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Travelling alone when older

(77 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.

Seamus89 Wed 31-May-23 11:59:56

I agree with Foxgloves about the pleasures of having a companion to share with ; but as my partner is disabled I do travel alone when I have a carers break . It’s not easy all the time but is better than festering at home !
What really bugs me are the huge extra supplements that single travellers pay . I saw a short break to Malta advertised ‘from £569’ for flights , 4 days Hotel etc.
After going through the menus to book online my solo short trip would have cost £2300+ for 4 days 🙀

Lynndy Wed 31-May-23 12:05:26

I go to Spain and Portugal every winter on my own in my campervan. After partner died it was do it alone or not at all. I’ve made lots of friends over the years. It can be hard work but I like the challenge and I love being on the road. I’m in my 70s.

Dinahmo Wed 31-May-23 12:10:48

Back in the 70s I worked for a firm which specialized in the tax affairs of artists and authors. One of the clients that I dealt with was a lady then in her 60s, who talked to me about traveling across Europe in a camper van to Greece with Lady Penelope Betjeman. They used to sleep outside next to the van. Lady B was a travel writer and she died in 1986, whilst taking a party trekking in the Himalayas, aged 76.

Good for them.

One of my friends is booking a rail holiday for singles on the Isle of Man. She's very excited because the I of M has the world's largest water wheel apparently.

DaisyL Wed 31-May-23 12:17:22

Last time I went skiing (aged 78) I went with the family and in order to avoid the single person supplement the travel agent suggested another (fictitious) grandchild shared my room as children under five went free. No one questioned this although we told the hotel that he was ill and unable to come. My other (teenage) grandchildren had a wonderful time all holiday saying 'I wonder how poor little Thomas is? Do you think he'll recover from being run over by that bus? Wasn't it awful seeing all the blood in the road?'

Tamayra Wed 31-May-23 12:21:01

Me too
Just driven 2500kms alone
Off to Europe soon
80 is the new 60 !

LilyoftheValley Wed 31-May-23 12:21:29

Why not try a cruise? You can have company when you wish and quiet time if needed. P&O have daily coffee mornings for single people to meet other singletons. Another advantage is that you cam wander alone at ports of call or join the safety of escorted tours. You are also given a choice of dining table size again, with singletons.

Thoroughly recommend. I have done two world tours and many much shorter ones.

Dcba Wed 31-May-23 13:12:44

Been going on solo trips for about four years now……because I like to visit places that interest me and my husband isn’t interested in holidays abroad any more….says he doesn’t have enough patience for all the inconveniences of airline travel! We live in Canada and i really enjoy holidays in Europe as well as English garden tours so I have to get myself to England where most of the trips start from and plan my trips carefully. This is because I mostly book with British travel companies. My absolute favourite travel company is One Traveller …..they are such an excellent company to travel solo with and their escorted tours are so carefully and thoughtfully planned - I would highly recommend them - especially if you are hesitant about going solo!

grandtanteJE65 Wed 31-May-23 13:13:04

If you have never travelled on your own before, I suggest you book a one or two week package holiday to depending on your tastes, either some city you would like to visit - I would recommend Prague, or a holiday resort if that is more your kind of thing.

You don't have to go everywhere with the group as long as the guide knows you are going off on your own and when to expect you will be back at the hotel, but you do have the advantage that all the arrangements are made.

You won't have to find your own way around unless you want to and if anything should go wrong - sorting it out is part of the guide's job.

There will probably be others on their own and you may well find one or two congenial people to spend time with.

biglouis Wed 31-May-23 13:13:28

Dont talk to me about single supplements. They are a rip off and just another way in which single people get economically raped. I usually avoided package holidays for this reason and booked independently with hotels for just the first night. Then you can bargain with them for a better deal. If they have free rooms they dont want you going elsewhere. This works best off season and non tourist destinations.

Cossy Wed 31-May-23 13:16:20

Try Saga or specialist companies for those travelling alone ? Or a cruise or train or coach trip So easy to meet people Good luck and let us know how it all goes x

Chardy Wed 31-May-23 13:25:13


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

European city - great idea. Can I suggest Ireland, such friendly people, beautiful countryside, easy to drive there as it's same as UK. Airbnb means you can cook your own food so you're not eating out all the time, and watch TV in English!

