Top Tours for Single Travelers
Choosing the Right Tour Company for You
Andy Smith / Cultura / Getty Images
Are you thinking of taking a tour alone, but you’re afraid of being the only solo traveler in your tour group? Don’t fret. The number of solo travelers of all ages embarking on outdoors and adventure tours has skyrocketed in recent years. Many tour companies now offer a variety of perks to accommodate this growing trend, reducing or, in some cases, entirely eliminating steep "single supplement" fees that have traditionally accompanied solo bookings. Discover the top tours for single travelers offered by companies that delve into a region's culture while maintaining a friendly, small-group setting.
For Independent Travelers: Intrepid Travel
Keeping tour-group sizes to no more than 10 people, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations and having the freedom to chase down unexpected experiences as they pop up along the road — such is the philosophy behind Intrepid Travel. This company attracts adventurous souls seeking tours led by guides based out of offices in 22 countries, as well as local travel operators in countries where Intrepid does not have offices.
Intrepid tours take travelers to far-flung destinations around the world. Some of its most popular trips include Peru, Thailand, Kenya and Italy, with options offered in a variety of tour styles, from budget-friendly "Basix" (1- to 2-star hotel accommodations) and standard "Original" tours (2- to 3-star lodgings) to "Comfort" level trips, which feature higher-end accommodations.
Intrepid attracts adventure souls seeking tours led by guides based out of offices in 22 countries.
Intrepid's flexible approach means solo travelers won't be forced to pay any sort of single supplement. Singles can opt to share a hotel room with another same-sex single traveler for no additional fee. Though the company warns that in some situations, such as homestays, single rooms are not available, so solo travelers who don't want to share a room can book a private room at an additional charge.
For Budget-Conscious Travelers: Overseas Adventure Travel
Budget-conscious solo travelers would be wise to investigate Overseas Adventure Travel's offerings for singles, which include a number of money-saving deals to exotic destinations, including India, Botswana and Burma. Single travelers face no single supplements on any of OAT's Land Adventures (land-based tours with groups of 10 to 16 travelers) or Small Ship Adventures (boat tours of 16 to 25 travelers), all of which are led by certified guides who are residents of the region you'll be exploring.
OAT also does not charge any single supplements on trip extensions of 4 to 9 nights, unlike some of its competitors. This advantage can save travelers hundreds or even thousands of dollars. OAT even offers a "Solo Traveler Challenge" — the company is so certain that it offers single travelers the lowest tour prices, it guarantees it will both meet that price and deduct $500 from the cost of your trip with OAT if you find a lower price on a comparable trip with another company.
Overseas Adventure Travel guarantees it will both meet that price and deduct $500 from the cost of your trip if you find a lower price on a comparable trip with another company.
There's the Travel Companions program as well, which allows travelers to create a profile in a private online community. You can virtually meet fellow travelers with similar interests, allowing you to make friends before you've even embarked on your adventure.
For Hard-Core, Authentic Journeys: G Adventures
For more than 20 years, G Adventures has offered all sorts of trips for solo travelers, from physically challenging tours, such as a hard-core, 10-day trekking adventure up Mont Blanc in Switzerland, to less demanding ones, such as a 22-day Mayan adventure tour through Guatemala, Belize and Mexico, where you'll travel by bus, van and boat.
G Adventures' tours are also best for solo travelers seeking the most authentic experience possible in a given destination; the company offers true local experiences, from authentic accommodations (sleeping in a tented desert camp in Morocco) to local transportation (4x4 vehicles in Africa) to off-the-beaten-path experiences (touring orchards on foot in a rural agriturismo area in Tuscany, Italy).
G Adventures are also best for solo travelers seeking the most authentic experience possible in a given destination, offering true local experiences.
G Adventures does not charge any sort of single-traveler supplement on its tours, though all accommodations in hotels are booked on a twin-share basis, where solo travelers are paired to share a room together. Also, solo travelers who wish to extend their tour by a few nights through one of the company's "independent extensions" will be charged a single supplement.
For Solo-Traveler-Specific Tour Dates: Exodus
Exodus shows travelers some of the best ways to explore a city or region, whether it's cycling along Croatia's Dalmatian Coast, taking small expedition ships through the world's polar regions, or experiencing the northern lights from an igloo. Travelers, in turn, get to dive into a destination's culture, food and lifestyle in a unique way during tours led by local guides trained in Exodus' leader program. The company designates 1 or 2 departure dates for a given tour as "solo departures," which are recommended for clients traveling alone. This approach attracts a high number of solo travelers to tour together.
Exodus shows travelers some of the best ways to explore a city or region such as cycling along Croatia's Dalmatian Coast.
Dozens of itineraries are designated as solo departures (marked by an "S" on the company's website), including trips such as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, cycling through Vietnam, touring Peru's Inca Trail and Amazon rain forest, and walking Italy's Amalfi Coast.
For Well-Heeled Single Travelers: Abercrombie & Kent
Iconic luxury outfitter Abercrombie & Kent offers small-group travel, granting more intimate access to local culture. Solo travelers might be hesitant to book with a high-end company because of the higher costs, but Abercrombie & Kent grants generous discounts on single supplements for select departures on a variety of tours.
On more than 40 departures for trips to places such as China, Tanzania and Turkey, the company reduces a tour's single supplement by as much as 75% or waives it entirely, which can save hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Single travelers on Abercrombie & Kent tours will always be granted single accommodations at hotels throughout their itinerary.
Unlike some tour companies that place solo travelers with roommates, single travelers on Abercrombie & Kent tours will always be granted single accommodations at hotels throughout their itinerary.
New ZealandDon't be put off by the name of Cape Kidnappers in the Hawke's Bay region of New Zealand. The country actually has very friendly residents to go along with its awe-inspiring scenery. 960 1280
VietnamVietnam gets kudos as one of the most female-friendly travel destinations in Southeast Asia. The views are nothing to sneeze at, either. Case in point: the "Cave of Awe" in Halong Bay. 960 1280
IcelandWhen it comes to stunning natural attractions and safety for solo travelers, Iceland can't be beat. There's certainly no shortage of magical spots for contemplation, including Kirkjufell Waterfall. 960 1280
IndiaDespite the horror stories, India can be — with some careful planning and research — one of the most rewarding destinations for solo travelers. Stroll through the streets and markets of cities such as Jodhpur. 960 1280
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