Travelling solo is an exciting way to see the world and meet like-minded people.
Solo travel can be the ultimate in self-indulgence. You can sleep in when you want or set out on daring escapades when you’re feeling ambitious. According to the 2015 Visa Global Travel Intentions study, which surveyed 13,000 travellers from 25 countries, 24 per cent travelled alone on their most recent leisure trip.
But for some, venturing out into the world completely solo can be intimidating. The good news is that boutique travel companies are tapping into this growing market to bring together adventure lovers to share their travels and meet like – minded people who are seeking new journeys. Take a look at some of the top solo special tours designed by travel companies in India and abroad. Pick your perfect getaway this holiday season.
Contiki caters to travelers aged between 18 and 35. The idea is to connect youngsters from all over the world. No parents or children are allowed on these trips,’ says Sam Morrah, director of sales and marketing, Contiki Asia. This year the company has seen a 30 per cent rise in millennial travelers from India compared to last year.
To take into account individual travel preferences, Contiki has devised an ‘8 ways to travel’ scheme. The trips range from a High Energy Contiki Trip for younger members. They are like fast-paced days moving from one city to another combined with action-packed nightlife at the best party spots, to the more relaxed Discover Contiki trip meant for mature travelers looking to spend leisurely days sightseeing.
Among their most popular solo tours are the European Magic. It is a nine-day tour that ticks off eight countries taking you from the Swiss Alps to the canals of Venice, and the Argentina and Brazil. Experience that lets you soak up the sunny beaches of Rio and dance the tango in Buenos Aires.
Experiential Travel Journeys
Experiential Travel Journeys has a super high-end 11-day Wilderness Safaris Exploration from Livingstone to maun for well-heeled solos. The wilderness journey goes deep inside the jungles of Africa, is undertaken in a small group of seven people. This tour is designed for solo travelers seeking luxury travel with small groups of mature travelers, usually in their 50s. All activities are done in a group and range from communal meals to walks, picnics and game drives on a seven seater vehicle to ensure that everyone gets a window seat. Solo guests are lavished with personal attention.
The highlights of these intimate safari excursions include deluxe camping in the Chobe National Park and staying at plush safari-style tents in Botswana.
By veering away from the typical touristy trails, solo travelers one-off experience like a lunch with locals or music and dance lessons.
One of Beyond Travel’s specialties is curating trips based on specific interests, like the self-drive Road Trip To Bangkok covering 2,500km, from Manipur to Bangkok. Here you can test your driving skills on the meandering hills of Myanmar.
“Solo travelers find it easier to come together based on communities designed exclusively around their passions. So there are extremely active travel groups around self-drives and motorcycle riders who are constantly discussing itineraries; similarly there are women-only travel groups, foodies and music lovers,’’ notes Ahuja.
Cuba is a brand new destination for the company, which launched tours to Latin American this year. Knocking on Cuba’s Door tour dives headlong into the land of cigars, salsa and the prose of Hemingway.
More than half the travelers who book with UK-based Intrepid Travel go alone. So travelers are unlikely to find themselves surrounded by couples or groups. The number of solo travelers has increased by one-third over the last five years. It is due to changing lifestyles and higher disposable incomes.
A trio of solo-only departures for three of its most popular trips – café Colombia, South Morocco Discovery and Classic Rajasthan.
The first is a coffee lover’s’ dream holiday and heads to plantations and roasteries in the Colombian highlands. In Morocco, the tour starts and finishes in Marrakech. And it will also take you through the Sahara desert on a camel. The two-week Rajasthan holiday covers majestic palaces to give you a peep into the royals’ opulent way of life.
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