What if you've got the urge for adventure, but no-one to do it with? Over 50% of travellers on our trips are travelling solo, which is why travelling as part of our small group tours 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 optional single supplements if you want a room all to yourself. All you have to do is turn up with a smile and a passport: we’ll handle the rest.
Our most popular group trips for solo travelers
All our group trips are perfectly suited to those of you travelling solo, but here are a few favourites as rated by our previous solo travelers.
Brand new trips for solo travellers
You guys loved our first solo-traveller-only trips earlier this year, so we’ve got some great news; brand new solo-only departures for 2018. We’ve picked some of our most popular trips and scheduled a couple of solo-only departures, perfect for those of you that only want to travel with other, like-minded solo travellers.
The perks of solo travel on a group tour
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’re travelling solo or with a partner, our trips have a set itinerary. But within that there’s time set aside for your own exploration (if you want to – no pressure). The amount of free time depends on the travel style - you can ask your guide for a few tips then head out alone, or hang out with the group and see where the day takes you.
Not if you don’t want to. If you’re happy to bunk with a traveller of the same gender, there’s nothing extra to pay on the vast majority of our trips. 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.
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). Our trips attract a mix of genders and ages generally range from 25 to 65. It’s hard to know exactly who you’ll meet, but you can be assured you'll be a part of the fun.
On average, solo travel on a group tour is way more cost-effective than heading out on your own as you're splitting the cost (we can also guarantee a lot more inclusions and extras than you’d usually get for your money).
We have a range of trip styles – Basix, Original and Comfort – that offer different levels of flexibility and free time. While there’s always a set itinerary for the group, our Basix trips tend to have less included activities and more time to do your own thing, Original trips have a 50/50 balance, and our Comfort trips have more included activities. Lots of our travellers choose to travel on their own, so it’s common for people to want different things from their experience. Be sure to chat to your leader; they can recommend places to explore during free time or things to try after the trip has finished.
Solo travel: stories from the road
Tips for female solo travellers
It pays to learn a little bit of the local language wherever you go. The locals will open up more if you know a few basics (plus they’ll be pretty chuffed if you order your coffee in Vietnamese or baguette in French). Always consider the country’s dress code and dress like a local as much as you can (head out to the local markets for a few new outfits if you didn’t pack anything appropriate). In many places, women are expected to dress modestly and cover up exposed skin – leave the short shorts at home and consider packing a sarong or light scarf to cover exposed shoulders, along with a long skirt or trousers. 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 catching public transport after dark when you’re on your own, especially if you’re carrying your suitcase/backpack/fancy camera/map (it kind of screams ‘tourist’). Travelling with a group is a smart move for any traveller, regardless of your gender; it’s always good to have people around who’ve got your back.
Having a few drinks in a new country is fun and a great way to sample the local brew. Consider heading out with your fellow travellers or joining a local city tour – it’s an awesome way to meet new people. If you’re out and about on your own, just like you would at home, keep an eye on your drink and don’t leave it unattended. At the end of the night, avoid walking back to your accommodation on your own – bring your hotel’s business card with you and show it to your (registered) taxi or rideshare driver.
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. Before you leave home, give your friends/family 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.’
Footsteps in Peru, a female solo traveller’s journey through South America.
The adventurer Steve Fossett once said, "The good thing about flying solo is this: it's never boring." We tend to agree. Although heading to the departure lounge with nothing but a passport and a prayer can be a bit scary, the one thing it isn't going to be is lame. This is the story of one female solo traveller. Writer and photographer Marianna Jamadi.
Our solo travel safety guide
Good advice for us all, but particularly for people travelling solo. Make copies of your itinerary, contact details, passport and travel insurance, then email them to yourself and to one or two friends/family at home. Check-in on social media when you can so people can keep track of where you are.
If you’re arriving late in a city by yourself, book a hotel with a front desk or concierge service (many hotels also offer private transfers that don’t cost the earth from the airport or train station). If you're travelling with us, we can help you organise an arrival transfer. Read your maps before you head out for a walk (you can use a map app on your smartphone – or take screenshots of where you’re going if you don’t want to use up your precious data). If you need to check your map when you’re out and about, duck into a shop or café to do it. Leave the blingy jewellery, wedding rings and designer clothes at home, and aim to dress like the locals do – hit up the local markets if you haven’t packed the right outfits. Aim to keep track of travel times, so you’re not caught out after dark.
Most mobile/cell providers now offer travel passes to help manage your international roaming costs (which, let’s face it, are expensive!). For a few dollars a day, you’ll have access to data, which means you can log into your apps (like Skype, email and WhatsApp) when you’re out of WiFi zones and quickly get in touch with someone – a friend at home, someone in your group, or the police – if you need to. It might also be worth checking out the local cell/mobile providers as these can be quite cost effective.
Solo travellers are way more likely to be ‘taken for a ride’ at the airport by unscrupulous taxi drivers, so do your research before you arrive. Make sure you get a cab from the airport/station taxi rank – if you’re not sure where to go, just head to the information desk for help. Touts tend to hang out in the arrivals area and promise cheaper rates, but can often be dodgy. When you get to the cab rank, ask the driver to use the meter or request a cost estimate before you hop in the car – 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 travelling solo on a group tour: safety in numbers. The big, 50-person bus groups stand out on the road, but a small Intrepid group of eight or nine people, with a local leader showing the way – including areas to avoid and getting around safely – won’t draw much attention. Plus, it’s a great way to see parts of the world you may feel uncomfortable exploring on your own. If you want to do things on your own, consider a day tour to familiarise yourself with a city and get to know the local way of life.
Solo travel is all about confidence. If you’re relaxed and self-assured on the street, you’re more likely to blend in. When you meet new people, don’t assume they’re all out to get you, but be sensible too and trust your gut. If it feels wrong, it probably is. Remember: the popular tourist areas are often the most well-lit and secure, but they’re often a juicier target for pickpockets and scammers. Just use your common sense; half of travel safety is simply being aware of your surroundings.