There are many ways to travel, whether with friends, family, a partner, or by yourself. But, according to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), more and more people are embarking on solo travel trips, with numbers rising from 6% in 2011 to 16% in 2023.

If you’re over 50, a singles holiday can be a perfect opportunity to travel independently, navigate new cities and landscapes, and meet people you perhaps otherwise wouldn’t.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or just beginning to explore the world, taking the first step towards booking a singles holiday can be daunting.

So, to help give you the confidence to set off on an adventure of a lifetime, we’ve pulled together some tips specifically for solo travellers over 50. This includes everything from finding a holiday company you can trust to booking an escorted tour.

What is a singles holiday?

What is a singles holiday

For many people, solo travel is a liberating and freeing experience. However, we know that travelling on your own can be daunting – especially if it’s your first time.

A singles holiday can be an exciting alternative for solo travellers because it allows you to enjoy the advantages of group travel, while remaining independent and in control.

For example, you can decide between itineraries that are filled with excursions, activities, and guided tours, or you can leave your trip largely unplanned and see where the journey takes you. The beauty of a singles holiday is that it can be tailored to your requirements and expectations.

What’s more, you’ll be embarking on an adventure with a group of other solo travellers. Even though you’re technically travelling alone, this means you can also enjoy the security and companionship of being in a group. Many people find that singles holidays often foster great friendships as, with your shared desire to travel, you can be assured you’ll have lots in common with fellow group members!

Countless travel agencies offer singles holiday packages that make planning this type of trip easy and stress-free. Plus, many are curated specifically for over 50s.

You can browse our top solo travel deals by using the button below. Whether you’re looking to go on a short break or a grand tour, there’ll be a trip available for almost everyone.

Who goes on singles holidays?

Who goes on singles holidays

Anyone and everyone can embark on a singles holiday. You’ll likely meet a huge range of people on any given trip.

Some solo travellers may be widowed or divorced. Others might be married or in a relationship, but their significant other can’t join them because of their work, health, or they’re simply not keen on travelling. Amongst the over 50s, many travellers will be retired, may have children who’ve flown the nest, or are simply looking for an adventure.

So, no matter what your circumstances are, you’re sure to meet others in a similar boat.

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Types of singles holidays

Types of singles holidays

There are many ways to travel and what works best for you will depend entirely on your lifestyle, expectations, and requirements. It’s all about finding the holiday that brings you the most happiness, unforgettable memories, and exciting experiences.

If you’re still deciding what type of holiday you’d like to go on, the following list will hopefully offer some useful ideas…

Adventure holidays

If you’re passionate about exploration, then an adventure holiday will allow you to discover everything that your destination has to offer through countless activities, interactive tours, and expeditions.

Beach holidays

These holidays are set against a backdrop of gorgeous beaches, and have a focus on rest and relaxation. They encompass everything from seaside fun and snorkelling to sailing trips and luxury villas.

Cruise holidays

Sailing to stunning places around the world is a popular way to travel. On a cruise holiday, you’ll typically get to see more countries and locations than you would with other styles of travel, while also having time to relax.

Many cruises offer excellent accommodation, diverse dining options, and plenty of entertainment for a luxurious experience.

Walking holidays

These are perfect if you’re looking to explore nature and take in the world’s beautiful surroundings at your own pace.

Our articles, 10 peaceful walking getaways in the UK and abroad and 7 of the top walking and hiking adventures from across the globe, might offer some inspiration.

Alternatively, walking holidays are a great way to explore a new city on foot. Wandering around is a satisfying way to sightsee, especially if you want to experience the history, culture, and architecture of your destination first-hand. You’ll also likely stumble across more enticing cafés, restaurants, and bars than you otherwise would.

Cycling holidays

For those who love staying active on holiday, cycling trips are a fun way to do so while discovering a new location. You can pedal along pretty country roads, through bustling cities, and along glorious coastlines, taking in the views as you go.

For ideas on where to visit on a cycling trip, check out our articles; 9 beautiful cycle routes in the UK, 12 relaxed walking and cycling holidays for your next escape, and Where can I go on holiday if I love cycling?

Train holidays

When travelling by train, you get to see so much more of your destination, and even traverse multiple countries, all while enjoying the stunning scenery from your carriage.

Our article, 12 of the most scenic train routes in the world, may offer some inspiration.

5 of the best destinations for a singles holiday

5 of the best destinations for a singles holiday

With the whole world to explore, even once you’ve decided what style of trip you’d like to go on, choosing which country to travel to can feel overwhelming.

