Wonderful Tours for Solo Travelers

Today more and more people are traveling alone. Either they don’t have a partner…or their partner has different interests—and friends and family aren’t available to go along. Fortunately, there are many wonderful opportunities for single travel. You can have a great time in a group or on your own. Here’s how…

BIKING, WALKING AND MORE

Many travel companies offer trips focused on an activity such as cycling and walking. In general, these are not created as “singles” trips—though some are (see below)—but activity trips tend to attract single people because they provide a focus and typically lots of structure, so you’re rarely alone. Also, the groups usually are small, so everyone winds up feeling like “family” quite quickly. There often is a single supplement for solo travelers (a slightly higher price for not sharing a room), but some companies can pair individuals up as roommates. Before making a reservation, ask about this. The tour company also may be able to give you an idea of how many singles are signed up at that time.

Prices quoted below include any single supplement. (Note: These prices do not include transportation to and from the destinations—visit Web sites for details on other costs covered.) Examples…

Cycling trips. The biking tour company Backroads offers Singles + Solos Trips (no couples allowed) in the US, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific. Cost for a six-day trip for single occupancy is about $3,998 ($3,198 double occupancy). www.Backroads.com/award-winning-tours/solo-singles

Some companies combine cycling with culinary explorations of the regions. Chef-owned and run ItaliaOutdoors Food and Wine organizes trips to Italy for groups of eight that include cycling (all fitness levels), wine tastings, cooking classes and group dinners, so singles aren’t left on their own. At dinner, the meals include wine, so individual travelers don’t have to purchase their own bottles, which can be costly as well as wasteful. Cost for single travelers is about $4,595 ($3,995 double occupancy). www.ItaliaOutdoorsFoodAndWine.com

Walking vacations. One of the best ways to see a country is on foot. UK-based Wayfarers offers walking tours in a variety of countries and regions including the British Isles, Germany, Croatia, South Africa and Patagonia. In the UK alone, you can walk from one tiny and tidy stone village to the next in The Cotswolds…explore the mountains, valleys and beach of Snowdonia in Wales… or walk coast to coast, from the Lake District through Yorkshire to Whitby on the North Sea, taking in hills, dales, lakes and moorlands. These trips typically attract singles. Sample cost: The Cotswolds and Oxford, six nights, for singles, $4,390 (or $3,895 double occupancy)—the company will try to pair travelers up in rooms, but it’s not guaranteed. www.TheWayfarers.com

Travel photography tours. Having a common focus is what Photo Quest Adventures is all about. This company tends to attract mostly individual travelers who want to visit fabulous foreign destinations and have something to show for it. In October, a small group of eight travelers plus two photographer leaders headed to Nepal. The trip included photographing Bengal tigers, flying in a private plane to shoot Mount Everest, and canoeing and bird-watching on the Rapti River. The 10-day trip for single travelers was $8,400 (or $7,200 based on double occupancy). www.PhotoQuestAdventures.com

(For more on photography tours, go to www.BottomLinePublications.com/PhotoTours.)

SPECIAL INTERESTS

Some companies organize individual visits that enable solo travelers to become a part of a local community. Prices for the following vary depending on specific arrangements made. Examples…

For music lovers. Insider’s View of Tuscany, which is owned and operated by the owners of the Daniel Ferro Vocal Program (where young artists work on their craft in Tuscany), designs visits that invite travelers to join the music community in the Chianti region of Tuscany in July and August. For example, a seven-night trip (including lodging, breakfast daily, five lunches, VIP seating at weekly concerts and receptions, assistance with sightseeing, master class observation and Italian language studies) starts at $1,999 for single travelers. www.InsidersViewOfTuscany.com

Living with families in India. One of the most authentic experiences to have in India is to stay with a local family. You can get true insider tips on the city’s best markets, restaurants and things to do from those who live there. Indian HomeStays can arrange for such visits in much of India. A home stay in a good safe locality in Delhi costs about $60 a night, including a full breakfast. The family often will accommodate additional meal requests for $6.50 per person and arrange for airport or railroad pick-up/drop-off for around $20. www.IndianHomeStays.org

Exploring Morocco solo. Travel Exploration Morocco customizes individual visits as well as group tours. It can design a trip for a solo traveler wanting to see the country on his/her own that includes cooking workshops, pottery making, yoga, hiking and ziplining in the Atlas Mountains. For example, a 10-day/nine-night private trip with a guide (staying at four- or five-star accommodations) for single travelers costs approximately $6,395. www.Travel-Exploration.com

SOLO SAVINGS

Increasingly, travel companies are waiving single supplement fees (or reducing them). Examples…

Abercrombie & Kent waives the single supplement—or reduces it by as much as 75%—on its Solo Savings departures, which include popular destinations such as Egypt, Turkey, Kenya and Tanzania. www.AbercrombieKent.com/discover/solo-travel

Tauck has dropped the single supplement for certain cabins on its 2013 European river cruises. www.Tauck.com

WOMEN-ONLY TRIPS

WanderTours offers a variety of trips for women only. A 12-day Culture and Festival Tour of Bhutan, at the eastern end of the Himalayas, started at $4,295 per person. And next spring, it is offering an 18-day itinerary in Vietnam and Cambodia, starting at $3,950 per person. www.WanderTours.com