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Having the courage to go solo

I did two solo holidays this year and had a ball on both of them. The first was a River Cruise which advertised, ‘no single supplement’. This was a sure fire winner with me. I met lots of other single travellers, some widowed, some divorced and some just holidaying without spouses and we joined together for walks in the towns we stopped at, ate together in the evenings but varied out seating arrangements at lunchtime. Pre-dinner drinks weren’t the minefield they can sometimes be as a single passenger, and all in all, I would recommend this sort of holiday. My second one was to the Mistral Hotel in Crete which was, again, very successful. I’ve put a review of that holiday on this site, so do look at that if you are of a mind to ‘go it alone’. Honestly, it’s fine once you jump in.

Isle of Wight

Thank you @Sooz13 for making your first post and I’d like to wish you a warm welcome to the Forum.

Have a look at our recently released mini guide (another thread in this topic) there might be some useful hints and tips in there for you. There’s many, many articles and reviews on the site from other Silver travellers that may give you inspiration.

Essex UK

I would love to cruise again but find the prices charged for single cabins to be prohibitive. I don’t choose to travel alone but can’t always find an available friend to come along. I am getting to grips with going out alone, can travel and eat out, but wary of being in a strange country alone. Cruising seemed to be the ideal option …..until I checked the prices.
Am I the only person who just needs a small cabin, after all it’s only to sleep in, and who would be willing to accept one on a lower deck at a more favourable cost. Perhaps there are such deals out there but if so I have missed them. Yes I would love a spacious cabin with sea view and balcony, but it’s not essential, and on a limited budget ‘the broom cupboard’ with shower of course, would do at the right price, I would not be planning to,spend much day time there anyway, there’s more to do and see out on deck !!

Thanks for that, David – so interesting and heartwarming!

Albox, Costa Almeria, Spain

Not sure what to do with your retirement? Neither was Ann Capes – so she wrote a “to do” list to keep her occupied and ended up volunteering in Africa. Not suggesting its right for everyone but you can read her interesting article here…

http://www.staysure.co.uk/lifestyle/newsletter-articles/june-2015/a-retirement-to-do-list?utm_source=Newsletter%20June%202015&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Retirement

Bedford

Thank you for making your first few posts @Gillian-Thornton and a warm welcome to the forum. Good advice in your post.

Essex UK

I’m not a single traveller but as a professional travel writer, I frequently travel alone, so can offer a few tips. First of all, why not try a night or two away in the UK to start with – somewhere not too daunting where you will feel comfortable and not worried about security, or language. I often eat alone in hotels and restaurants and learnt very early on not to except the table by the toilets or the kitchen door. You pay the same as anyone else, so don’t accept an inferior table. Sit facing out into the room so you don’t feel that people are looking at you, and take a book (Kindle even better) or maybe a guidebook to read up for next day. I often review my notes over dinner which seems to make people think I am doing a review of the restaurant – try it for instant respect!

When you feel ready to go further afield, try a guided walking holiday. I’ve done several with Ramblers Worldwide Holidays and often encountered solo travellers who have left non-walking partners at home. People are united by their love of walking and not divided into couples. A widowed friend of mine also undertook her first solo cruise recently and said that whilst it would have been easy to sit in her cabin (sorry, stateroom!) or by the pool with a book, she signed up for lots of excursions so she could mix with other passengers.

I think that travelling alone is like anything in life … be prepared. Imagine what could go wrong and then prepare a strategy. Chances are that everything will go fine but you will feel confident you can cope.

Otherwise, normal security rules apply. Be vigilant on public transport and don’t keep all your cards/cash etc together. And always carry a photocopy of your passport in a separate place and leave one at home with family or friend. Now, go plan that first holiday …!

Hi Ladybird
Earlier this year I covered a cruise on Fred Olsen’s ship Balmoral as a solo traveller. I found that Olsen’s really go that extra mile to make sure the solo traveller is looked after and catered for.

London

Hi Ladybird,

As my husband didn’t want to travel, I ‘bit the bullet’ and made the decision to travel solo. Having done one cruise with a friend, I decided that cruising would be the most ‘user friendly’ way of travelling on my own. The first time I was terrified, but met so many lovely people on board who welcomed me to join them, that I was soon in my element. I later discoved Cruise Critic Roll Calls, whereby people who have booked the same cruise can ‘get together’ online and exchange ideas and information and arrange to meet up once onboard. Now I find I have ‘made friends’ before I ever get onboard, having already arranged excursions with them, and then putting a face to a name on the first sea day is a real pleasure, the ice having been broken. I have made many new friends this way, and keep in touch with them via email after the cruise, and on two occasions, shipboard friends have visited me here in Spain. Occasionally I have a couple of friends with whom I now cruise, but sometimes the timing, or health issues intervene, but I don’t let that stop me going alone. Remember, the first step is always the worst, but do it, and on meeting strangers, smile, make a friendly remark and you’ll go on from strength to strength! All the very best., and if I can help in any way, please let me know.:)

Albox, Costa Almeria, Spain
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