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Ideas for Solo Travel
Old 12-18-2009, 10:15 PM   #1
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Ideas for Solo Travel

Living in the upper midwest, it is now time for my annual search for warm places to travel. DH will not be able to join me since he is out of the country for the season. Since I am new to solo travel, I would appreciate some ideas/suggestions.

I have been to Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Mexico on various winter trips and loved them. I would like to continue exploring Central or South America, or the Caribbean.

I was looking at some good deals on Caribbean cruises. What has come as a surprise to me is that there are very limited options for single travelers. The price is usually twice as high for singles.

Most of my friends are married, with children, or otherwise attached. The few single ones are unemployed without the resources to travel.

I have been looking for tour groups that are inexpensive and allow some level of independence. The only one I've found to be a good match is Gap Adventures:

Adventure Travel & Tours - Book Your Trip with Gap Adventures

Just wondering how other single people travel, either land or cruise. Any ideas are appreciated!
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:32 PM   #2
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OK, I'll bite. I'm single, I travel. I'm not a backpacking type of gal. Some of my most interesting trips have been conference add-ons. I'm in the area, might as well arrive early or stay a few more days and see the sights. I admit that sometimes the location is my principal reason for going to the conference. There are some cities I visit regularly, and I choose one or two attractions I would like to explore on each visit (e.g. a night at the opera in Montreal a few weeks ago). I have been on one cruise, which was the setting for a meeting of a professional association to which I belong. In fact I helped to organize it. I was with a large group of colleagues and friends and we had a ball! Other trips have been business related, to places I would probably not have managed to visit otherwise (Saudi Arabia, China, Japan). The most expensive trip I have ever done independently was a tour of South America with Collette Tours, to which I added a couple of days. And there was an escorted bike trip in France, and a package to a spa resort in St. Lucia. I've enjoyed all of them. Now I have a place of my own where I go a few times a year, and I literally hop on the plane with no fuss. I have developed friendships there. But I like to see new places every year or two and there is no single (!) formula. PM me if you would like details.
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Old 12-19-2009, 01:57 AM   #3
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Great suggestions! I was able to tag on a couple of trips to work travels last year. In 2010, however, my work trips are all to rural midwestern counties (think northwestern Missouri or southwestern Iowa) far away from urban sophistication.

I will look into Collett Tours, although I think they may be above my price range.

Did you buy a vacation home or a timeshare?

What opera did you see? I love opera, BTW!
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodSense View Post
I have been to Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Mexico on various winter trips and loved them. I would like to continue exploring Central or South America, or the Caribbean.



I suggest you look into Argentina or Brazil. I have loved my trips to both places.
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:56 PM   #5
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Hi Goodsense,

About 2 years ago, I went on a singles cruise with the travel agency called vacations to go. Discount Cruises, Last Minute Cruises, Cruise, Cruise Line, Cruise Vacation

I wasn't looking for some kind of love boat romance, but didn't have anybody to go with and wanted a short holiday apart from even my kids, who I usually travel with. It worked out very well because they hook you up with a roommate, so your cost for the cruise is no more than the regular per person charge, no single supplement. Then you meet with the group for dinner etc. so you're not completely alone - unless you want to be, in which case you just don't join in on those types of activities. I had a wonderful time and met some great people.

My roommate that I met for the first time on the cruise was great, and we still correspond and have been talking about doing an Alaskan cruise together because we traveled well together - did some things together like the beach stuff, but mostly separate as she was man-hunting and I was not.

If you're interested in doing a Caribbean cruise and being roomies in late January through March, you could PM me. I'm getting sick of this cold weather already!
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:39 AM   #6
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I've not traveled solo before other than work travel and that was "work" only. I too am tired of the cold so a few days ago I booked a Caribbean cruise. I paid the single supplement (double?) and will just enjoy my extra space. I'm not a social butterfly, so I booked a balcony room so that I can just sit there and read if I want to. Because of the high price of traveling solo, I chose a short 5 night cruise with a day in Miami. I'll see how this solo thing works for me, but already I'm looking at cruises for later in the year.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:31 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by happy2bretired View Post
I've not traveled solo before other than work travel and that was "work" only. I too am tired of the cold so a few days ago I booked a Caribbean cruise. I paid the single supplement (double?) and will just enjoy my extra space. I'm not a social butterfly, so I booked a balcony room so that I can just sit there and read if I want to. Because of the high price of traveling solo, I chose a short 5 night cruise with a day in Miami. I'll see how this solo thing works for me, but already I'm looking at cruises for later in the year.
Good for you! To quote a certain hair product company,

You're Worth It!
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:40 AM   #8
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here's an article you may find helpful.

