Travel Trends :: Solo Travel

Solo travel Have you ever traveled solo? ....Contiki tours don't count...

Recently I've seen a big push on the part of major travel companies to target solo travelers and create single traveler-friendly accommodations. In fact, a few months ago I received an email from someone who was looking for some sunny, single-occupancy getaway options; I wish some of the below options would have been available at the time.

Because most packaged vacations---whether cruise or all-inclusive---are based on double-occupancy, unless you travel with a stranger, finding a single room and paying a single price is challenging. Traditionally, this has left solo travelers with DIY vacation packages: booking a flight + hotel + ....... which can also be frustrating given most hotel rooms have space for two.

Whether you specifically want to travel solo, or can't find anyone with the same time-off, here are some single travel options for your next getaway:

Single Traveler Getaways [trip style = cruise] Nowegian's Epic, its newest, biggest and most impressive ship---think vodka ice lounge, big-top circus tent & Blue Man Group headline show---offers 128 single rooms. The Epic hit the high seas in June and surprise surprise, the single rooms have been in high demand, which is likely driving the company to come out with more single rooms on two ships it has coming in 2013 and 2014.

Although Royal Caribbean has been known to offer favorable pricing on cruises for solo passengers, they are now refitting the 2,112-passenger Radiance of the Seas and adding 3 single rooms. Three rooms? Really? I understand this decision is bottom-line influenced, but only adding three singles rooms to an under-served market is a short-sighted mess. The newly renovated ship will service Alaska and Vancouver this summer. {via The Cruise Log}

[trip style = all-inclusive] I've heard stories in the past about Club Med Turks and Caicos being a pretty hot & heavy singles destination, and it appears it still is. Targeting "friends, singles and couples", the resort offers group, single and double-occupancy pricing.

[trip style = urban getaway] The ultra-hip Ace Hotels {Portland, Palm Springs, New York, Seattle} offers shared and well-priced standard rooms. Note that most hotel shared rooms mean 3 of 4 beds and a bathroom down the hall. If you're scared off by the shared bathroom, stay in a 3 or 3 1/2 star hotel with shared rooms and the bathrooms are usually cleaned well.

Pod hotels are all the rage in Asia and Europe, and these small-scale, no-frills hotel rooms are fabulous if you're planning on spending most of your time out and about, and not doing any lounging by the non-existent fire in your room. And for those of you who want to venture to NYC, the futuristic Yotel is opening this spring! If you have trouble finding a room I'll be shocked, given the 669 cabins planned. Don't miss your room's signature techno wall.

[trip style = budget conscious] Some hostels are grungy, but others can be really nice {like this gem I stayed in while in Cusco, Peru}. So, if you don't want to do the out-of-university budget travel thing, but want a decent, value-priced place to stay {where you can be as social as you want} don't dismiss a hostel. Find a hostel search iphone app here.

[trip style = luxury] Seasoned solo travelers who prefer the finer things in life swear by 5-star hotels with a busy bar and/or coffee shop scene. This way, a social gathering place is mixed into the overall experience.

PS - Today is our 300th post! Thanks for reading {and sometimes skimming:}. Please continue to pass it on as we dish out daily travel to amateur jetsetters.

[photo by @TripStyler at the Eiffel Tower. The first time I visited Paris it was on a 4-day solo trip---fabulous experience.]