Going Solo in the Caribbean: Tips for Single Travelers

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© Yeong Suejan via Flickr

More travelers are going it alone, according to AAA travel agents, and although most solo travelers are ages 18-35, many older Americans are traveling alone, as well. Singles cite the Caribbean as a favored travel spot, especially women who increasingly are enjoying 'girlfriend getaways' to destinations that make singles feel especially welcomed.

If you are planning a single travel getaway, here's some great planning and travel tips courtesy of AAA:

  • Be sure to make a couple of copies of your passport and leave one at home with a relative or friend and store the other one in a separate area of your luggage. If you should lose your passport this copy makes it much easier for the local U.S. Embassy to replace the document.
  • Take along the emergency numbers of the credit card company and card number information (keep in separate secure area on your person) if you should lose your wallet.
  • If you are traveling alone it is important to know the lay of the land before you arrive. That means doing research, reading maps and guide books and talking to certified travel professionals who have experienced the destination first hand. Know where your hotels are located, how you will get around and where you want to go. The fewer decisions you need to make when you first arrive, the less likely it is you will get lost or distracted.
  • Research your hotel in advance: Not all hotel rating systems are equal. Some do not include a full inspection, others are based on traveler reviews, which are not reliable, and others do not take into consideration hotel service and only look at the hotels’ physical features. Before arriving, check out the hotel’s AAA Diamond Rating which will give you the most detailed information available about the hotel’s features, services and amenities.
  • Try to exude a calm, no-nonsense air in public places. You may not always feel calm and confident, but others will pick up on your cues and sometimes just acting confident will do the trick.
  • Avoid single supplement fees by using a travel professional. Many tour companies and cruise lines charge extra fees for single people who travel alone. However, an expert travel counselor can help you find deals for single travelers that are not available, or may be difficult to find on the Internet. A travel professional can also assist solo travelers by placing them on the vacation product (cruise or tour) that best suits their respective lifestyle needs with like-minded travelers.
  • Don’t go out alone at night.
  • Be careful to limit alcohol consumption.
  • Carry a cell phone.
  • Arrive during daylight hours.

In addition to these great AAA-provided tips, here are a few more suggestions for single travelers from the experts here at GoCaribbean: 

  • When traveling alone to beaches, restaurants, etc., make sure to always hold on to your belongings. Much of the crime in the Caribbean has to do with theft/pick-pocketing, and when you are traveling alone, it is harder to keep an eye on all of your belongings. 
  • Always double lock your door at night. Of course, this is always good advice whether you are traveling alone or not, but as a special precaution for single travelers, make sure you not only have your hotel door closed all the way (locked), but also that you use the second lock as well. 
  • Let people know where you are. If you are planning on going out at night, share with your friends on social media what your destination is. That way, if you are to fall off the grid, there is record of where you last were and where you were heading. 

For more tips on how to stay safe on your Caribbean vacation, check out our Caribbean safety guide here.