If you’ve already decided to travel solo for the first time, you’ve already taken a huge step. And it’s a good time for you to be making these kinds of choices as the travel market has exploded with companies vying for your custom. This means that there are choices available to single travellers which, 10 years ago, would only have existed for couples or families. Luckily, you’ll find a few tips below on how to make the most of the fabulous offers available.
Choose solo travel hotels/companies
Many hotels and hostels cater especially for solo travellers, and work with solo travel companies. These types of establishments don’t charge extra for single occupancy which is often a deterrent for people travelling alone. How much you socialise is up to you. What’s more is that there are plenty of offers to choose from: whether you’re looking for holidays for singles over 50, or adventure holidays for people in their 20′s, you’ll be sure to find something to suit you.
Meet locals at secret supper clubs
Every traveller dreams of meeting friendly locals and getting great travel advice from them. If you haven’t heard of this growing supper club trend, the concept is simple: hosts advertise a dinner party which usually takes place in their home and open to anyone who wants to go. Often, guests don’t pay a set amount but give a donation at the end which goes towards ingredients. You can find out about supper clubs by research on the internet. Do this well in advance because spaces tend to be limited!
Throw away the guidebook and instead, rely on shared knowledge from other travellers and locals to find out about the area you’re staying in. Not only will you meet more people (and be invited to do things with them), you’ll be sure to be going off the beaten track and experiencing the ‘real’ country. Do keep a good map handy though!
Learn a new language
This tends to be harder if you’re travelling with someone else because you simply don’t have the time to practise as much. Try your new skills out as much as possible and ask questions, questions, questions – it’s the best way to progress. If you end up have a whirlwind romance with a local who doesn’t speak your language – so much the better!
Develop your self-reliance
If you’re the kind of person who always needs other people’s approval, then travelling alone may be the best thing you could possibly do. Try doing a couple of activities that you wouldn’t normally do – this shouldn’t be hard, as most holiday destinations have droves of fun stuff to do. Go on a wildlife safari, take up diving, try skydiving… You’ll come home brimming with new-found confidence.
Get involved in volunteer work
Volunteering can be a very personal thing as beliefs and priorities differ greatly from person to person, even between close friends or partners. By choosing to ‘go it alone’ you can single out volunteer work which is closest to your heart and makes new friends along the way. Charities in all sorts of areas (eg. animal conservation, teaching, building, etc.) are crying out for committed and reliable volunteers.
Choose a cruise
For some solo travellers, the idea of eating alone, possibly most of the time, can seem daunting. This is where cruises come in to their own. Meal times are social, friendly events where parties are encouraged to mix. However, the size of the ships means there’s always a secret corner to escape to if a chat with Mrs. Jones about her bunions doesn’t do it for you on that particular day.
Lalage does volunteer work abroad whenever she can