Traveling alone can be quite difficult, especially if you're a senior citizen, but fortunately, there are a number of single-friendly cruises and tours for people 60 and over.
Normally when you book a tour or cruise, you pay a per-person, double occupancy price; if you’re traveling alone, you are charged a higher price, normally called a single supplement. The single supplement is usually quite high—up to 50 percent of the trip cost—because it is designed to recoup the income that would have been generated by a second traveler.
Fortunately, some tour operators recognize that many seniors are solo travelers and now offer "single-friendly" trips. Single-friendly tour groups and cruise lines offer no-cost or low-cost single supplements or provide “guaranteed share” options. By participating in a guaranteed share program, you agree to be matched with a roommate, nearly always of the same sex and smoking preference. In return, your single supplement is waived. Should your tour operator or cruise line be unable to match you with a roommate, you’ll still pay either a reduced single supplement or none at all.
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Connecting: Solo Travel Network (CSTN) is a Canadian not-for-profit organization that specializes in finding information for single senior travelers. Members receive a useful newsletter and three e-books—"Single-Friendly Travel Directory", "Going Solo Tales" and "Going Solo Tips." The website lists single-friendly tour operators, cruises, hotels and more, but CSTN is aimed at all ages. You will still need to investigate each cruise line and tour operator to ensure that the trip’s activity level and demographics are right for you.
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Solo Traveler's Janice Waugh and Tracey Nesbitt share their solo travel adventures, tips, and tricks on their appropriately-named blog "Solo Traveler." Whether you're looking for information on where to go or how to avoid the single supplement, this nuts-and-bolts blog can help you plan your trip. The Solo Traveler Deals page highlights upcoming trips aimed at solo travelers.
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Singles Travel International offers trips and cruises for all age ranges, but they also offer cruises for singles ages 50 and over several times each year. You can go on safari or get away for a weekend to explore Italy, and you get to choose either a room sharing option or higher-cost private room. Smokers, snorers, and travelers who use a CPAP machine may need to pay for a higher-cost single room if a roommate cannot be found for them. Some trips take you far from medical assistance. Carefully review the itinerary details before you book your tour.
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Silversea Cruises is a luxury cruise line that offers reduced single supplements on some of its cruises. Silversea also has a Gentlemen Hosts program on some cruises; single women who want to eat or dance with someone can enjoy the companionship of a polite, polished gentleman. Condé Nast Traveller chose Silversea as the “World’s Best Small Ship Cruise Line” in 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014, and Silversea's awards list continues to grow.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Solo’s Holidays offers international trips and activity trips for singles in three different age ranges: over 30, over 40, and over 50—as well as tours for singles of all ages. Because this tour operator is based in the UK, trips depart from London and are priced in British pounds. They offer single rooms and private facilities, and most trips do not have a single supplement. It is easier to find Solo's Holidays trips for senior travelers by searching for "age 45 and up" than by searching for "travelers age 50 and up."
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Tauck World Discovery, a luxury tour operator, offers group tours, riverboat and small ship cruises, and rail tours combined with motorcoach tours or cruises. On some trips and river cruises, Tauck reduces or eliminates its single supplement. Check Tauck World Discovery's Traveling Solo web page for an up-to-date listing of discounts on solo travel adventures.