Planning senior trips solo seems to have some sort of taboo label on it for most tour companies and cruise lines. Everything comes in pairs or “for two”. In an economy where traveling in itself is a luxury, most retirees cannot afford senior trips for the price for two when only one person is traveling. Do not fret! There are in fact trips for seniors that are affordable for only one person!
One in every 10 travelers travels alone, which would make a lot of wasted space if all those people took up the space of two! There are certain travel agencies and cruise lines that cater to solo travelers, although some are hard to spot!
Trips for seniors tend to be thought out and planned to the very last detail, but don’t be afraid to be spontaneous! Sometimes waiting to make a reservation to the (almost) last minute can give you better deals on finding a room for one if there is an extra room available. If you are planning senior trips for one, tour companies like Absolute Travel try to place single travelers in rooms with other solo adventurers at the traveler’s request. Do not be afraid to ask! So many money saving opportunities are lost for individual travelers who do not ask about the deals their tour company can offer them.
Intrepid Travel and Adventure Women
Two travel agencies that have trips for seniors that cater to the individuals needs are Intrepid Travel and Adventure Women. Neither company charges a single supplement for individual travelers. Their adventures are endless, and in 2010 alone have offered:
* Whale-watching in Baja, California
* Water sports in the Caribbean
* Trekking in New Zealand’s South Island
The only drawback with these companies is if you are looking for a senior trip with solidarity, look somewhere else. Although these adventure-focused travel companies understand the needs of the solo traveler, the accommodations aren’t so accommodating. When on one of Intrepid Travel or Adventure Women’s trips, you are paired with a roommate. Keep in mind, there is still no single supplement charge for these senior trips, but you won’t be sleeping alone. Keep an open mind and take advantage of this opportunity to meet a new person and have a travel buddy on your vacation.
Cruise lines are extremely difficult to book for individuals due to their already high costs and inflated souvenir prices. However, some cruise lines do in fact care for the single solo traveler and have waived or heavily discounted singles’ supplements in the past. These cruise lines include
* Cruise West
* Hurtigruten/Coastal Voyage
An example of a discount that Cruise West gives is their offer of singles to travel at the “twin” rate in B or C cabins on its Alaska Gold Rush Inside Passage, Prince William Sound, and Antarctica Cruises. Uniworld does not normally drop the single supplement, but keep an eye out for specials and sales, because it is usually offered then.
Packages for Single Travelers
Spas and resorts around the world are figuring out that more seniors are planning solo senior trips. To make their location stand out against the rest, places like the Westin St. John Resort and the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica are offering singles packages.
As previously mentioned, the easiest way to find out about these singles packages is to ask! A lot of singles packages are not widely advertised. Therefore, you might miss opportunities if you do not ask an employee or your travel agent about the singles amenities your resort offers.
Above all, remember that trips for seniors should be fun, relaxing and not stressful. Stretching your dollar to make the most out of your solo senior trip will help make the trip more enjoyable as well as give you the chance to meet new people, whether it be by rooming with them, using senior transportation together, or learning about a new city in a senior tour. Traveling alone takes courage and a sense of adventure that most people dream of. Enjoy the experience, and find the best deals to make the thought of your trip enjoyable even after you get home.