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 CT_PBW:

    Yes, I had this happen to me on a trip with another company. I just got back from another trip with a roommate I didn't know before. She complained constantly about everything!! Luckily, the rest of the group was terrific. You just never know how the people are going to be. I ended up getting to know some terrific folks. All I can say is to try to maintain a terrific attitude and hope for the best. Don't stop traveling because of some jerks on a trip.
  • In reply to bluebearmom011445:

    Something that I have found helpful to do is to try to learn everyone's name and greet them using their name. I'm like you, if I waited for other people to travel, I would sit at home. If you don't have a Kindle yet, go buy one. You are never alone with a good book - also a good company at dinner. Phyllisusa70@gmail.com
  • In reply to zen021519:

    I've found that going only a block away from the main tourist venue can be rewarding. This can be where the locals go and the food is better and less expensive.
  • In reply to mollysydney012712:

    Sorry Molly it can be hard sometimes. There are friendly inclusive groups and groups that are not so welcoming. I've experienced both; on RS trips and with other companies. If I am traveling with friends I always go out of my way to include an invite to a solo traveler, having had the ignored solo experience myself.
  • In reply to Carol S. 1021333:

    Essentially it can be the sae as traveling alone. Sometimes you meet great people, sometimes you don’t. But I also note RS have no trip reveiws that are critical, and same for facebook. These sites are tightly monitored to ensure an extremely positive image.
  • In reply to mollysydney012712:

    I think RS takes suggestions and/or negative reviews very seriously. I have received telephone calls asking me in depth questions on negatives I have mentioned on the end of trip questionnaires or in program review. One I mentioned is time spent in a National Park was minimal for the amount of time it took to get there. I see they added an additional day to that trip. Most of the negatives on the blogs are of a personal nature and rarely have anything to do with the trip content. People behaving poorly is a fact of life; sadly.
  • In reply to CT_PBW:

    The trip I’ve looked at have reviews of 4 and 5 stars only. They are taking off critical reviews. When I shop on Amazon the check the worst reviews to try to get an idea of problems, but still may end up buying the product if those problems are not issues for me. How can everyone posting a review absolutely think it the best trip ever? All posts on trips and facebook are moderated BEFORE posting.
  • In reply to larrylobo42010500:

    Keep in mind women outnumber men on these trips and most other activities. It also will have a different group dynamic overseas as opposed to within the US/Canada where people drive to locations.
  • In reply to mollysydney012712:

    I have seen some scathing two star ratings on the site. One of which I agreed with. RS changed the hotel on future programs that was an issue on past programs. Of the 6 trips I have been on with RS I have given ratings strictly based on content. Most of these have been On The Road trips. Other than a few comments on how to make the trips better I have not been given a reason to give a bad review.
  • In reply to mollysydney012712:

    Have you ever written a less than 4 or 5 review and not had it published on RS? If so there is an issue here. I have put criticism in reviews and had them published.
    My major beef with RS is that people sign up for programs with ratings they cannot fulfill and they hold up the group. I've even been on trips where sites were cut because we were behind time due to people that couldn't keep up. But what can RS do aside from not let these people sigh up for another program at that level? They certainly make it Plain what activity level is required. People just need to be Honest about their physical condition when they sign up. I have certainly mentioned this in my reviews and they were published.
  • In reply to Carol S. 1021333:

    I agree that some people underestimate the program level or overestimate their stamina. Road Scholar has tried to resolve this with making it even clearer what the program level is with the new ratings. I think at some point on a trip the group leader needs to address individuals privately if they are holding up the entire group. Not an easy task given that they are a client. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." - Spock, Star Trek II
  • In reply to CT_PBW:

    Did I also underestimate the room quality? Stated as four star and was someone’s leftover furnture. I did not overestimate the program level - it was incorrectly described. Are you one of those RS workers who do posts under there name to ensure a positive tone?
  • In reply to Carol S. 1021333:

    Whoa Carol!! My beef is people who make assumptions that aren’t true to promote some other agenda. The description plainly stated There was a choice of routes - there was none. I do not wish to debate this online with you. People can read make experience and use it as they will.
  • In reply to mollysydney012712:

    LOL no I'm just a plain old world traveler who decides to make the best of things and enjoy my experience. Have a great life!
  • In reply to mollysydney012712:

    If you note, I was responding to Carol S on her comment. I was in no way was casting doubt on your issue.

    No need to get personal. I do not work for, not do I represent anyone but myself. I am a person who tries to look at the positive side of things. Absolutely things can and do go wrong on trips. I have had some not so great rooms and some spectacular rooms, I have had the government shut down the national parks two days into my trip, I had routes changed at last minute due to floods and landslides. I choose to remember most all the wonderful people I have met and all the adventures that I have experienced. Sometimes glitches can lead to new adventures.