Meet Cute: When Solo Travelers Connect

Why do people embark on solo vacations? We know there so are many reasons — everything from individual empowerment to lack of a dedicated traveling companion. Somewhere in the middle of those reasons is that there are so many single men and women out there that can support a lifestyle full of excitement, good times, and interesting things – and they are looking for a certain someone that is like minded and equally capable.

Traveling solo, then, presents an inherent opportunity to meet someone that is much like you. Someone that is cultured, fun, well-positioned, interesting, and ready for an adventure.

Our nation’s newspaper of record, the New York Times, published an article entitled “A Solo Traveler’s Guide to Meeting People.” It begins with words of caution – and rightfully so. Single travelers should always be mindful of safety and take precautions when approaching a new person while traveling. This world is a crazy place. We hear it all of the time in news stories and in our social media. But, at the same time, the world is full of wonderful, kind, interesting, and thoughtful people. It’s just a matter of finding them and making those connections.

Connection

The word “connection” is a noun – and according to the Oxford English Dictionary – it means “a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else.” When two individuals are both traveling solo to the same place, it’s easy to see how a connection might happen. But what’s the best way to make that happen?

Here are a few simple things to do the next time you are traveling solo and thinking about meeting a new person – whether it be a fellow traveler or someone local to your destination:

  1. Talk to the hotel concierge about the local scene. These folks know the area, the restaurants and bars, even the local dating climate. And they know what the hotel bar is like around midnight.
  1. Think about the daytime. So many of us, especially those in urban environments, think about the nighttime as the best time for mixing and mingling. But the daytime, when everything is bright and happy and relaxed, can be an excellent time for connecting with others that are enjoying the same activities as you (think: exploring an art museum, hiking a mountain, or sipping espresso at an outdoor cafe.)
  1. Be yourself. Traveling to new places gives us time to decompress and to relax – it’s a time to easily be our best selves without the stress of everyday life. It may be tempting to pretend to be someone else on a solo trip (and, if so, okay, and no comment from here….), but just let the real you shine through. You’ve chosen a brave path – a solo adventure. That’s something. Own it.
  1. Be safe. Obviously. And always.

Meet cute

So, Wikipedia (the trusted source for everything, right?), says that the phrase “meet cute” has been around since our grandparents met in the 1940’s. It’s the “scene in film, television, etc. in which a future romantic couple meets for the first time in a way that is considered adorable, entertaining, or amusing.”

When and where will your meet cute be? It may be the upcoming office holiday party (but is that really a good idea?). Otherwise, it just might happen on your winter ski holiday to Jackson Hole or Big Sky; your spring break cruise to Puerto Rico; or that once-in-an-early-lifetime trip to Italy.

To find out more about all of our solo vacation adventures, contact us.

Single Travel: Booming for Boomers

According to a study by AARP, Baby Boomers – and those Generation Xers aged 45-49 – will have taken 4-5 trips by the end of the year.  That means all year long millions of educated and affluent travelers over the age of 45 are taking to sky, sea, road, and rail en route to destination vacation. They spend about $120 billion yearly for leisure travel, and there is no sign of this trend slowing down.

So where are they going?

All over! More than half stay within the United States – but a (huge) 42% divide their travel between the U.S. and other countries. For those going to Europe or someplace tropical, many categorize their trips – especially in the summer months – as highly anticipated “bucket list” adventures. These travelers want to see castles in Ireland, eat great food in Italy, explore tropical reefs while scuba diving, or discover the cultural heritage of their ancestors. Multi-destination cruises within the Caribbean remain hugely popular as well.

Travel within the United States includes long weekend getaways to cities like Las Vegas, Boston, and New York City. For domestic trips of a longer duration, Boomers are choosing the coasts (think: Florida beaches, California wine country; and more New York City), along with places like Texas for all things country and the Rocky Mountains for ski adventures, hiking, and camping.

And why are they going?

This group of travelers has been in the workforce for well over 20+ years. Now they are using their accumulated vacation time – or perhaps retirement – for personal time. Indeed, according to the study, the number one motivator, at 57%, is to “get away from normal, everyday life.” Another 54% say they simply want to “relax and rejuvenate” on a hassle-free vacation.

Still, it’s hard to ever completely disconnect, and a full one-third of travelers that are still working take work with them. And 20% pack a laptop. (Insert frown face here.) But at least the intent is to relax and get away from everyday life.…

But who are they going with then?

It depends. At this point in their lives, Boomers have been married, remarried, divorced, maybe widowed, maybe always single.  They are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, and friends.

In addition to multi-generational trips and those vacations taken with a spouse or partner, Boomers are planning guys’ weekends; girls’ getaways; and an increasing number of singles’ vacations. In fact, for those that are not married, the study finds that they are significantly more likely to be thinking about or planning a solo vacation.

Indeed, solo traveling has been increasing among travelers of all ages, but Baby Boomers and older GenXers are leading that trend as about one-third of them are single. Some may prefer to travel alone, but others simply do not have a traveling companion.

For those travelers aged 45+ that are single and do want the fun, comfort, ease, and safety of traveling with others, many are opting for singles group travel. Gone are the days of your grandmother’s bus tours. Single group travel vacations can take you to places you’ve always dreamed about – the Galapagos, South America, Scotland, Yellowstone – with an interesting and exciting mix of people from all over the country, all seeking the same adventure.

Explore our travel packages today, and contact us with any questions.

Travel Insurance: What’s Covered and Why You Should Consider It

When planning a vacation of any style or duration, considering travel insurance is something smart travelers do. Making the investment in travel insurance may not be necessary for all trips, but for a comparatively minimal cost, it offers many benefits – especially for international, extended, or particularly expensive vacations.

Here’s what’s covered and why you should think about it before your next trip:

Trip Cancellation

According to travelinsuranceratings.com, more than 90% of travel policies are purchased for the purpose of having trip cancellation coverage in case the unexpected happens. Think: extreme weather, a death in the family, the flu, jury duty. If something unforeseen happens that prevents you from making the trip you’ve invested in, you’ll be covered and totally reimbursed.

Trip Interruption or Delay

Cancelled flights and missed connections are commonplace in travel. And almost no one budgets extra money to change tickets or book hotel rooms while waiting to get to or from their destinations. Travel insurance covers flights from other carriers if the chosen carrier is the reason for the delay. When there’s a natural disaster or inclement weather, hotel accommodations are often covered, too. Policies will even cover you if you miss a flight because your Uber was in an accident on the way to the airport.

Medical Care

Imagine being abroad and having a medical emergency. Depending on the coverage you have with your regular health insurance, you could end up spending a significant amount of money on international or out-of-network medical care should you become ill or have an accident. Policies vary by carrier, but options include everything from 100% coverage to a fixed fee benefit with a reasonable deductible.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

It’s happened to everyone: you and your bag do not arrive in the same place at the same time. While airlines may offer some coverage, travel insurance will provide the replacement value for your baggage and its entire contents should it get lost, stolen, or destroyed during a trip – and not just on the flight. If your bag is simply delayed, travel insurance will cover the purchase price of the essentials you need while waiting for your luggage to arrive.

Travel insurance may not be necessary for all vacations. Taking a road trip and staying at a hotel with a reasonable cancellation policy? Then you probably don’t need it. But depending on the style of your travel, it’s smart to weigh the pros and cons of travel insurance. Many single travelers, for example, choose to participate in a group vacation where all costs are paid ahead of time and travel insurance is included. Not all travel companies offer to include insurance, but if they do, it’s certainly a bonus – especially for any trip involving a flight.

Contact us to learn more about our travel packages and insurance options.