You don't need a travel partner to take a memorable vacation. In fact, traveling solo can be a rich and rewarding experience in its own right. Solo travel can be an opportunity to learn about yourself as well as about your destination in different ways. It is also a good way to push yourself out of your comfort zone too, forcing you to interact with others, test your bravery, and build confidence along the way.
A growing number of travel companies actually do a great job of catering to the solo travelers. Some don't charge a single supplement on certain trips, while others offer a reduced rate off the normal single supplement charge at certain times of the year. If you're planning a solo adventure of your own, here are our recommendations for the best companies to consider when plotting your escape.
Intrepid Travel is one of the biggest and most well known adventure travel companies in the world, but that doesn't mean it doesn't do its best cater to solo explorers. On the contrary in fact, the company offers hundreds of unique itineraries, a number of which are designed for adventurers traveling alone. The company's single supplement is optional for those who want their own room, but many opt to share a space with a new friend not only to reduce costs, but to enjoy the company too.
Intrepid claims that about 50% of its clients actually travel alone, which means no matter which itinerary you join, chances are you'll meet others who are traveling on their own too.
Much like Intrepid, G Adventures offers a dizzying array of itineraries, taking travelers to virtually every corner of the planet. The company also goes to great lengths to accommodate those who like to go it alone, including not charging extra fees for the solo traveler, while still giving them the option to pay a single supplement to reserve their own room should they choose.
G's CEOs (Chief Experience Officers) are trained to help solo travelers feel more included in the group and can provide good advice for the single female traveler who may need information on how to dress appropriately to meet cultural traditions. The company says that about half of its travelers go solo as well, making it a good choice for those seeking to make friends on the road.
Specializing in overland travel, Dragoman offers unique itineraries to Africa, Asia, and the Americas by motorized vehicle. The journeys can last anywhere from a week to several months, with plenty of options in-between. No matter how much time you have available for travel, chances are Dragoman has something to offer.
Dragoman says that most of its travelers are 20- and 30-somethings, although they get plenty of older clients as well. The majority of those individuals are actually traveling completely on their own, which means the company is experienced at handling those who are going it alone. That can be very important when spending 130+ days traveling from Dakar to Cape Town for instance, although chances are you'll bond with your fellow explorers quickly.
U.K.-based Explore offers more than 600 trips to 130 countries, ranging across all seven continents and into the polar regions. Its small group adventures are designed to make all travelers comfortable, including those traveling alone. Like other adventure travel companies on this list, Explore says that about half of its clients are going solo, including about 60% of the women who are part of the group. That means that the environment that the company fosters is inclusive, accommodating, and friendly. Everything that a solo traveler is looking for.
With more than 70% of its clients traveling solo, Wild Frontiers knows how to create itineraries and experiences designed with the single adventurer in mind. As usual, there are no extra fees for those going it alone, although a single supplement can be applied for those who want their own rooms. The company caps the majority of its tours at just 12 people, which allows all travelers to get to know one another better, something that is crucial for solos. And considering the vast library of amazing trips on offer, there will certainly be some enticing journeys to be had.
While most of the travel companies on this list offer excellent options for those who want to travel solo with them, Flash Pack actually caters to singles, specifically in the 30s and 40s age range. The company has created a number of excellent itineraries that deftly blend adventure during the day with a dash of luxury at night. The trips are designed to keep participants active, while providing comfortable accommodations, as well as great food, and wines to wrap up the evening.
Flash Pack says that over 90% of its clients are solo, and most are professionals between the ages of 30-49. On top of that, about 60% are women, making this a great choice for ladies looking for a safe and inclusive environment to explore the world.
As with all of the other travel companies on this list, Exodus offers a wide variety of itineraries for adventurers looking to visit nearly every corner of the globe, including the Arctic and Antarctic. What separates it from the competition however is that Exodus designates one or two options for each of its tours as "Solo Departures." These trips are recommended for anyone who is traveling alone, giving them a chance to connect with other single travelers who are doing the same. This is a unique approach to making solo travelers feel much more comfortable, as they know that they may be traveling by themselves, but they won't be alone.
Specializing in small group trips (8-16 people) Overseas Adventure Travel provides fantastic itineraries on both land and by small ship at sea. The company also caters nicely to the solo traveler by offering free or low-cost single supplements, allowing clients to enjoy private accommodations without adding a significant chunk of change to the price of the trip. The same offer extends to pre- and post-trip extensions as well. The company also features a good roommate matching service and has an active online community where travelers can connect with fellow members of their group before they ever leave home.
Contiki says that more than half of its travelers are of the solo variety, which means that its tours are designed to be singles-friendly. The company has also built online tools to help its customers connect prior to their departure and Contiki guides are instructed to help their groups to mingle more easily. The tours also have plenty of built-in free time that give travelers a chance to connect and bond in stunning environments. Most of the itineraries also include group meals, making it easier for everyone to connect over some delicious food. And since Contiki offers itineraries to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, North America, and Latin America, the choices of places to go are practically unlimited.
When it comes to adventure cruises, it is tough to top Lindblad. The company offers some amazing small ship journeys to remote places, including Baja, the Galapagos, and South Georgia Island. Of course, those types of trips can be pricey, and aren't always solo-traveler friendly, but Lindblad has taken great care to welcome single clients aboard their vessels.
For instance, the company will go to great lengths to match like-minded travelers of the same sex, allowing them to split the cost of a double-cabin. If it can't find anyone to match you up with however, it won't charge a single supplement for a double room. The company even offers single rooms at substantial savings for those who prefer their own space. Lindblad has even gone so far as to place an odd number of chairs at many of the dining room tables, giving single travelers a chance to mingle with the crowd. This not only saves room for everyone, but makes it more inviting too.