I am lucky enough to belong to the tail end of the generation that tore up the rule book. We may now be approaching the ‘third age’ (or should that be third ego!) but there doesn’t appear to be any signs of slowing down. I love the fact singles holidays have really taken off. I love the fact that post marriage, or post anything for that matter, singles are doing it for themselves (to paraphrase Annie Lennox)
The travel industry has recognised this phenomenon and are also keen to target the ‘grey pound’ because let’s face it, that really is where the money is found. Interestingly, it seems the older generation also has the work ethic which employers find very attractive. This, alongside experience, makes the 50 plus generation quite a phenomenon, who wouldn’t say no to a singles holiday.
There is also a different outlook among those who were born in the late 50s and early 60s. They have maintained many interests from youth with regard to music, entertainment, food culture and experimentation. After all they were the ones who experienced the foreign holiday boom for the very first time and grew up in a fast-paced world.
Looking around, many have reached their fifties and re-assessed life. Single holidays, speed dating, internet dating, specialised dating sites have all impacted. Life is about risk-taking, adventure and new horizons rather than shawls, rocking chairs and a spot of crochet or a quick turn around the allotment. These hobbies may still happen but they are balanced out with holidays for singles over 50, experimentation and everything the internet has to offer.
Something that really has caught the imagination is the concept of the activity holiday and anyone who might wonder how they can face holidaying alone might do well to consider all that is on offer. You can type in a Google search and come up with art holidays in Italy, Pilates holidays and cookery holidays to name but three. Suddenly the idea of embarking on a solo trip doesn’t seem so daunting.
Activity holidays in general are a wonderful way to meet people and some companies make a special effort to promote the concept of single travellers meeting up to share a particular passion. After all there is nothing more attractive than meeting people who have similar interests as there is never any shortage of topics to start a conversation.
Some singles holidays build in time for individual recreation and study, for example spending a whole day out painting in the Italian landscape in Tuscany with communal suppers and lunches where groups have the opportunity to socialise and mingle in an unforced, natural way. The subtle blend of independence and community often strikes a chord and many a romance has blossomed.
Anyone who is considering taking their first solo trip, or even those who are well versed in the art of being a single traveller would do well to look at what activity holidays are on offer these days and if you have never explored this avenue you may well be surprised. Not only will you come home enriched from the experience of having immersed oneself in a hobby or interest for a week you may well come home with new friends, new passions and a new outlook on life.
Vivienne works for Flavours Holidays, is a dab hand at watercolours and fell in love on an art holiday in Italy.