Travel solo, not alone

Quit your job, leave everyone and everything you know behind and just travel. 

There are more and more of these stories in the news and on social media, awe-inspiring tales taunting us with their complete freedom. While I may be one of the many who day dream of quitting everything – particularly after a hard day – it is not on the cards for me right now. However, I am a complete advocate of travel.

I have definitely been bitten by the travel bug and spend all of my holidays packing in as much exploration and sightseeing as possible. It is one of my high priorities to try and go to as many countries as possible and totally immerse myself in other cultures. The only problem is this is not the case for my friends.

The problem then is who do I go with? I would definitely like to go to a super hot or super cold country, try skydiving, scuba diving and hiking however this is not the idea of a holiday for my dear old mum and dad. My friends may not be able to afford a trip with loans or get time off due to strict jobs. The only alternative would seem to be to go it alone. But would it be safe? Would it be boring? Would it be too awkward to meet new people?

The fourth option

I faced this very dilemma earlier in the year and found a fourth option: a company specialising in different travel options who organise everything for you. There are several out there that include every range of budget, length of travel, age group and type of holiday, such as adventure, party and voluntary work.  

I personally chose Contiki, an 18-35 budget company offering all sorts of breaks from a few days to over a month. I loved every minute and am planning another Contiki adventure for the future.

Going with a company like this is great, especially if you are travelling to more than one place because everything is arranged for you. Depending on the package you pay for all accommodation, food and activities are organised and paid usually in advance. You get to meet new people who are a similar age and mind set to you and experience things you might not do while on your own. You do not have to travel solo you can go with your friends or as a couple there is a great mix. Despite the age range they are not all party-party trips and offer more laid back or adventure breaks if you are done with the whole Freshers’ thing.

Ending up on the wrong holiday package is one of the biggest downsides to travelling with an organised group. Being stuck with a coach/boat load of people well above or below your age would be most people’s nightmare come true. But do your research and this won’t happen. The same goes for the type/style of trip. Do you want to hike through mountains and sleep in a tent, party your way around ALL the Greek Islands or have an in-depth historical tour of churches and temples? Nothing is wrong with any of these if you enjoy them, but booking something without looking into it is a bad idea. Do your research.

What's a trip without Instagram
What’s a trip without Instagram?

The below are some companies who offer package holidays. Each one has its own style and offer something different in terms of type of holiday as well as different age groups and length of stay.

Contiki (18-35s)

Rarely heard of within Europe, Contiki is an Australian company but has several offices around the world. Their once infamous party reputation was well-known for putting people off but they have turned it around. Still offering the Freshers’ on steroids style holidays, they also do much much more including laid back and easy pace tours.

Topdeck (18-30 something)

The most similar to Contiki, Topdeck offer trips all around the world as well as getting the local experience and the chance for adventurous extras to really make your trip one to remember.


There does not seem to be an age limit however I am guessing you have to be 18 at the least. Intrepid specialise in small groups and small tours. This way you get a true local experience. You can also book independent trips you prefer.

World Expeditions

Again there does not seem to be an age limit. If you are after something more adventurous this could be the one for you. You can chose your trip based on your interests such as; trekking, mountain biking, charity challenges, photography trips and rafting to name a few. 

Gap 360

There are no age limits but the majority of travellers are between 18 – 20. However there are many in their 20s and 30s too. Gap 360 offers trips from two weeks to two years in party, adventure, paid work or volunteering areas.

Travel with your University

If you are still at university why not see about a study aboard option as part of your course for a trimester or academic year? Depending on the university you do not need to speak another language or pay much/any extra in terms of tuition fees. If your university or course does not offer this then why not look into summer camp such as Camp America? Usually they look for university students to oversee children and teenagers during the summer break.

There are always ways to travel and going with a company means you can travel solo but not alone.

If you’ve taken a solo travelling adventure tell us about it in the comments below!