Eli Orzessek finds the answers to your travel questions

I wonder whether this is a topic that crops up from time to time: How do mature travellers 50+ find others for companion travel? Is it possible?

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.

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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?

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