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Singles holidays

(81 Posts)
NatashaGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 23-Jan-20 11:46:28

Hi everyone, smile

We're looking to make a page on singles holidays and would love your input about your experiences.

Do you have any tips for someone going on their first holiday alone? Are there any types of holiday and companies you'd particularly recommend? What's been your best solo holiday?

Please leave your comments below so we can help other gransnetters find the right holiday for them. grin

Davidhs Thu 23-Jan-20 13:46:26

I have been on several as a single man, all the groups have been 2/3 women, most of the rest couples plus one or two men. 0f the 2/3 single women half were on their own, the rest with a travel buddy, some a close friend, some with a partner they only ever meet to holiday together.
If you don’t have a travel buddy the tour company will pair you up with another traveler of the same sex, or you can often (not always) pay for a single room.

All the trips I have been on the guide has arranged everything, transport, food and entertainment and as long as you follow the guide there will be no problems. The age groups are often very wide, the youngest I recall is 25 the oldest 85 although 50 to 70 would be a typical age range.

I’m really amazed just how adventurous older ladies are, many have left boring husbands at home and got away for some new experiences.

tiredoldwoman Thu 23-Jan-20 13:57:36

I would like to go on some kind of working holiday with plenty to do .

tanith Thu 23-Jan-20 14:03:03

I’d really love to try a solo trip I’m just so chicken 🐓

Chewbacca Thu 23-Jan-20 14:21:06

Me too tanith. I do go away, for a short break, once a year with a friend but I'd really like to have a proper holiday, preferably in the UK to begin with. Most of the solo travel companies I've looked at seem to offer only holidays abroad and that's just too much for me as a first timer.

NatashaGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 23-Jan-20 14:35:30

Thank you all! smile

For those who want to go on a solo trip but haven't before, what do you most want to know about booking/going on a singles holiday?

Chewbacca Thu 23-Jan-20 14:48:32

Well, as I've said earlier, I'd like it to be in the UK initially although I'd like to know that I could work my way up to going abroad once I'd got enough confidence.
Would the holiday be fully inclusive or just breakfast? The thought of going into a restaurant alone in the evening isn't something I'd enjoy.
I wouldn't want to share a room with a stranger and so would want to know that I would have my own room to retreat to.
I'd want to know the full itinerary of the trip and also pick up and drop off points at the start and the end of the holiday. Also information about special diets at meal times

I'm just a bag of worries and concerns really and its no wonder I'm hesitant to actually book anything! grin

grannyticktock Thu 23-Jan-20 16:16:40

Since the death of my dear husband over three years ago, I have tried out several companies offering solo holidays (One Traveller, Just You, Saga Solos, and Riviera Solos). I've had some wonderful holidays and am going on another one next month. It has meant the world to me to be able to go on having exciting holidays, even though I can't go with my travelling companion of choice.

What I was looking for (and found!) was the safety and security of a group holiday with a dedicated tour leader who could help sort out any problems. I wanted to have plenty of company, but as a recent widow, I didn't want to be with couples, so I looked for solo holidays. When everyone is on their own, you never feel you're intruding or unwanted, because we're all in the same boat. I prefer busy, escorted tours, as I don't like too much slack time on my own (that's when I miss my husband most). I also choose holidays where all or most of the meals are included, which means we all eat together rather than having to decide where to go and who to go with.

With all these companies, the age group is mainly 60s and 70s, although Riviera and Just You don't actually suggest age limits. Women vastly outnumber men - a typical group will have, say, 24 women and 4 -6 men. Although I would prefer a more even balance, it's easy to find friends among so many women.

My favourite company is One Traveller; they can be expensive, but almost everything is included, and their care and attention to detail is superb.

My main problem is that most of these holidays go from London airports, and I live in Devon. I have had to put a lot of effort into working out the best way to get to the airport by public transport, where to stay overnight if necessary, etc. I am pretty good at this now and it is not as scary as the first time.

Nanagransnet, if you would like to know anything more about my various holidays etc, do contact me.

Gymstagran Thu 23-Jan-20 16:50:14

I have been on many holidays on my own and prefer to travel that way. I would say dont limit yourself to solo companies only. Always read all the information fully before deciding and if you have queries ring the company up. You can ask if there are all couples or if any singles are going. The only one I thought might be difficult with all couples was a small group trip up the amazon. However on checking with the operator there were already 3 other singles booked and it was an amazing trip. Just go for it, use well known companies- read the reviews people in general are friendly and if you are worried about eating on your own ensure evening meals are included on most days.

CedarC Fri 24-Jan-20 10:57:39

I am recently widowed and would certainly like to learn more about singles holidays,but would not like to share a room.We had been with Riviera before so I had wondered about them and One Traveller sounds interesting,must look them up.Like grannyticktock I live in Devon and the logistics tend to put me off.

Pinkhousegirl Fri 24-Jan-20 11:02:47

I love travelling alone, but would never use a holiday company. One of the greatest pleasures of solo travel is the people you meet on local buses, in cafes, or simply bump into I the street. I have received such generosity, in Morocco, Italy and Spain. I have found that people are much less intimidated by a single person than by a couple, and freely offer help and advice (even if you don't want it). I think activity holidays can be good (yoga/cycling/walking) but would be wary of a company whose only selling point is that it is for solo travellers. x

Streaky Fri 24-Jan-20 11:05:31

I’d love to try a singles holiday but I am incredibly shy and don’t like the idea of sharing a table with strangers. I think I’d prefer to arrange my own holiday but that might prove difficult and expensive. I don’t drive, so a coach/rail holiday would be ideal if I could pluck up the courage.

