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Travelling alone when older

(73 Posts)
Allsorts Fri 26-May-23 06:59:41

I really miss travelling, but my travel friends either gone now or not interested any more. Thought about going abroad but after the solitude of covid and being unwell wonder if it would be too much abroad and that UK is great when it’s hot but not in the rain. Feeling really hemmed in and want something to look forward to.

Bigred18 Fri 26-May-23 07:17:28

It's easy, I love travelling on my own, can do anything I like! Just done Sydney to London return alone, saw family but also did some sights on my own. And I've just had 80th birthday!

Susynan Fri 26-May-23 07:28:23

Try a short break, say to a European city, and see how that goes?

Maggiemaybe Fri 26-May-23 07:47:44

If you don’t fell confident travelling alone, perhaps try something organised like a coach trip, where you will have someone to help and guide you where necessary right from the start? Or if that’s not your thing, a Jet2 holiday or similar - flights and transfers included and a rep on site but only if needed?

ginny Fri 26-May-23 07:55:34

Why not try a short break somewhere interesting but not too far from home first.
I spent a week away by myself for the first time in April. Very relaxing, not having to think about anyone else’s needs or preferences.

dragonfly46 Fri 26-May-23 07:56:11

Are you a member of U3A? Ours runs regular trips abroad.

Grammaretto Fri 26-May-23 08:03:08

Try something new which you and your friends or partner wouldn't have done or liked. Nothing worse than dragging a reluctant around or being the reluctant one.
This summer I have booked myself for a week learning Gaelic on the Isle Skye.
after this anything will be a doddle!

Foxygloves Fri 26-May-23 08:03:53

I’m not convinced it’s only about confidence, it’s having somebody to say “Oh, look at that” or “isn’t that beautiful” to.
I invariably end up talking to complete strangers but it does not quite make up for having somebody to share your feelings and the experience with.

Tenko Fri 26-May-23 08:14:34

My late fil used to go on coach holidays after my mil died . Both in the uk and Europe . He really enjoyed it. Especially as men were the minority.

Iam64 Fri 26-May-23 08:17:34

I’m just back from a week away. I usually book independently but for my first solo trip, booked through a small, specialist travel company.
I self catered but ate out so I met lots of friendly interesting people. I agree with foxygloves though, nothing makes up for the easy sharing of feelings, experiences and ‘what do you fancy doing today’. I’ve a widowed friend who books specialist holidays for sole travellers- not the traditional ‘singles’

fancythat Fri 26-May-23 08:20:01


Are you a member of U3A? Ours runs regular trips abroad.

Nice. Thought there was a local group near where I am. Looked it up for first time.
Our "event" is a coffee morning once a month, for half an hour!!

Grammaretto Fri 26-May-23 08:30:43

I agree Foxygloves but that is another reason for going to different places so as not to be constantly reminded and comparing.
I've just booked to go to NZ to see DS and family next year. The first time in 10 years and the first time alone.
I thought of doing a stopover somewhere interesting but decided that would make me too sad.

EkwaNimitee Fri 26-May-23 08:55:22

There are travel companies aimed at people like you, for example 'one'. That's if you'd prefer travel companions. So far I haven't tried any so don't know what they're like. Saga also have package holidays for solos.

My DH and I were great travellers and I have continued since he died. Sometimes I travel alone, sometimes with groups. I like a mix. I'm not a bold confident person myself but, once on them, I've really enjoyed some challenging trips.

The hardest bit is going to be making a decision and booking something!

Allsorts Mon 29-May-23 17:01:10

Thank you, all of you. Grammaretto, that’s adventurous, how do you propose getting to Skye? I am a member of U3A but no holidays I’m afraid. Everyone I know tags on with family, not possible for me and I would have rather different ideas I think. Booked just a few days away on a coach soon. If the company is good and I don’t feel I stick out like a sore thumb, I will do longer breaks. My confidence has gone, after a period of bad health and getting older and don’t feel part of things any more so I’m determined to start travelling again, I am looking at cruises, the single supplement is such a rip off, basically you pay what a couple would less a few pounds.

