There are many different trip options for solo travelers. You can go on a group tour, explore solo through a travel agency, drive to a local city with a book of things to do, backpack, or pick up and fly to an exotic location.
Keep in mind this is not an all-encompassing list. Read and research all types of trips and find those that work for you.
My favorite trick is to check out travel agency websites to get ideas. You can book with them, or use their itineraries as a guide and build your own. It all depends on your comfort level.
If you haven’t already thought about your comfort level as a solo traveler, take a second since it’s important. I’ve highlighted which types of trips may fit your style.
- Guided tours
- Ideas for New Solo Travelers
- Using a Travel Agency
- Plan Your Own Adventure
- Mixing and Matching Options
Guided tours are great trip options for solo travelers to see the world. Most of the heavy lifting is done by the agency and you aren’t alone if you’re not comfortable or don’t want to explore completely solo.
All you need to do is book the trip and the travel company does the rest. Tip: check to see if the company charges a single supplement before you book.
Trips can be anywhere from local to exotic. You can go on a cruise, enjoy an African Safari, or even enjoy a local wine tour.
There is always the option to arrive at your destination early or stay later and do some additional exploring on your own if it’s a location you’ve always wanted to visit.
Local Guided Tours
A few examples of local guided tours include wine-tasting tours, cooking tours, museum tours, hiking and camping at State Parks, kayaking adventures, and rock-climbing weekends.
International Guided Tours
If you’re looking to travel internationally, consider trips to Antarctica, Africa, Iceland, to New Zealand. There are historical tours of Greece, cooking tours of Italy, and downtown market tours in Germany just to name a few.
Ideas for New Solo Travelers
If you’re not into adventure traveling, and this is all sounding like it’s too much, you can start with something closer to home like a cooking class at a fancy hotel, or a MeetUp group event.
Using a Travel Agency
If you are ready to spread your wings a bit, one of the other options for solo travelers is to go solo but use a travel agency.
Many agencies offer solo tours which are different from group tours as you are the only attendee. You’ll have your own guides that walk you through the adventure.
The agency provides the safety net of knowing the area, having the itinerary and logistics planned and vetted hosts and guides.
However, you are on your own and there is little help if you get off track somewhere along the line.
You’ll want to make sure the travel agency provides you with local emergency numbers and it’s always worth the extra money to add international calling to your cell phone or purchase a local SIM card.
Example of a Solo Tour Through a Travel Agency
Guide one meets you at the airport and takes you to your first location for an amazing experience. They then get you to the boat that takes you to a new location. Guide two meets you at the boat dock.
Often you are staying with host families and there is usually someone who speaks English well enough for you to communicate.
It may sound a little scary, but these can be incredible adventures and an opportunity to truly bond with a different culture.
Plan Your Own Adventure
Many solo traveler stories online cover this option for solo travelers.
You can do the research and plan your own trip. This can be a big trip such as Patagonia, or a local trip to the mountains for a weekend.
It’s up to you, your budget, and how much time you have to travel.
Even though you want to be spontaneous, research is still essential. You need to have the right equipment and clothing depending on the trip.
Mixing and Matching Options
Putting Two Guided Tours Together
This is a situation where you would book a guided tour and then side-book another tour with a local company.
As an example, one person on my Galapagos trip planned a visit to Machu Picchu. The travel agency he used for the Galapagos trip was unable to arrange Machu Picchu in the timeframe, so he went online and found a local company. It turned out well and he had a great time.
When I went to Grenada on a sailing trip, I had an extra day before my flight home. With help from our ship’s captain, I found a local driver willing to do an all-day tour. He drove me everywhere. I saw the ENTIRE island in one day.
There were times I thought I was going to die a fiery death as I envisioned the van flying off one of the steep cliffs he was flying around, but it all ended well. It was an incredible day and I still have a ton of pictures.
Planning Your Own Adventure then Linking with a Group Tour
Some travelers will fly to a location and try to sign up for a guided tour once they arrive, hoping to save money.
By booking last minute you won’t have a choice on the boat or itinerary, but you will have a much less expensive trip because tours often offer huge discounts to fill empty cabins.
For example, some people stop in Patagonia to see the sites, then fly to Ushuaia Argentina and book a last-minute trip to Antarctica. They save thousands doing it this way, but it’s a bit of a gamble so be ready for anything.
The point here is don’t lock yourself into just one thing. If you have a plan for what you want, see what else you tuck into the trip.