of these companies allow those booked on their trips to connect online pre-departure so your travelling companions are new friends – even before you head to the airport!
So if you travelling “alone” and want to challenge yourself, make a bunch of new friends from around the world to share some great experiences with, ask your Vision Travel agent for active adventures!