Grammaretto Mon 29-May-23 20:31:21

I'm not sure yet Allsorts I may get a lift with another student . There's a train or a bus to Inverness and a bus from there to Skye.
Island hopping is quite easy. i think

NotSpaghetti Mon 29-May-23 21:07:13

Hope you have a good short trip Allsorts and rediscover your travel mo-jo!


Nannylion Wed 31-May-23 11:27:37

Completely understand, Allsorts - but I'd thoroughly recommend giving it a go. I drove back from northern Spain a few years ago with my dog (aka Thelma and Louise), booking accommodation as we went - nobody to say "We should press on" when you remark on an interesting brown sign! But if you'd prefer two-legged company, why not look into this: I get regular emails and am often tempted...

NannyC1 Wed 31-May-23 11:33:38

I've just booked to go to Cannes for 5 days. I plan on visiting Nice and Monaco whilst I m there. Last year I went to Iceland twice once in the winter and once in September. They are only short flights. I go by myself and I love the freedom to just do what I want when I want. I recently flew to Dublin for the day with a friend, drove me mad all she wanted to do was bloody shop!!! Not my ideal day out. I will go back for the day but this time by myself.
Some cruises do solo holidays with no supplement. My daughter and SIL are in travel if you want to message me I will certainly try and help you. Xxx

red1 Wed 31-May-23 11:36:09

i travel a lot ,there are not a lot of grey haired folk at airports!
I know many in their 70/80s who will not fly any more,they are stressful places.Assistance can be found ,but doing it alone?

biglouis Wed 31-May-23 11:37:21

Ive travelled alone for as long as I can recall - rarely with other people. Whenever I did have a companion I always made sure I had a couple of days "escape" from them - something they were not always happy about.

The main problem of being alone is having to eat out without a companion in the evening. I often found that I had done so much during the day that I was tired out by evening and just had room service or a snack in my room.

Decreasing mobility has halted my travel plans and my last trip was to Venice about 5 years ago. I doubt if I will travel abroad again. I dont like the way you get treated at airports.

If my mobility were to improve I would probably try a short trip to a city in the UK to get my confidence back. Some of the posters upthread suggested a coach holiday and this is often an excellent way to pal up if that is what you want.

florencef1 Wed 31-May-23 11:43:03

I am a member of the WI and they organise great holidays and outings . Otherwise I second the escorted coach holidays, you don't have to stick with a crowd.

Bella23 Wed 31-May-23 11:47:55

Never done it myself but friends do. They usually book a trip abroad with optional tours . One uses Saga the other an independent company. They meet new friends and almost always find a small group who have lots in common and choose the day trips together. Others go on cruises where singles are catered for.
One joined a local group for day trips and found it was full of ex "know all ", teachers the men being the worst!!! She moaned to me and I'm an ex-teacher so it must have been bad.
Give a weekend organised trip in the Uk a try to see how you can manage and then broaden out.

annehinckley Wed 31-May-23 11:49:20

I think several companies arrange trips for solos. A friend of mine has used Travelsphere's 'Just You' and been very happy.

knspol Wed 31-May-23 11:56:24

Does anybody know of a women only singles travel company? Have only been able to find one and it's in the US so to go on any of their trips I would first have to get myself on my own to the US. Having recently lost my DH I think I would prefer a women only trip.

Glorianny Wed 31-May-23 11:57:26

I've travelled alone for many years, but got a bit hesitant after covid and with increasing age. The thing that really annoys me about travel companies is the sometimes excessive single supplement. I don't mind paying a bit more but some of them are huge. Anyway if you are in the north and fancy Scotland a company called Lochs and Glens doesn't charge for singles. They tend to offer a few singles when booking first opens then as it gets nearer the date offer more, so you can book at short notice.
I'm off to Italy with a company called Rail Discoveries. Not really bothered about trains but liked the tours they offered so paid the supplement.

If anyone knows of other companies that don't charge single supplements I'd love to know about them