Sure, travel can be an enriching, life-affirming experience. But what’s not life-affirming is being walloped with eye-watering single supplement fees, just because we happen to be single or travelling solo. With holiday association Abta reporting a 150 per cent jump in the number of solo trips over the seven years to August 2018, companies are starting to sit up and take notice of those going it alone.
Here are some of the best solo-friendly trips on the market right now.
The bucket-list Antarctic adventure
A cruise to one of the most remote spots on the planet can be pricey, especially for someone travelling alone. But costs can be cut by sharing a cabin with another traveller of the same sex, bringing this immense icy wilderness within reach. Original Travel offers this handy sleeping arrangement; its trip to the Antarctic brings you cheek to jowl with elephant seals, Gentoo penguins and icebergs the size of small towns.
Original Travel (originaltravel.co.uk) offers a 12-night itinerary to Antarctica from £6,995 for a solo traveller, including accommodation, meals and flights.
The hike of your life in Kathmandu
The folks at G Adventures believe solo travellers should be celebrated, not punished, so none of their tours have solo supplements. Its Everest Basecamp trek is ideal for independent travellers. With a full-time support team on-hand to assist, you’ll trek along glaciers, through yak pastures and across high-altitude alpine meadows, finally reaching Basecamp at a lung-pinching 5,184m.
G Adventures (gadventures.co.uk) runs 15-day treks from £1,019 per person, excluding flights.
Guide training in South Africa and Botswana
As well as comprehensive courses for professionals, Eco Training also offers week-long taster courses for wannabe safari guides in Kruger Park’s remote Makulele Concession or the Mashatu game reserve in Botswana. Guests can keep an eye out for lions, leopards and rhinos as they trek across the bush, learning to track animals, start fires (safely) and construct temporary wild camps for sleeping under the stars. The perfect way to bond with your fellow travellers.
Eco Training (ecotraining.co.za) offers five-night all-inclusive courses for £458, excluding flights.
Canyoning in Serbia
Time-poor solo travellers can still hurl themselves elbow-first into adventure with Much Better Adventures’ sociable and affordable long weekend trips. Its three-day canyoning and hiking trip in Serbia will see you pummelled by 25m waterfalls and then cosseted by remote river canyons. Best of all, about 55 per cent of the company’s customers are single travellers, so you’ll be navigating the craggy Valjevo mountains with like-minded souls.
Much Better Adventures (muchbetteradventures.com) offers two-night trips with full-board accommodation from £230, excluding flights.
Desert hiking in Jordan
Flashpack is a multi-award-winning company dedicated to solo travellers in their 30s and 40s. Its adventures stretch from Borneo to Belize, but we’re quite taken with the Jordan itinerary, which allows you to hike a secret “back door” trail to Petra, star-gaze at a remote eco-lodge and cruise across the sand dunes of Wadi Rum in a fleet of jeeps.
Flashpack (flashpack.com) offers eight-day trips from £2,587, excluding flights.
Glaciers and Grizzlies in North America
Travelling solo as a woman can be intimidating, but companies such as Trek America focus specifically on creating adventurous small group itineraries for those who think gender shouldn’t be a barrier to travel. Its 11-day adventure through the Canadian Rockies includes a snow coach tour on the incredible Athabasca Glacier, leisure time in the postcard-pretty Lake Louise and the chance to spot bears, caribou and wolves along the way.
Trek America (trekamerica.com) offers an 11-day trip from £1,819, including all accommodation and some meals but excluding flights.
Gorilla tracking in Uganda
More than half of Contiki’s customers are solo travellers. Catering to the 18-35 demographic, its trips are high-octane and fun, focusing on connecting like-minded people from all over the world. Their four-day trip though Uganda’s Entebbe, Bwindi and Lake Mburo takes you face-to-face with the magnificent gorillas living in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Reserve.
Contiki (contiki.com) offers a gorilla trek as an extension to a core Africa trips, from £1,989 excluding flights.
Solo wellness in St Lucia
During September, the sweat-friendly BodyHoliday resort on St Lucia’s Cariblue Beach welcomes solo travellers from around the world to take part in its schedule of personalised spa treatments, fitness classes, and water sports. There’s no obligation to talk to anyone else while you’re there, but chatty guests can sign up to group activities from dinner parties to sunset cruises.
The Inspiring Travel Company (inspiringtravelcompany.co.uk) offers a seven-night trip on an all-inclusive basis from £2,699.
Hiking the overland track in Tasmania
Hike, swim and snorkel through Australia’s unspoilt island state on an overland trip run by female-owned travel company Adventure Women. You’ll pass through ancient rainforests and across glacial terrain, before cooling off in natural swimming holes surrounded by native wildlife and bush views. Best of all: at the end of each day, a hot shower, glass of Tasmanian wine and comfortable bed awaits.
Adventure Women (adventurewomen.com) offers a six-day trip from £4,322, including accommodation and some meals but excluding flights.
Exploring India’s Golden Circle
Intrepid Travel offers some fantastic itineraries that cater to solo travellers only, including a small group expedition throughout India’s Deli, Agra and Jaipur, allowing individual travellers to soak up the history of massive forts, the opulence and splendour of Rajasthan’s palaces and the bustle and buzz of India’s bazaars, without having to go it totally alone.
Intrepid (intrepidtravel.com) offers an eight-day trip from £615, excluding flights.