The main concerns that come up time and time again with first time solo travellers are safety and loneliness. Will you be ok in a new place on your own? What will you do if you don’t meet anyone to talk to? Well, good news – tour operators and travel companies are waking up to the fact that there are loads of people out there like us that want to travel alone, but with a bit of a safety net.
Of course, independent travel is completely possible as a solo adventurer, and if you want to go it alone you might want to check out my list of top countries for solo travellers. Also, package trips will tend to be much more expensive than an independently planned solo trip, so if you’re on a budget have a read of this article on how to plan your first independent solo trip.
When thinking about the kind of organised trip you want to go on, the important thing to consider is whether you’ll be likely to meet people with similar outlooks and interests that you can share your experiences with. With that in mind, I’ve pulled together a few types of trips that are awesome for single explorers that you might not have thought of.
Volunteering is a brilliant way to travel alone. You’re guaranteed to meet people with a similar outlook on life, and it’s a good feeling knowing that you’re giving something back to the country you’ve chosen to visit. There are loads of agencies that match volunteers with placements: you just need to find one that suits you.
People and Places offer ethical overseas placements ranging from conservation to child development. Volunteers can choose from placements ranging from one weeks to five months, and not all roles require specific skills or experience.
Another brilliant option for short to mid-length voluntary roles is Pod Volunteering. The folk at Pod are committed to sustainability and actually making a difference in communities, which is something that you should always research when choosing the right organisation to book a trip through.
If you’re looking to help out for longer, VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) are always advertising voluntary roles for “experienced professionals”. They cover sectors including education, healthcare and engineer, and there are posts available all around the globe.
Fancy running away from the stress and responsibilities of your everyday routine and getting some proper relaxation time? A one-man wellness holiday might be exactly what you need.
Yoga retreats are the classic wellness break option, and with good reason. Book Yoga Retreats features almost 3000 different trip organisers, and is a good resource for researching and booking yoga and wellness holidays all around the world.
If fitness is your thing, Health and Fitness Travel offer trips tailored especially for single travellers. Spend a week boxing on the beach or sweating it out at a boot camp and come home feeling stronger and healthier. I mean, when does that ever happen on a traditional beach holiday?
Maybe you just want to exercise your mind and give your body a break? Meditation and mindfulness retreats give you the chance to properly switch off from real life. Explore Meditation have put together a handy list of their best meditation retreats across the globe.
An absolute fail-safe way of meeting people that share your interests is by taking part in an activity holiday; you’ll always have your shared hobby to talk about with your new travel pals!
Love walking? Go on a walking holiday! Walks Worldwide are a firm favourite for, well, walks worldwide. There are loads of destinations to choose from, and you can select the difficulty level that you want from your stroll. So, if rambling is your thing, this is the site for you.
Prefer to sit down while you sight-see? Me too! If so, cycling tours might be your thing. UK based Bspoke Tours offer some spectacular routes, and if you want to go further afield, Trek Travel also organise trips throughout Asia and the Americas.
Food and drink
If you’re like me, one of the main attractions of visiting a new country is trying traditional delicacies, or getting tipsy on local plonk. Booking a place on a gourmet getaway is a sure-fire way to meet travel pals who like to travel exactly how you do.
Arblaster and Clarke is recommended for solo holiday-goers, and has separate homepages for the UK and the US which makes it easy to book from both locations. They also handily break up their tours into new and old world wine regions, so you can sample what you love or try something new (mine’s an old world Sauvignon Blanc, if you’re asking).
If you’re more food than drink, try a cooking holiday. Responsible Travel offers courses all over the world, and if meat isn’t your thing menus can be adapted to suit vegan and vegetarian diets.
If all of the above options feel a little too ‘package holiday’ for you, you can still get a sense of independent travel without having to totally go it alone. With organised bus and truck tours, you can journey off the beaten track through countries and continents with like minded adventurers; and all from the safety of a vehicle and with the leadership of experienced guides.
Dragoman is an incredible resource for this kind of trip. They’ve been conducting overland tours for decades and offer adventures across Africa, Asia and the Americas.
If Dragoman doesn’t float your, erm, truck, Tour Radar is also packed full of options for overland trips of varying lengths and destinations.
Are there other types of awesome solo trips that you think I should add to this list? Contact me here to let me know!