Article by Ceri Wheeldon
I have a lot of single women over 50 say that they would like to travel, but are nervous of doing so alone. Having just returned from a short break (travelling on my own) I thought I would share with you my tips and some of the tips from my fellow travellers.
If you haven’t travelled solo before, look for a weekend or short break in this country where the focus is on an activity /interest you enjoy. You’ll connect with like minded people and have plenty to talk about over dinner.
There are holidays for a whole variety on interests, from walking, to writers workshops, yoga, bridge, art. There really are opportunities to travel and participate in an activity you enjoy- and the activity takes the pressure off travelling alone.
Book a holiday with a company that doesn’t charge a single person supplement – it shows that they welcome and cater for singles.
Ask for the itinerary ahead of time – is there a welcome afternoon tea or drinks reception? Make sure you arrive in time to attend so that you can meet your fellow travellers.
Ask what the dinner arrangements are before booking. Do they have shared tables? Are they hosted by a staff member?
I went on a Discovery Tour recently to Cornwall with HF holidays – I just stayed away for 3 nights. During that time not once did I feel isolated. Many of the people on the holiday with me were travelling alone. In fact some said that they had such a great time connecting with new people on the holiday they preferred travelling alone to travelling with friends, as they mingled a lot more. One lady had travelled with the company no fewer than 42 times – and booked a solo Christmas and New Year break with them every year.
Speaking to another solo traveller on the same trip, she said that she used to work in the travel business, and knows that some cruise operators release cabins for solo travellers with no single supplement – you have to book early as soon as the cabins were released. In fact she had just booked a river cruise on this basis.
Other things I do when travelling solo:
When I travel alone, I download films before I go to watch on my ipad in my room before sleeping.
I take a few pampering treats – a face mask, hair mask etc to enjoy any me’ time I may have.
I decide before hand that I will join in everything – even if I am feeling tired – that I am comfortable with – but will take time out of any scheduled activities that I am uncomfortable with – such as riding a bike – which I have never been able to do (no balance) and which was one of the activities on a holiday I went on last year. I simply took a short walk instead.
There is no reason not to travel just because you are single – you may discover that you actually prefer it to travelling with a (wrong) partner. The world is your oyster. Enjoy travelling solo.