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Advice for a single traveler
Old 09-26-2012, 06:50 PM   #1
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Advice for a single traveler

I'm not interested in doing a lot of socializing on a trip...I'd just like to visit some places and not feel completely left out of the loop. Perhaps it's not possible but can anyone recommend something? I could just get in the car and drive around but that doesn't sound like much fun.

I guess my concern is that if I signed on with some travel group that organizes a "singles" trip the agenda is going to be geared toward the hooking up of people rather then focusing on the sites.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:17 PM   #2
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Have you checked out Road Scholars? Road Scholar: Educational Travel and Learning Vacations for Adults from Alaska to Italy
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:28 PM   #3
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If it is a popular destination from your city, there may be a meetup group (meetup.com) that goes there that you could try it once and see if that works. I live in Maryland and it seems like every week there is some sort of a "Day in NYC" meetup group. But I have never gone on any so don't know what they are like.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:29 PM   #4
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Not sure what type of travel you're interested in.

A few years ago, I did a biking trip in Greece with Classic Adventures. Bicycle Tours, Biking Trips, European Cycling Vacations Cross Country Bike Adventure - Classic Adventures - Bicycling Vacation Tours Since 1979 They had an option where, instead of paying a steep single supplement, if you opted for it, they would assign you a same-sex roommate, thereby saving each person from paying the supplement. That worked out well for me.

Other tour operators, G Adventures for example, don't charge a single supplement. Adventure Travel & Tours - G Adventures

Perhaps you might want to seek out tours that offer similar arrangements.

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Old 09-26-2012, 07:59 PM   #5
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Cruises are good for solos. You can go on organized excursions with a group or do your own thing.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:51 PM   #6
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Log on to a travel forum oriented toward your destination city or country and see if any fellow travelers want to meet up during the time span you are there? One forum that I used to refer to (as a lurker only) years ago was Lonely Planet Thorn Tree forums. Thorn Tree travel forum - Lonely Planet Haven't looked at them in years though.

Another thought might be to stay in a hostel or some place that has some shared common areas or breakfast/lunch included so you could meet fellow travelers. When we stayed in Buenos Aires, there was a free full breakfast each morning and we met a few different people/groups this way. One couple was from the US and lived less than 100 miles from us. We never ended up hanging out with them or touring with them (DW is rather introverted so I didn't broach the subject), but we exchanged some travel tips on the city that benefited us financially and made our last day much much more comfortable (limo service was recommended cheaper than taxi and worked out way better).
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:09 PM   #7
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Here are some of my strategies:

1. Bike trip in France: group tour, matched up with same sex roommate (who was hilarious but a bit of a princess). Excellent experience.
2. Club Med in Mexico: matched up. We got on well.
3. Club Med in Portugal. Met and got to know lots of interesting people.
4. Caribbean cruise: paid for with frequent flyer points. Otherwise would have been expensive. It was great packing only once!
5. Guided tour (South America). Became quite friendly with some of the group over 2.5 weeks.
6. Get own place. Frowned upon by Board members as it is not LBYM.
7. Vacation around a conference. This is more applicable during w*rking years. Planning one in Hawaii in February. Have cruised this way. Have explored California by car after a conference. It's very cost effective because you are flying there anyway, and many of the expenses are tax deductible. But you could do it for any interest group you belong to (e.g. the Italian Renaissance Art Society might be fun!).
8. Visit relatives. This gets old very quickly.
9. Staycation. This is the cheapest and can be the best vacation if you are fortunate to live in a nice place! Get all the tourist info and visit all the quirky little places you never saw before.

Stuff I would like to try:
Theme vacation, e.g. music festivals, river cruising, Christmas markets, gourmet cooking course in Europe
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:03 AM   #8
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I'd highly recommend a coach tour, many have deals where they can match you up with a same sex roommate, or you can just pay a single supplement to have you own room. When DH and I have been on them, we found it pretty easy to be as social as we wanted (not very at first, more social after we drink). Depending on the tour you'll have varying amounts of free time, and you'd be free to be by yourself, or you'd probably be able to find others to tag along with if you want. There's usually a bit of communal dining, so you don't have to be on your own, but taking a book to dinner would probably keep people away.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:55 AM   #9
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Most of my vacations over the years have been alone.

My favorites (outside of pure bicycle touring, of course) :

ferry tour of SE Alaska : Fly to Ketchikan, hop on a ferry to Sitka, stay a few days (renting a bike or car), repeat to Juneau / Haines / Skagway / back to Ketchikan. Good 2 weeks.

