Over 50s holidays for solo travellers

You may have concerns about travelling alone, if you havenít done it before. Or you may be a dab hand at it and totally cool. Our role is to try and help answer a few of the questions that frequently come up when chatting with solo Ė or single Ė travellers over 50.
travelling alone

I would love to go to such and such a destination, but am nervous about going on my own.

Small group holidays are a gift to solo travellers. Let go of the image of coach trips full of pensioners with their flasks and sandwich boxes. These are carefully crafted holidays with two vital features: A finely honed itinerary, based on years of local expertise and inside knowledge, and a highly trained and passionate local guide or tour leader. Look at the reviews on our site and most of them mention the guide. You will never feel nervous travelling alone when you are in the hands of an expert tour leader. And we arenít talking about someone who marches around with an umbrella, citing off this detail and that. They might be highly trained mountain leaders, cycling experts, or just people who really understand what it is to immerse yourself properly in another culture, sussing out the best restaurants that other tourists donít know about and so on. Yet not doing everything for you either. Just gently encouraging you to dip your toes into a country that is new to you and feel how lovely it is. So, all in all, you are in safe and extremely sussed hands.
I donít mind sharing a hotel room when I travel alone, but I know myself pretty well. And I have learned to draw the line at sharing a tent with someone I donít know.
single supplement

Will I always be able to have my own room and, if so, will I have to pay a supplement?

In most cases, you will be able to get a room of your own. Even if you are camping, a solo tent is usually provided. If you are staying in a mountain refuge, for example, while trekking on Mont Blanc, there wonít be single rooms. However, there is nearly always a solo supplement, sorry. It is just how it works economically, as we work with a lot of small businesses and accommodations. If you share a room it costs them a lot less, simple as that. However, there are exceptions to the rule, such as small ship cruise holidays, where there is often a single cabin, or some of our yoga, wellness and fitness holidays, where guesthouses are switched on to the fact that not everyone wants to share, and so they have rooms to cater for you, at no extra charge. Travelling outside peak season is usually a good time for lower surcharges. But always ask your tour operator for details. See also our no single supplement holiday section.
Tip for solo travellers from Andrew Appleyard, at our leading supplier Exodus Travels:
ďThere are solo travellers in the 50s and 60s sometimes they are single or indeed in some case of trips I have led on Kili recently widowed and sadly doing things they have planned with partners later on in life. My tip is donít feel like you are going to be the oldest, although in many ways you might be the wisest of the group. I have also found this age group to be sometimes fitter than younger clients and much better prepared.Ē

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Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Over 50s or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Being single

Will I be the only solo traveller on a small group tour?

Of course this is hard to predict, however our expert suppliers have assured us that a high proportion of people going on small group holidays are going solo. However, you will also get couples and groups of friends Ė although where possible families with children tend to be grouped together on separate departures (and of course Ė outside of term time). A good tour operator will be able to advise you of the typical demographic and mix of the particular group, but rest assured that you will never be perceived as odd because you are travelling solo.
I love travelling with people different ages, although I must admit, I donít opt for ones where under 16s are allowed. I have done my years of being a mum. And now I am a happy granny. But my holidays are adult time.
Solo specific holidays

Do you sell holidays specifically for solo or single travellers?

No we donít. There are experts out there doing that, but we represent responsible holidays that are aimed at everyone. Solo, couples, families, gay, straight, over 80s, under eights. The only restriction is sometimes on age, as some of our holidays are not recommended for children under a certain age, usually for safety reasons. Interestingly, there are some types of trips which do tend to attract more solo travellers Ė particularly special interest trips such as photography holidays, where perhaps only one half of a couple is interested. Volunteering abroad, too, seems to particularly appeal to single people Ė perhaps because of the communal nature of the activities and general team spirit.
I took my first trip recently as a widower with a small group travelling through Vietnam. I was nervous as I thought I might be the only person travelling alone. But all fears were assuaged, and we felt like one big family from day one.
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Ross Huggett] [Intro - Woman looking at waterfall, UK: Toa Heftiba] [Nervous to go alone - group in Bhutan: Zachary Collier] [Single supplements - Mexico: Wonderlane] [Andrew Appleyard quote: Erik Brockdorff] [Will I be the only single?: Erik Brockdorff] [Travelling with adults quote: Gareth Williams] [Solo specific holidays...: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast region] [Vietnam quote: shankar s.]