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Anita Holfer

Joined: Apr 30, 2014
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Country: Argentina
Province/State: Buenos Aires
City: Newton
How To Travel Solo Without Paying Over The Odds
Apr 30, 2014

ONE of the most common ­concerns of travelling solo is not safety or loneliness, but cost.

Tourism industry practices such as “single supplement’’ surcharges strike hard at solo holidaymakers, clearly indicating you will pay more on tours for your desire not to share a room.

Then there are the exclusive resorts that shout “couples only’’ in their brochures. In other words: stay away, this is not for you, loser.

I have loved travelling alone ever since surviving my long-ago gap year crossing India and sleeping in railway stations and sharply honing, in the process, my ability to be self-reliant and resourceful.

Now, at a certain age and with little need to be daring, I have discovered I prefer a bit of company. Sharing is the thing — points of view, impressions, experiences and good conversation.

It is also cheaper to travel with my husband or to pal up with a friend and share a room.

But not everyone has a preferred holiday partner and the industry is recognising the need to cater, in particular, to older Australians, perhaps divorced or widowed, who are still eager to travel.

The special-interest holiday, aimed at people with commonly held passions, is one option that serves the market well.

There’s usually instant rapport among those with a shared interest and friendships are easily forged.

Also on the rise are operators that advance-match singles with suitable “companions’’, typically on cruises. And, of most advantage to the purse strings, many now release early-bird and last-minute “no single supplement’’ deals that can save you many hundreds of dollars.

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