Solo Travel

I have been on many trips as a solo traveler without a roommate and have had mixed experiences.  On a recent trip as the only one without a partner I was frequently asked to change my place at the table so couples could sit together, and I would get moved down to the far end of the table.   With other groups though, if I offered to move I was reassured it wasn't necessary as they didn't need to sit together all the time.  Groups have different temperaments.  Another time several of the hotels had tables set up for exactly four people and I was pretty much excluded from this set up. Or the  dinner on your own would occur after a free afternoon or siesta time so I was alone because couples, (including) roommates made their plans when I wasn't around so I had no way to ask or be asked to join anyone.  One time we were so many single women that a consensus  was never reached and we just had pizza in the hotel.

I want to emphasize that uncomfortable situations have been the exception, but I always know  that they may arise, and I certainly won't let such occurrences spoil my trip. But also, before choosing a trip, I check how many dinners are not included, and this is part of my decision. Occasionally I  travel with all women, not with Road Scholar, and there the group leader usually suggests a place, and most people including the leader go together. But in my experience Road Scholar leaders generally are not around when plans are being made and are not involved in the process.  

Other than meals, almost everything is done as a group, and the group is usually together just before the free times, so plans can be made with  others.  So I may set out with others, but often prefer to go at my own pace and follow my own interests. Still I never hesitate to travel with Road Scholar as the problems I mentioned are definitely the exception.

  • Since my only experience traveling solo was with RS in Jan/Feb, on a trip to San Miguel de Allende. I was the only
    solo in the group, but everyone was so friendly, and I was always included at meals, whether the entire group or being
    asked to accompany a small group of four or six people to a local restaurant. My experience was certainly a positive one.
    Since my wife passed away a year and a half ago, I shall be traveling solo with RS again in Novmber.
  • In reply to larrylobo42010500:

    I am a neophyte solo traveler as it seems that my peer group seemed to want to venture before they were able to (work and kids). Now that they are able to they seem to have lost the urge or nerve which I can understand. I am the point where I need to find like minded, fairly able bodied and like minded people to make travel fun. Traveling all alone , not in a group some sort can be lonely for many reasons. I hope my venture into this group will be positive as I want to be with couples of all types as well as singles of all types. Here's hoping for the best .
  • In reply to slindsay1062753:

    To slindsay- I would say you've found the right organization (RS) to maximize your chances of finding what you're
    looking for. RS is chock full of older, able-bodied, and open-minded people who love to travel. Give it a go!
  • Some group leaders are a bit more proactive in suggesting places to eat on your own but most are not. I agree that they can do a bit more to help the shyer people opt to go with a group for on-your-own activities or meals.
  • In reply to larrylobo42010500:

    Thanks for the encouraging words. I'm 58 and headed on my first RS in August. Looking forward to Costa Rica and folks who savor travel.
  • In reply to slindsay1062753:

    If I waited for my peer group to go along with me, well, I wouldn't go anywhere. There is alot to see and do. I will have my first solo RS experience in Sept. to Utah. I am hoping to enjoy the experience to the full extent. If I make friends along the way , that would be icing on the cake! I know that those lonely moments may rear their ugly heads, but forewarned is forearmed. I hope you enjoy your adventure!
  • In reply to zen012501:

    My suggestion for meals not included - do your own research of the places to eat either close to the hotel or otherwise interesting (authentic food, etc.) , and be proactive organizing other singles or even couples to go there together for a meal. More often than not, there will be other shy people just waiting for someone else to come up with the idea. Be that person, and others will join. Doesn't work all the time, but what do you have to lose :)
  • In reply to expose25012208:

    If you're a solo - think first about joining a group to a non-included dinner and finding out the restaurant doesn't do separate checks ! What a mess - especially if you don't have enough cash and want to put it on you're credit card!! Impossible!
  • I do tons of research before going on any trip. I keep my list by day in my RS hang tag and backpack at all times of what is available in the area of interest to me not included on the trip. It is not a "to do" list, it is an "if you have free time list". It includes restaurants, artists, points of interest and off the beaten path ideas. I have often surprised locals with some of the places I have found in their own backyards.

    A good safety tip is to get the phone number of group leader(s) and add to your phone and list if you plan on separating from the group. My list has all hotel addresses and phone numbers just in case.
  • In reply to CT_PBW:

    reply to CT_PBW
    Excellent suggestions! Every RS destination has 'free time', so doing some reading beforehand, and making a list
    (or lists) of things you'd like to see/do AND to carry a group-leader's phone # (just in case) are, well, liberating.
  • I am a seasoned solo RS traveler and have found all these to be true also. You just have to go with the flow. Every adventure is new and being flexible is the key to your enjoyment.
  • In reply to slindsay1062753:

    I am looking for someone to travel with. Would like to connect with you to exchange ideas. Best, Shelley fshelley3@gmail.com
  • I can related to this.
  • In reply to ERKABT042936:

    My response above was to the first person's comments.
  • In reply to larrylobo42010500:

    Might I add making a small currency conversion chart before you go and tuck it in the RS pouch as well. I do $1, 5, 10, 15, 25 and 50. I can then quickly refer to it when in a shop without digging out a phone or calculator.