By Bob Kocher
December 27, 2019
Over the last few years we have noticed an upswing in the number of people who are interested in traveling solo. When I started providing travel opportunities, cruise lines and some tour operators provided share programs where you did not know who your traveling partner would be. Often, if space was available, each person would get their own room without paying double occupancy fares. As more people tried this approach, a variety of problems made matching people increasingly difficult. So, these options began to disappear in the early 2000's.
As boomers retired and younger people found comfort in traveling with older more experienced travelers, the need for accommodating the market became apparent. Nowadays, many of the cruise lines and tour operators are offering discounted single traveler rates. The truth is that the companies are wanting to fill spaces on their ships and tours when bookings are slow. Travel used to be divided into three categories; main season, shoulder season, and high season. The industry began to shift itineraries to fit good weather, so today the seasons are main season and shoulder season, with the best bargains coming in the shoulder season. This is also true for airfare to get us to and from vacation starting points.
Here are some helpful hints from the December 2019 AARP Bulletin:
- Book a tour or a cruise with a travel professional that has experience in your areas of interest. Except for air tickets, commissions are paid to the agency from the supplier rather than out of your pocket.
- Choose a safe destination from your bucket list for a first try. You can find a lot of information on the web about where you are planning to go.
- Share your itinerary with friends and family and make sure you have internet and WiFi options available while on your journey. Whats App can be used to make texts and calls free to another Whats App user anywhere in the world.
- Be sure you have medical emergency travel insurance through your provider, credit card company or a private plan.
- Be safe at night. Ask your concierge, travel escort or group facilitator about the area you are in.
- Stay sober and be your own companion to "watch your back."
- Many venues have solo lines, such as amusement parks. Also, theater tickets are easier to book when just one ticket is needed. Take advantage of your solo status!
We are so fortunate to have a community where we can share experience, strength, and hope and learn to reach out and ask questions. Oh yes, and for help too. Listen for people sharing travel experiences and use them as a resource.
We wish all of you a very Happy New Year!