I just have to post my recent experience on my trip to Ireland September 15.
I am a single woman and since I'm relatively new to international travel I prefer to travel with a group because of the planned activities and excellent lodgings and meals.
My prior two trips (Sicily and Cinque Terre) were a delight . The group was friendly and inclusive and I never felt left out.
However - this last trip was extremely unpleasant. I was ignored, excluded and sometimes avoided. One kind woman explained that everone was grouped by family, siblings, partners, etc.
Three incidents stand out;
1. I broke my foot in June and it was badly swollen after the 6+ hour plane trip. The group leader got me settled with an ice pack in a sitting area adjacent to the room where tea was being served. No one approached me to see what was wrong and no one offered to bring me a cup of tea.
2. As we were gathering for the bus I tripped and fell down a few stone steps in the quad outside Trinity College Library. The group leader and a stranger came over to help me (no major injuries). A very kind man from the group (he appeared to be a loner too although he was with family) rushed to me to assist. To the assembled group I was invisible.
3. The last day was free time in Dublin. Our hotel was not in easy walking distance to down town Dublin. I asked a small group if I could accompany them, "We already made plans". I asked a duo of sisters, "We don't know what we're doing yet"
As with many people my age I'm on a tight budget and save each year to afford these trips. I can honestly say that trip was incredibly painful and I couldn't wait for it to be over. I even considered going home early.
I'm not thin-skinned or unusually difficult or critical. I'm friendly, adaptable, open to new experiences and cultures and lands.
Alhough I realize there are "singles" trips available I feel that Road Scholar could screen these trips closer for solo travelers and alert them.Ireland is a magnificent country - the people are wonderful and my tour leader was great this trip will be etched in my mind as a horrible experience.
I have decided to not schedule another Road Scholar trip.
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