Families may be busy building sandcastles and paddling in the surf, but for many people, the holiday season only really starts in September. Kids are back at school, temperatures have cooled and prices are lower, making it the ideal time for solo travellers to get away.
Google data shows that post-pandemic solo travel has risen by 761.15% – and it isn’t only for singles. According to online travel agent Opodo.com, 2023 travel trends show 41% prefer to travel alone. Benefits include being in control of decision-making, the freedom to spend longer in places and the excitement of meeting new people.
Chris Roche, CEO of tour company The Adventure People, recommends choosing a small group escorted tour for people who may be travelling solo for the first time.
“Experiences are always better shared, and escorted tours are a fun, safe and affordable way to see the world,” he says. “A high proportion of our customers are solo travellers and almost all of our holidays are made up of small groups. There are also solo tours specifically for women, led by female guides, adding an extra layer of reassurance for anyone who might be anxious about travelling alone.”
If you are keen to fly solo, try one of these specialist solo trips – many without single supplements.
Beyond the backpackers in Bali
Cheap hostels and beautiful beaches make Indonesia’s flagship destination a popular choice for backpackers, but there are also options for solo adventurers wanting to travel in style. The Adventure People offer a 10-day Bali Bucket List Boutique holiday with private hotel rooms as standard, and no solo supplements. Take a bike tour around the Gili islands, watch the sunrise from Mount Batur and observe macaques play in the lush vegetation of Ubud’s Monkey Forest.
Savouring solitude in Japan
Seeking solitude is central to Japanese culture – where dinner tables set for one are commonplace – so there’s no shame about visiting the land of the rising sun on your own. Striking the perfect balance between time alone and with a group, Inside Japan’s 11-night Japan Solo itinerary mixes independent stays and bullet train journeys with group activities. Participate in a cooking class in Tokyo, take a samurai sword lesson in Kyoto and join a night street food tour in Osaka. Other highlights include a hike to the top of Mount Misen on Miyajima Island.
Sun seeking in Turkey
Fed up with feeling in a minority? Solos Exclusive block book rooms at their choice of hotel on dedicated departures, to ensure every guest is a solo traveller. The latest property on their books is the Beyaz Suite Hotel in Bodrum. During a seven-night trip, visit a carpet weaving factory, observe wild turtles, relax in a mud bath and bask in Turkey’s 30C September temperatures.
Pushing the limits in Jordan
Escorted tour company Exodus estimates around 50% of their customers are single travellers. Guests are roomed with another person of the same gender, forming new friendships – but there’s also the option of having a separate room for an additional cost. A nine-day trip to Jordan, one of their most popular destinations, spends two days exploring Petra and includes a night of star-studded skies viewed from a Bedouin camp in the Wadi Rum desert.
Dancing on the high seas
Masters of elegance, luxury cruise company Crystal is ensuring their single female travellers are literally whisked off their feet with an Ambassador Dance Host Program. Gentlemen are on hand to dance the waltz, cha cha or rumba with those travelling solo, or anyone whose partner has two left feet. As part of the ship’s refurbishments, there are two new guest room categories – the Jr. Crystal Penthouse Suite and Single Guest Room with Ocean View – that serve as an option for solo travellers, without the worry of paying additional single supplements.