Singles holidays for the over 50s: top tips

Mature Hearts Team Solo Travel

Taking the opportunity to explore and try new experiences is what makes life interesting. Singles holidays are just one way to do this. Travelling solo is certainly becoming more popular and it is a great way to see the world, meet new people and liven up the spirit. That’s why we thought we’d put together a list of tips to help you to make the right choice:

  1. Make a list of all those places that you’ve always wanted to visit, along with any activities you’ve always wanted to do. Then take this list and organise it in order of preference. What other factors are going to be important to you as well? Do you prefer city over rural? Do you not like long flights? Write everything down and highlight those that are essential and those that are desirable. You can even weight them 1-5 depending on the importance to you. The most important aspect of this is that you end up with a list with a clear idea of what you want out of your holiday so you can find something that is as near as possible to what you’re looking for.
  1. Google is your friend when it comes to finding out information on singles holidays, as no doubt you’ve already found out. Write down or save in your favourites, anything that you spot so you can easily get back to it later. In the resources section below, we’ve pulled together some tools and other interesting articles for your to look at which we hope will be helpful. Trip Advisor is always a wealth of experience because you can get other people’s opinions. The flip side of this is, of course, not everyone agrees so in the end you do have to make your own decision on how far you’re going to take the advice into consideration. That said, it is an invaluable tool and we do use it personally for every trip we take.
  1. Singles holidays that offer activities can often be the best. Not only will you learn something new but you will also get a chance to meet other like-minded people and maybe even make some new friends. There are a few out there such as Flavours Holidays which we like because, at the time of writing, they don’t charge for single supplements plus they also appear to have good reviews. So if you enjoy cooking, Pilates or art, then this could be an interesting option for you. They make fun holidays where you get to focus on your chosen passion and have the company of fellow enthusiasts so there’s always something to talk about.
  1. If you’re really adventurous you could always try extreme sports or trekking in the Outer Hebrides. It’s always good to try something outside of your comfort zone. Not only will you have a great experience but also some great holiday stories to share. A great way of increasing your confidence and experiencing something that you’d probably never even considered. Of course, it goes without saying that you should do your research, go with a reputable company with experienced guides and make sure that you choose holiday insurance that specifically covers you for these kinds of trips. Other than that, enjoy!
  1. As a general rule, the more expensive the trip, as a rule, the older the average age tends to be. However, you can also often find that people in their 50s, 60s and beyond are hiking and camping in some of the most adventurous holidays – they can often have more energy and stamina that put the rest of us to shame! So, don’t feel that you should ‘conform’ in any way. If there’s something that you want to do – go out and do it!
  1. And leading on from the last point, don’t necessarily think you have to stick with your own age group, maybe you want a mixed age group, or don’t mind if they’re younger or older as long as they’re kindred spirits. Check the singles holidays websites to see if they have guidelines as to the age groups they mostly attract. If you can’t find anything there, email them or ring them up and ask directly.
  1. When you find a travel company that you like the look of, don’t forget to pick their brains as they can be a wealth of knowledge including advice on the area that you’re going to, what to look out for, what excursions there are, the best restaurants and places to visit. Make a list of the questions that you want to ask before you contact them so you can be sure to find out everything you need to know.
  1. If you feel that you want to give something back to society you could always try a volunteering holiday. Not only will this give you a sense of satisfaction but also you will be helping others, often who are less fortunate that you. It also gives you a chance to share a sense of working for a common goal and for many has been a life changing experience. There are lots of opportunities out there so again, do your research and go with a reputable company. Advising on this is outside the scope of this article, but needless to say, check what it is you will be doing, as a rule if you’re not qualified to do something in this country then you shouldn’t be doing it in any other country. And always think safety.
  1. With your ideal holiday under wraps, you need to consider what you will do whilst you are away. Yes, you’ve planned in those activities we discussed earlier but depending on the holiday there will be plenty of time when you will be alone. For some this may be absolute bliss whilst others may feel awkward about the whole experience. Maybe take a few good books (perfect time to catch up on your reading), take your tablet or other device and plan that business or project you’ve been meaning to get started or simply just lay back and relax on the beach. The thing is if you plan for these moments and think about how you’ll feel beforehand it will make the whole experience much more pleasurable.
  1. And this brings us to our next point. If you’re heading off on a holiday for singles for the first time, perhaps after the loss of a loved one or divorce, it can be very difficult if you’re alone and not by choice. Taking a solo holiday can invoke many feelings. This could include sadness that you’re not able to share these experiences with that person. In this case singles holidays that are activity based may not be right for you at this point, particularly when feelings are so raw. Not knowing exactly how you’re going to feel can be frightening in itself. The ability to just be able to go back to your hotel room, cry or just be alone may be important. In fact, if you’re doing this for the first time it might be wiser to choose somewhere closer to home so that you can easily leave if it really gets too much. Be kind to yourself. 
  1. Finally, when your holiday is all booked and you’ve got all your plans in place you can start to look forward to your adventure. Before you go, make sure you have all your paperwork, itineraries, details of travel insurance and, of course, your passport is up-to-date (the last one can catch many people out in all the excitement)! It’s also a good idea to let someone know the details of your holiday and ensure you have the necessary contacts on your phone in case of emergency. Once you have everything in order, sit back, relax and enjoy. Happy holidays!

Resources for singles holidays

Foreign Travel Advice: Foreign Travel Advice (it’s also possible to get updates via email and RSS feed)

Trip Advisor: Singles Holidays Forums

 

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