Best trips for solo travelers
By Damien Martin
Many vacations are about spending quality time with family, reconnecting with old friends or a romantic getaway with the one you love. Sometimes, though, you need a little time to rediscover yourself in a new place. This week, we focus on the best destinations for solo travel.
Odds are you live a stressful life, and if you’re traveling alone, you’re probably looking to relax. There are retreats all across the U.S., from the Berkshires to Arizona, even Miami. How active you are is up to you. Spend the entire time at the spa being pampered if you want. Or expand your horizons with yoga, tai chi, even horseback riding. Even if the most exhilarating thing you do is ditch your phone for the weekend, it could help you recharge.
Every place you go is like stepping into a different country. The culture, the food, the multitude of languages, there’s no much variety. Yet no matter where you go, you’ll find friendly faces and English being spoken. The landscapes range from soaring mountain peaks to vibrant cities to beaches. The wildlife is breathtaking and tough to find elsewhere. There are beautiful temples galore, and the subcontinent is a wonderful place to connect with yourself, through spirituality, wellness, culture and history.
The members of the Fellowship of the Ring always traveled with at least one companion, even when their group of nine split up. But taking in the incredible sights of New Zealand -- where the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed -- solo is a treat. There’s no more welcoming place than Hobbiton, plus the Kiwi and Maori cultures are as friendly as they come. There’s also an abundance of wineries and craft breweries to help you make friends in a hurry.
The cosmopolitan city-state offers a great introduction to Asia. The city is clean and easy to get around, with safe state-of-the-art public transportation. The street food vendors hawk affordable, authentic food from all corners of Southeast Asia. You can visit many of the temples and gawk at ultra-modern skyscrapers. There’s world-class shopping along Orchard Road, and as you may have guessed from the name Orchard Road, English is the official language.
The groups are small, and everyone is doing the same excursions. Combine that with the once-in-a-lifetime experiences of seeing polar bears in Norway, blue-footed boobies in the Galapagos or penguins in Antarctica, and the group bonds quickly. So, while you’ll have your own quarters to retire to, there’s always somebody saving you a seat at dinner or willing to get in a tandem kayak with you. If your dates are flexible, ask your travel advisor if there are any departures with waived single supplements.