(I resisted the urge to channel Virginia Woolf, and call this blog entry ‘A Room of One’s Own’.)
I’ve been asked a few times if people have to share rooms on our hosted solo holidays. The answer is a definitive ‘no’. All of our solo holidays come with your own room included in the price.
It’s possible that our holidays would be a little cheaper if we put everyone in shared rooms, like many other solo tour companies do (although it might not save as much as you’d think, as we work hard to keep the accommodation costs down). However, I’ve always felt that a room of your own is fairly fundamental to an enjoyable and relaxing break away.
When travelling solo, most of us also want a sociable side to our breaks – it’s why people book our hosted holidays. It’s nice to sit with someone else over a meal and a drink and chat about our day; to get to know other people and have an enjoyable evening. Also, for some, it’s nice to have someone to explore a location with and maybe a day trip. It’s equally great to head back to your room and have a little space just to yourself.
It’s not you, it’s me
I’ve travelled solo for years, with mixed experiences. One of the most important things I’ve learned about myself along the way is that I enjoy my time with other people far more when I know that I can take a break when I need to. It’s nothing personal. Most of us have at least some part of us that’s a little introverted. Whether you’re the one that sits quietly in the group while listening and observing, or the person getting the drinks in at the bar while telling jokes and being the life and soul of the party; either way, it’s likely that you would need some alone time so that you can recharge your batteries, and prepare yourself to be sociable again.
If either of those descriptions fit you, there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s quite possible that you’ve a touch of the introvert about you, and that’s normal. There is nothing worse than feeling like you’re being dragged around all day every day on tour with a group of people, when you’re someone that needs a dose of alone time. I’ve done it as a traveller myself, and it had a detrimental affect on my experience and my personality. To then share a room at the end of each day meant that I had no time to reset, reflect, and adjust.
When creating Kindred Traveller’s solo vegan holidays I gave a lot of thought to exactly what the experience should be for each of our travellers. Yes, I wanted them to be sociable, for the vegan food to be taken care of, for each person to feel supported when they planned their holiday with us and when they got there. A key element that I thought long and hard about was how to offer balance to the two types of travellers – those that wanted to spend most of their time with other people, versus those that wanted more independent time. There are three things that have enabled me to create that balance for whichever type of traveller joins us.
There are a plethora of tours out there that have a rigid itinerary that a group follows. These will get you around key tourist hot spots effectively, and will definitely enable you to tick some sights off the list quickly; but they also lack flexibility. What if there’s a little known museum that you really wanted to see that isn’t part of the tour? Maybe you wanted some independent time to go further afield and do your own thing without the group, but wanted to meet with everyone for dinner later?
Each of our holidays aims to cater to that, and that’s why ALL of our excursions are optional. Some free, some paid – but you only pay for what you want to do as it’s not rolled into the overall cost of the holiday.
A Sociable Host
Every hosted solo holiday or break we run has an on-site host. Sometimes it’s me. Hosts are there to welcome you at the airport or train station, make sure dinner runs smoothly with great vegan options to enjoy, they’re great company when you need it, organise excursions for those that want to sign up to them, and also source individual trips if you want to do something a bit different. In short, they are there, on-site, to help you have a holiday that’s as sociable and supported as you want it to be.
All of the solo holidays we offer at present are based in one static location, rather than tours across an entire area. This isn’t just because this enables you to properly get to know an area in a relaxed fashion, rather than dashing from one area to the next (although you can easily explore further afield on one of our excursions), it’s also because it gives you a base – you can sleep in as late as you like, or meet other travellers for breakfast. If it’s a beach break, you may prefer to stay by the hotel pool, or wander down to the beach. If you’re an early riser that’s been off exploring in the morning, you could come back to the hotel for a coffee and meet up with others in the group to head out to the museum together. The hotel is a base that gives you the flexibility to be both sociable AND independent.
Holidays should be taken at YOUR pace, not anyone else’s – and that’s why each of our travellers gets their own room.