Solo travelers are adventurers who like a challenge—but that doesn't mean their itineraries have to be. Many options are available, from a New York weekend to an African safari. Some companies are best suited to those seeking companionship, while others simply mix young, old, married and single travelers anxious to explore.
For clients looking for a low-key trip, Gutsy Women Travel's (www.gutsywomentravel.com) "4 Day New York" tour includes three nights at the Hotel Elysee in Manhattan, some meals, roundtrip airport transfers and a guide throughout, who will be native New Yorker April Merenda, the president of Gutsy Women Travel.
On the first day, guests enjoy a welcome reception at the hotel to meet their fellow fearless females. Clients visit the Cloisters, tour Central Park and have dinner on a twilight cruise on the Hudson River, allowing for stunning views of the New York City skyline and the Statute of Liberty.
Departures are June 21, July 12, August 30 and October 4. Prices range from $1,299 to $1,689 per person. These do not include airfare and tips to tour guides. Commissions range between 5 and 15 percent depending on the type of tour and number of reservations booked. An additional 2 percent commission incentive is available on all online bookings, excluding sea cruises, made through the Gate 1 Travel web site (www.gate1travel.com). Call 866-464-8879.
Further north, Canadian Mountain Holidays (www.canadianmountainholidays) is running its "Bodacious in the Bugaboos" tour September 7 through 10. This trip is geared toward females seeking adventure in the form of heli-hiking, a combination of hiking and helicopter rides. Guests, not guides, set the pace for hikes. Each morning travelers gather to stretch and meditate with yoga instructor Angie Smith, owner of Yoga Mandala in Calgary, Alberta.
Hikes include treks through timberline trails, wildflower-filled alpine meadows and mountain ridges. There is a gaming room, a spa for massages, saunas and a rooftop hot tub.
The cost is 2,207 Canadian dollars per person and is based on double occupancy. The price includes ground transportation, helicopter transfers, a three-night hotel stay, all meals and tours and use of hiking equipment. VAST and Virtuoso agents receive 12 percent commission; all others receive 10 percent. Agents can contact Nancy DaDalt at 800-661-0252 or [email protected]
On O Solo Mio Tours' exploration of Tuscany and the Italian Riviera, excursions include Siena, San Gimignano, Greve, Chianti, Sestri Levante, Portofino, Rapallo and Pisa. Both men and women are welcome on the trip, which has two departure dates and takes place after the peak tourist season. Dates are September 19 through 29 and September 29 to October 10. SinglesCruises.com's web site has a photo gallery of past trips
A twin share is $2,539 or $3,309 for a private single in three-star hotels and villas. This includes some meals, tours, museum entry and transfers, but not airfare or gratuities. A roommate matching service is available. O Solo Mio pays a 10 percent commission. IATAN cardholders receive a 10 percent discount. Call 800-959-8568.
Open to men and women, Singles Travel International offers a safari in Kenya. The company does not accept more than 24 reservations for this tour, so book early. STI will provides guest with a roommate to avoid single supplement fees.
The trip takes place during the wildlife migration between Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Masai Mara National Park in Kenya, which may allow for sightings of wildebeest, zebras, elephants, lion and buffalo. The tour begins at the Stanley Hotel, where guests meet at the pool on the first evening of their stay.
The trip departs on June 14, returning June 24. Prices start at $2,795, depending on the type of accommodation booked, and do not include airfare. All transfers and meals, except for three lunches, are included. Singles Travel International pays a 10 percent commission and agents can contact Tammy Weiler, president of the company, with questions at 877-765-6874, extension 703.
It's not too early to book New Year's vacations for clients. For single men and women, SingleCruises.com offers a seven-night New Year's Caribbean cruise. Aboard the Carnival Valor, guests sail through Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Onboard activities include complimentary cocktail parties, costume and theme nights, private dance lessons, speed dating and cabin crawls.
The trip departs Miami on December 30 and returns January 6, 2008. Prices vary depending on the type of accommodation booked, with double occupancy interior staterooms beginning at $908. A roommate matching service is available to avoid single supplement fees. SinglesCruises.com offers a 10 percent commission and is about to launch a new agent portal. Call 800-393-5000. —JM