With this in mind, here are a few destinations to hopefully inspire you…

Menorca, Spain

Menorca is a breathtakingly beautiful Spanish island which has been a thriving tourist destination for years. With wonderful weather, stunning beaches, and tantalising cuisine (think local cheese, lobster stew, and profiterole-like fritters), it’s a fantastic backdrop for your first singles holiday.

History buffs can discover the prehistoric settlements and Bronze-Age burial grounds of Talayotic Menorca. While nature-lovers will enjoy exploring the Natural Park which has beautiful walking trails, a freshwater lagoon, and fantastic birdwatching opportunities.

Tokyo, Japan

In Tokyo, high-tech, state-of-the-art city living exists alongside Japan’s rich historical heritage. It’s a unique and bustling metropolis with so much to do. Transport is reliable, efficient, and easy to use. Plus, according to the latest Safe Cities Index, Tokyo is the safest city in the world, which makes it a great solo travel destination.

Our article, 10 places to visit and things to do in Japan, has plenty of tips and suggestions for visiting this fascinating country.

Rome, Italy

Rome is a beautiful city filled with gorgeous museums, classical architecture, and renowned art galleries. History here stretches back thousands of years and is central to the city’s charming character. As you wander along cobblestone streets, you’ll pass tucked-away churches, sunny piazzas, and, of course, the mighty Colosseum – one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Italy is also an ideal destination for foodies. You can tuck into fresh pasta, crispy pizza, and creamy gelato; washing it down with a glass of world-renowned Italian wine or a refreshing Aperol spritz.

Chur, Switzerland

Switzerland has long been synonymous with alpine views, sparkling lakes, and mountain meadows. In winter, it’s the quintessential skiing destination, while, in the summer, it’s perfect for scenic walks and visiting fairytale castles.

The historic town of Chur is also home to the Bernina Express – a mountain railway that crosses the Alps at thousands of metres above sea level; ideal for anyone particularly keen on the idea of a train-themed singles holiday.

Costa Rica

Abundant with luscious rainforests and incredible national parks, Costa Rica is a destination made for adventure and exploration.

If you like water sports, you can go white-water rafting, surfing, and diving here. And, if you’re a real thrill-seeker, there’s also a zipline over the forest canopy which offers stunning views of the Arenal Volcano.

Costa Rica is a haven for animal lovers too who’ll delight in admiring creatures like macaws, sea turtles, and sloths in their natural habitat.

If none of the suggestions have satisfied your wanderlust, you’ll find plenty more ideas in the travel section of our website. Or, you can browse this week’s top travel deals by using the button below.

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Prices and availability accurate as of 9:00am 24th May 2024.

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Should I go on a singles holiday?

Should I go on a singles holiday

As with anything, it’s important to consider whether a singles holiday is right for you.

We’ll explore some of the potential benefits and drawbacks below…

Potential benefits of singles holidays

Flexibility

Whilst on a singles holiday, you’ll be able to decide what you want to do and when. You’ll have the option to participate in various excursions, activities, and guided tours, or you can choose to sit back and enjoy the tranquillity of the pool. It’s entirely your choice.

Meet new people

When you embark on a singles holiday, you’ll have the chance to forge connections and relationships with those in your group. You’ll interact with people who share your passion for travel and are open to trying different experiences. It’s a wonderful way to meet people from all walks of life, and you may even make some long-lasting friendships.

In many instances, these relationships blossom without too much effort, especially if you embrace the sociable and friendly environment that a singles holiday offers. By participating in activities, sitting in social areas of hotels or resorts, and being open to chat, there’ll be plenty of opportunities for you to meet someone that you get along with.

By arranging the holiday in the first place, you’ve done most of the work already!

Broaden your experiences

If you’ve never travelled alone, a singles holiday can encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and embrace trying something that you’ve never done before.

And, more seasoned travellers will know how eye-opening travel can be. Exploring a new part of the globe with different people will always be a great way to have new experiences, create memories, and expand your knowledge of the world.

Personal growth

When solo travelling, you’ll adapt and adjust to unexpected situations and unknown environments without your usual support system. By getting through these situations and managing independently, you’ll probably feel far more confident and self-assured by the end of your trip.

Group travel

Although you’re a solo traveller, you’ll travel as part of a group. There’s safety in numbers and you can feel reassured that you’re not alone and are amongst others who can help navigate any issues should they arise.

