MoneyMagpie

May 15

4 Top tips for single travellers

Everyone loves a holiday, but getting away can be tough as a single traveller. This is certainly true when it comes to booking a holiday in the first place – particularly if you have to cough up for a single supplement. But thankfully us Moneymagpies are here to take some of the stress (and expense) out of travelling on your own.

1. Where to start

Over the last few years, travel agents and tour operators have realised that single travellers are a sizeable market, and have taken big strides to make sure they’re catered for. This means there are far more options out there than there used to be, especially if you want to have a DIY holiday rather than a package deal.

The best way to do this is by looking at the big travel websites like Expedia, eBookers, Lastminute.com, lowcostholidays.com and Opodo to get an idea of what’s out there.  See our money-saving travel article here, and find out which are best for you.

One of the great benefits of travelling alone is that you can do exactly what you like, so if you want to chill by a beach for a week then you can or if you fancy an active adventure break, go for it – the world’s your oyster! Travelling alone has the advantage of giving you complete flexibility whilst you’re on holiday. You can act on a whim, without having to worry about what anyone else wants to do.

And don’t forget travelling alone doesn’t mean being alone as there are loads of holiday group tours and packages to go on.

If you join an organised group tour then meeting people is definitely not a problem – but you have to do your research to make sure you will be holidaying with like-minded people. You’ll also often have to make some allowances for where the group wants to eat and what they want to do.

2. Going it alone

single travellersIf you’ve decided to go it alone then it’s time to start booking! You’ll want flights, hotels and possibly car hire too, and the web is often the place to get the top deals. It’s definitely worth shopping around, however, to make sure you get everything you need. Don’t discount your local travel agent – they can sometimes come up trumps since they’ll have a better idea of what’s available than you. STA Travel are very good, and contrary to popular belief offer trips for people of all ages, not just students.

Just remember that many hotels or tour operators will charge a single supplement. Be sure to ask when you book so there are no nasty surprises when the bill comes in!

One of the downsides to travelling alone is that it’s not cheap. You’re paying for all expenses, travel, food, accommodation and everything else to go with it. So maybe you want to try a holiday with friends too.

Instead of sleeping with one eye open in a cheap hostel sharing with eight strangers, why not have the comfort of going for a smaller room with your friends? If you feel like splashing out you could opt for  your own bathroom too. Alternatively, if your friends aren’t too keen on going abroad you could volunteer.

3. What to do next – joining a group

There are loads of different companies that now offer small group holidays aimed at at single travellers with ClubMed offering the ultimate single holiday package. ClubMed basically provide all-inclusive holiday deals in resorts around the world for single adults. As a result, it’s hugely popular and caters for a range of people. From sports and fitness to outdoor relaxation and exploring, they’ve got it covered.

If you want a great experience then companies like Geckos Adventures, single travellersIntrepid, Exodus, Imaginative Traveller and GAP Adventures are certainly worth a look. Although most of these companies welcome travellers of any age, they’re primarily aimed at young people and students. This means that value for money is a key part of their appeal.

However, if you value your privacy then it’s worth knowing that, on some trips offered by these companies, the fact that you’re a single traveller does not necessarily mean you’ll get a single room. As a way of keeping costs down, you may be paired up with another member of the group to share a room. This can help break the ice but you should check before you book.

Jasmine says...

Quote 1

One of the downsides to travelling alone is that it’s not cheap. You’re paying for all expenses, travel, food, accommodation and everything else to go with it. So maybe you want to try a holiday with friends too.

Quote 2

Another way to meet people on holiday is to do an adventure tour or volunteering. There are thousands of volunteer placements on the web from companies such as GVI, Camp America, Projects Abroad, i to i and many more. From doing conservation work in South America to working in hospitals in South Africa, there are loads of things you can do. It should be noted though that some trips require extra cash for the kitty once you get there and flights are not usually included in the price.

But just because young people might be their primary market, don’t assume that these firms only cater to backpackers. All of them offer several different styles of holiday depending on whether you want the experience of roughing it or prefer a little more luxury. The size of group will depend on the style of holiday.

single travellersIf you’d prefer a slightly more mature group of travellers then why not check out Solos, Just You or Shearings? The age range with these companies is typically slightly older, and the holidays generally cater to more discerning travellers, with nicer hotels and more comfortable transfers.

There are also forums on a lot of these sites, which are great for getting answers to your questions and finding out from other travellers what the trips are actually like. You might even get to know your fellow holidaymakers before you leave! In the past, some people looked on these types of singles holidays as a kind of dating agency, but this reputation is generally undeserved and shouldn’t put you off. In fact, 20% of people who travel with Just You are married or in a relationship, but for various reasons have chosen to holiday alone.

Older travellers around retirement age can also look at Saga who offer some holidays specifically for single travellers. Cruises are also popular option with single travellers. Good companies to look at include Thomson, Virgin, P&O, Princess, Cunard and Royal Caribbean.

4. Other Extras

single travellersLike all other holidays, there are some important things to do before you go. Make sure you get the right travel insurance. To find out more, see our article here.  For a price comparison on travel insurance click here. You’ll also want to make sure you get the right travel money – click here for our article on how to avoid the pitfalls and get a good deal.

If it’s a last-minute break you’re after, make sure you check out our guide to last-minute bargains. And whatever your holiday plans, be sure to read our money-saving holiday tips first. Lastly if you need some new luggage then Amazon.co.uk is always a good place to start, whilst APH are great if you want to bag some cheap airport parking.

 

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