I read an article this week about singles-specialist tour operator Just You launching a new all-inclusive programme. And it made me think about what would it be like to travel alone. I guess if you’re single, you don’t have a lot of other options, and for some it’s the only option.
It made me think about the positives of being single and having the freedom to do the things you want to do, and when you want to do them. Going away with a partner can often leave you feeling that you’d rather come home without them!
Valentine’s Day has just been and gone – a cringeworthy time whether you’re single or taken. If you’re like me and didn’t even get a card from your significant other, it makes for a day of pure heartbreak whether you’re coupled-up or unattached!
For some, being single on Valentine’s is the economic option – especially when the BBC’s research suggested that the average spend in 2008 was around £71.25.
So, whether you need a day to show how much you love your partner, or you think it’s just another way to make money, is single life the way forward?
Well, let’s look at it from a ‘single’ point of view and the positives of going it alone. You can benefit from freedom; there’s more time to see your friends; it’s cheaper; you can please yourself; there’s no being kneed in the back in the middle of the night, you get the double bed to yourself; you don’t have to care what you look like when you wake up in the morning – the list is endless! … oh, and you don’t have to buy a Valentine’s card or pressie.
So, we’ve already discussed the benefits of being single, but what would it be like to travel singly? There are many who do, going on all different types of trip, from cruises and adventure holidays to travelling the globe. Old or young, for weeks or months – there’s a huge amount of solo travellers out there.
I don’t know about you, but coordinating myself isn’t one of my strong points. Maybe I should re-phrase that, perhaps reading things properly isn’t one of my strongest points – as mentioned in one of my previous blogs. I managed for six months to misjudge the date of my flight home, when it was written on paper in front of me the whole time. Luckily, I had understanding friends with me who made me feel better about my stupidity and woe. I guess from past experience that in my case, travelling alone wouldn’t go too well…
Putting coordination aside, I can imagine that there’s just so many new feelings and experiences that you could get from travelling on your own. Having so much time to think and taking everything at your own pace – it does sound very appealing. My friend Rach, who went travelling to Southeast Asia last year, split from the friend she went out with and decided to make her own tracks halfway through. Not only did she get to take her own route, but she also met a lot of new people and made some great friends through doing it. If she’d gone with a partner, she may not have experienced that. In short, she had an amazing time and it’s given her the taste to want to do more.
I guess the thing that would get to me the most about travelling solo would probably be going back alone to your room at night, and also going out and eating meals on your own. I’m sure there’s plenty of people in the UK who do this all the time, but in a foreign country, I feel I would struggle. I would admire anyone for arranging a trip of a lifetime and going it alone, because I for one know I couldn’t.
Published by Ross Barnard on February 17, 2010