JanCl Fri 24-Jan-20 11:06:22

I have used Just You twice, once to Prague to try the company out and then to New Zealand. Both times the arrangements and reps were really good. As someone else has said, the age range is mostly 50 to 70. It's very inclusive and friendly. Small groups within the group tend to form but you also do a lot together. I have also been away with Oak Hall which had a mix of couples and singles of all ages. The different age groups mixed well, which was nice. They were good holidays but the downside was having to share with someone you hadn't met before. This could be a bit challenging, but mostly worked out ok.

Tallulah2 Fri 24-Jan-20 11:22:45

Hi there - I can totally confirm Grannyticktock’s praise of One Traveller - I’ve been on 3 with another booked for April!

And Chewbacca One Traveller do a couple of UK holidays (Norfolk and Cheshire) - check them out online and then ring their office - they’re a really friendly bunch! And please, take the plunge, you won’t regret it!

Edgeways Fri 24-Jan-20 11:24:55

I have had two great holidays with One Traveller and can throughly recommend them. They often have a get together the night before a flight so you can meet fellow travelling companions. The places they go are very varied and different price ranges so I would not hesitate to say give it a go.

hicaz46 Fri 24-Jan-20 11:39:40

Whilst not being a single person myself I have been on cruises and Great Rail Journeys where there have been single people. Both of these are safe environments and on the rail journeys there is always a tour manager to ensure everyone is looked after so I would recommend these type of holidays. I do recognise however that the cost to single passengers is sometimes very much higher which makes some of these holidays prohibitive.

Bluedaisy Fri 24-Jan-20 11:42:42

To the ladies who live in Devon, as do I, and are worried about getting to ie London or Gatwick I moved to Devon from Sussex last year but have to go to Sussex every 3 months on my own for hospital treatment I’ve now at long last discovered the ‘easiest routes’ from Devon. The train goes once an hour from Plymouth or any of the Devon stations to Gatwick airport changing (just once make sure you pick that particular train) at Reading. If you book on the train app approximately 8 weeks before you get good prices and if you phone just before you go you can get assistance if you need it which is brilliant. You can often get brilliant prices for 1st class rain tickets very cheaply 8 weeks before you go too or there’s another app called ‘Seatfrog’ where you can bid on them in advance. Also as from the 29th March the plane has been re instated from Newquay to Gatwick and Heathrow (yay) which again is so easy if you’re traveling from these airports and journey time from Newquay to Gatwick is 27 minutes!

MRGUDER Fri 24-Jan-20 11:49:57

In regards to holidays in UK, why not try AIRBNB where you actually get to stay with a Homeowner but how much you want any interaction is entirely up to you. It is a lot cheaper than hotels with their single supplement and you get to meet some new people to chat to in the evening.
When I first started my days and nights were fully planned out but because I enjoyed the people with whom I stayed, I left it to how I felt on the day and stayed and chatted to the hosts. Read the reviews though.

Esmerelda Fri 24-Jan-20 11:51:20

One Traveller are the absolute tops! If you compare prices with other companies they may seem more expensive but, believe me, they are not because everything is included. My first holiday with them was to Canada (in at the deep end) and I'd seen a post on a forum from someone doing that trip with Just You complaining about all the extras and 'upgrades' so took the plunge with One Traveller and haven't looked back since. I'm currently on my fourth holiday with them in Oman (amazing place) with another one booked for next July in Switzerland, but if you want to start with trips in the UK they do those too. You always get a double room for single occupancy, the Tour Managers (and local guides if applicable) are superb and their attention to detail is second to none.

Dee1012 Fri 24-Jan-20 11:54:01

This is something I'm thinking about but for me the cost is a priority....while I am happy to pay a little more I think some prices are exorbitant!
I looked at one company that advertised "normal" holidays and "solo" ones. In many cases, the cost was almost double for the same holiday and I really can't see the justification for that level of price rise.
So a range of trips to suit all budgets would be wonderful.

annifrance Fri 24-Jan-20 12:03:51

My friend in her 70s, has had many amazing travels with Wild Frontiers all over the world. These tours are guided and take you to corners which you probably wouldn't find on your own. They are expensive and not luxury, but worth it for the incredible experiences.

Someone else I know who is far from adventurous has done many Saga cruises, again not cheap but just what she wants.

Hm999 Fri 24-Jan-20 12:42:20

A little Airbnb in UK or abroad is great for single travellers, and cheaper than a hotel. I have done the UK bit with others (get a group together?) and abroad alone

marionk Fri 24-Jan-20 12:45:40

Visit a good travel agent, tell them what you want and confess all your worries, if they are good they will be able to sort exactly what you want and reassure you. My SIL is a travel agent and he has even gone to the trouble of running an elderly lady to the passport office when she was in a panic!
I would suggest trying a river cruise abroad, everything is sorted for you, all your meals, entertainment, trips and baggage handling and you can get single cabins. You can sit on a different table every mealtime if you want so you meet different people and they are well versed in dealing with the more mature traveler 😉. There were a number of singles on our last trip.

Hellis Fri 24-Jan-20 13:00:49

I've been on my own a few times now with Just Go c I ace

trisher Fri 24-Jan-20 13:01:11

I've been holidaying on my own for ages {20+ years). I haven't used a solo company because I don't like being organised all the time and I don't always want to eat meals unless I'm hungry. I love the fact that I can now book loads of stuff on -line from home. I have used Travel Republic (great for booking flight, hotel and transfers.) Trivago for hotels and airline companies for holidays and just flights. I like to do a few organised trips or walks while I'm away and get to meet and talk to people on those. I did do a coach trip to Germany and enjoyed that except the journey was a bit long. I do worry as I get older that I might have an accident somewhere and someone will have to come from home to find me.But I love the independence of being able to chose what I do, where I go and how long I stay.