MiniMoon Wed 31-May-23 13:26:47

Before covid my husband and I went on a cruise to the Norwegian fjords. It was only 7 nights and we boarded at Tilbury. There were quite a few single people enjoying g the trip. I spoke to one gentleman who had been a widower for over 20 years, he was on his 20th solo holiday, cruising was his favourite type of holiday.

mumski Wed 31-May-23 13:27:22

I would recommend Riviera Travel as they do really good holidays for solo travellers. I've travelled to Spain - Seville, Granada etc and just returned from India with them. No single supplements and wonderful tour managers who always go the extra mile to make it a great experience.

SunnySusie Wed 31-May-23 13:37:42

I can recommend HF Holidays. They do special interest holidays in the UK as well as walking breaks. Special interest include singing, art, craft, music, cooking, board games etc. They own lovely country houses where you stay, most if not all have en-suite rooms, and plenty of single people attend. Its easy to make friends when you share an interest and you could start off with a weekend break to see if you like it.

ninamoore Wed 31-May-23 13:47:27

Totally agree , it’s more than confidence it’s some to talk to about the experience.

Norah Wed 31-May-23 14:00:49

I recommend Viking River Cruises.

Easy process, they do it all for you - everything is provided on the boat. Nice excursions off the boat are also included in the booking. We've seen many singletons on the boats.

westendgirl Wed 31-May-23 14:07:10

I loved travelling but what stops me now is the exorbitant cost of travel insurance.Has anyone found a good company who are not out to rip youb off because you are over 80.?
I can recommend Jules Verne who do have some no single supplements , but as with other companies these are often at off- peak times.

pinkjj27 Wed 31-May-23 14:17:14

When I was a little girl I lived in the USA and my dads job took me all around the world except the UK. I grew up longing to see the UK, but life got in the way and I never went anywhere apart from Weymouth.
My 2nd husband always said when we retire, we will go here and there but sadly, he died. Lots of my friend and family said oh I will come with you, one day, but it never happened.
In January I had a cancer scare, all Is fine but on one very worrying day, I just looked up coach holidays rang up to ask a few questions and hung up having booked a week to Yorkshire for later this.
One of my concerns was that I would stick out like a sore thumb being on my own and I am quite an active young looking younger person. She said well on this trip we allowed 5 single rooms with no single room supplement and you just booked the last one. I guess that could be friends traveling in a group but not all couples. She said the average age on this type of late 40s to late 50 early 60s so I should blend in. I have fully paid for that trip
I have now booked 2 for next year including one for Scotland. I probably should have waited to see if I enjoyed the coach holiday but I have to pay in instalments and I got a special early bird deal.
I love my own company and if I need to say oh look at that, I talk to my self anyway so thats fine or I will take a photo and send it to my friends/ family. I tend to be an easy going person that fits in with others so this is a way of making sure that this trip is about me.

pregpaws3 Wed 31-May-23 14:30:39

Travel insurance for the over 70s. If you have a Nationwide bank account they charge £ 65 extra this is for worldwide insurance. It’s an absolute bargain . That account also includes breakdown and phone insurance.

NotSpaghetti Wed 31-May-23 15:05:42

Just thought I'd add that my mother-in-law went on a Artists and their Gardens holiday alone in her 80s (niche little tour) some art some gardens - as she said "not too much of one or the other".

She had a good time and enjoyed the French Riviera. It was a coach trip once in France and she enjoyed having evening meals in company. I don't think many people were travelling together.

If this sort of thing appeals I will ask her who she went with.

Think I might consider this sort of thing myself should I be alone one day...

NotSpaghetti Wed 31-May-23 15:07:34

How lovely pinkjj27
Wishing you all the best for your trip.

Hobbs1 Wed 31-May-23 15:14:28

Cruising is a good way to holiday for solo travellers. You can book organised excursions to the places the ship stops at, choose to dine with other solo travellers, plus there are also lots of activities and entertainment when on board. I’m not a solo traveller, but have done loads of cruises where lots of solos are on board and have a fab time.

Susieq62 Wed 31-May-23 15:21:27

Just done Manchester-Singapore-Perth-Sydney-Auckland-Sydney-Singapore-Manchester on my own aged 72! Family in Perth and friend in Auckland, rest on my own.
Suggest a travel group like Riviera or a coach holiday. Don’t give up!

Anitae Wed 31-May-23 16:03:36

Do you like camping! I'm off to Scotland for 3 weeks on 16th June. I belong to a camping group. Happy to add you !

4allweknow Wed 31-May-23 16:05:02

Not my preference but how about a cruise. Some are quite short eg Scandinavia, Portugal. At least you would be amongst people and there are often coach trips organised for when the ship docks.