Taking a holiday alone has never been more popular. According to a recent survey by the travel website 101 Singles Holidays, the number of people who chose themselves as travel companions rose by 14% in 2017.
Findings suggest this boom is being driven by women over 50, who now outnumber men on singles holidays by almost two to one; 63% of solo trips last year were taken by women and the average age of all single holidaymakers was 57.
Our changing lifestyles are fuelling the growing trend. “The stigma surrounding singles holidays has largely disappeared,” explains Cathy Winston, Editor of 101 Singles Holidays. “The number of single people in the UK has risen steadily over the past 15 years, while attitudes have changed dramatically for women over 50, the biggest growth area in singles holidays. With more choice for solo travellers, here is her pick of the top six holidays for single women.
1. Adventure alone
If you want to venture a bit further off the beaten track but don’t fancy going entirely alone, escorted tours are an easy and sociable alternative.
Get your own room with some of the group trips from On The Go Tours, including India, the fastest growing destination for solo travellers. The 14-day Passage To India trip visits Rajasthan, the iconic Taj Mahal and includes tiger-spotting in Ranthambore National Park. From £1,436, departing March 10. Excludes international flights. Visit onthegothours.com.
2. Group getaway
If you’re new to solo travel, singles-only holidays from specialist companies such as Friendship Travel are perfect. With a host to ensure no-one feels left out, you’ve got a ready-made group on hand for days out and dinners, plus the chance to enjoy your own company in the sun if you prefer. With long and short-haul sunshine breaks, such as adults-only H10 Ocean Dreams hotel on sunny Fuerteventura, it’s an ideal way to try singles holidays. From £1,185 for seven nights, departing February 28 including flights. Visit friendshiptravel.com.
3. Over 50s escape
As the new research shows, women over 50 are leading the solo travel boom, so it’s no surprise more companies are offering trips aimed firmly at this age group. Cox & Kings has a string of solos-only tours popular with over-50s, with average group sizes of around 10-12. The 13-day Splendours Of South Africa tour visits a game reserve and national park, the country’s winelands and Cape Town, and also includes drives along the Garden Route.From £3,645, departing October 2, including flights. Visit coxandkings.co.uk.
4. Cruise for one
The flexibility of cruising makes this a great fit for solo travellers looking to explore in comfort - it’s easy to be as independent or as sociable as you choose.
Norwegian Cruises was one of the first to properly cater to solo cruisers, with supplement-free studio staterooms on Norwegian Epic and special singles-only areas, as well as informal dining. Seven nights in the Western Caribbean on Norwegian Epic costs from £1,515, departing August 12, excluding flights, while iglucruise.com has deals for singles including flights.
5. Beach break
If your dream holiday involves chilling out by the beach, with some great food and plenty to entertain, there’s no reason why you can’t do that on your own.
The facilities in bigger resorts make them ideal; adults-only all-inclusive Breathless Punta Cana has communal tables in four of its 11 restaurants, plus an online guest chat room and activities ranging from dance to diving.
Seven nights in a double suite costs from £999, including flights from Manchester and departing September 19, with TropicalSky.co.uk, which offers low or no single supplement, depending on dates.
6. Once in a lifetime
Ticking off a bucket-list experience is what spurs many to book their first solo trip - and a once-in-a-lifetime holiday is guaranteed to induce envy rather than thoughts of pity.
Rainbow Tours offers small group tours with the chance to spot chimpanzees, as well as close-up encounters with gorillas, for a small, single supplement.
The nine-day Uganda Gorilla & Game Safari costs from £4,485, including flights and single supplement of £495. Available on various dates. Visit rainbowtours.co.uk.
For more information, visit 101holidays.co.uk/singles/.