Sick of being ripped off, just because you want to travel alone?
The worst rooms, extortionate ‘single room supplements’ and a general feeling of being ignored or badly treated – this can be fate of the solo traveller.
Some of us choose to travel alone because it can really be a great adventure, bringing you into contact with a wide variety of people and challenging you to sample something out of your comfort zone. Others find themselves travelling alone because they’re single or maybe they’ve been let down by friends at the last minute.
Don’t forget, these costs listed below are at the time of research and the’re for illustration purposes only. Costs will of course go up and down according to the time of year.
- Have a break in the sun – without paying over the odds
- Go Cambio-ing
- Sail (yourself) off into the sunset
- Take a coach holiday
- Learn something new
- Spa, beach and a little bit of action
- Have a really big adventure
- Find a short break, whatever your ‘thing’
- Sample a cruise…
- How to ski, solo
1. Have a break in the sun – without paying over the odds
They’re one of an emerging band of holiday companies who understand travellers come from all kinds of different age groups and backgrounds and they really seem to offer something for all.
They have split age groups into Over 30s, Over 40s and Over 50s. If you’re after a break in the sun this summer, try one of their ClubSolo hotels which means everyone at the hotel will be a solo traveller.
Sample holiday at a ClubSolo hotel on August 15th for seven nights half board in the 25-45 age group: £1,129 (but these are much cheaper once you hit September).
Visit www.solosholidays.co.uk or phone them on 0844 3718860.
It’s a new ‘thing’.
The idea is that ‘hosts’ and ‘guests’ sign up to the site, offering free accommodation in return for an exchange of skills (which is agreed in advance, all via the website). Usually this will mean spending an houror two every day talking English to say, an Italian host, but it might mean that if you have an excellent skill of some other sort (tennis, street dance, juggling…say) you could offer that as the exchange instead. In theory, you could actually work your way around the world for free!
For solo travellers it’s a great way to spend time in an expensive city or a rural community, without having to pay silly money for a single room. Free to all. Visit www.gocambio.com to register.
With Getawaysailing.co.uk you’ll sail for two to three hours a day, docking for lunch in pretty bays and in the evenings at glorious Greek or Croatian destinations. The company specialises in holidays for solo travellers and the evenings are a relaxed affair in excellent, locally run restaurants and bars where it’s easy to socialise with your fellow travellers. All yachts are modern cruising yachts and have hot (yes, hot) showers. Bonus!
Take a look at the ‘Last Minute Specials’ area of the website for latest bookings and inspiration or call them on 0131 564 0949.
Shearings Holidays have run coach trips and escorted tours for a hundred years, they’re the masters of the no-fly break and they now have a new arm to the company called Our Time, designed specially for single and solo travellers. It’s fantastic value and at the time of researching, Our Time holidays all appeared to be in the UK (this may change over the coming months so always check the website all call for details).
Sample trip: eight days half board as a solo traveller to the magnificent Isle of Skye, Fort William and Eilean Donan Castle for £319. www.shearings.com or 0844 824 6351.
This company – an importantly its sister site Vidados.com – has a wide range of adventure-filled trips and you can learn everything from playing tennis in Spain to being a buckaroo in Australia. There are more sedate (though still quite challenging) activities like dance, photography and painting too. This is a company which prides itself on selling holidays to solo travellers without any single supplements and they cater for all ages. Inspirational stuff!
Sample holiday: five nights Italian cooker and horse riding holiday in Tuscany, £695 (plus flights and car hire), surf camp package in Portugal, seven days from £284.
Sarah Bridge of the Mail on Sunday described them as: “…the chance for singletons to go away on your own and yet not feel alone” and this is indeed a specialism. Morning walks, sunset stretches, wonderful spas and windsurfing – available on many of the adults-only, singles only breaks with the company. Most of the activities are included in the price of the holiday and in addition, there are BBQs and other evening activities thrown in for those who want to take part.
Sample holiday: San Lucianu Beach Resort, Corsica, flying on the 12 September, £899, half board.
There are some terrific places to see on our planet and as a solo traveller you have the freedom to do what you want, where you like. G Adventures (gadventures.co.uk) have trips running to places like Central America, taking in Mayan ruins and volcanos along the way. A nine day trip to Costa Rica, for example in a small group, costs from £649.
Another company, Explore.co.uk, have always championed the solo traveller of all ages and have an eight day holiday which includes hikes through the Atlas Mountains in Morocco followed by a tour around Marrakesh from £599 including flights and accommodation.
If you love walking and being outdoors, try shortbreaksforsingles.co.uk who specialise in this kind of break.
Friendshiptravel.com, on the other hand, have some fantastic city breaks to the likes of Barcelona and Marrakesh and you could always sample the delights of a three-night ‘Heartbeat’ tour of Yorkshire! The half board tour, through SimplyTravel, comes complete with a steam train trip from Pickering to Goathland and a meet and greet with Heartbeat star Tricia Penrose.
SPECIAL OFFER: Book this trip by July 15th 2015 and the Simply Travel Group will waive the single supplement. Cost: £299. Call 01625 576527 or 0800 8108608 to book.
Certain cruise companies positively welcome solo travellers, for example, Norwegian Cruise Lines (www.NCL.co.uk) who have expanded the numbers of their single cabins on their newest liners.Their liner, Norwegian Getaway, for example, cruises from Miami and around the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas on a fly-dry cruise with prices from £1308 for the solo traveller.
Once on board, they have specialised shore excursions and a dedicated ‘solo traveller’ lounge and bar. P&O’s Azura liner has 18 single cabins and no solo supplement and some Royal Carribbean liners have solo cabins which means you’re less likely to pay a single supplement.
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines were recently awarded Best for Solo Cruisers by Cruise Critic and arrange exclusive solo gatherings and pair single travellers together for dinner. Sample a short cruise with them from Liverpool to Dublin, full board: Special offer through Simplyluxurytravel.co.uk, £198. Call 0800 8108608 or email email@example.com
Skiworld.co.uk have an entire department dedicated to finding great singles ski holidays. Specialising in catered ski chalets or lodges, you’ll stay with other single chalet guests and have your meals with fellow single skiers.
Sample holiday: seven nights in a catered Ski chalet in Val Thorens, France leaving on 12th December is £884, full board.
Mark Warner have a wide range of solo traveller options (particularly outside of school holidays). For example, Chalet Hotel Moris in Val D’Isere caters for adults only and has a number of single rooms on offer. There’s evening entertainment and the hotel is near the ski school and ski stations. Seven nights in a small double room, leaving on December 7 is £476 including flights, breakfast, dinner and afternoon tea through Mark Warner holidays, www.markwarner.co.uk.