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Best Overall: See Exodus Travels Rates "You can choose from over 600 itineraries in more than 100 countries, including African safaris, European cultural tours, and polar expeditions."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: See Intrepid Travel Rates "Offers departures exclusively for singles on several of their most popular itineraries."
Best Sustainable: See G Adventures Rates "Works with small, locally owned hotels and operators to ensure that your travel dollars benefit the community you’re visiting."
Best for Ages 18-35: See Contiki Rates "Some of their most popular itineraries include island-hopping tours around Thailand and overland adventures across Europe."
Best Singles Only: See Encounter Travel Rates "The two-time winner of the global Solo Travel Awards and offers an impressive range of worldwide destinations."
Best for Ages 30-50: See Flash Pack Rates "No matter which itinerary you choose, each one is centered around boutique hotels and unique experiences."
Best for 50+: See Overseas Adventure Travel Rates "Trips are ranked by activity level and accompanied by a list of physical requirements so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting yourself in for."
Best Female: See Wild Women Expeditions Rates "Offers outdoor adventures for women from a wide range of cultural backgrounds."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Exodus Travels
Award-winning tour company Exodus Travels has been offering small guided trips for over 45 years. You can choose from over 600 itineraries in more than 100 countries, including African safaris, UK and European cultural tours, and polar expeditions. Although most groups are made up of a mixture of singles, couples and friends, Exodus specializes in solo travel with singles accounting for 66 percent of its client base. There’s a dedicated section for solo travelers on their website, and guests are never penalized for not being part of a couple.
As long as you’re willing to share a room with a fellow traveler, you won’t be charged a single supplement. To ensure your comfort, your roommate will always be of the same sex – and sometimes, you may end up with your own room free of charge. If sharing is not your idea of fun, Exodus can also arrange single rooms for great rates (sometimes as little as $10 per night). Don’t want to travel with couples or families? Sign up for one of the company’s solo departures, designed exclusively for like-minded singles.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Intrepid Travel
With three decades of experience and an excellent reputation, Intrepid Travel is a great choice for any traveler. It offers around 1,000 itineraries to 100 countries, with options ranging from Appalachian treks to Egyptian history tours and Bahamian cruises. Small groups are led by native guides, and there are three trip styles to choose from – Basix (for budget travelers who prefer a less structured itinerary), Comfort (for those that prefer a more relaxed pace and plenty of creature comforts) and Original (a combination of the two).
Fifty percent of Intrepid’s customers are solo travelers. Become one of them and benefit from an optional single supplement; which means there’s no extra charge for sharing with a same-sex fellow traveler (although you can opt to pay a small fee for a private room if you want to). The company also offers departures exclusively for singles on several of their most popular itineraries, including Classic Peru and Best of Morocco. Before you go, read the solo travel section on their website, which shares general safety tips and specific advice for female solo travelers.
Take a look at other reviews and read through our best adventure travel companies article.
Best Sustainable: G Adventures
For over 20 years, G Adventures has specialized in small group adventure tours to a host of exciting global destinations. About half of the travelers on every trip are flying solo, and there’s no single supplement as long as you’re willing to share with a same-sex roommate. G Adventures is particularly known for its sustainable, responsible ethos. The company works with small, locally owned hotels and operators to ensure that your travel dollars benefit the community you’re visiting; and is partnered with non-profit organization Planeterra.
Planeterra is dedicated to supporting local people through tourism and manages 50 social enterprises across all seven continents. Some benefit women, while others protect at-risk youth or indigenous communities. Many of G Adventures’ itineraries include a visit to one of these worthwhile projects. The company also follows strict guidelines for ensuring that all of its animal encounters are humane. Tours are led by a Chief Experience Officer and are grouped into different categories for easy online browsing. These Travel Styles include Wellness Tours, Local Living Tours, 18-to-Thirtysomethings Tours and more.
Best for Ages 18-35: Contiki
Contiki is known as the company of choice for students, gap year travelers and backpackers aged 18 to 35. More than half of their clients are solo travelers, and their “social travel” ethos is ideal for first-time adventurers. Tours include accommodation, food, transport, and activities, giving you the freedom to travel safely and meet new friends without having to worry too much about the practicalities. Also, because twin or quad same-sex sharing is the norm for accommodation on a Contiki tour, there’s no single supplement for solo travelers.
