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 jringer2446021606:

    Thank you for your beautiful thoughts.
  • In reply to avy5032233:

    I have never had a bad roommate - always someone who was polite, respectful and compatible. Nor have I been on a trip with unfriendly others, either singles or couples. I have traveled with other companies with some noticeable group conflicts, but nothing that hindered my enjoyment. I'm up to 10 trips and wonder if my luck will run out on the next adventure! I think of solo travel as being like summer camp - might meet a friend for life, might not. I do my best to be welcoming and kind and hope others will be, too. Seems to me that this is typical of RS travel - lots of reasonable, flexible people who enjoy seeing what the world has to offer. So to all you new travelers, relax and enjoy your trip. So many places, so little time. :-)
  • In reply to CT_PBW:

    These are really good ideas and I will do the same! Thanks!
  • I will be taking my very first solo trip in November . This is also my first trip of any kind since my husband passed away very recently. I picked RS because I have read so many good thing about them but still am uneasy about maybe being the only solo in the group.
  • In reply to t.mattson6532051506:

    Hi, t.mattson, I too took my first RS trip less than a year after my wife passed away. As it happens, I was the only single on the trip, but everyone was so welcoming and inclusive, that I always felt I was among friends. I was often invited along when smaller groups (4-6 people) went out to restaurants. I think you'll find that, although traveling solo, you won't be alone.
  • In reply to larrylobo42010500:

    Thanks for that info. I guess first times always make you wonder if you made the right choice. Hearing your experience makes me feel reassured.
  • In reply to t.mattson6532051506:

    I've done 11 RS trips, all solo, and have never felt alone or lonely. People have been great on all the trips and the solos have a way of finding each other. On my first trip, New Orleans, I was worried about eating alone on the free evenings, but I had so many invitations from others in the group that it was hard to choose!
  • In reply to zazzca012420:

    Thank you! ... eating alone was something that I was slightly concerned about. I often go out alone but being on a tour group and being alone for meals somehow seemed very different. Your input is very encouraging.
  • In reply to t.mattson6532051506:

    You're welcome! I've done group tours with other companies and RS is definitely my favorite, mainly because of how I'm treated as a solo. I've met amazing people, both couples and other solos. And on my last trip (Nashville), five of us bonded and still email back and forth.
    I also sometimes eat alone at restaurants and don't have a problem with it, but part of the fun of RS trips has been the great people I've met and the fun we have socializing at meals.
  • In reply to cgbobo6311011255:

    Hi and thanks. Your points are great. Avy
  • Hi hope to meet great people and do activities together.  That is what  it is all about.  Am a widow and my great husband is not longer  here participating in my travel activities.  Hope to meet you all soon. Avy

  • In reply to t.mattson6532051506:

    This will be a great group and hopefully finding others to connect with for outside group activities too to find fun things to do in the cities we are visiting during free time and specially having the opportunity to eat together on days that we will be on our own for dinner or lunch to make the time more pleasant. Waiting to meet all of you. Avy
  • In reply to silverrune17071531:

    I have taken 4 RS trips. Two abroad and two in Sedona, Az. I also travel solo and have never had any problem. With every trip I have taken there has been other solo travelers and we just seem to gravitate to one another. I'm heading for the Yosemite Watercolor class in October. Anyone else taking that class?
  • Just back from a cycling trip. I was one of two solo travelers, and he was there only for the biking. The rest of the group were couples, sisters getogether, old alumni yearly outing, and a group of women friends. One group would pre reserve seats at one of two tables with cups and glasses so intermingling was out. Left out of the loop on info. And worse, my room was 1/2 mile away ina separate building and I was without transport. My roommate was one of the 3 women friends. No 1/2 mile is not far, but walking it several times a day got to be an issue. Others in the facility with cars would forget to ask whether I needed a ride, or had other plans. Same old problems as if you traveled as a solo with any other group.
  • In reply to mollysydney012712:

    Think of it as their loss. Hopefully you don't accept this as the norm. I have had the opposite experience give it another go.