Friends and relatives can't go . . . are you faced with planning a holiday on your own?
Are you fed up with typical resort-based vacation packages where you'll be asked to pay a hefty single supplement charge only to find yourself sitting alone on a beach surrounded by cavorting couples and families?
Are you daunted by the prospect of getting on a plane, train or bus only to wander aimlessly among the crowds of strange cities?
Does going solo seem like too much of a drag to bother?
Cheer up. Don't stay home. It may be that you just have to revise your ideas about what makes a great holiday and look for single-friendly alternatives, maybe take a more purposeful approach and turn vacation time into time well spent. Think about it ...
Vacation time offers an opportunity to learn all there is to know about an endless array of topics from art to zoo, high brow, low brow or anything in between. Trace the roots of favourite authors, or the family tree, or visit every winery or brewery in a region, every opera house in Europe, or every ancient temple worldwide. Or, what about something way out there, like every haunted house in Britain. Whatever your interest may be, let it lead you into new territory.
A career-related conference is no holiday. But attending a conference featuring a cherished hobby is both educational and fun. Dog fanciers, cat lovers, fly fishers, collectors of everything from comic books to loony tunes, whatever the passion, there is a conference being held somewhere on the subject.
From dance, painting or language classes to golf, hockey, tennis or baseball camps, computer seminar to photo safari. Name it, somebody"s teaching it in a vacation setting.
Single and solo travelers should adopt interests that they can pursue internationally through affiliated organizations whose meetings and outings they can join on a drop-in basis. Archaeology. Astronomy. Ecology. Gardening. Historical. Genealogy. These and dozens of other subjects have worldwide appeal.
Large scale sporting tournaments and annually sponsored festivals all around the world depend on volunteer support. Singles willing to devote vacation time will have a busy, satisfying experience among like-minded people.
The world over, governmental, non-profit and scientific organizations invite helpers to join projects for both long and short terms. Book stores and libraries stock books listing contacts.
Certainly, planning a purposeful holiday isn't as easy as walking into the nearest travel agency and reserving a trip, that is why CSTN is committed to helping you explore the ways and means to a world full of interesting alternatives. Our readers swap ideas for single-friendly vacations, destination reports, travel tales and going solo tips.
The Single-Friendly Travel Directory is a useful travel planning resource that lists over 250 travel suppliers, including tour companies, cruise lines, resorts, spas, clubs, societies, and organizations that offer vacation opportunities of interest to people who travel alone. Whether the traveler wants high adventure or simple sightseeing, beach resort or health spa, art study program or volunteer project, trips designed for a particular age group, or trips just for singles, contacts may quickly be selected from the master list with the help of fifteen different cross-reference indexes that point to companies according to travel interest. The Single-Friendly Travel Directory comes included with CSTN membership.
"If I can travel the globe solo for a year, anyone can," says veteran traveler Diane Redfern who founded Connecting: Solo Travel Network (CSTN) in 1990. These 15 illustrated essays follow a not-so-adventurous traveler's personal rite-of-passage from timid to intrepid. On the road with a "year's gear" stashed in one carry-on bag nicknamed "Pooch,"a wide-eyed Redfern puts on rose-colored glasses and lets serendipity take the lead in a journey that gives her ample opportunity to face her middle-class, middle-age fears and foibles. She gets lost and found, worn and weary, down and out, almost loses her heart more than once and, all in all, returns home renewed, invigorated and convinced that the world is a magical place and that she has had the most marvelous time of her life. Going Solo Tales are included with CSTN membership.
All of the tips we've collected during fifteen years of solo travels. Written from the solo traveler"s perspective, topics cover basic planning and researching, budgeting and finding travel deals, packing tips, money matters, as well as issues concerning loneliness,health and safety. Going Solo Tips are included with CSTN membership.
>> See also: Safe Travel Tips by Bob Arno, the Pickpocket King