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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.

Cambsnan Wed 31-May-23 16:06:13

I recently travelled to Italy with a friend who became unwell and returned home leaving me to negotiate trains and so on alone. It was a revelation! I became so much more confident and meet far more people than on other holidays. Go for it!

Mishy Wed 31-May-23 16:35:46

I did a tour and a cruise in one holiday on my own and met an older lady in her 80s and the whole group kept an eye on her and a chinese gentleman who spoke little English, so if we went on a day trip, they were kept in safe sight and ensure back on the boat/coach etc. I would go on my own and the suggestion of a weekend on the continent on your own, is a good idea.

Applegran Wed 31-May-23 16:41:03

Lots of good advice here and I will just add that long ago I did a holiday on my own - not an organised group - and wrote a diary every day. This gave me some of the benefits of having someone to talk to about the day - kind of talking to the diary, and it really helped. I hope you will be able to follow whichever bit of advice feels best for you and feel the fear and do it anyway! Good luck.

scrapgran Wed 31-May-23 17:01:28

I have now been away twice with a company called Just You. They have a wide variety of holidays here and abroad and I have met some lovely people. I am going to South Africa in November and Costa Rica in March but have already been to Croatia and Slovenia.

Daddima Wed 31-May-23 17:54:03

I know what Foxygloves means, but, for me, I’d have to give up doing things ( or not doing them) to completely suit myself. I’ve been on solo trips since the Bodach died, but only to places I know, so if I don’t feel fit enough to go out, I don’t need to. Allsorts may find a river cruise a good option, and you can get Special Assistance at the airport if that’s a concern. Strangely enough, a friend I was with today spoke very highly of Ama river cruises, so that might be worth a look.

Bijou Wed 31-May-23 18:15:15

I travelled alone at least three times a year home and abroad until I was 82 and only gave up because I had to ask for help with my walker when going up steps and stairs especially in Monaco.

MaggsMcG Wed 31-May-23 18:46:49

I've booked a cruise through Passion For Cruises Solo Cruising is their speciality. Usually a few more solos on the cruise too.

Glorianny Wed 31-May-23 19:02:40

For anyone going to Italy I do recommend Monastery Stays. I booked accommodation in Venice through them.They sent me detailed info about getting to the accommodation from the airport, I stayed in an old convent really close to the centre of Venice for very little and met a huge range of people at breakfast which was eaten at a large communal table with people from all over the place . Only downside they didn't do an evening meal.

Nannashirlz Wed 31-May-23 20:18:17

I’m always travelling alone, why not get yourself a coach break for something you interested in, I went to Ireland for 4days last month on a coach trip yes a lot are in couples and a lot on their own everyone talks to each other and ask you to join them for dinner etc and you meet lots new ppl. You could pick a day out trips for a day or two. In uk try them first and see how you feel you might think that it’s more than enough for you but then you might think I want to go further.

Gundy Wed 31-May-23 21:49:42

I’m a good one for encouraging people to venture out on their own - be confident, be adventurous, don’t miss out…!

But I’m not so sure I would do it myself. This once fearless fortress (haha!) has retreated to her lair. I think it’s all about my health.

If you’re in top form, I say go for it, all the way! This is exactly how you meet the most interesting people, how some of your most memorable events in your life will come true. (Don’t forget to take out travel insurance!)

AppleGran - your idea for keeping a diary of daily events is superb… that way you are sharing, not only with yourself but to family and all friends upon your return. It can also serve as a reference for a future travelogue presentation to a church group, women’s circle, book club.
Bon voyage!
USA Gundy

Humbertbear Thu 01-Jun-23 08:46:53

Riviera and Saga do trips for singles.

Elsine Thu 01-Jun-23 09:42:30

Lochs and Glens do trips from all over, we regularly go on them and we live in South Devon! Great value for money, yes its a long trip on the coach but they stop frequently and often single travellers.

mokryna Thu 01-Jun-23 11:36:27

It is as others have already said, it is a rip off for solo travelers. I looked up thé hôtel before my trip to Cuba and noted one room was windowless so when booking I specifically said I didn’t want this room, guess what, no surprises and they refused to change.
Last October, Barcelona, instead of being given a single bed I was given a double in a basement with a very high window. It was the same in Seville this February as well as Córdoba. But in Seville I was treated to a double on the third floor, hooray.

An Airbnb, near St. Andrews, I booked a double but on arrival I was give an old single bed because there was a couple arriving the following day and she didn’t want to make the bed twice but it wasn’t cheaper.

However, I did stand my ground in Rome though and it took them a hour to decide to give a room that wasn’t in the basement. In fact I was accompanying my daughter on a work trip (freebie) and I was checking into the hotel while she was at work and I felt she deserved better.

I avoid traveling to tourists’ spots in midsummer as it is too crowded.

Some solo/single package holidays sell the same package to couples.

Keffie12 Thu 01-Jun-23 12:50:38

There are companies like one traveler who do holidays abroad for people travelling alone, whether married, widowed or otherwise.

You just have to be travel alone to use them. I went with them once. They aren't for me
for personal reasons, however it might be something that interests you.

