It almost seems as if solo travel is becoming the vogue.
The Los Angeles Times has a story on 10 vacations for solo travelers. It covers just about every option you can think of, from road trips to special-interest vacations to choosing villages over big cities.
Another highly useful LA Times story suggests ways to avoid the single supplement, from setting up a Google alert using the words "single supplement waived" to booking with companies such as Adventure Life to letting a tour company pair you with a roommate, which many will do.
A story in the Guardian offers strategies for traveling alone by a veteran solo traveler. And the rationale. "You travel alone, you do exactly as you want," says author Jenny Diski. Being on vacation with others makes her anxious. "Are they comfortable, happy, restless, bored?"
I totally get this. You feel selfish if you don't consider others' needs and yet you've paid all this money for a short time in a vacation place. Compromises make you feel resentful.
My absolute LEAST favorite words while on vacation are, "Do you mind if..." If I've had to say those words it means I've had to ask permission to do something I want to do.
Not permission, exactly, but I've had to let someone else know I want to do it and hope they come along happily or want to do the same. If not, I find myself thinking that I'm boring them or keeping them waiting. And how many times am I willing to do that? Argh.
Solo Friendly offers five reasons for solo travelers to take an organized tour. They include the ability to socialize, letting someone else do the driving and navigating and hearing the interesting stories of locals who are hired as tour guides on these trips.
And finally, (although there are plenty more sites to mention), National Geographic lists the Asia "Tours of a Lifetime" here. In case after reading Solo Friendly's reasons for taking a tour you're looking to book one.
National Geographic says it chooses these tours for the "outfitters' commitment to authenticity, immersion, sustainability, and connection."
One example is a tour in northern India that "has you riding camels, rickshaws, rafts, and jeeps
to observe leopards, rhinos, monkeys, mongoose, and more at five
national parks and wildlife refuges." Er, except that it costs more than $7,000 for the 19-day trip.
My rich friends, please tell me how fabulous it was when you return!
On the less expensive side is a bike trip in Thailand, around the Chiang Mai area.