In keeping with the growing numbers of solo travelers in the U.S., roughly half of United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) tour operator members have also reported growth in solo travelers last year and many have created new opportunities for those going it alone to visit their dream destinations. Individual travelers make up almost half of some USTOA member businesses, and they have responded with waived or discounted single supplement fees, new itineraries tailored to single travelers, and new ways to connect guests before and during the trip.
“Group or escorted travel is a natural fit for travelers looking to visit off the beaten path destinations with like-minded travelers,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO, in a written statement. “Whether it’s meeting flower farmers in Colombia or cooking alongside a chef during a South African safari, live like a local experiences no longer only come in pairs.”
The following is a sampling of ways USTOA members are encouraging solo travelers to see the world.
Specifically designed for solo travelers, Intrepid Travel’s “Best Morocco – For Solo Travelers” itinerary brings together an intimate group of 12 guests and a local Moroccan guide. The group will trek the High Atlas Mountains and stay in a traditional Berber village where they will learn about the indigenous population. Other trip highlights include fortune telling in Marrakech’s lively medina, chatting with medicine men in Jemaa el-Fna square, and more. Available on select departure dates through November 2018 from $1,175 per person.
Alexander+Roberts has waived the single supplement fees on all nine departures of its “Colombia Emerging” trip. On this private journey with no more than 16 guests, travelers are lead through the vibrant country to spend time with flower farmers outside Medellin and join Bogotá residents in some of their traditional pastime. The trip also features a guided walk to discover Medellin’s vibrant street art, and a full day to explore UNESCO World Heritage Site Cartagena. Available on select departure dates through April 2019 from $3,699 per person for single or double occupancy.
Black sand beaches, snorkeling with Galápagos penguins, and an experienced expedition team create an unforgettable and educational experience for solo travelers on Lindblad Expeditions’ itineraries to the Galápagos. Lindblad Expeditions is waiving solo traveler premiums on solo cabins select 2018 National Geographic Islander and National Geographic Endeavour II voyages. New ships also feature an increased number of solo cabins. Solo travelers will pay double occupancy rates for solo occupancy in designated cabins/categories. Valid for new bookings only and subject to availability with weekly departures year-round from $10,130 solo occupancy.
Tabletop Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope, and more must-experience adventures bring solo travelers to the southern tip of Africa for Abercrombie & Kent’s “South Africa & Victoria Falls” itinerary. The nine-day trip also features a visit to the thundering Victoria Falls and an on-safari Chef's Table experience where travelers will cook traditional fare side-by-side with a chef. Solo guests save 50 percent on single supplement fees on select departures including July 19, 2018, August 9 and 13, 2018, and September 8, 2018 from $7,795 per person.
Trafalgar has waived the single supplement fee on the August 20 and October 8, 2018 departures of its “Best of Greece” itinerary. Guests will traverse the mountains of Arcadia to ancient Olympia, dine with a local Greek family, enjoy a night of traditional food and dancing with local residents, and more during this eight-day trip. Solo travelers also will visit iconic sites like the Temple of Apollo, the Acropolis and Parthenon with a local specialist. Trip is available from $2,050 per person.