As the world opens up from a long, strange period of lockdown, it feels like a time to get out there and explore, meet new people, and see the world beyond your walk to the shops and back. That’s why here at Not In The Guidebooks, we’re huge advocates of solo travel in Europe in 2021, as this type of travel allows you to enjoy all these benefits and more.
Plus, most European countries aren’t currently imposing too many restrictions on travellers, meaning you can almost imagine the world is entirely back to normal as you explore countries on activity holidays in France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and more.
So what are the benefits of solo travel in Europe? Why should you consider it for what remains of 2021 and looking ahead to 2022?
In this blog, we’ll inspect the reasons why solo travel can be such a good way to explore, and try to give you some inspiration for holiday ideas for the rest of the summer, and for next year.
What is solo travel?
Solo travel is, as the name suggests, simply travelling to another country or holiday destination on your own. However, it certainly doesn’t mean spending all your time alone.
Travelling solo can mean joining a group of other, likeminded travellers who share in a hobby, interest, or simply in your passion for exploring new places and experiencing other cultures.
It could be joining a group on a cooking holiday in Italy to get to grips with one of the world’s most addictive cuisines and discover life in the untouched medieval villages of Tuscany, or it could be capturing the beautiful vistas of Andalucía with a group of other budding artists on a painting holiday in Spain.
The point is, travelling solo doesn’t mean travelling alone, it simply means enjoying travel on your own terms, potentially with other travellers who can become lifelong friends.
What are the benefits of solo travel?
What with much of Europe allowing travel from the UK again, solo travel is a chance for you to really make the most of what has recently become a more open continent.
It is a chance for you to remember what it was like to meet new people, try new food, see new places and get under the skin of another culture. But why exactly should you choose solo travel in 2021?
1. You will meet new, likeminded people
Our first reason for travelling solo is a pretty obvious one. By either heading out on your own adventure or by travelling with us on one of our solo holidays around Europe, the chances of meeting new, likeminded people with a passion for travel rises dramatically.
When with a travel companion, it’s much easier to get ‘stuck’ just spending time with them or with your group, which, while it can also be a good thing, can limit your time spent meeting new people.
On our trips in Europe designed specifically for solo travellers, you are guaranteed to meet new people, and not only that, but people that share in your interests and enthusiasm for travel.
To us, one of the great aspects of travel is meeting new people, often making friends for life through shared experiences as you explore the world, and travelling solo is the best way of making this happen in 2021, particularly after a year and a half where meeting new people has been especially difficult.
2. You can do things on your own time
When travelling solo, there is no need to stick to another’s schedule, worry about what someone else might want to do next, or wrack your brains thinking about how you’ll fit the things they want to do into your day.
To us, travelling solo represents ultimate freedom. No responsibilities, no need to plan around others, just a chance to wake up each day and concern yourself with how to get the best out of your day – for you.
Many of our solo holidays in Europe build free time into their schedules around the tours or activities they include, so that you can enjoy this sense of freedom either as you explore alone, or with another traveller in your group who happens to want to do the same thing.
3. You are more likely to experience a place like a local
As you explore on your own, the chances of you discovering a city or a town like a local increase, as you aren’t swayed by decisions from other tourists or commercial tour guides.
We said earlier that you are more likely to meet new people as you travel alone, and this goes for locals as well as other travellers. Simply asking a local for recommendations on places to eat or drink can get you on the right path to experiencing the true, local side to a destination, meaning you’ll come away having had a richer, more authentic experience.
On our singles activity holidays, we actually put you in touch with these local people who know their homes more intimately than anyone, and the combination of this expertise and their warm hospitality can create memories that last a lifetime.