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Plan Ahead When Traveling Solo

Traveling by yourself can be exciting -- and it also can be lonely. You need to be responsible for your own well being while keeping an eye open for excitement. And if you're the type of traveler to enjoy a lot of activities, you will really need to take initiative with your vacation (after all, no one else will be making things happen for you). If not, you run the risk of a mundane trip. First and foremost, you have to be comfortable with the idea of being alone and keeping yourself company. Before departure, there is a wealth of options to consider when setting out on your own path. And as solo travel becomes more and more popular, there are many websites that can help you plan your voyage. Here are a few solo trips you may not have considered:

Solo cruising: Sites including SinglesCruise.com and many cruise lines are offering Singles Cruises for those whom want a more social and interactive experience on a ship. Cruisers are able to get to know people in a short amount of time, and activities like battle of the sexes trivia and speed dating encourage the process of finding Mr. or Mrs. Right (or Right Now). Another option is to cruise on a ship that has both single and multiple occupancy cabins. Ships such as the Norwegian Epic offer a set number of smaller single occupancy rooms that are discounted. Check review sites such as Cruise Critic reviews to inquire about deals on ships that have studio staterooms for the solo cruiser.

Backpacking: We've all done it at some point in our lives (or maybe you haven't yet?), but backpacking is often experienced with friends or during a study abroad stint and then not revisited. But sites such as Travel Buddies or Connecting: Solo Travel Network offer a social network of others who are also traveling solo, so you can share feedback and advice, and even meet up with people within the network who are traveling on their own. Opt to stay in hostels and single-occupancy rooms in hotels (call or visit older hotel websites to see if there are smaller rooms with single occupancy or shared bathrooms to get the best deals). Many hotels are opting to discount single travelers from paying double occupancy taxes as they would rather fill the room than have it go empty. Use this to your advantage and negotiate a rate when it's tough to find one!

Themed vacations: It may be tough convincing friends and loved ones to take a themed-trip with you. Lucky for you, there are many companies specializing in these types of vacations for singles, adventure travelers or seniors. Do some research on sites including Best Single Travel, O Solo Mio, Singles Travel Service and Vacations for Singles.

Couch surfing: A way to see the world and get to know real people, couch surfing has become a hit amongst the solo travel scene. Share your couch with others, or set out to be a "surfer" and explore a way of travel your wallet will appreciate.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, San Francisco
Thursday, August 19, 2010
See more Tips from
Nosheen Hydari