Whether it’s couple-centric marketing, misconceptions about marital status or the dreaded single supplement, solo travellers are used to being misunderstood and taken for granted by holiday companies. Yet some five million Brits travel solo every year, as diverse and as varied in their interests as any other group of travellers.
Solo travellers may be single, divorced or widowed, or they may simply enjoy a different type of holiday to their partner. A common misconception is that a singles holiday is some sort of ‘lonely hearts’-type experience, but most solo travellers are looking for enriching experiences rather than some sort of cringe-worthy matchmaking exercise. Solo travel specialists Just You sum the situation up perfectly when they say: “Our holidays aren’t just for single people, they’re for anyone who wants to travel solo.”
Here are five reasons why an escorted tour holiday is the perfect choice for solo travellers...
On an escorted tour, you’ll be travelling as part of a group of like-minded travellers from all walks of life. Some companies offer group tours exclusively for singles, while others attract a mix of solo travellers, couples, families and friends travelling together. Tour operators such as Titan include a welcome drinks reception on the first night of your tour, allowing you to get to know your fellow travellers, and group meals mean you don’t have to worry about dining alone if you don’t want to.
A common objection to escorted touring is that you have to spend your whole holiday travelling on someone else’s schedule, but that really isn’t the case these days. As a solo traveller you will benefit from the structure of an organised tour, with all of your logistics taken care of, but there is plenty of time for independent exploration built into your itinerary. This gives you the best of both worlds, allowing you some precious ‘me time’ when you need it.
Travelling in a group is often cheaper than travelling on your own, as costs are shared and tour operators can negotiate special group deals on hotels or attractions. Adventure tour specialists Explore! estimate that around half of their clients travel solo, and they offer the option to share a room with another traveller to bring the costs down even further. But if that doesn’t appeal then don’t worry – many operators including Solos Holidays offer special solo traveller tours where you’re guaranteed a private room, with no single supplement to pay.
Loneliness is often cited as one of the major drawbacks of travelling solo, but it’s not just the thought of dining alone; there are those more prosaic considerations, such as who keeps an eye on your luggage at the airport if you need the loo. Travelling in a group means you’ll always have someone to watch your belongings, and to ensure you get from A to B hassle free. Many escorted tour operators offer door-to-door transfers from your home to your UK departure point, taking the stress out of travelling and ensuring a smooth and relaxing journey from the moment you step out of your front door.
Last but not least, travelling on an escorted tour offers you peace of mind, especially if you’re travelling to more exotic destinations where tourist infrastructure is less developed. You’ll be travelling with an experienced tour leader with local contacts and insider knowledge, who’ll make sure you don’t fall victim to any scams or waste your money in overpriced tourist traps. You can relax safe in the knowledge that your accommodation has been carefully chosen, your transport will turn up on time and your itinerary has been designed to give you an authentic taste of the local culture.