Simple click on destinations and choose where you fancy abroad or home and it shows you where they go which is extensive, abroad or here. It's for 50 plus and the one I went on there was people in all ahe groups over 50

pinkjj27 Thu 01-Jun-23 16:05:46


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

thank you

Glorianny Fri 02-Jun-23 12:22:15


Lochs and Glens do trips from all over, we regularly go on them and we live in South Devon! Great value for money, yes its a long trip on the coach but they stop frequently and often single travellers.

I didn't realise they operated so far south. I loved my trip and there were lots of singles. We shared a table for 6 at dinner.A lovely chance to chat to people.

Nvella Sun 04-Jun-23 16:43:07

I have been to Italy and India with One Traveller and they were really good. They also ensure no-one feels left out by shuffling people around at meal times. They also do Uk trips. Not cheap but everything is included. They definitely cater for the older traveller

Grandma29 Mon 05-Jun-23 16:36:03

Going away on your own can seem rather daunting,
I’ve never been abroad alone but never say never!
I have been in this country a numbet of times alone and really enjoyed it. I find it nice doing what I want to do without having to consult with anyone.
Each to their own of course. I love company sometimes but being on my own would never stop me from going on holiday.
I’d advice anyone to try it, there are loads of different holidays to to try to suit your particular needs. Good luck.

RosesandLilac Tue 27-Jun-23 10:08:08

As DH has announced he doesn’t want to go on holiday with me anymore 🙄 I’m going to start looking at destinations he’s not interested in! So, Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall and Norfolk for starters 😊
I must admit it feel daunting but I’m not going to sit at home and regret I didn’t just go!

tallgillian Wed 23-Aug-23 01:17:23

Try The Women's Travel Network (Canadian) but it doesn't really matter as you would meet up at the destination.

Cabbie21 Sat 25-Nov-23 16:54:48

I am reviving this thread as it is still relevant. I did not manage to get a holiday this year apart from a singing weekend ( which was wonderful) so I have started to think about next year.
I have not travelled by plane for over ten years and am not at all sure I want to, though I might be persuaded for a singing holiday. I did not bother renewing my passport when it ran out during lockdown. I really don’t fancy coping with airports. I wouldn’t want to join my family on any of their holidays ss they like hot countries.

I planned all our holidays in the UK, but they had to suit DH. He could drive anywhere but could not walk far and not uphill. I have lovely memories of many places in the UK and Ireland, and would love to revisit some of them, but I think that may not be a good idea.
I am waiting for a local coach company to produce its 2024 brochure any day now, as I can get on just across the road. For other companies, I would have to make a really early start to travel to their pick up point.
I don’t mind driving for up to two hours, or going by train. One thing I don’t like is going out to eat alone in the evening and so many places do not do evening meals. If they do, I will feel conspicuous eating alone in a dining room full of couples and groups.
I don’t have a bucket list, though I could be interested in a river cruise or the Norwegian fjords maybe. I am going to look at some of the suggestions in this thread. Thank you for them.

Grannytomany Sat 25-Nov-23 18:25:57


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.

That’s a bit misleading. Nationwide now only provide travel insurance if you have a monthly fee paying account. And it’s worldwide as standard so there’s no extra to pay for that.

However, there is an age related supplement you might have to pay and if you have pre existing medical conditions you need to go through a medical screening which can result in many hundreds of pounds extra to pay.

Having said all that, we changed to one of the £12 a month current accounts purely to take advantage of the travel insurance which even with a hefty supplement of around £700 for the two of us was significantly cheaper than we could get the same cover elsewhere.

Grannytomany Sat 25-Nov-23 18:38:00

I’ve mainly travelled solo for the last 15 years and have never regretted doing so. It is a daunting prospect at first but you soon get used to it and quickly find out what you do and don’t like about being solo so you can adapt your holiday style to suit.

My first ever solo trip was with Just You to the Amalfi Coast and although I enjoyed it I found the rigidity of the timing and itinerary very irksome because I prefer to choose myself how long I stay somewhere. For instance, the highlight of the holiday and the reason I booked was a trip to Pompeii but that was only a small part of the day and no more than a hour following a strict route. No deviation was allowed else you had the wrath of the tour guide. The hotel wasn’t too good either and the food was dire so a group of us ate out most nights. The big plus point though is you are in company of (mainly) other solo travellers so there’s never a shortage of company if you want it.

But holidays like Just You aren’t necessarily cheaper than other non solo specialist companies. They just appear to be since the solo supplement is built into the price so is hidden unlike say their parent/sister company Travelsphere where very similar holidays show a separate single supplement.

Most recently I’ve been with JVJ on their small group tours on dates where there has genuinely been no single supplement. They also do a few solo holidays. I rate them highly.

Just do it once. I think it’s more than likely that you’ll do it again.

Cath9 Wed 27-Dec-23 10:46:39

I feel the same as you but the snag with me is having to take medication at a regular time which is maddening.
I went to the Canaries on my own and did book again but had to cancel due to my son’s arrival from NZ.
I am now trying to pull myself to go and visit his new house in NZ
Cath 9

Purplepixie Wed 27-Dec-23 10:57:57

I visit friends in scotland once per year on my own and also go to Devon to my son’s place - all on my own. I love the independence and hate to feel hemmed in and stifled by my husband. He is ok but not 24/7! Go for it. Why not go to Edinburgh on the train, stay a few days, sight see and then head for home. Little trips at first to see how you get on. People are really friendly and you will end up chatting to someone else. Let us know how you get on. Life is too short!