Pauline is ready to try her hand at solo travel but wants to know where to look for help.
I finally retired from the workforce late last year and I am now ready to enjoy the fruits of my labour by going to some of the faraway places I have always dreamed of visiting. I have been divorced from my husband for over a decade, so I will be travelling by myself. Are there any travel companies that are specifically set up to help travellers in my situation?
A. Congratulations on your retirement and for jumping straight into celebration mode and planning some well-deserved travel.
There are many travel companies that focus their attention on creating great experiences for solo travellers. Some will help you find a travel buddy before you go, while other companies will arrange group travel, so you don’t end up paying the single traveller supplement.
We’ll start by mentioning Encounter Travel, which won last year’s Solo Travel Award for companies offering solo only tours. Encounter Travel was founded on a simple idea; that solo travellers could join travel groups with like-minded travellers without being on the fringe of groups made up of couples. Back in 2006, they stepped in to fill the void for solo travellers, launching a travel company dedicated exclusively to solo travellers. They offer tours, cruises, resort packages and walking tours. Their travel offer includes age-matched groups primarily serving solo travellers 45 years and over.
Another company dealing exclusively with those travelling by themselves is Solo Traveller. Solo Traveller’s main mission is to offer singles various selected group tours to suit all budgets, while keeping the single supplement at a reasonable price. They offer holidays, cruises, adventure holidays and accommodation for singles. You can either travel on a guaranteed twin share basis (the tour operator will match you with a companion of a similar age and gender, and if unable to find a match you will be allocated a single room for the twin share rate), or alternatively, should you prefer to have a single room, you can pay the relevant single supplement.
These two companies should give you plenty to ponder as you plan your retirement travel itinerary. Good luck!
Are you a solo traveller? What advice do you have for Pauline?