Whether you want to explore the wonders of the world without compromising for a travel partner, or you prefer to unwind with a good book and your own company; solo travelling is growing increasingly popular.
Travelling on your lonesome gives you chance to truly appreciate the beauty of the world without having to follow other members of your party, and really reconnect with yourself. Despite this, solo travel can be more daunting and stressful than holidaying in a group – with no one else to share the burden of organising the trip.
So, if you’re interested in holidaying solo, but the anticipated difficulties, stresses and responsibilities are making you wary – this guide is for you. Here are 10 easy way to take the stress out of solo travel, with helpful input from industry experts.
1. Personalise Your Itinerary
When travelling in a large group, it is easy to assign different responsibilities to each member of the party, making it easier to keep on top of all those small daily tasks. From heading down to the breakfast room for the early-morning coffee run, to making sure all passports and travel documents are accounted for at all times, these little tasks make a holiday run smoothly.
When you’re alone, however, all the responsibility falls to you. So, to ensure you’re not constantly checking where your backpack is and what time your transfer arrives, create a comprehensive itinerary with everything you need. Don’t be afraid to augment the itinerary your travel company sends with anything to make your journey a little easier. Even better, create a digital copy and store this on the cloud (if you know how) so you can access it from your phone, tablet or computer.
2. Make Sure You’re Covered
This tip is important for all travellers, but extra important for those holidaying alone – make sure you’ve got great travel insurance. The last thing you want to do on holiday is worry about what will happen if you lose your phone, or if the flight home is delayed. Get yourself some comprehensive cover, then head out and enjoy the best the world has to offer.
Ian Darkin, founder and director of One Traveller shares his four tips:
3. Search for a Reputable Company
Find one that can clearly state how much the holiday will be, what exactly is included within the price and if there will be any extra costs for certain activities or excursions.
4. Beware of Single Supplements
Just because you are travelling alone, doesn’t mean you need to pay single supplements or share a room with a stranger. There are many companies out there that will not charge a single supplement for you to have your own room and it should be as standard.
5. Seek Advice
You would be surprised how many people in your social circle may have travelled alone. Find out what they liked, disliked etc. Or jump online to the company you are looking to book with and speak to customers interacting with them on social media! Some companies have forums where you can engage with others before you book. Word of mouth is the best recommendation.
6. Do Your Homework
Where do you want to go? What do you want to get out of your trip? If you are unsure, speak to the company you want to book with, their staff should be well versed in reassuring you without pressuring you into a holiday you may not want. The staff at smaller, specialist companies have better knowledge of their products and are often better connected with their guests.
Adam Coulter, UK managing director of Cruise Critic, shares these two cruise-focussed tips for solo travellers:
7. Research the Ship
It’s important to pick the right ship for you, so be sure to research thoroughly. If you’re looking to meet people, the sheer quantity of people on larger ships can make it a challenge. Yet, conversely, if you pick one of the larger ships, which has a dedicated solo lounge, you’ll also have access to an exclusive area where daily gatherings are hosted, making it easier to meet new people. The good news is that many of the new ships launching today increasingly cater to solo travellers, with more solo cabins onboard.
Small ships can make it easy to meet new people thanks to open-seating dinners, smaller excursion numbers and interactive activities, such as game playing and trivia.
8. Make Friends at Dinner
Another great way to make friends onboard is through dining with other cruisers. Opting for traditional onboard dining, with an assigned time and table, means you’ll spend time with the same people, and can establish friendships. Request seating with other solo cruisers, and if you’re keen to avoid families, dine later. For those preferring to eat alone, most ships offer flexible dining plans, which give you the choice to dine solo or with company.
And finally, we have two tips from Paul Joseph, the co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel:
9. Learn the Local Customs
Researching the country or area you are travelling to can be the perfect tonic for calming the nerves if it’s your first time travelling solo. Learning a little of the local language and customs can also help you to feel more prepared and comfortable, and really does make all the difference, as people understand you are making an effort and will be more inclined to help you.
10. Pre-Book Your Transfer from the Airport
We all know that post-flight, jet-lag struggle. Avoid unnecessary stress and plan ahead by opting for pre-arranged private transfers, which will whisk you away from the overcrowded airport to the tranquillity of your chosen destination. Offering safety and peace-of-mind, avoid the time-wasting hassle and begin your solo trip in comfort.
Now you’re armed with 10 helpful tips to take the stress out of solo travel, why not check out our page dedicated to cruise deals for single travellers? Or for a little extra guidance, call our helpful sales team on 0808 252 5982.