Potential downsides of singles holidays

It can be expensive

As with any form of travel, singles holidays can be expensive – especially those tailored to specific groups of people. What’s more, excursions, guided tours, and activities are often additional expenses, alongside food and drinks.

Interacting with strangers

If you’re naturally hesitant around people that you don’t know, you may find it more difficult to interact with the group. Initially, putting yourself out there can be uncomfortable, and it might take you some time to warm up.

Feeling lonely

When we experience something exciting, we instinctively want to share it with loved ones. During solo travel, you might miss family and friends more for this reason.

Tips for planning a singles holiday for over 50s

1. Find a holiday company you trust

Find a holiday company you trust

It might sound obvious, but feeling confident when booking your singles holiday is important. Being secure in your decision can help reduce any anxiety and worry about your trip – giving you the headspace to fully enjoy your upcoming adventure.

It’s best to do plenty of research and only book with a reputable company that’s a member of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA). This means that if you run into any issues after you part with your money, ABTA can help you resolve them.

Using an established business with a proven track record is also a good idea – they’ll have the experience needed to deliver fun and stress-free singles holidays for over 50s. One of the best ways to get an idea of people’s experiences with travel companies is to check out reviews on websites like Tripadvisor and Which?.

2. Book a package tour

Book a package tour

Using a travel agent or booking a package tour for your solo holiday can be a good idea as you won’t need to worry about arranging any activities or excursions while you’re away. With a package holiday, your itinerary will be in place before you travel, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the experience and make the most of your time away without any added stress.

Before choosing a package holiday though, it’s worth thinking about the type of activities you’d like to do. Do you prefer more outdoorsy and active holidays? Or are exploring museums and sightseeing more your thing? Knowing this before you start your search will help you narrow down your options and determine which package is best for you.

To browse holiday packages for a range of budgets, head over to our top travel deals page using the button below.

3. Invest in safety products

Invest in safety products

For most people, safety is the biggest concern when it comes to solo travel. And, while there are many ways to help you feel more comfortable while travelling alone, you might want to invest in products like anti-theft messenger bagspersonal alarms or whistles, and door-stop alarms (to alert you if an intruder tries to enter your room).

You hopefully won’t need to use any of these items, however, simply having them with you may help give you confidence and peace of mind.

It’s also possible to share your location with friends and family members through your phone – this guide from Wired will show you how.

Our article, 12 of the safest places to travel in the world, may offer a good starting point when considering where you’d like to travel to for a solo trip.

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4. Book with an adults-only operator

Book with an adults-only operator

Travelling alone can be a wonderful and liberating experience – even more so if you meet like-minded holidaymakers.

One of the ways you can do this is by booking an adult-only trip, which increases the possibility that you’ll form friendships with other mature travellers along the way.

5. Bring a book

Bring a book

Although you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make friends and socialise, there are always moments on a singles holiday that you might like to spend alone – whether to soak in the scenery or have some time to unwind after a busy day.

Bringing a book with you means you can always escape to a different world and never be left bored with nothing to do.

6. Book an escorted holiday

Book an escorted holiday

Another way you can help put your mind at ease and give yourself the best chance of a positive solo travel experience is to book an escorted holiday where you’ll be guided by an experienced tour manager.

Tour managers can help to break the ice and introduce you to other travellers on your trip. A good tour manager will provide a smiling face and listening ear to answer any questions and assist you whenever possible. They can also help create a relaxing, fun atmosphere along the way.

Not all singles holiday tours feature a tour manager (for example, some are self-guided).

You can browse our top solo travel deals by using the button below.

Final thoughts…

More and more people are choosing to holiday alone, and there are many reasons why. For some, it’s an opportunity to meet new people and make friends, while for others it’s a chance to relax and escape the pressures of day-to-day life. Singles holidays offer a unique opportunity to enjoy the company of other like-minded individuals while exploring new destinations and seeing the world.

There are lots of companies which specialise in singles holidays for over 50s. So, whether you’re looking for an active adventure or a relaxing beach break, there’s sure to be a singles holiday that ticks the box. You might just find that holidaying alone is the best way to travel.

For more advice on travelling solo, take a look at our guide to solo travel or our tips for solo female travellers. And, for inspiration on where to go, why not check out our article; 8 of the best countries for solo travellers?

Looking to book your next getaway?

Are you planning a singles trip? Or are you already a seasoned solo traveller? We’d love to hear about your travel experiences in the comments below!