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Solo travel

Solo travel recommendations

Hit the road solo and open up a world of increased opportunities and self discovery

Top 10 ideas for solo travellers

  1. Search out a specialist tour operator – some companies arrange trips specifically for singles, ranging from a week in the Med (be warned: these may be sun-and-speed-dating jaunts) to more exotic trips, with no romantic pressures, that are simply a chance to meet like-minded solo travellers – without hefty single supplements.
  2. Climb Kilimanjaro. Or Mount Toubkal. Or perhaps hike the Inca Trail. Lots of solo travellers join group trips to do something a little out of their comfort zone. Working towards a tough, common goal also increases the sense of camaraderie and cements friendships, too.
  3. Head to traveller hubs. In some spots – Bangkok, Australia’s East Coast, Latin America’s ‘gringo trail’ – it will be hard NOT to meet other travellers. Head to hostels and bars in these regions and you’ll find instant friends/lift-shares/drinking buddies.
  4. Join an overland truck – overlanding trips tend to have high proportions of singles, and are often the best ways of seeing large areas of the world. For instance, travelling Cairo to Cape Town independently is fraught with red tape and transport issues; go with an overlanding company and they’ll deal with all the hassle, as well as providing a group of companions. Strong bonds are often formed on these trips – you’ll likely make friends for life.
  5. Meet locals and do some good by enrolling on a volunteer programme. Arrange a placement in advance and, when you land in your destination, you won’t be alone – there will be an organisation to look after you; you may even be sharing accommodation with other volunteers.
  6. Mix and match your style of travel – if you’re nervous about heading off on a big trip alone, book a tour in your first destination to give you confidence and help you meet a few people. Then see how you go, perhaps mixing a bit of independent wandering with more group trips to remoter areas.
  7. Ensure your nights aren’t lonely by eschewing hotels for homestays or couchsurfing. Staying with locals will give you real insight into life on the ground, and often meals will be taken with your hosts, avoiding the horror of eating out alone.
  8. Sail off to Antarctica or Svalbard. Expedition cruises tend to be full of solo travellers, the confined environment making it easier to strike up conversations over dinner. Avoid large single-cabin supplements by telling your tour operator you’d be happy to share – they can try to put you in a cabin with a same-sex single.
  9. Learn a skill – perhaps Spanish in Guatemala, sitar-playing in India, ranch-riding in the Australian Outback. Many special-interest trips have high numbers of solo travellers, and you KNOW they’ll be like-minded. Also, longer courses might be residential, making it easier to make friends with fellow students/cowboys.
  10. If you really don’t fancy travelling solo, look for a friend before you leave. Even if your nearest and dearest don’t fancy it, use online forums (such as myWanderlust), Facebook and other social networking sites to see if you can find like-minded travel companions.

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