This article is a travel topic
Singles or Solo travel is travel undertaken by single or solo people, at least partly with the purpose of meeting other single travellers.
Almost any form of travel can be singles travel. Resorts like Club Med and others cater to an upscale singles market, as well as to other vacationers. For a younger and more budget-conscious set, urban backpacking can offer many opportunities to meet people.
There is also increasing marketing aimed specifically at singles. In particular, many cruise ships offer cruises for singles, and some resorts cater to that market as well. There are also land tours, generally hosted by a travel agency which provides organized activities and is available if any problems arise.
For some, solo travel is all about finding solitude and time for yourself. But for many, it is an opportunity to meet like-minded people and share an adventure with the world. In many ways, meeting new people is much easier while traveling than at home, and your shared experience of your destination gives you something in common with everyone you meet in that place. Here are some ways to meet people while traveling solo.
- Start with the obvious: just be approachable. Don’t be glued to your smart phone or have earphone blasting. Look around, smile, make a friendly observation to your neighbor
- Choose accommodation which has shared social spaces, like hostels or B&Bs. Breakfast is a great time to meet people and share your plans for the day, so set your alarm!
- Talk to people while traveling – ask for directions, ask about interesting things to do around the place and then take the conversation forward
- Offer to take pictures or ask someone to take yours
- Take public transport. You are more likely to meet people in buses and trains than a taxi
While meeting strangers, always be respectful and aware of cultural issues. Smile and be helpful. Don’t be pushy. And remember, always use your common sense and be safe. When in doubt, opt out.
Organised activities such as scuba diving or rock climbing can bring together people who share a common interest. Almost any resort area, surfing beach or tourist town offers some opportunities as well.
- Undertake a short course during your travels, for example in the local language or travel photography. In future, your new-found skills will give you an instant ice-breaker with the less-initiated
- Go on a retreat. Join a group on a yoga, fitness or meditation retreat. Specialist providers can be found online.
- Participate in team or adventure sports. Summer and winter sports alike are a great way to meet new people and create new memories.
When you are traveling alone, it is very important to be careful.
- Carry a personal alarm or download one to your phone or smart device. Keep it handy.
- Be willing to be assertive or even rude if you have to. If you’re not comfortable, don’t be too polite to say so. Better to seem pushy than to put yourself in harm’s way.
- Take decisions at your own pace and in your own space. Don’t let anybody rush you into any decision which could affect your personal comfort or safety.
- Avoid accommodation which is in the immediate vicinity of the train station. Though convenient, such locations are often a magnet for tourists and, hence, the unwanted attention that can come from being a tourist alone.
- Always book accommodation in advance and arrive while there are still plenty of daylight hours ahead. This will give you a safer approach to your accommodation, plus enough time to change if you don’t feel safe or comfortable. Ask to see your room before you commit. Women-only floors might be available, and you should ask for a room near the elevator to avoid long corridors at night.
- Use Google Streetview to check the area surrounding your hotel or hostel in advance.
- Make yourself known to staff (e.g. reception staff or door staff) where you are staying or socializing. Just be friendly. They will remember you and will be more likely to notice and intervene in the unlikely event that you need their assistance.
- Pack a doorstop and use it to wedge your door shut if you have any concerns about key security.
- Stay sober, stay alert. Make sure your drink is made in front of you. Don’t leave the drink unguarded. If you have to use the washroom, come back and buy another drink.
- Keep in close contact with people back home, letting them know where you are and where you expect to be next. Arrange to speak to them at appointed times. If this isn’t possible, perhaps consider using a call-up safety service like SafeCheckIn or IAmFine.
- Keep your travel documents, cash, etc in lockers in your hotel room
Financial Protection When Abroad
- Take out a comprehensive travel insurance that covers the medical costs in case of any medical contingency while abroad.
- Use a safe to store your valuables
- Avoid carrying large quantities of cash.
- Use traveler’s checks or an equivalent overseas-spending card.
- Wear your luggage. Specialist travel garments offer large safety pockets to hide your valuables away
- Book with ATOL protected providers only. Not just package holidays or tours, this applies with hotels, flights and car hire, too.
Popular Destinations for Singles Travel
- Europe: Paris, Amsterdam, Spain
- Asia: Dubai(UAE), India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Bali, Beijing
- Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Cairns
- North America:
- South America: Peru (Inca Trail & Machu Picchu), Argentina (Patagonia), Brazil, Ecuador (Galapagos), Chile, Bolivia
Planning Single’s Travel
Tips for Single Woman Travellers
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