Contiki offers more than 350 trips to six continents. Some of their most popular itineraries include island-hopping tours around Thailand and overland adventures across Europe. There are seven different travel styles to choose from. Iconic Essentials is designed with the super-budget traveler in mind, for example, while In-Depth Explorer focuses on embracing the local culture. Other travel styles cater to specific interests such as Ski & Snowboard or Sailing & Cruise. Group sizes depend on your chosen travel style and destination and can include anything from 12 to 52 people.
Best Singles Only: Encounter Travel
Since 2006, Australian company Encounter Travel has been upholding the motto “Travel Solo, Not Alone” by organizing tours and vacations exclusively for solo travelers. The company is the two-time winner of the global Solo Travel Awards and offers an impressive range of worldwide destinations. There are six travel styles to choose from: Small group, Shoestring, Overland, Family, City Break, and Private.
All tours guarantee small, age-matched groups – meaning that you’ll be traveling with like-minded new friends who are at a similar stage in life. Originally the company focused on travelers aged 40 and over, but in 2019 they introduced a new set of itineraries for younger travelers aged 21 to 39. Solo Mix tours allow couples to join as well. Whichever trip you end up booking, you have two options in terms of accommodation. You can save money by asking about the company’s roommate matching program, or opt to pay a low single supplement for a private room.
Best for Ages 30-50: Flash Pack
Specially designed for solo travelers aged 30 to 49, Flash Pack delivers a sophisticated experience for the more mature adventurer. Ninety-five percent of the company’s international clientele are traveling on their own. Ninety percent are professional and 80 percent are single – although the focus is on friendship, not dating. Small group sizes give you the opportunity to make meaningful connections with your fellow travelers, while a choice of over 50 itineraries caters to a wide range of interests. You could spend a long weekend visiting the Prosecco vineyards of Venice; or 11 days kayaking, tubing and hiking in Costa Rica.
No matter which itinerary you choose, each one is centered around boutique hotels and unique experiences. Before departure, your group will be connected via a private WhatsApp group, so you can meet your fellow travelers and your guide in advance. You’ll also be matched with a same-sex, like-minded roommate unless you opt to pay extra for a private room. With the exception of your international flights, most aspects of your vacation are included, from private airport transfers to accommodation and activities.
Check out other travel companies that offer small group tours you can book today.
Best for 50+: Overseas Adventure Travel
Overseas Adventure Travel is primarily aimed at American travelers aged 50 and over. They offer itineraries to worldwide destinations, including Africa, Antarctica, Asia, and the South Pacific, with trips ranked by activity level and accompanied by a list of physical requirements so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting yourself in for. In 2017 and 2018, the company won the Solo Travel Award for Best Tour, thanks in large part to its policy of offering a limited number of single spaces for each itinerary.
These exclusive spaces either waive the single supplement entirely or offer a considerable discount, so solo travelers can enjoy a private room without having to spend too much more. If these spaces are sold out, you can take advantage of the company’s free Roommate Matching Program, which helps you find a like-minded, same-sex roommate. If they can’t find a match for you, your single supplement is free. All groups are led by a Trip Experience Leader whose job includes making solo travelers feel welcome; while small group sizes ensure everyone gets the attention they deserve.
Best Female: Wild Women Expeditions
Wild Women Expeditions is the perfect solution for intrepid women who want to travel independently while still enjoying the safety and support of an organized tour. For three decades, the company has been offering outdoor adventures for women from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. Most of them are solo travelers, and as accommodation is typically in a shared room, cabin or tent, there’s no single supplement to worry about. However, if privacy is a priority, you can usually arrange to sleep by yourself for a nominal extra fee.
The company travels to 27 of the world’s most exciting destinations, many of which can be daunting for women traveling on their own (think Egypt, Tanzania or India). Itineraries are typically adventure-based and are filtered on their website by activity, with 12 options ranging from sailing to cycling and horse-riding. Imagine yourself sea kayaking and snorkeling in the Galapagos; or scaling glaciers in Alaska. Group sizes are kept small and social with between six and 14 women depending on the itinerary you choose. The average group size is eight.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best women-only adventure travel companies.