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.

  • In reply to slindsay1062753:

    Lindsay, I am in the same situation as a traveler. I was widowed in February this year and my first travel alone is coming up next week. I will be going to the Holy Land--escorted tour with no room mate. I will get back to this discussion after my trip to share my experience with you. My next travel solo is with RS in three months. Wishing you and I pleasant traveling experience.
  • In reply to shelley334080600:

    I'd like to communicate with you and see if we might be roommates on one of the RS trips. Please drop me a line.
  • In reply to slindsay1062753:

    I have traveled a few times solo to Europe and Asia, meaning alone in my mid and late 50s without any group all on my own plans and agendas. So many locals or other travellers open up to you since they see I were alone. I felt that they were very curious about a lone female traveler taking the public transportation, walking the streets , marveling at the sites and also inherently people are kind and helpful. I had so many sweet and great memories which would have never happened if I had even one fellow traveler. The best memories I have are those little moments or not- so- little moments when people went out of their way to help me and lift me up. The famous art works and buildings and sites are very exciting, but they all take the back seat to these spontaneous contact with the people. Of course one has to be extremely careful for the safety. First thing to do is have the attitude that no one is going to mess with me sort of confidence, not stiff but gentle and open way. Just writing this article lifts my spirit up remembering all those positive experiences. Actually when I arrived at LaGuardia airport to fly to my home from one month of trip to Europe in 1990's , an American (USA) man tried to have me detained by the airport security who took one look at the situation and left the scene with a wink at me. I am an Asian American, and I believe that he was sort of racist who could not stand that I was so comfortable at the airport by myself. He tried very hard to make his fellow group travelers to denounce me, no one seem to agree with him and left him alone to harass me by himself (It would have been nice any one of them told him to stop his nonsense.) I traveled total of 3 months throughout Europe and 2 month in Asia, and this is the only negative encounter of those trips, that is in my own country.
  • I have taken about 8 RS tours solo. If you have a roommate, chances are you have someone to share meals with, but not always. I like to go off on my own so often have eaten alone, usually something simple like from a bakery for lunches. I have traveled with other groups also - not much difference. Some groups were really great. I am taking 3 tours back-to-back Jan-Feb 2018. Anyone else taking the 2 Winter in Spain trips beginning 1/28 or the Winter in Portugal starting 2/11? I will be assigned a roommate in Spain but have a single in Portugal.
  • Yes it can be tough to be the only solo among couples and people traveling together. There have been times when I was left out for on your own dinners and just made the best of it. If there is a solo, even if I'm traveling with a friend, I go out of my way to invite them to on your own meals!
  • In reply to Carol S. 1021333:

    I have been solo on several RS programs and have always felt safe and included. I try to include other singles when making plans. I have also had a roommate. The first one worked out great, but on another trip the roommate situation was difficult for me. However, the RS director was kind enough to help make the situation better (above and beyond his duties). I like active outdoorsy programs that are not over 10 days and not too expensive. Would welcome a travel friend.
  • In reply to leslye_lounsberry011038:

    to leslye_lounsberry: Yes, a small currency conversion chart (why didn't I think of that?). Yet another excellent idea!