Solo travel with Intrepid

Sometimes we’ve got the urge for adventure, but no-one to do it with. At times like that you can either a) live vicariously through back-to-back episodes of An Idiot Abroad or b) give solo travel a try. Travelling alone on a group tour has its perks. We’ve got expert local leaders on tap to show you around, ready-made friends who are itching to explore, just like you, and single supplements if you want a room all to yourself. More than half of our passengers decide to travel alone so third-wheeling isn’t an issue. All you have to do is turn up with a smile and a passport: we’ll handle the logistics, transport and accommodation.

Independence is a good thing…but so is group karaoke until 2 am at a sake bar in Tokyo. So for all you lone wolves out there, welcome to solo travel, Intrepid-style.

A taste of solo travel 

The perks of solo travel on a group tour

A local leader
Ready-made friends
Logistics and convenience
Safety

Solo travel FAQs

It’s completely up to you. There’s no extra charge when you share a room with someone of the same sex, but if you'd like a little more privacy, a single supplement is available on the majority of our trips (it’s just a small extra charge). Just mention this to our customer service team when booking your trip and they'll arrange it for you.  

Whether you travel alone or with a partner, our trips have a structured itinerary. But within that structure there’s time set aside for independent exploration (if you want to – no pressure). You can ask your guide for a few tips then head out alone, or flow with the group and see where the day takes you. 

No way! Not if you don’t want to. If you’re happy to bunk with a traveller of the same sex, there’s nothing extra to pay. If you want your own room, just mention it to our customer service team when booking and they can organise a single supplement for a small charge. 

About 60% of our travellers are female, and ages can range from 18 to 65. It’s hard to know exactly who you’ll meet, but that’s all part of the fun. Intrepid travellers are connected more by attitude than age. They’re a friendly, open-minded and curious bunch, and a lot of them elect to travel alone (so no third-wheeling, we promise

On average, solo travel on a group tour is way more cost-effective than heading out on your own (we can also guarantee a lot more inclusions and extras than you’d usually get for your money).

While there is a set itinerary for the group, take the time to chat to your leader. They can always recommend some places to explore during free time or things to try after the trip has finished. Lots of our travellers elect to travel alone, so it’s common for people to want different things from their experience.


 

Our most popular trips for solo travel

DAYS
15
FROM
USD $1,215
CAD $1,330
AUD $1,420
EUR €995
GBP £730
NZD $1,530
ZAR R13,120
CHF FR995
See the best of Morocco from Casablanca to Marrakech. Admire the city of Fes, see the sands of the Sahara Desert and...
DAYS
15
FROM
USD $1,325
CAD $1,475
AUD $1,580
EUR €985
GBP £720
NZD $1,695
ZAR R14,570
CHF FR1,008
Travel to India and visit the romantic Rajasthan region. Tour from Delhi to Pushkar and travel to the Taj Mahal of...
DAYS
16
FROM
USD $1,035
CAD $1,140
AUD $1,220
EUR €760
GBP £562
NZD $1,310
ZAR R11,240
CHF FR778
Discover the beautiful landscapes of southern India on a fascinating journey from the beaches of Varkala to idyllic...
DAYS
12
FROM
USD $1,736
CAD $1,896
AUD $2,032
EUR €1,408
GBP £1,040
NZD $2,184
ZAR R18,016
CHF FR1,440
Travel the breadth of Vietnam, from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, experiencing tranquil Halong Bay, iconic Hue and...
DAYS
15
FROM
USD $1,560
CAD $1,745
AUD $1,850
EUR €1,143
GBP £859
NZD $2,030
ZAR R17,385
CHF FR1,165
Travel to India and Nepal on a tour from Delhi to Kathmandu. Visit the Taj Mahal of Agra, the sacred River Ganges,...
DAYS
15
FROM
USD $1,282
CAD $1,398
AUD $1,503
EUR €1,042
GBP £772
NZD $1,620
ZAR R13,860
CHF FR1,065
Be immersed in the allure of Turkey on this unique adventure. Tour from Istanbul to Ephesus, Pamukkale to the coast,...
DAYS
15
FROM
USD $1,253
CAD $1,372
AUD $1,470
EUR €1,015
GBP £756
NZD $1,581
ZAR R13,549
CHF FR1,041
Adventure through Central America's vivacious Mexico on an enthralling journey from the beats of buzzing Mexico City...
DAYS
17
FROM
USD $2,470
CAD $2,695
AUD $2,893
EUR €2,002
GBP £1,485
NZD $3,109
ZAR R26,658
CHF FR2,052
Experience Brazilian beaches, Uruguayan home cooking and vibrant Argentinean culture on this unplugged Buenos Aires...
DAYS
22
FROM
USD $2,735
CAD $3,200
AUD $3,360
EUR €2,345
GBP £1,740
NZD $3,685
ZAR R31,590
CHF FR2,430
Take a wild African adventure from South Africa to Zimbabwe. Travel north from Cape Town into Namibia, cross over to...
DAYS
10
FROM
USD $1,920
CAD $2,155
AUD $2,260
EUR €1,550
GBP £1,175
NZD $2,465
ZAR R21,260
CHF FR1,595
Hop aboard an adventure tour through the wilds of Borneo's Sarawak region. Crawl through the Mulu caves, hike in Bako...
DAYS
17
FROM
USD $5,840
CAD $6,528
AUD $6,851
EUR €4,753
GBP £3,551
NZD $7,513
ZAR R64,371
CHF FR4,956
Travel to Ecuador and the wildlife-rich shores of the Galapagos Islands. Then visit Peru and embark on an Inca Trail...

