Solo Travel on an UnCruise Adventure
After a year and a half, everyone is tired of the same four walls. This time of year, shorter days and colder weather are driving us back indoors (ok, except for the skaters and skiers!). It’s a time of year when most everyone starts thinking about travel for next year.
A lot of those “everyone”s are solo travelers. According to Travel+Leisure’s video and article The Number One Reason Americans Choose to Travel Solo, 66% of Americans either have already or would consider traveling alone. Among the most popular reasons given as to why? “Easier to relax and unwind when they’re alone”; “bolstering their own sense of independence and self-confidence”; “wanting to go to destinations that their family or friends weren’t interested in”; and “finding it easier to meet new people alone”. In Travel Pulse’s article What Travel Experiences are Women Looking for Today? Stephanie Diamond suggests that they want to “focus on learning new activities and reconnecting with nature”. An UnCruise Adventure is a perfect choice for all these reasons!
Travelers who are new to solo travel need a balance of stretching out of their comfort zone and an encouraging and safe environment to do it in. As I talked about a month ago in the Becoming Part of the UnCruise Community issue on September 28, we at UnCruise are a group of encouragers. Our highly qualified and engaging expedition guides are here to support each guest in learning and trying new adventurous things. There is a feeling of accomplishment in getting to do something that you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t quite had the courage. “Someday I’m going to get on an SUP (stand up paddle board).” “Someday I’m going to try yoga”. “Someday I’m going to kayak near a glacier.” On your UnCruise Adventure, every day can and should be Someday.
The second part of Someday is going to places that you’ve always dreamed of seeing but your friends and family have not. (After you get back with your stories and photos, they will all be kicking themselves, but never mind!) Whether it’s Glacier Bay National Park, Maui, a River cruise on the Columbia, the Panama Canal, the Galapagos, or Belize, there is no reason to stay home when you can come with us to see them traveling solo.
Like balancing adventure with a safety net, on a solo trip you want to balance “me time” and meeting new people. When I’ve traveled solo with UnCruise, I found it easy to have both. I love having a solo cabin to retreat to at the end of the day. My stuff is scattered across both beds. I never have to wait for the shower. I read late or get up as early as I want to with nobody else to bother. I make my own dining choices without worrying whether my partner will like what I cooked. I go on skiff tours he might think are boring. I screw up my courage and go bushwhacking, which my friends at home would never think I would do. Nobody’s expectations but my own.
But it’s never lonely. If I head up to the lounge with a book, people will usually leave me alone. If I head up without an activity in hand, I’m usually invited over to join someone within minutes. Meeting people is part of the whole point of small ship cruising. All of the kayaks are tandem (two person) so I found myself partnered with another solo traveler or half of a couple whose partner didn’t want to kayak. (I ended up partnering in the kayak with that guest most of the week, actually.) Small groups of 8-10 went out tidepooling or on hikes or skiff tours that we were all interested in. My kayak buddy aside, often I was with different people every activity, getting to meet a lot of people. Dinner was another great place for that – most tables seat six. Soon I was sharing entrees with former-strangers while we talked over what we had done and seen that day.
The other really important part of traveling solo is reconnecting with yourself and with nature rather than leaning on the noise of social media, work, or your usual crowd. An UnCruise is Unplugged. Don’t worry, your cabin definitely has outlets and charging for your phone! But there is no Wi-Fi, and in most of our destinations, your cell phone won’t work. (Safety first, there is a satellite phone on board so that the office can reach the boat in case of an emergency for a guest or crew member.) Yoga stretches up top are a mindful way to start the day. Watching a glacier calve. Walking through the temperate rain forest where there are no trails. Finding yourself eye to eye with a gray whale or a 70 year old sea turtle. These experiences are enjoyed physically and actively, but they also bring a sense of our place in the world that can remind you that many of the things that seem so important in the bustle of every day are not. I enjoy doing the activities and chatting about them. I enjoy sharing photos of them with new people over dinner and in the lounge. But then I also get a lot out of taking a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and spending some time by myself absorbing those experiences and thinking through things I talked about at dinner. Solo travel gives me that time.
When you are ready to come travel with us solo, go through the destinations and see what destination will offer you the next Someday. Many boats have cabins set aside for solo travelers, and sometimes you will find a promotion going on to bring your rates down even further. Right now, for instance, solo travelers pay the same rate that double occupancy guests pay per person when traveling on our Whale Sharks, Whales, and Mobulas itinerary in spring of 2022.