San Juan Islands, WA : Fly to Seattle, train / bus to Anacortes, ferry to San Juan Island for cheap motel, rent bike or car, each morning ferry to (Lopez, Orcas, Shaw) island and explore. Good 1 week.

Alaskan Coast : 1 week cruise from Vancouver BC to Seward, AK (Holland America only 50% extra single supplement), a few hours on a bus to Homer AK, 1 week ferry trip on Tustumena out to Aleutian Islands and back to Seward stopping at many small towns with time for walking tours, a couple days on the ferry Kennicott back to Ketchikan, fly home. Good 3 weeks.

On each of the Alaska ferries you can camp out up on the top deck, sleep in the movie theatres / lounges, or get a cabin. I have done in both ways, and recommend the cabin if you can get one.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:03 PM   #10
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I can't comment on best types of trips for singles, but I travel alone quite a bit on destination trips. Going with friends in a of couple weeks, but already have trip alone booked in January back to same place. To me it is a mind set. First time I did it, I felt like a loser on the plane. Halfway through it, I was thinking I really like this. Now I go by myself half the time because my GF and friends still work. I can strike up conversations with anyone usually, or I can stay to myself depending on how I feel like.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:21 PM   #11
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Road Scholars.org -- no pressure for singles. You can choose to room with another single of the same gender or pay a little more for a single supplement. It is by no means a match-making service. You can be as social (or not) as you want.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:39 PM   #12
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Or just research where you want to visit and plan out itineraries on your own and go.

Guided tours are mostly geared towards couples.

But you can book your own flight, hotel to any city in the world. Once you get there, you can visit the sights on your own or book a local tour, like a biking or walking tour.

They have other themes like a dinner or lunch combined with touring various attractions.

A tour operator will have packages that cover most of everything but you don't have the flexibility and you probably pay a single supplement.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:21 AM   #13
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I'm still working and often build a vacation around professional conferences, as meadbh suggests. I just booked a conference in Boston in late March and built in 4 extra days of vacation.

I've taken two guided European bike trips, one through Ireland with the Sierra Club, and the other along the Danube with another tour company. The Ireland trip was fabulous; I shared a room with another female and there were mostly singles on the trip. On the Danube trip I was the only single, and felt very awkward in a group of couples few of whom (besides the leader) reached out to me. I ultimately regretted spending the money for that trip and will be more careful if I ever book such a thing again.
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:29 PM   #14
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Well I have this problem too and just this afternoon I booked a week at Disney World by myself. I figured that there would be so much to see and being among lots of people that I wouldn't mind being by myself.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happy2bretired
Well I have this problem too and just this afternoon I booked a week at Disney World by myself. I figured that there would be so much to see and being among lots of people that I wouldn't mind being by myself.
I've been at Disneyland by myself for a day and a half, waiting till my sister-in-law arrived. I enjoyed looking around at my own speed. Have fun!
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:22 AM   #16
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I go solo mostly. Sometimes visit or meet up with friends. I like big cities and there is always a big bus tour. I just strike up conversations. Coach tours and especially small van tours are good - I went on a crazy one to the Champagne region and ended up having dinner with some of them that night in a Russian restaurant in Paris with gypsy musicians. I also do a lot of walking tours (met many, many people doing this - London Walks is tops) and some guided museum/cathedral/castle or winery/brewery tours. If going to Madrid,don't miss this http://www.wellsoc.org/WellingtonTours.htm Also took an intensive Spanish class in Sitges, Spain. Did a group ski week in Aspen. At Oktoberfest in Munich, just walk up to a table of interesting - looking folks and hoist your maß - you will make friends and be singing all night. If you go to Machu Picchu get in a group and stay as long as you can in Cusco - interesting people from all over the world congregate there. I got hooked up with the British Ambassador's wife, her toy boy and a small entourage! I went on one Med cruise which was a full-tilt party. No sure if my liver could survive another. But I did make two friends on that one with whom I am still in contact.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:36 AM   #17
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Have you seen this :

Activities - Find popular attractions and things to do | Travelocity

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolowl View Post
I'm not interested in doing a lot of socializing on a trip...I'd just like to visit some places and not feel completely left out of the loop. Perhaps it's not possible but can anyone recommend something? I could just get in the car and drive around but that doesn't sound like much fun.

I guess my concern is that if I signed on with some travel group that organizes a "singles" trip the agenda is going to be geared toward the hooking up of people rather then focusing on the sites.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions.
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