 

Solo travel: stories from the road

If you’re anxious about going it alone, you’re not the only one. Here’s what a few self-confessed ‘group tour sceptics’ and first time solo travellers had to say about their Intrepid adventures.

Emily Pinto

Blogger, Emily en route & founder of social enterprise Estrella de Mar

"Our group was a great mix of people from all over the world, of all ages and backgrounds. It was easy to bond over our shared love of travel and excitement to explore Vietnam. At least half of our group consisted of other solo travelers. The atmosphere was very inclusive, there were no lines drawn in the sand according to traveling solo versus in a couple or with a friend."

Torre DeRoche

Blogger, Fearful Adventurer

"At the summit of Mount Kinabalu, my fear of heights was put to the test when I caught sight of a steep drop off. I hadn’t expected to come face to face with my greatest fears on a tame group tour. My teammates cheered me on. The guide took my hand and talked me through it."

Nomadic Matt

Blogger, Nomadic Matt

"Group travel has a lot of benefits, especially for first time travelers. It’s a good way to wade into the travel waters. Not everyone is comfortable just going out on their own so tours can be a good stepping stone for that. My first trip overseas was on a tour and it allowed me freedom in a structured environment."

Best places to travel alone

The two biggest concerns for solo travellers are a) safety and b) a warm welcome. We looked into the world’s friendliest destinations, along with the places with low crime rates for travellers, and came up with the following list. If you want to travel solo, these countries are a great place to start.

Japan

Japan has got one of the lowest crime rates in the world, and in big cities like Tokyo and Kyoto, English is more common than you’d think. A classic destination for solo travellers.

Norway

Inky fjords, soaring granite mountains and some of the friendliest locals on the planet. Norway is safe, stable and easy to get around – everything a solo traveller wants.

Switzerland

A Swiss Rail Pass and a good pair of hiking boots are all you need to explore Switzerland solo. Zurich’s a great walking city, and you’ll find lots of independent travellers in towns like Lucern and Bern.

Costa Rica

Adventure travel was basically born in Costa Rica, which has a reputation for its friendly locals, American expats and easy-going, eco vibe. Just set yourself up in a lodge in Monteverde and go exploring.

Canada

English-speaking? Check. French-speaking? Check. Canada is a great intro for solo travellers, and cosmopolitan cities like Vancouver and Montreal are known for their warm welcomes and hot coffee. A winning combo.

Vietnam

Thanks to a tourism boom over the last 15 years, you won’t be the only solo traveller on the streets of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam is relatively safe and easy to navigate too (compared to a few of its neighbours, anyway).

