Eli Orzessek finds the answers to your travel questions
I want to take a travel break, as a social person I don't want to travel alone, my family are non-travel types and don't want to go to Japan or Australia like me.
Are there any travel firms that can provide guidance for the more independent and mature traveller?
I would be interested in cruising for example, however this type of travel seems to largely attract closed groups. Furthermore casino activities and rowdy nightlife are not my scene.
- Peter N
I've answered a couple of questions along these lines before — if you're keen to get out into the world, but can't convince anyone you know to come along, there are definitely other options.
For example, a company called Travel for Solos, does exactly what you're asking. I found their website and emailed them asking for more information about how they work.
They keep a database of solo travellers and can help match you up with a compatible person — since you're interested in independent travel, this seems like it could be a good option for you, rather than joining a group. Basically, you let them know if there's a specific place you're keen to travel to — say Japan or Australia — and they mail out to their database to see if there's anyone of the same gender wanting to travel to the same place.
They often have others looking for cruise companions as well.
Travel for Solos also run escorted small group tours and those who don't want to pay a single supplement can be set up with a roommate of the same gender.
My contact at Flight Centre also told me that a number of their stores around the country hold information and cocktail evenings for solo travellers, which can be a great way to meet others in the same boat as you.
The events at their Cruiseabout NZ stores are particularly popular with mature travellers who enjoy cruising. A cruise could be a great place to start this experiment — if there's one thing I can say about this particular form of travel, it's that you're never really alone.
If you can avoid the closed groups, it's a good place to meet interesting people on the same wavelength — and who knows what future travels that could lead to?