A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step – Lao Tzu
We firmly believe that travelling alone doesn’t have to mean travelling lonely. It is a common misconception that a solo traveller is single and unable to find a willing partner to explore the world with, but we know from years of experience, that there are any number of reasons why people may choose to travel on their own. Their partner may have a fear of flying or may have to work, or they simply do not share wanderlust – after all opposites do attract – so whatever the reason and whatever the need to explore, there are ways to travel widely and safely and still end up with a bucketful of photos to share with those left behind.
If you have made your mind up to set off into the big wide world, do not let the stigma of travelling alone put you off. It has been reported that between January 2015 and December 2017, the number of searches on Google for solo travel rose by 40%. Ben Ross of The Telegraph said last year, that around 12% of people were taking solo holidays, with more people making a conscious decision to travel alone. What we can be sure of is, if you do decide to take the plunge you will not regret it.
Gap years are no longer the rite of passage of school-leavers and many people now take a year out to re-evaluate ‘life’ or maybe to celebrate entering retirement. There are travel companies out there that do cater for specific age brackets but for the most part age really is just a number and your interests, desires and activity level will help a travel consultant determine the most suitable trip for you. Maybe you are looking to challenge yourself with a Trek of the Inca trail or traversing the Great Wall of China, or perhaps a more sedate walk of the Amalfi coast with nightly vino tastings is more your style. These vibrant destinations – amongst many – are eternally popular along with up-and-coming trends such as the Galapagos, Ecuador and even Transylvania – garlic not essential!
To make the most of your time – especially if you do not have much of it – an organised group tour is an excellent option. You don’t have to follow an umbrella, or feel that you have lost your freedom as spare time is regularly factored in, but the opportunity to travel with like-minded people, learn from experienced knowledgeable guides, see the hidden treasures not on a map and have someone to join for dinner is certainly worth consideration. Likewise, a cruise – one of the fastest growing types of holiday- offers infinite options to solo travellers. River cruises offer a less imposing number of people to share your holiday with – but cruise lines are fast catching on to the needs of people on their own and offer social events, onboard hosts, introductions before shore tours and even dedicated lounges where you can mingle. Holidays at sea now offer such a broad range of activities to get involved in that there is sure to be something that will pique your interest. Historical and cultural lectures, wine tastings, bridge tournaments, culinary courses, dancing and crafts to name but a few. You will not only leave with plenty of new friends but potentially new skills too. Both touring and cruising offer real value for money, even for solos, as there are a variety of accommodation options – from cabins designed for 1 to reasonable single supplements or even the option to be paired with a like-minded individual so that you share the cost.
At Baldwins Travel Group we have great empathy with travelling on your own and spending time with people you have never met before as it is how a large number of our investigative travel experiences are undertaken. From groups of 6 who bond for life and will meet up every year after, to larger groups where all you take home is a group photo and a million memories, we can certainly offer plenty of advice on how not to feel alone in a crowd.
By contrast we also have some extremely intrepid clients who share their life-changing experiences with us. We once helped a lady plan an around the world tour – on her own – by train. A personal project had led her to try and get as far as she could by rail and visit the only 2 other places in the world that bore the same name as her hometown. It is this kind of ambition and imagination that led her to spend a year meeting an extensive scope of new people, joining certain tour groups along the way and meeting up again with people further along the road. She managed it all with just a carry-on size bag and a determination to see as much as possible. So, if you have an idea, a motivation, a need to explore, we can find someone to hold your hand – for all or even just part of the way, or we can simply help you make a plan and then wave you off on your next spectacular adventure, alone.
Visit www.baldwinstravel.co.uk to find your local Baldwins Travel Group branch and set off on your next solo adventure.