Whether you are currently single or have a significant other who just doesn’t have the same passion for seeing the world as you do, there has never been a better time to choose to go solo. It’s big business today, so you are bound to find the perfect travel experience with other solo travelers to the destination of your choice. And there’s something magical about exploring on your own rather than sticking with the familiar faces of family or friend groups.
According to a recent article by Harvey Chipkin in my Agent at Home August issue, the 2018 Solo Travel Report from Mintel reports that 17 percent of adults took a vacation on their own in the last five years. Of these, a strong 52 percent wanted an escorted tour. And the Adventure Travel Trade Association “cited a rise in solo travel, with one of its members, (companies selling travel experiences) which focuses on Millennial travelers, reporting over 80 percent of its clients going alone.”
Companies to consider
The marketing director of G Adventures, the company I used to bring my private group to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (that’s me, left), said nearly 77 percent of travel advisors in a panel survey described solo travel as being in “high demand” this year. With G this group represents nearly 1 in 3 of their American bookings, and most of them are women. While most choose a ready-made group departure, G has new “TailorMade” programs that can customize for one to 20 travelers in 11 destinations!
We are seeing the same trends at sea. You may wish to check out the single cabins on Norwegian big ships; these are called Studio class staterooms. While a bit tighter on space than a standard cabin, there’s a very cool gathering place where singles can mingle and enjoy free snacks and beverage at a daily happy hour. Many of the river cruise vessels will also dedicate several cabins on each departure for their single guests and not charge the single supplement that has been so common in the past.
Contiki is perhaps the leading company for 18-35-year-olds, and they report that 56 percent of their customers are solo travelers. They have a “match” program at no additional cost, or you can opt for a single room for a slightly higher price. Their social element helps you feel safe and comfortable.
The brand-new Virgin Voyages, with its first ship Scarlet Lady debuting in the spring of 2020 doing Caribbean sailings from Miami, will be a perfect choice not only for solo travelers, but for those who always thought they wouldn’t like to cruise. A very inclusive product, designed for the young and young at heart, Richard Branson is going all out to create a unique adults-only cruise experience like no other. Be sure to check it out!
Another wonderful company that has group departures all over the world is Intrepid Travel. Check out these exciting itineraries at reasonable prices. I know you will find both value and unique adventure opportunities with them. Their active adventures are most interesting to me!
Vantage Solo Travel, if interested, will send you specific solo travel opportunities once you have identified with this group.
Most travel companies are realizing this trend and are creating unique opportunities for traveling solo. Do plan early to avoid disappointment in the availability of solo cabins, for example. Use your travel advisor when seeking a travel adventure that is unique. They have a multitude of companies as partners, providing a seemingly unlimited number of world-wide unique travel experiences. Tired of the same-old-same-old? Gather your single friends or plan to meet some new ones and let’s create the perfect adventure for YOU