Solo Travel - Best Tours & Trips 2019
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Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.
Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Price Per Day
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
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Rivers & Seas
Cities & Attractions
Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.
Flights & Transport
Continents & Regions
Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Stride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more
Impacted by Climate Change
- Curated itinerary to give you access to exclusive experiences
- Visit one of the most remote corners of Costa Rica
- Enjoy whale watching on a catamaran
- This combination trip includes our most popular trip in Cambodia.
- Packed full of experiences, this is a great way to get a great insight into Cambodia & Thailand in a short amount of time.
- Angkor Wat. Need we say more? As well as a guided tour, you’ll also have a pass to cover your whole time in Siem Reap so you can explore this incredible temple complex as much and as often as you like.
- Discover Kampong Luang and the countryside around Battambang with a visit to a floating village and a bike ride around farms and cottage industries.
- Get familiar with Khmer cuisine - here’s a sample of what’s in store for your tastebuds: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/cambodian-food-guide/
- Have expert advice on hand the whole way with an experienced local leader to help you get the best out of your time in Cambodia & Thailand, like Channa: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/channa-intrepid-leader-cambodia/
- Travel from Vietnam to Thailand, experiencing the contrasts between three of the regions most fascinating countries.
- Acquaint yourself with frenetic Bangkok, a wonderland of excellent street food, enchanting canals and sprawling marketplaces.
- Discover the best beaches and islands of Thailand’s east coast – from popular Ko Samui to laid-back Ko Tao – for a true slice of paradise.
- Cruise to Koh Pitak for a taste of real island life. Enjoy an overnight homestay, feast on fresh seafood and interact with local fishermen.
- Two in-depth snorkelling trips, one in Chumphon and one in Ko Tao, give you plenty of time to explore underwater worlds brimming with coral and colourful tropical fish.
- Travel as the locals do on an overnight sleeper train – the best way to travel long distances, meet locals and maximise time at destinations.
- Discover India
- Awesome trip to Kufri
- Visit of Kullu valley
- Experience walk at Shimla and Manali mall road
- Day excursion to Rohtang pass
- Explore scenic yangshuo
- Taste the spicy food chengdu is known for
- Visit the great wall
- Spend the night in a traditional roundhouse
- Wander the mystical shaolin monastery and temple
- Stretch your legs in the area around mount song
- Visit the best known cities and sites of northern India-Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Agra-all in one week!
- Tour the enchanting palaces and forts of the maharajahs
- Explore the one-and-only Taj Mahal, including a spectacular visit at sunrise!
- Discover the iconic Machu Picchu by train with guided tour
- Homestay on traditional Amantani Island, Lake Titicaca
- See Colca Canyon and its soaring condors
- Wander through the colonial city of Arequipa and the Santa Catalina Convent
- Drive deep into the Andean highlands and the Apurimac Valley
- Wonder at steep, granite steps that reach into the sky while exploring the temples and monuments of Tikal, the seat of Maya power that collapsed mysteriously in 950 AD
- Learn a little Spanish during an informal lesson in old-world Antigua, then put it to good use during the rest of your Central American adventure
- Sip a rum and coke and munch on barbecued seafood with a backdrop of aquamarine waters on Caye Caulker
- Explore Livingston, a unique riverside town where the local culture is heavily influenced by the Afro-Caribbean Garifuna population
- Walk along cobblestone streets and shop for local handicrafts in the tiny island town of Flores
- Finish your adventure in the beachside playground that is Playa del Carmen
- Cruise over natural anchorage of Tayvallich, once a famous Viking harbor
- Explore Tobermory, one of the most picturesque towns in the Western Isles
- Get an opportunity to see eagles, sharks, whales, porpoises and dolphins, as well as many types of seabirds
- A day in the Costa Rican village
- Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
- Río Frío cruise
- Overland to Monteverde Cloud Forest
- Manuel Antonio National Park
- Visit the seventh-century Asakusa Kannon Temple
- The trip to Hakone, located about 50 miles west of Tokyo.
