5 Group Trips Every Solo Traveler Should Book
Taking a group trip while traveling solo might sound contradictory, but sometimes there's safety in numbers. Whether you want companionship, safety or are just enticed by an awesome itinerary, there are plenty of group trips waiting for you to try.
While there are tours set up strictly for solo travelers, don’t limit your search. A majority of small group tour operators welcome singles in the mix. Limited in size by their nature, most probably don’t include a family reunion from which you’ll feel excluded. Rather, there’s an atmosphere conducive to fellow travelers doing their own thing while taking advantage of group rates, safety and, if wanted, camaraderie.
Some travel companies charge individual trekkers what is called a “single supplement,” since they price everything based on double occupancy. These days savvy travel bookers eliminate or discount private-room fees for soloists, or provide services to pair you with a roommate. We’ve included five up-to-date outfitters who fit the needs of today’s single sojourner. After all, solo travel is meant to be empowering, freeing, with no one to answer to but you.
Small Group Hiking on the Amalfi Coast, Italy
Backroads.com is not exclusively a solo tour company, but it has the right ideas about how to serve singles. They’ve reduced the single-room supplement by 50 percent on more than 100 of their top trips for solo travelers, including the Amalfi Coast, Sicily, Portugal and the Dalmatian Coast. On the Amalfi Coast Walking and Hiking Tour, explore Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula and Isle of Capri hiking along sheer cliffs towering above turquoise sea splendor. Following your day of dashing around, relax on the beach, search out trendy cafes and savor gelato at street stands. Even with the deep discount on the supplement, if you don’t want to splurge on your own room and don’t care about sharing, Backroads will connect you with a roommate of the same gender.
G Adventures Small-Group Adventure Travel
Mountainous treks to Monte Blanc, Kilimanjaro and Patagonia are among the many adventure sport, small-group trips curated by G Adventures. Perfect for active solo travelers who really want to get into each destination from the ground, not from a tour bus, these trips offer hiking, biking and multi-sport expeditions among natural wonders. A background as an elite, endurance runner isn’t required, but these trips are designed to get your blood pumping. Physical demand ratings are provided to help book the right trip, and expert guides and all equipment are included. For example, all-inclusive cost is $2100 to $3400 for a seven or eight day trek up or around Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro — a 19,000-foot volcanic peak in Africa — depending on the route you choose for your preferred exertion level. There is no additional charge for booking solo, and many trips are catered to first-time active travelers.
REI Global Adventures for Solo Seekers and Women Wanderers
Another trek purveyor with small group itineraries perfect for singles, REI welcomes solo packers on adventure trips all over the world. Included are epic trekking and touring adventures to such exotic locales as Machu Picchu, Tuscany, South Africa and New Zealand. Legendary U.S. outdoors shrines like Yosemite National Park, Sedona, and Yellowstone National Park are other regularly scheduled, guided trips. Another unique option from the outdoor name brand, REI Women’s Solo International Travel excursions have limited availability, so it’s necessary to check ahead for the next opportunity, then mark your calendar. If you have to wait, it's worth it. REI travel guides and experts set you up for success with pre-trip classes, then make things easy with inclusive packages for solo women at many of the same destinations listed above — but these are exclusively forays with fellow females.
Cruise the Yangtze River, China
Tour operator Overseas Adventure Travel touts itself as the “leader in solo travel” on its website. They certainly make a case, by making it easy for singles to join a small group tour without getting gouged. The company also makes a complicated itinerary such as China a cinch by taking care of details. Of course, that itself comes at a price. The Imperial China, Tibet and Yangtze River tour is a 22-day excursion starting at $4895. There is no “single supplement” added to the cost, so you can embark feeling like you’re getting a square deal on this exploration of Beijing, Xian and Chengdu in China; Lhasa, Tibet; and a three-night Yangtze River Cruise with ports of call at Wuhan and Hong Kong. According to OAT, one in four travelers on their small-group adventures is by themselves, and the average group size is 14. If single spaces are sold out for the trip you want, there is also a Roommate Matching Program.
Solo Adventure Snorkeling Itinerary, Belize
If you're a solo traveler in your 30s to 40s, professional and, most likely, single, Flash Pack Adventures has got your back(pack). The company creates adventure trips for the international solo set specifically, setting up a different vibe than many group tours. Go solo in style, staying in snazzy boutique hotels after days of paddling, diving, climbing — whatever you’re into. Intense itineraries include Belize, Iceland, Vietnam, Morocco and more. Enjoy the yin and yang of exhilaration and luxuriation during five days of jungle and beach life in Belize — from waterfall hikes to reef snorkeling — inclusive starting from $2,059 based on a sharing a twin room.
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