Sometimes You Just
Gotta Be Alone
By Bob & Sandy Nesoff
Oh the joy of traveling with your grandchildren. Little in life can compare with that. Your kids are grown and no longer put time aside to go anywhere with you. But the grandchildren are always up for some “chillin” time with the grands.
But there comes a time in life when you truly need some “me time.” The truth of the matter is that as many of us advance in age we find ourselves without a partner to share every day joys. The kids can’t always be counted on to fill that void but life does go on and you can either choose to live or not to live.
If you’ve led an active life, why stop now? Like to ski? Keep on doing it. Enjoy cruising? Keep on sailing. How about traveling to new places? Why not?
A recent study by Booking.com aimed at experienced travelers has shown that 40% have taken a solo trip in the last year and that 21% more are planning one in the near future.
Going it alone can mean several different things. You can go off totally on your own or you can be an individual and part of a group. The choice is yours but most people would rather have some companionship along the way. Going with a group can mean making new friends, someone to spend some time with but yet permitting you the alone down time you crave.
Solo travel may be a bit daunting for novice travelers. Small group tours may be just the thing for those ambivalent about being with others. You have more control over your own time.
Check out the various tour companies who may offer such trips and make a choice. One of the foremost in the field is Insight Vacations, an award-winning provider of escorted trips geared for both individuals and those traveling together. The company’s trips permit families and groups, common on their itineraries, also permit solo travelers to explore on their own and yet interact with others around them.
Cost is a major factor for those single travelers. Hotels, cruise ships, resorts for the most part charge a fairly hefty single supplement. Taking notice of this, Insight offers low or no single added fee of many of its tours. For those who would like a companion, another traveler seeking the same thing can be paired to occupy a double.
Experienced travelers will often, when at a new destination or one they have not thoroughly explored in the past, will take a guided tour making note of locations they want to come back to for a more in-depth visit. Organizations such as Insight can offer both free time and a wealth of logistical information not otherwise available to the traveler, especially a novice.
One recent traveler to Bavaria, Switzerland and Austria on the “Country Roads” itinerary commented: “I’m a terrible planner. Most of the time I was with the group, but in some of the bigger cities I was able to wander around by myself. although most of the time I was with the group. I especially enjoyed the ‘farm-to-table’ experience at Lenzenbaur farm that I would never have experienced if I wasn’t traveling with Insight.”
Some of Insight’ offerings include the “Best of Italy” 12-day regional trip through Assisi, the Venetian canals. Renaissance Florence and Capri. Also included is the visit to Vatican City with a VIP fast track admission to the Vatican Museum and a private viewing of the Bramante Staircase.
Always exciting Turkey is also a 12-day visit that includes the stunning white terraces and pools at Pamukkale, the famed Gallipoli battlefield and Helen’s historic city of Troy. There’s a visit to the underground caves (where else would a cave be?) of Cappadocia, the rock-hewn churches of Göreme and artifacts at Ephesus among other destinations.
If Spain is to your liking there are visits to the Prado with its amazing collection of artwork that includes many El Grecos, the architecture of Barcelona and interesting Seville.
Most of the offerings provide either no single supplement or huge discounts for those individual travelers. For more information check out your neighborhood travel agent or www.insightvacations.com.