Top tips for your first singles holiday
Would you perhaps prefer to be with your own age group or is a mix of ages better for you? Companies, such as Solos Holidays, have age guidelines, Many escorted tours have both couples and singles on them. Would this suit you? How about a trial run on a UK group away day (theatre visit, coach trip, garden tour) so you can figure out what might work for you on a longer break?
Some companies run forums so it's possible to meet fellow travellers before departure, and it's certainly a good way to learn about the world of solo travel, even if you just read the posts and comments. Or visit www.silvertraveladvisor.com/forums.
At the airport, aim to spot some fellow travellers (peek at the luggage tags) from your tour company. If you're not ready to chat to others yet, at least you will have someone to look out for at your destination.
Once on holiday, if you are a bit shy, have a few snippets of small talk ready, discussing previous holidays or the journey are always easy opening topics. Talking about food, or your expectations of the holiday are usually relaxed subjects too.
If you have tour guide or holiday rep, do pick their brains. A tour guide will travel with you and should be used to getting a group to gel. The rep has loads of information, and may well be able to introduce you to others setting off on excursions, or trying out a local restaurant! Whilst there will nearly always be a bit of a bore, you generally find one or two like-minded souls in every situation.
Sometimes it can be good just to have time to yourself. If you're eating alone, take a book and maybe pick a more informal bistro style restaurant, where you can sit outside perhaps. Hotel dining rooms can be a little intimidating. Should you get lost, do ask for directions saying you are meeting a friend. Its not always a good idea to advertise that you're on your own. Likewise, clutching a guidebook can be a bit obvious too, read up information before you set off and then enjoy the sights unencumbered. And remember to let the hotel or rep know when you're planning to be back.
Dealing with unwelcome advances. Well, my Granny recommended a hatpin, which is not the best idea! 'My partner/son/daughter is joining me in a moment' can work, dashing into the nearest loo has some success, especially if you explain the problem to a waiter or waitress on your return or in desperation, say loudly 'Go away please, now', in as many languages as you can muster. The problem with walking away briskly is that you can be followed. This way, you should be left alone and also alert those nearby to your situation. All that said, this doesn't happen often, particularly as you are unlikely to be dressed in a skimpy top and cut away shorts.
On your return, visit the forum again. Your positive and useful comments may be just the encouragement a nervous solo traveller needs to take the plunge!
For single travellers, Silver Travel Advisor recommends Solos Holidays
You might also be interested in:
- Top 5 destinations for Solo Travellers
- Travelling Solo One Can have So Much More Fun
- Single Travellers - you are not alone