When You Just Need a Break
Sometimes, we want to do it all ourselves.
The hours and hours of research, finding the perfectly-located accommodation, the most reasonably-priced but also conveniently-timed flights, the most interesting day tours, the off-the-beaten-track restaurants and sights, the best transportation options between destinations: it’s all part of the adventure.
Sometimes, we want someone else to take care of the details.
We just want to show up and enjoy ourselves, see the sights without having the responsibility of taking care of every little thing from reservations to hotel bookings to incomprehensible train schedules.
Sometimes, what we really want is a solo holiday.
Most of us have been grounded for a number of months now. It has been a stressful time on many levels, whether our ability to work has been impacted, our health has suffered, or we have struggled with being unable to easily spend time with friends or family.
The desire to travel remains strong. I wonder, though, if my first trip post-pandemic might be more about relaxation and recovery than exploration and discovery?
I think we’re all due for a solo holiday, one that requires very little work on our part. This is where group tours come in.
I know what you’re thinking: you’re sick of paying the single supplement, tired of effectively being penalized for traveling alone.
I have some good news for you!
Every month, we produce a list of tours, cruises, and other travel products with either no single supplement at all, or a very low one. Our supplement threshold for any company that wants to get their featured trip on the list is 20 percent. When you consider the fact that many tours and cruises charge up to 100%, the travel companies on our list clearly demonstrate their commitment to solo travelers.
A Group Tour May Not Be What You Think
Sometimes, when we hear the term “group tour” we picture large groups of tourists gathering around major attractions, traveling by bus, following around a guide. Of course, these exist, and are the perfect choice for some people. But there are so many other options!
Solo holidays can take many forms. Here are some that you can regularly find on our Solo Travel Deals page.
- Self-guided walking tours, where your accommodations are booked for you, you are given a map, directions and tips before setting off for the day, and your luggage is waiting for you at your next hotel at the end of the day. Find out more in this post: Travel Solo on a Self-Guided Walking Tour: Seeing France Slowly.
- Private tours with customized itineraries. The sky (or rather, your budget) is the limit in terms of what is possible.
- Small group escorted tours, generally with 16 or fewer travelers, affording a more intimate experience.
- Semi-escorted tours, which feature less organized touring and more free time to wander about at your own pace, according to your personal interests.
- Traditional escorted group tours for when you just want to show up and enjoy the sights while someone else takes care of the details.
- Day tours that you can add on to your own trip to add something extra to your itinerary and spend a few hours exploring with other travelers. I particularly love food walking tours, like this one I took while Solo in Amsterdam: A City that Left Me Wanting More.
- Safaris can take many forms, from gorilla treks to game viewing drives to photo safaris to birding and more.
- River cruises, some of which are solo-only, making every cabin a private single room with no roommates and no single supplements. Read River Cruises for Solo Travelers: A Great Option to Consider.
- Luxury cruises on fancy ships with spacious suites, special amenities and 5-star service.
- Interest-specific trips for solo travelers, such as those centered around spirituality, writing, painting, yoga, food and wine, architecture, and more.
- Solo-only tours where you never have to worry about being the “third wheel”. Every traveler gets a private room and there are no single supplements. Check out Solo Traveler on a Solos-Only Tour.
Over the last number of months, both we and our travel partners have been fighting to keep our businesses afloat with virtually no revenue. They have stuck with us and continue to cater to solo travelers. And we have stuck with them. I look forward to booking a solo holiday with one of them in 2021. According to this LA Times article, I am certainly not alone: Why is solo travel up in a global pandemic? Deals cater to those who will go it alone.
You can find our monthly list of no/low single supplement trips for solo travelers on our website or sign up here and join the 55,000 travelers who receive it by email as soon as the new list is published each month.
Last updated: 18th December, 2020