Solo travel has become so popular that travel companies are introducing holidays and facilities especially aimed at the solo travel ‘crowd’, including solo cabins on cruise ships, women-only hotel floors and fewer punishing single supplements.
For many women, it may seem blissfully narcissistic to go on holiday on their own terms – go where they want, do what they want, when they want to. It would appear, however, that is in fact women who are the driving force behind the current solo travel boom, according to a TripAdvisor survey.
Solo women travellers have increasingly accepted and persuaded their loved ones that travelling alone does not mean being lonely while on the road. Some would argue that embarking on a holiday alone encourages you to push your own boundaries and enjoy experiences you would otherwise not enjoy in the company of friends and family.
Trafalgar South Africa MD, Theresa Szejwallo, who has herself travelled to 71 countries and is a frequent solo traveller, brings you some of her favourite solo travel highlights:
Sydney, Reef and Rainforests - Australia
Exceptionally easy to get around and offering a combination of splendid natural beauty and modern cityscapes, Australia’s familiarity for South Africans makes it an obvious choice for first-time solo travellers who want to expand their horizons, but not so far that their holiday is fraught with uncertainty. Spend a couple of days in cosmopolitan Sydney, touring the beautiful harbour area and Bondi Beach, among others, before heading up to the exquisite Hamilton Island for a well-deserved break, and then on to the Great Barrier Reef and Cairns to visit the Barron Gorge National Park.
Treasures of Thailand with Cambodia
Mesmerising World Heritage Sites and charming south-east Asian cultures combine on this jaunt from Bangkok to the northern Thai cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, and on to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. Explore ancient capitals and bustling street markets, meeting the gracious people of both lands. Trafalgar offers a special visit to Angkor Wat in the company of a Khmer Scholar to gain special insight into this World Heritage Site.
Natural Wonders of Costa Rica
This “Hidden Journey” through Costa Rica offers a rare opportunity for small groups to experience Costa Rica’s “Pura Vida” in a hassle-free, authentic way. Travel to the slopes of the Arenal volcano, walking along the Arenal Hanging Bridges to get up close to sloths, monkeys and a variety of tropical birdlife. Tap your inner adrenalin junkie in Borinquen and spend some soulful time relaxing on Carrillo Beach before venturing deep in to the Los Angeles Cloud Forest. This is an eco-tourist’s paradise.
Spain, Morocco and Portugal
Spain and Portugal are among the best-value holiday destinations for South Africans and one of Trafalgar’s most popular holidays currently is one that combines these destinations with Morocco. Highlights of this holiday include a visit to a stud farm, lunch with a local family in Portugal’s Alentejo and visits to Granada, Fez, Seville and Fátima. See a traditional Moroccan pharmacy, visit the Alhambra and wander the halls of the exquisite Hieronymite Monastery in Lisbon.
There’s no need to cure your travel bug from the discomfort of your couch. First-time solo travellers can join an organised guided holiday and enjoy an authentic, effortless and fun experience, making new friends along the way.