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A guide to the best trips for solo travellers

Melissa Hobson

Contributor

The thought of travelling solo can often be a nerve-wracking experience and people might worry about being lonely or bored if they travel on their own. According to a survey by Klook, the “fear of loneliness” is the main obstacle putting people off travelling alone. Yet, many still take the leap and embark on a trip without companions. Of the 21,000 surveyed, 76% had either already travelled alone or were considering it. While it might seem daunting, solo travel can be a great way to force yourself out of your comfort zone and enjoy once-in-a-lifetime adventures you might never have experienced. There’s something to be said for not having to compromise with anyone, not to mention making deep, lasting friendships with a like-minded person you might not otherwise have chatted to – because, let’s be honest, how often do you go out of your way to strike up a conversation with strangers when you’re travelling with an existing friendship group. For those not sure where to start, here are five of the best type of trips for wannabe solo travellers...

For Adventure Lovers: Scuba Dive in the Maldives

Scuba diving is a great activity for solo travellers because of the opportunity it offers to see some of the ocean’s most fascinating creatures. Even better, being at sea doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice any luxury. On the Four Seasons Explorer - a luxury, three-deck catamaran - you’ll have the chance to see manta rays, sharks, whale sharks, hammerheads, and much more at some of the Maldives’ more remote and less visited sites. 

Diving three or four times a day, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the region’s enthralling underwater ecosystems as well as honing your skills by taking up a new scuba course including Advanced Open Water Diver, Peak Performance Buoyancy and Underwater Naturalist (you’ll need to have your Open Water certification before departure). When you’re not diving, enjoy the ship’s spa, massage area, jacuzzi, try your hand at water sports (including paddle boarding, windsurfing, kayaking, wake-boarding and water skiing) or learn more about the Maldives’ fascinating marine life by chatting to its onboard marine biologist. 

For avid learners: Spanish Immersion in Mexico City

Just because you’re on vacation, doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a new skill. For those who love learning, why not take your language skills to the next level with an immersion course? On the Fluenz Immersion programme, you’ll stay in an impressive, luxury mansion in Mexico City for six days while elite language coaches give you intense and rigorous training to help quickly improve your Spanish. You’ll have a tailored roadmap created specifically for you – so whether you’re a total beginner or already have advanced Spanish, you’ll soon be on the road to fluency. Outside the lessons, you’ll experience the very best the city has to offer through exclusive art tours, visits to the best restaurants and private talks by leading Mexican literary and cultural figures. To unwind, make the most of the 24/7 luxury concierge service or book a one-to-one yoga and mindfulness session. You’ll have such a great time with the other participants (up to 12 people per programme), you’ll be amazed how much Spanish you’ll learn in just a week! 

For the Outdoorsy Types: Learn to Surf in Costa Rica

If you like to be active on holiday, a surf retreat is perfect for a solo break. To make sure you have nothing to think about other than surfing and relaxing, Kalon Surf takes care of everything else for you at their all-inclusive boutique surf resort. Whatever your level of surfing, passionate surf instructors will coach you on stunning, uncrowded beaches; chosen to suit your level of experience. If you’ve had a little too much sun during your day riding the waves, you can even help yourself to fresh aloe from the garden to revitalise your skin.

For additional rest and recuperation, book a massage or take part in the resort’s Pilates classes, which have been designed specifically for surfers. At the end of the day, chill out in your spacious ocean-view room, lounge around the infinity pool or make some new friends by chatting over dinner at the communal kitchen table. Each evening, chefs will prepare locally inspired, gourmet meals using ingredients from the resort’s onsite organic garden.

For Utter Relaxation: Get Away from it All

Just because you’re travelling alone doesn’t mean you need to fill your days with activities and meeting new people. Sometimes, the ultimate luxury is to pamper yourself in utter seclusion and just relax. Escape to the spectacular Dolomites - a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and enjoy the beautiful scenery in the elegant luxury of Rosa Alpina in San Cassiano, Alta Badia. This glamorous 5-star hotel is the perfect place to have a few days of pure relaxation surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges; indulge in Michelin-starred cuisine and pamper yourself with restorative spa treatments.

For city slickers – NYC

New York, New York: the city that never sleeps. Arguably one of the most exciting cities in the world, you’ll never be at a loss for something to do, whatever your interests. New York is crammed with luxury hotels so what better place to indulge yourself in its many attractions: treat yourself to a VIP broadway experience with backstage tour, peruse the world class art exhibitions at the MoMA, avoid the crowds and enjoy the Met’s collections in peace during its late weekend openings. 

Go one step further than curling up in your favourite coffee shop by learning the barista’s secrets with coffee brewing or latte art classes at Joe Coffee Company or Toby’s Estate. Another benefit of being solo is it can be easier to get into popular restaurants without a reservation; especially in brasseries with seating at the bar. Shopaholics can make the most of the plethora of stores – without the hard work – with a personal shopping experience for a tailored experience curated just for you by the fashion experts at BU Style. 

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