When people think ‘solo travel on a group trip’, they picture sitting alone while six couples snog around them and sing ‘God Only Knows’ by The Beach Boys. But it’s not really like that. Most Geckos’ travellers decide to roll solo. It’s pretty standard, and third-wheeling with a bunch of couples isn’t really what it’s about.
Travelling alone on a group adventure means a) you get a ready-made crew of future besties, b) a local leader to stop you getting lost and feeling all scared inside and c) the option of picking your own room. So you can snore to your heart’s content. Pretty sweet, right?
Perks of solo travel
Friends for life
Independence is good and all, but sometimes it’s nice to have a crew that’s got your back. No need to stand looking lost in the middle of Trafalgar Square – you’ll be eating mushy peas and playing pool at a little pub around the corner. No more struggling to make friends on the road (proper ones, that you know the names of and stuff). After four days on the Inca Trail or catching the Eurail, you’ll wonder why you ever wanted to go it alone.
A local leader
It’s hard to appreciate what a local can do for your adventures before you’ve met one. But think of it like this. While the solo travellers in the hostel go out on the typical pub crawl and hit up the BA tourist bars, you’ll be swigging Malbec with some Argentine locals at a little backstreet bodega you never knew existed. Local leaders can help you avoid getting scammed, introduce you to fellow locals and help you navigate the Tokyo subway system (very, very handy).
Food, glorious food
It’s so easy when you’re travelling alone to stick to the easy food places. The ones with the crowds and the English menus and (let’s face it) the Big Macs. We get it. It’s hard to know where to get when you land in a big city. But with a group and a local leader you’ll never eat generic again. We’re talking hot pierogies in Krakow, the freshest Pisco Sours in Cuzco and spicy Thai stir-fry straight from the street stalls (the ones that won’t give you gastro). Play it safe no longer, solo travellers. This is group travel.
Flexible, like a gymnast
The one big reason people travel solo is independence. And some folks think that group travel kind of ruins that. But we disagree. Our itineraries are designed so that, if you want to go solo and find your own way, you can. There’s heaps of optional activities that you can add-on to your trip, or just wander the backstreets and pick up some cool souvenirs instead. A bit of group time, a bit of you time – that’s a balance everyone can get behind. Plus if you want a single supplement (i.e. a room all to yourself) we can arrange that too for a small extra charge. You lone wolf, you.
Commandments for solo travel
If God was gonna hit you up with some advice for flying solo, this would be it. Does anyone have some lead slabs handy?
Thou shalt copy your documents
Always a good one. Make copies of your passport, itinerary, emergency contact details and insurance and email them to yourself. Email them to your friends and to Mum too (she’ll only worry otherwise).
Thou shalt leave the diamonds at home
Diamonds. Rubies. Valuable gold bullion. It’s probably best not to lug this stuff around with you. Accidents happen. Particularly in touristy areas. Try not to make yourself a pickpocket target (dorky stomach money pouch optional).
Thou shalt know your taxi fares
Don’t get taken for a ride (see what we did there? Ah….moving on). Do a bit of research if you know you’re going to taxi from the airport. If the web says it should cost $50, and this guy’s charging you $150 up front, switch cabs.
Thou shalt leave an obnoxious social media trail
Social Media may be the doom of mankind, but it’s got its uses. For one thing, it lets everyone back home know what you’re doing at any one time. So go on. Selfie like there’s no tomorrow. If anyone asks, it’s just common sense.
Thou shalt be confident like Beyoncé
Half of all solo travel is just blending in. It’s much harder to blend in with a big folding map and tears running down your face. Take a deep breath, carry on, and remember, you’re on holiday, enjoy it.
Best trips for solo travel
We crunched the numbers and did some other things with data. (It involved calculators, all right?) These are our top-selling trips for solo travellers. You’re more likely than not to be adventuring with people just like you: the strong, mysterious and attractive, Lone Wolf types.
15 Days From R14,690
9 Days From R11,015
12 Days From R13,370
8 Days From R9,410
8 Days From R12,965
11 Days From R10,312
10 Days From R37,580
17 Days From R19,335
6 Days From R14,795
Blogs on solo travel
Sometimes we write about solo travel. These are some of those times…