The Ins and Outs of Traveling solo, by Melissa Connolly

If you’ve never vacationed on your own before, it can be absolutely nerve wracking to be a first time solo traveler, but, if you do it right, it needn’t be anything but an amazing experience that builds both your desire for travel and your self confidence. When travelling alone, the primary concern is safety – there’s no one to watch your back – so it’s important to take some precautions to ensure you stay safe while having the vacation of a lifetime. These include joining group activities, arranging travel, sightseeing, and transportation through a reputable company, and, most importantly, maintaining your own space where you can retreat to if constant socializing isn’t really your thing.

Join Group Activities

All of our activities are based on group fun, so whether you choose a wine tour or a cooking class, you can be sure you’ll be around like-minded people (we’ve run activities with as few as 2 people, and as many as 12!). It’s this desire to be around those with similar interests that really motivates solo traveler. As Planet Cruise point out, travel really is a ‘diverse combination of sights, cultures and activities’, and while some members of the family may be content with strolling through pretty towns and cities, or topping up the tan on the beach, others may prefer to indulge in a gourmet picnic or to learn about world cuisine, for example. Vacations come around so infrequently that they shouldn’t be about compromise – they should be about what YOU want to do! There’s nothing wrong with leaving the family to their own devices while you satiate your own interests. Group activities allow you to be on your own, without feeling alone, and you may even make some new friends!

Book Your Travel Through a Reputable Company

It’s remarkable how many news stories you hear of travelers booking their vacation arrangements through an unknown company, only to find they had been scammed. It can’t be stressed enough that if something looks dodgy, then it probably it – go with your gut instinct! Using the web to discover other traveler’ experiences of a company is invaluable. Good rating mean everything. Just take a look at our comments section and see what others say about us (eg. ‘the entire day unfolded so naturally that it was more like visiting family than being a tourist’ – what could be better than that?).

Maintain the Option of Having Your Own Space

Something that the Accidental Tourist team are quite passionate about is never booking solo travelers into shared accommodations. Unlike other companies, we will never do this. We think it’s important that everyone at least has the option to retreat to a private space, whether they feel they need to or not. Some of our solo travelers are true social butterflies who form bonds with others right away, whereas others are a bit more reserved, and that’s OK! We’ll arrange for your to stay in a sophisticated and well appointed studio apartment when you’re travelling with us, giving you somewhere to call your own while you’re away from home.

Stay Safe

As you may have noticed, here at Accidental Tourist we’re quite fond of Italian wines (who isn’t?), and many of our tours and activities include lots of tasting opportunities. We know where this leads, we’ve all been a little tipsy at one time or another, and we want to make sure you stay safe when your reactions and decisions may be a bit impaired. We will never ask you to drive to a meeting place, and we’ll never expect you to make your own way back at the end of the day. One of our representatives will collect you from the airport or train station, and we’ll also make sure you have a legitimate bus ticket back to Florence. When you’re a solo traveler with us, you’re not on your own – we’ve got your back!

If you’ve been exploring the idea of travelling solo, but have been held back by nerves (it is daunting, let’s not sugar coat it!), hopefully the information above has worked to at least put your mind at ease, and at the most persuaded you to try something different. If you want more information about being a solo traveler with Accidental tourist, or would like to sign up for membership, just give us a shout!

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