For divorced singles, vacation getaways can be a little tougher. We no longer have a spouse to travel with and joining married friends or even family can make one feel like a “third wheel” which is no fun at all.
So what about solo traveling? Having always traveled with friends, boyfriends or my husband and daughter, the idea of traveling solo sounded daunting, depressing, overwhelming and frankly unappealing.
“Think again,” says Laura Madrid, travel expert and founder of Resort to Laura Madrid, a highly specialized, boutique travel consultancy with an emphasis on authentic, adventure, exotic and luxury travel. “Traveling solo can be very freeing and exciting. When done right, it can give you the best blend of time to refresh and reconnect with yourself while also meeting new people and share unique and special travel experiences with them,” she added.
Curious to learn more about solo traveling, I recently sat down with Laura who shared these valuable insights to help divorced singles jump start an amazingly fun and fulfilling solo travel vacation.
What questions should divorced travelers ask when starting to plan their first solo holiday vacation?
Each person is completely different so there is no one-size-fits-all travel experience for the divorced person traveling solo. I work closely with my solo travelers to answer these key questions to identify their travel preferences and the best travel programs for them:
Have you ever traveled solo (even before you were married)?
What is your personal goal for the trip? Is it to just relax and regroup, restore and re energize mentally and/or physically, experience a new place, country, people or adventure?
Do you want to meet and get to know other travelers along the way or at the destination? I often ask this question to ensure that my solo travelers are with the range of people they will be most comfortable traveling with –whether it be age, gender, marital status etc.
Are you comfortable dining alone or looking to share the experience with someone else? I often pair up my solo travelers with a great guide who is “a friend in the city”. These personal guides introduce my solo solo travelers to sights and provide an insider access to cultural, artistic, culinary or other “in the know” local offerings.
What types of vacation experiences should the newly divorced man or woman consider when traveling solo for the first time?
I would suggest an activity-based or immersive small group trip in a place that is not entirely foreign to the traveler. I work with several tour operators who organize small group travel with a target audience of adults and solo travelers. They offer some great shorter active or even extreme adventure trips that involve hiking, cycling, fishing, and even Heli-skiing.
Active cruising is a travel experience where solos feel very comfortable. Expedition style cruising is particularly well suited for the solo traveler because guests head out in small groups to their preferred adventures, meals are often communal and the daily debrief with the guides and naturalists turn into a bit of a fun cocktail party where everyone debriefs on their day’s adventures.
I also really love the small group activities at wellness resorts and adventure lodges that include activities focusing on personal health and wellness like yoga, nutrition, weight loss, meditation, tennis, golf, and even cooking classes. This type of trip experience often allows my newly divorced clients to rest, renew and recharge after the stress many have endured during their divorce.
How can a divorced person make the most of his/her first solo travel vacation?
There are three things you can do to set yourself up for a successful solo travel vacation:
Refrain from booking overly romantic, or family-centered destinations or hotels
Keep the first solo trip less than a week and don’t go somewhere completely unfamiliar and foreign so you can see what aspects of the trip you like and/or want to change in the future
Ensure the trip has some structure. You don’t need to be overly scheduled, but you do want to have at least one activity to do each day. You want to ensure you enjoy the destination with other people for part of each day to avoid feeling isolated.