Solo travel: what you need to know before you go

Solo traveller

So, you’ve decided to take a cruise. Great! You’re travelling alone? No problem! Our handy guide will help you to make sure you’re prepared.

Many cruisers take to the seas independently every year, and they love it. However, like almost anything, the better prepared you are, the better time you’ll have. Here are a few tips that will help you have the time of your life on your cruise for one.

Firstly, don’t worry

As a cruise writer, I can tell you that, yes, people love to cruise alone. I’ve met solo travellers in the hundreds over the years, and have been one myself many times. With cruise lines offering so many options for those of us who travel independently, it’s hard to get things wrong. So get excited and dream of the wonderful places you’ll visit, and the fabulous experiences you’ll have along the way.

If you’re budget-conscious, or want to get a good deal, check the single supplements.

Most ships nowadays have single cabins, or at least let you have a cabin to yourself without paying double the price. Any good cruise specialist agency will be able to tell you the best cruise lines for travelling alone. If you want to take your search into your own hands, look on the cruise lines’ websites, or read our other posts here. You’ll be surprised; there’s more choice than you think.

If you’re a social butterfly, do some research on whether your cruise line of choice has solo traveller events or activities on board.

You might have read the Saga supplement in the November edition of World of Cruising Magazine. The article, written by Sue Bryant, explains that Saga cruises host several ‘Singles Mingle’ events.  These types of get-togethers are available on many cruise ships, and are perfect for meeting like-minded independent travellers. You might meet people you might want to go ashore with or share a table at dinner with.

Plan how you’ll get to the port/airport well in advance

Years ago, I would never have planned ahead of my departure day, but when I took my first holiday alone travelling to the port was one of the most daunting parts of the whole trip. What if I was stuck in traffic and the ship went without me? What If I struggled to find a parking space and panicked and had no one to help me?  I needn’t have worried about these things if I’d known that the cruise line had a regional coach transfer service, and I could have left all the driving to someone else. Many lines include this as part of the price of the holiday cost, or allow you to book it as an additional extra. I’d strongly advise doing this.

If you like to dance, choose a line with dance hosts on board

Whether you’re confident on the dance floor or a novice on the tiles, it’s always nice to get glammed up and have a twirl of an evening. Many cruise lines employ male (and sometimes female) dancers to partner up with solo travellers to enjoy a dance. You never know – you might learn a thing or two (or maybe even teach your partner a few new moves…)

Finally…

Just do it. Find a cruise, check these important things off your list, then go and have a great time. It could be the beginning of the new globetrotting adventurous you!