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travelling alone

Keen to travel but have no-one to go with? Afraid of going on holiday on your own? Well it may surprise you that one in three foreign holidays are taken alone. This is because people are becoming increasingly independent and confident about travelling abroad, and also because they want to do their own thing rather than what their family or friends want to do. Travelling solo means you have the freedom to go wherever you like, whenever you like. But it is not for everyone - there are pros and cons, which we outline below:


Pros
  • You have the ultimate flexibility both in planning the trip in the first place and in choosing how to spend your time once you're out there.
  • You tend to meet more people because you don't stick around with one set person or group, and because you'd otherwise get lonely.
  • You might make new friends or even find romance, but there are no expectations because the emphasis is on the travelling.
  • You are likely to learn more about the country and local people because it's less of a 'holiday with mates' and more of a 'mission of discovery'.
  • You have a more rewarding experience because you have to do everything yourself - you become more independent, more assertive and better at dealing with problems.
Cons
  • You will quite likely at times get bored and lonely. For some this isn't a big deal, for others it can ruin a trip. Consider how this might affect you.
  • You end up paying more because you won't always have someone to share costs with. Single supplements on hotel rooms can substantially raise the cost of a holiday.
  • Security can be an issue, particularly for women.
  • Meeting new people every day can get very tiring and monotonous, having the same 'get to know you' conversations over and over again. Ideally you want to have some flexibility with time so that if you meet some nice people you can continue travelling with them 'on their itinerary'. You may end up finding a travelling partner as you go along.

Don't rule out going alone. Independent travel by yourself is a daunting prospect but can have great advantages. It really depends on who you are, how much money you have to spend, and what you want to get out of your trip. The alternative option, however, is also worth serious consideration - joining a tour group. It may well be worth paying more for a set of like-minded travellers to share the experiences with, and of course you'd have a guide and a well-structured itinerary with little organising necessary. For longer trips think about overlanding and touring, and for shorter holidays see our list of recommended singles holiday operators below. One final idea would be to consider voluntary work with an organisation that will most likely have many other people doing the same thing that you may end up working and/or living with.

Solo Holiday Companies
Just You Escorted trips all over the world with no single supplements.
The Adventure Company The Adventure Company has a range of solo holidays for active travellers, with no single supplements.
SpeedBreaks Active short breaks and holidays for single travellers - skiing, cycling, sailing, diving, food & wine...
Solos Holidays "The UK's No. 1 for Unattached Single Travellers"
Solitair No single supplements and a focus on health and wellbeing.
Kindred Spirits Small group travel, staying in upmarket hotels.
Friendship Travel "Specialist, knowledgeable and personalised service for the independent single traveller."
Travel One Singles holidays aimed at over-35s
Independent Traveller Women-only small group travel, mostly over-40s.
Saga Cruising, touring and resort holidays for over-50s.

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