- Hakone is beloved by the Japanese for its hot-spring resorts, mountains, lakes, and historical sites
- Visit Hamamatsuya, a workshop specializing in wooden handcrafts.
- Visit one of the many houses of Kanazawa where the samurai—Japan's famed class of noble warriors—once lived
- Visit the history and culture of Gokayama
- Enjoy a traditional dance performance
- Experience Kayak or take a cruise onan island
- Explore a hidden gem of a coastal town
- Discover Nicaragua
- Food is taken seriously in Japan. From the station tonkatsu restaurant to the highest end sushi, Japanese people take pride in the cooking and presentation, and any bad meal is incredibly rare
- Tasting succulent Hida beef in Takayama is the definition of a melt-in-your-mouth moment
- Exploring the unexpected underground foodie treasure trove that is a depachika (department store food court)
- Staying alongside the brothers of a monastery in Koya-san and discovering shojin ryori – vegetarian Buddhist food - a tradition over 800 years old
- Experiencing the simple pleasures of obanzai ryori – the traditional home cuisine of Kyoto – in a cooking class
- Snacking on awesome and adventurous street food in the unofficial culinary capital of Osaka
- Beautiful walks through Spain's highest sierra
- Moorish white-washed settlements and the highest village in Spain, Trevelez
- Family-run hotel offering stunning views and warm hospitality
- A night in Granada with a free day to explore this beautiful city
- Alhambra Palace and its grounds (optional)
- Enjoy a traditional family meal
- Explore ancient temples and monuments
- Barter in bazaars
- Sleep beneath the stars on a felucca
- Visit a nubian village
- Explore the famous khan el-khalili souk
- Feel the cool breeze roll off the hills of Dalat, then wander around the lush gardens of this hill-covered retreat.
- Travel to both popular and lesser-known destinations in Vietnam, including tourist hotspots like Halong Bay and hidden gems such as Da Bac
- See Vietnam through an exciting mix of transport, including motorbike, basket boat, junk-style boat, bus and train
- Experience local life during homestays in the Mekong Delta and Da Bac. Get to know local families, participate in their activities and enjoy a homestyle meal
- Visit the mind-boggling Phong Nha and Thien Duong Caves. These labyrinthine systems were used to shelter civilians and win the war against the Americans
- Spend a day in Hue, touring the city's sights on a motorbike, cruising down Perfume River and eating lunch at a serene nunnery
- Wander the fossilised coral formations of Hang Rai, which sometimes appear to float on the water
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Top Solo Travel Experiences
Chatting to locals in broken Spanish at a pub in Cordoba.
Trekking alone through the peaceful Patagonian mountains in El Chalten, Argentina.
Asking a stranger for a tango in a Buenos Aires milonga.
Making new friends in the middle of the Amazon, on group tours to the Pantanal in Brazil and the Pampas in Bolivia.
Wandering through Himalayan villages in Nepal, and being invited into a house for tea.
Solo Travel Trip Reviews
49,314 Solo Travel Tour Reviews - Summary 100% Recommend
Solo Travel Tours and Travel Guide
Solo Travel Attractions & Landmarks Guide
As a solo traveler, you go by yourself but you don't necessarily have to stay by yourself as you travel. One good option for solo travelers who want company is a guided group tour. Or you could take a cruise, ensuring that you will be surrounded by other passengers. Many cruise lines will waive the often-hefty single supplement charge -- the bane of many solo travelers who occupy a room that would otherwise be occupied by two paying customers -- if you agree to be matched up with a roommate of the same sex. And a few companies charge no solo supplement at all. You can check them all out at Stride.
While even seasoned travelers may shy away from the idea of traveling alone, those who try it often find it to be a rewarding and exciting experience. Admittedly, solo travel does have its downsides, for example, it can be lonely at times, or dangerous in certain places. However, the pros far outweigh the cons. Among many advantages are being completely in charge of your trip and getting to make interesting new friends from all over the world.
