SHAKE IT UP:
Staycations are so last year. There are tons of unique travel opportunities offering quality time with yourself or your BFFs.
TIME + WISH-LIST ÷ MONEY = LOCATION:
Globaladventure.us assembles small classes for people who would prefer creative learning in a Mexican hacienda instead of the local YMCA. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that). Check with your alma mater for custom educational tours. Pick a city you’ve always wanted to see and check their local airline website for deals. Groupon often runs special prices on Gate One Travel tours.
Depending on where you live your vacation can be a simple drive, train ride, flight, cruise or spacecraft away.
What’s your current mood? Solo, romance, gal pal getaway, road trip to national parks, fix that bump on your nose at a medical spa, see spring flowers, go skiing, zip lining, swimming, learn a new language or recipe, enjoy a yoga retreat, tack a couple of extra days onto your business trip, go hiking, biking, marathon running, see the fall leaves, improve your photography, jewelry making, sewing, painting or dance steps, stroll through museums, lug a backpack up a mountain, marvel at church architecture, seek out warm weather, pamper yourself with massages and facials, soak up the local culture, go fishing, read a book on the beach, embrace volunteerism, eco-tourism, northern lights… you get the idea.
Bargain to lux, DIY to all-inclusive, no need to go into debt, so live a little already.
SAY NO TO SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS:
Going solo? Great choice. You can do whatever, whenever you want. No wasting a whole day looking at Lladro figurines for your BFF’s granny.
Join the revolution against financial penalty tyranny.
Consider spending your single bucks with progressive businesses and make it clear you resent the extra charges.
Cuban hotels have no single supplement fees, just saying.
First we have G Adventures which offers impressive deals for mission and aid workers.
Abercrombie and Kent will waive the $1500 single supplement fee on their luxury cruises to Greenland and Iceland. Better still, you aren’t forced to bunk with a stranger just to save money.
Intrepid Travel offers a variety of adventures and 25% off last minute trips, most geared towards the bargain hunting outdoorsy type.
Exodus Travels has a great community blog full of travel advice and ideas. Beware the fine print on some of these solo friendly sites. There seems to be confusion on the definition of “single supplement”. I’ve seen sites bragging about no extra fees, yet they charge extra for a solo room. Go figure. Overseas Adventure Travel has an entire page devoted to solo traveling. They never charge extra for your own room. Their tours have more than 40% single travelers. The most popular destinations this year are Morocco, India and Japan.
If you choose a location with questionable personal security your best bet is a tour.
Traveling through Lisbon I spotted an eight-day tour of Morocco for $500. Best decision I ever made despite the rocky beginnings. I found myself on a sightseeing bus with Portuguese travelers and a Spanish-speaking only guide.
The entire ride was “blah blah blah house, blah blah road”. A small degree of menu fluency will save you from an entire meal of goat dishes, not that I’ve ever done that. Sadly, my language skills are limited to finding the location of the bibliotheca y el baño. Speaking of hygiene, somewhere near Fez I needed to use a public restroom. Disembarking the bus, I noticed the driver and guide had turned into a security force, staking out my path to the loo, er, fly infested holes in the ground. Then there was the adventure of shopping the local souks, alive with rugs, aromatic honey and mint-spiked tea, children practicing their English on you, glorious fabrics, even snake charming musicians with a monkey. By dropping bread crumbs, you might make it 10 feet away and back. I would wager 100,000 Dirhams that sans native language guidance a tourist will be damned to forever wander the mysterious twists and turns of souk hell. So get a guide.
Check out Instagram for travel inspiration. The Localeur app provides access to recommendations from locals in your city of choice. Before fleeing the airport, linger a bit and summon Uber from the land of free wi-fi. High international calling fees be gone with your new friend Skype, costing a mere two cents per minute. SeatGuru will save you from the heart and back ache of a non-reclining airplane seat with limited overhead storage.