Tips for female solo travellers

Having a few drinks in a new country can be great fun, but if you’re a solo female traveller it pays to be careful. Consider going easy on the drinks when you’re out on your own, or join a reputable pub crawl or drinking tour with some fellow travellers. Watch your drink and keep it close to you at all times. And don’t try to find your way home yourself in the dark – bring your hotel’s business card with you and show it to your (registered) taxi driver.

Unfortunately, some countries – such as India – have a poor reputation for female solo travel. But women travel solo on our India tours all the time without complaint, and if you’re sensible (or better yet travel on a group trip), there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the subcontinent, the Middle East or any other destination. Just be mindful that some countries come with added risks.

It pays to learn a little bit of the local language wherever you go. For one thing, it’s just courteous, but locals will also open up more if you know a few basics. Dress like a local as much as you can. Shop at local markets if you didn’t pack anything appropriate, and always consider the country’s dress code. In places like Jordan and Morocco, women are expected to dress modestly and cover up exposed skin. Whether you agree with it or not, it’s respectful (and smart) to follow the local style.

When you’re out and about being all adventurey, just keep an eye on the sunset. Try to avoid being in transit after dark as a solo traveller, especially if you’re carrying bulky bags and lots of valuables (it kind of yells ‘tourist’). Of course, if you’re with friends or a group, so much the better. Having people around who’ve got your back is a smart move for any traveller, regardless of your gender.

Social media may be the doom of mankind and rational thought as we know it, but it can be useful. Even as a safety tool. Never before in the history of travel have your friends and family been privy to a minute-by-minute update of your whereabouts, available in their pocket anywhere in the world. That’s pretty nifty. Before you leave home, maybe give you friends a social media heads up, ‘If you don’t see me post a carefully filtered sunset selfie for five days straight, get in touch and see if I’m okay.’

Our solo travel safety guide

Good advice for us all, but particularly for people travelling alone. Make copies of your itinerary, your contact details, passport and travel insurance. Email them to yourself and print out copies for your friends and family back home. Check-in on social media often so people can keep track of your movements. Hope for the best, plan for the worst – that’s the solo travel motto.

If you’re arriving late in a city by yourself, book a hotel with a front desk or concierge service. Read your maps before you walk out onto the street. Consider a bag that sits on your front or side, rather than your back. Leave the flashy jewellery, wedding rings and expensive clothes at home. Dress like the locals dress (markets are a good start if you haven’t packed anything appropriate). And keep track of travel times, so you’re not caught out after dark.

Solo travel is all about confidence. If you’re relaxed and self-assured on the street, you’ll blend in no problem. When you meet new people, don’t assume they’re all out to get you, but be sensible too. If it feels wrong, it probably is. Remember: the popular tourist areas are often the most well-lit and secure, but they are a juicier target for pickpockets and scammers. Just use your common sense. Half of travel safety is just being aware of your surroundings.

Solo travellers are way more likely to be ‘taken for a ride’ at the airport by unscrupulous taxi drivers, so do your research beforehand. Ask the taxi driver to use the meter or request a cost estimate before you hop in the car, and if it’s way higher than it should be, pick another vehicle. A lot of airports have train stations attached as well, so consider public transport if you want to save a dollar or two.

It’s one of the advantages of solo travel on a group tour: safety in numbers. The big, 50-person bus groups might stand out on the road, but a small Intrepid group of eight or nine people, with a local leader showing the way, won’t draw much attention. Your leader will also know which areas to avoid and how to navigate a city safely.

Read more about solo travel 

Confessions of a solo female traveller

Posted on Fri, 8 Jul 2016

You can eat what you want, when you want and where you want. You can change your itinerary because you feel like it (just let people you trust know where you are). You make the rules.

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How to do India as a solo female traveller

Posted on Tue, 5 Jul 2016

We chat to British blogger Katy Colins on what women should expect travelling alone on the subcontinent.

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Flying solo: 10 handy tips for solo travel

Posted on Mon, 4 Jul 2016

It's natural to feel nervous before jetting off alone. So here are a few helpful tips on how to make the most of your solo travels.

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