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According to a recent survey, only 6% of British holiday makers prefer travelling alone while the vast majority stated that they preferred to go on holiday with their partners. Most people do not like the idea of travelling alone but they may be missing out if they haven’t considered the benefits of flying solo.
Without other people to worry about, a tourist can go where ever they fancy, when ever they want and don’t have to make allowances for other people. For people thinking about going it alone for the first time, here are some handy hints to make life easier.
Not being safe is the main concern that people have about going on holiday alone. However, following the same common sense guidelines you would follow at home should be sufficient to keep you safe.
- Keep to well lit and busy areas.
- Plan ahead so you know exactly where you are going when you arrive.
- Let people you trust know where you are going to be.
- Follow your instincts: if something doesn’t feel right then get out of there.
- Avoid having expensive items on show or just don’t take them with you.
- Try to arrive at destinations during the day to avoid having to navigate around a strange place at night.
Many solo travellers say that the best thing about travelling alone is that they get to meet lots of interesting new people. Here are some of the best ways of doing that.
- Go on a group tour.
- Stay in a hostel – you are much more likely to mingle with other guests in a hostel than in a hotel.
- Adventure holidays and retreats involve group activities that give people the opportunity to mix.
- Use technology – there are a huge variety of apps and websites that allow people to meet up with like minded individuals and groups which allow you to search by interests, age groups, etc.
The main complaint of solo travellers is the dreaded ‘single supplement’ charged by hotels when people dare to book a room by themselves. Here are some suggestions on how to avoid paying this charge.
- Set up a Google alert for destinations you are interested in plus ‘single supplement waived’.
- If you book very far in advance or very last minute you are more likely to receive deals where they waive this charge.
- Travelling during the ‘shoulder season’, just off the peak season, will make it easier to negotiate a cheaper deal.
- Consider sharing with a stranger of the same sex. There are websites that can help organise this.
- Use agents and tour operators that specialise in solo travel.
Other money saving tips which could benefit any traveller, even those travelling with other people, include:
- Being flexible on the dates you travel will allow you to get the best rates.
- Take public transport from the airport and as much as possible. Figuring out the system before you leave will make this less intimidating.
- Use libraries to take out guide books and maps rather than buying them.
- If you are eating out once a day, make it lunch rather than dinner.
- Use apps and websites to find free city tours, free or discounted attractions and cheap vouchers for activities.
Following this simple advice will make travelling alone less frightening, more enjoyable and not so expensive. Who needs other people?