And of course, traveling alone does not mean being alone. Whether you are traveling independently or on a tour, as part of a group or on a solo itinerary, you will constantly find yourself surrounded by new friends. Here are a few travel options for those going solo:
Traveling alone independently can be tough, but rewarding. Yes, you have to make all the arrangements, but you also get to make all the decisions. Landing in a foreign country and going wherever the mood takes you can be thrilling, and lead to new and exciting experiences you didn't anticipate. It can also be empowering to head off trekking into the wilderness by yourself, alone with nature and your own thoughts. However, while independent travel allows for greater flexibility than traveling as part of a tour, it does come with a lack of security. That solo trek becomes a lot less fun if you twist your ankle and have no one to help you.
For independent travelers looking to meet new people, hostels can provide the chance to stay with like-minded travelers. It's also useful to book a few group activities, such as lessons, shorter group tours, or group adventure sports. A cooking class in Thailand, a jeep tour of the Bolivian salt flats, and white water rafting in Costa Rica are not only thrilling experiences, but chances to meet new people while abroad. The most important thing to remember is to be sociable. Approaching a complete stranger, whether they are a local or a fellow traveller, may seem intimidating, but can lead to some of the best travel memories. So just pull up a chair and start chatting!
For those who want travel arrangements taken care of, a tour is a good option. As well as sorting out travel details, tours offer great security than independent travel. For example, you won't find yourself wandering around a new city looking for somewhere to stay, or stranded at a bus station when you find your route fully booked.
Solo tours offer the benefits of security and hassle-free travel, yet still allow travelers to remain completely in control of their itinerary. Hanging back to get that perfect photo on a Kenyan safari, haggling over a souvenir in a Marrakech bazaar, or even staying in bed for an extra few minutes becomes a lot easier when you aren't surrounded by a group that wants to get moving.
When deciding between a solo or group tour, it's worth factoring in the price difference. Also, traveling on a solo tour can get lonely, so if you're hoping to meet new travel companions, it may be better to book as part of a group.
If you do want to book a solo tour, but want to ensure you are not on your own all the time, look at packages that include some group activities. For example, many South American tour operators will arrange private tours that include some group Spanish or dance lessons, where you can meet both locals and other travelers. When booking your tour, make sure to ask about which activities you will be doing alone, and which activities you will be doing as part of a group. It's also worth remembering that when booking a solo tour that includes a guide, such as a trip to Machu Picchu or a tour in the Amazon, the guide will likely be your constant companion. It may be possible to meet your guide in advance, or correspond with them beforehand, to get to know them.
A group tour is perfect for solo travelers who don't want to remain alone for their journey. While joining a group of new people may seem daunting at first, you'll likely find that everyone soon becomes friends. After all, you already have a love of travel in common, and it's hard not to enjoy the company of people when you're sharing a new adventure with them!
One option is to book a group tour for your entire trip, and another is to book shorter group tours within an independent trip. While the complete package of a two week tour of South Africa may appeal to some, an independent trip that includes a few days on a group safari through Kruger National Park may suit others.
When booking a group tour, ask about the other people in the group. For example, do they speak the same language as you? Are they traveling by themselves too? Will you likely be spending your downtime with them (i.e. your time outside of organized activities)?
Meeting new people on your travels is, of course, not limited to meeting other travelers. After all, you're there to experience another country! Homestays are a wonderful way of getting immersed in local culture, as well as getting to know local people. Living like a local at a family farmhouse in a remote village in Nepal is an eye-opening experience, as is staying at an apartment in Rio de Janeiro with a resident who can show you all their favorite spots.
When booking a homestay, be sure to ask about what exactly it entails. Try to look for those that allow you to live as part of a household, rather than merely renting a room. Ask about the people you will be staying with, as well as finding out what activities will be included. A completely immersive experience will allow you to live the way a local does, get to know the people you are staying with, and join in the best experiences that the area has to offer.
Whichever solo travel option you choose, you will get to experience both the freedom of traveling alone and the fun of meeting new and interesting people. So decide what works for you, start looking for your perfect trip, and enjoy your solo adventure!
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