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?
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
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?
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 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.