Top tips for your first singles holiday

 
Lake Garda, ItalyReally think about where you'd like to go and what you'd like to do. Beach, city, touring, the options are endless. Often a group activity, cycling or visiting Italian art galleries for examples, can create a common interest. Consider where you will feel most comfortable.

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.

Solos HolidaysOnce 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.

Lagos coast, PortugalDealing 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

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Other Members' Thoughts - 7 Comment(s)

  • BarbaraLS
    about 1 month ago
    I thoroughly enjoy, and in fact prefer, traveling solo. I can focus on what truly interests me; do not have to negotiate how long to stay gazing at a favorite painting; don't have to wait impatiently while someone puts on makeup in the AM; enjoy conversing with local strangers instead of being 'unaccessible' in a couple or group; entirely act on whims without anyone holding me back; can read local press or journal my experiences without feeling I'm ignoring or abandoning a companion; etc etc. Truly independent travel is exhilarating! Single supplements in group travel are onerous (and discriminatory & unnecessary), so I stretch my budget by booking the abundant single rooms available throughout Europe. One can go to concerts, theatre and special restaurants without a companion and not feel at all uncomfortable. Don't be afraid....! Buy a good street-finder map on arrival. Take advantage of the internet pre-trip to plan your transport, map local transport routes to sites you want to visit, and book tickets, and you'll be just fine, feeling very confident!
  • Julesyone
    2 months ago
    I can wholeheartedly recommended Bamboo.com. They're a great company. They do Eco tours which is a way of giving back I.e. lots of sightseeing but a focus on community. Time looking after elephants in a Thai village and teaching in Siem Reap. Great if you're single as you're doubled up with some like minded person and the accommodation is usually very good and it can be Homestay. For over 50s there is Young @ Heart so you're travelling with a similar age group. It's lots of fun too. India, Thailand, Cambodia, Costa Rica etc.
  • jeanh
    4 months ago
    A travel rep told me that you will pay far more to go on a singles trip. Go with a group tour and add the single supplement. Check the brochures of the main companies. I have done this several times and found that everyone gets on really well. My husband won't go anywhere and I love the freedom!
  • glending
    almost 4 years ago
    I recently booked for a holiday in Mallorca and almost cancelled it due to concerns that I would be bored on my own. Not so - I had a great holiday at a very suitable hotel in the north of the Island. There is usually some sort of problem with single rooms but you can always try for an upgrade. I found no problem with language, although some "get by" knowledge always helps. Booking on coach excursions is a good idea, as one generally finds someone to talk to and it is a good way of scouting out different locations and hotels to book in future.

    Equally I have travelled alone several times on mixed age coach tours in Europe and have found people very ready to make friends and also to accommodate to the "silver traveller" if one is prepared to be a little outgoing. I have, in fact, found the type of tour which travels from UK and has to travel through the night to a destination e.g. Italy, the most friendly of all. If you have no disability to prevent you sitting for long periods, the sort of "Dunkirk spirit" engendered by overnight travel conditions, which develops on this type of coach tour, leads to considerable bonding with fellow travellers.

    I would never hesitate to travel alone again, except, possibly, in the East. I did not enjoy one overnight stay in Bangkok.
  • Christine_75
    over 4 years ago
    You don't need to limit yourself to singles holidays . Companies like Exodus, Explore, HF ( if you are a walker)and many more have a mixture of singles and couples ( you can always check) I also belong to social group Spice which offers many holidays.
    I do go a lot on my own too, yes mealtimes can be more problematic but choose a restauarant with a view - and never, ever let them give you a table hidden at the back and you'll have a great time especially if you like to try the local food and show an interest in it.
  • Pookiegirl
    over 4 years ago
    Thank you for these tips about travelling solo, I have been divorced since 2009 and haven't ventured abroad since I became a single again, its the evenings that I think I would find difficult - I have spent too many times eating alone and I would love to share that meal with someone. I'm certainly not a shy person in anyway, hopefully I will take the plunge next year and go for a week with one of the travel companies that specialise in single holidays.
  • chrismse
    over 5 years ago
    My first solo holiday was a few days in Paris several years ago. I found the days were fine as I was of sightseeing but the evenings where a bit hard to deal with. I did find the advice about going into a resturant or bar if being followed works well. The waiters went out shouting at some guy who was bothering me. I now tend to spend a few days every few months on a solo holiday and love the freedom.