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If there’s one thing that we’ve missed out on in the last year and a half, it’s the chance to meet new, like-minded people and travel the world, so this could be the perfect time for you to consider solo travel.

Solo travel offers you the chance to get back out into the world and discover new places and cultures, all whilst getting to meet new people who, like you, love travel.

Combine this with a singles activity holiday, where not only do the people you meet love travel, but also cooking in Italy, yoga and wellness in Portugal, or photography in Morocco, and you have yourself a group of people you won’t be able to help but get along with.

But what does solo travel actually mean? What options have you got if you’re looking to head out on a singles activity retreat, which let’s remember absolutely does not mean a holiday for single people only, that incorporates your hobbies with travel?

In this blog we’ll run through some of the reasons solo travel should be on your to-do list in 2021, and why singles activity holidays will be an up and coming trend for the year of travel ahead.

What is solo travel?

solo traveller in front of a temple

The clue is in the name to be fair. Solo travel is simply going travelling, whether domestic or abroad, on your own.

Some of the great benefits of this include:

1.      Doing what you want with your solo travel time

Who doesn’t like being able to do exactly what you want with your time, all the time? When travelling solo you get first and final say on where you go next, where you eat, drink, sleep, or travel to, all at a pace that suits you.

Sometimes particular cities or cultures hook us in and we want to linger there a little longer. Sometimes we want to move on and experience something new as soon as possible. When travelling single, you get to choose.

2.      Meeting other solo travellers

guest with beer in pool

The other major benefit, and the one that we find is one of the best advantages of solo travel and singles activity holidays, is that you meet new people. Travel is all about expanding our horizons, and meeting new people with fresh frames of reference to life is a hugely useful way of doing this.

You’re also likely to meet people who, despite being from all walks of life, have a similar mentality when it comes to looking at the world. The majority of solo travellers you encounter will have a sense of curiosity, of adventure, and of wanting to really experience life.

And on a singles activity holiday, where you join a group on a say a photography holiday or a wellness retreat, you’ll also meet people who share an interest with you already, making it easy to break the ice and in some cases, make lifelong friends.

3.      Meeting the locals

When you travel solo, you’re far more likely to meet local hosts, suppliers, or guides who are the people that really make a trip special. At Not In The Guidebooks, this is at the centre of everything we do.

The reason you’re more likely to meet these locals who can show you the true, authentic side to a culture or place is that once you have the confidence to travel solo, you are more likely to branch out without the safety blanket of a friend there with you.

Or, if you’re on a singles activity holiday run by locals, they will be on hand to ensure you see the very best local restaurant, the hidden gem that all the locals know but remains off the tourist track, or the most authentic corners of the countryside, where life continues undiluted by mass tourism.

Why is solo travel on the rise?

person travelling solo in yosemite

Solo travel is tipped to be a hot trend in the coming years, purely thanks to the fact that people are ready, more so now than ever, to explore corners of the world in a unique way that really makes them feel free.

And with the freedom that comes with solo travel, more and more people will be tempted to head out and adventure alone. In fact, according to Lonely Planet, around 42% of travellers were willing to travel more to make up for lost time in 2020.

Pre-pandemic, only 17% of travellers were looking to plan a solo trip, whereas now, up to 30% of people are thinking about going it alone in the big wide world. Since 2006 to 2019, interest in solo travel on Google Trends rose pretty much constantly, before dipping in 2020 for obvious reasons. Now, the market is expecting a huge rebound in solo travel once the world is free to explore again.

Singles Activity Holidays

people looking at a view of the sea

Singles activity holidays offer the perfect solo travel experience to anyone keen on getting out there themselves whilst meeting new, like-minded people without the stress of having to organise absolutely everything yourself.

Our singles activity holidays put you in touch with local hosts, who can ensure you experience the very best of their culture and their home, and are usually paired with special interests so that you have more chance of meeting travellers with whom you have something in common.

That might be a cooking holiday in Italy, where you can learn the secrets of Tuscan cuisine in a beautiful medieval village atop one of the countless rolling hills in the region, sipping wine with a group of culinary fanatics as the sun dips down over the horizon.

It might be a wellness retreat in Portugal, where you can experience the best of the local Portuguese villages and culture whilst also enjoying yoga and meditation, in order to truly relax, unwind and reset on your holiday.

One thing in common with all our singles activity holidays is that they will be led and hosted by a local. You’ll be hosted by someone who will bring to life for you the authentic local culture only accessible to one that lives in the community. Whether it’s the food, the sights, the activities you do, what is guaranteed is that you’ll experience a place through a local lens.

Our Popular Singles Activity Holidays

Spanish & Surf Holiday in Fuerteventura

Spain, Fuerteventura

View Experience

Photography Holiday Essaouira

Morocco, Essaouira

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Yoga & Meditation Retreat

Portugal, Lisbon

View Experience

Cooking and Wine-Tasting in Tuscany

Italy, Tuscany

View Experience

Our Top Singles Activity Holidays

We run a wide variety of retreats, experiences and holidays for solo travellers. Here are a few of our best sellers, to help get you inspired.

Cooking and Wine Tasting in Tuscany

On this Italian cooking holiday, you get the chance to stay with a small group of travellers in the beautiful streets of Barga, in Northern Tuscany.

Whilst here, you’ll get hands on with Italian cuisine and culture, learning to make classic dishes and understanding the most iconic methods of Italian cooking. You’ll also explore local markets, stunning vineyards, and of course indulge in beautiful food and wine every day.

Your host, Rita, has Italian cooking running through her veins and will stop at nothing to ensure that by the time you leave, you will too.

Yoga and Meditation Retreat in Portugal

A ten minute walk from stunning coastlines and the beautiful old town of Sintra, this is a wellness retreat that will have you feeling fully rejuvenated and re-energised.

With two daily sessions of meditation and yoga and expert practitioners helping you along the way, you’ll be able to spend your free time with your fellow travellers exploring the local area with endless recommendations from your hosts.

Patricia and Zarqa will be happy to help you find whatever it is you want to spend your time doing, whilst also ensuring you never go hungry by whipping up delicious, vegetarian, local meals every day – a great time to come together as a group and get to know each other better.

Photography Holiday in Essaouira

sunset horseriding on beach in Essaouira

Take the opportunity to head to Morocco for an incredible photography holiday in this bustling, beautiful coastal town with other photographers, ranging from novices to experts.

There is no better place to hone your photography skills than amongst the winding lanes and staircases, the busy harbour or the sunset over the beach. You’ll get expert tuition and get to explore with fellow photographers and travellers, as well as a look into local life in this corner of Morocco.

The small group means your tutor will have more time to help you capture your memories in their best form, and keep them as mementos to treasure forever.

Spanish and Surf Holiday in Fuerteventura

surfer rides the waves in Fuerteventura

Join a group in the sun of Fuerteventura on this Spanish and surf holiday, where anyone from total beginner to advanced learners can throw themselves into Spanish life, on a singles activity holiday that combines language lessons with active excursions.

Join other adventurous travellers by getting your head around the Spanish language in the morning, allowing you to immerse yourself further in Spanish culture, then release all that pent up energy on an afternoon spent in the surf.

With sociable and fun accommodation, there’ll be plenty of time for beers on the beach in the evenings and time to explore the town, before doing it all again tomorrow.


Here at Not In The Guidebooks, we offer a wide variety of singles activity holidays, ranging from surf holidays, to food and wine holidays, wellness retreats, creative holidays and more.

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