Cruise "Welcome Mat" Varies for Solos - Cruises - Cruise Critic

As the article mentions, several cruise lines are offering single cabins, Several such as Royal Caribbean and Princess intend to incorporate singles suites in the design of new ships etc.

Jim
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Old 12-21-2009, 05:28 PM   #9
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here's an article you may find helpful.

Cruise "Welcome Mat" Varies for Solos - Cruises - Cruise Critic

As the article mentions, several cruise lines are offering single cabins, Several such as Royal Caribbean and Princess intend to incorporate singles suites in the design of new ships etc.

Jim

Thanks! this is a good article with a lot of relevant information.

I like your signature line, BTW!
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:35 PM   #10
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Hey Good Sense,

This deal just came into my inbox, and I thought of this thread.

MSC Cruises Cruise Deal Solo Fares on W. Caribbean MSC Cruises from $699
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Old 12-31-2009, 06:14 PM   #11
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Hey Good Sense,

This deal just came into my inbox, and I thought of this thread.

MSC Cruises Cruise Deal Solo Fares on W. Caribbean MSC Cruises from $699
That looks great. Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:23 AM   #12
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You might want to take a look at our Preferred Links pages where we have a section for Single Travelers.

There are forums you can join, or take an adventure trip or a photography trip. There are also Womenís Travel Clubs where groups are small and tours are value-driven. Or you could choose to stay in another womanís home in some exotic location.

Hope this helps.

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Old 01-14-2010, 11:02 AM   #13
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You might want to take a look at our Preferred Links pages where we have a section for Single Travelers.

There are forums you can join, or take an adventure trip or a photography trip. There are also Womenís Travel Clubs where groups are small and tours are value-driven. Or you could choose to stay in another womanís home in some exotic location.

Hope this helps.

Akaisha
Author, The Adventurerís Guide to Early Retirement
Thanks, Akaisha! Given the number of single people out there, it's about time they have more activities designed for them.

The CruiseCritic forum for searching for travel companions seems to be active and helpful. Luckily for this Caribbean cruise, I think we're set. Very excited about the prospect of traveling to a place that is above freezing!
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:55 AM   #14
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Yesterday I saw that NCL's new ship EPIC will have about 128 single rooms or what they call studios. I wasn't too impressed with NCL's web site but it looks like the EPIC will sail in the Caribbean. The pictures of the studios look like they all might be inside cabins. I'm not sure if I could live in a windowless room that close to the sea.

Norwegian Epic - The Next Level of Freestyle Cruising from Norwegian Cruise Line
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:39 AM   #15
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I just finished reading Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach.

I found the book to be honest, reflective and inspiring. Anyone here on this thread who travels alone might consider picking this up sometime... I very much enjoyed it, as it's a woman's perspective of Independent Travel.

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Old 01-19-2010, 02:20 PM   #16
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Hi Happy2bretired, I tried the website but it keeps freezing on me. Maybe I have disabled cookies or something. I'll try again later!

Akaisha, I think I read an interview with the author on the NYTimes. Unfortunately we don't have a copy at the local library. I just ordered a used one from Amazon. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:13 PM   #17
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I have been on Overseas Adventure Tours trips to Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Tanzania. All were wonderful. I had roommates on those trips but wouldn't do that again. Now, OAT has free singles on most trips if you sign up far enough in advance.
www.oattravel.com
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:38 AM   #18
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Hi Oldbabe, these tours look really interesting! It looks like it's a step up from GAP Adventures, which I started the thread with. The prices aren't too bad either for a 2-week trip.
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Old 01-23-2010, 06:27 AM   #19
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I will make note of this oattravel website, too. The trips look good and I definitely am not enamored of having a roommate or paying almost double for single accommodations.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:20 AM   #20
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Hi Goodsense,

I hope you like this book... I surely did, although the publisher reviews on Amazon were less than complimentary. She has another book out - Educating Alice - which is a sort of continuation, and I would like to read that too.

Akaisha
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