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Top Solo Travel Deals for Holidays: Say goodbye to staying home alone for the holidays while trying to keep a low profile. I once made the mistake of treating myself to a holiday feast at the Four Seasons. It seemed very chic until I recognized friends arriving in a group while I considered hiding behind a potted plant!
I have since come up with better ways to enjoy the holidays without being a “party of one”. Here are the top picks from my own adventures traveling alone from Thanksgiving to Christmas/New Year and spring break. Since prices may soar in the holiday season, check out our practical tips for saving.
Top Solo Travel Deals for Holidays: River Cruises: Singles Vacations From Rugged to Regal:
Now that summer has come and gone, year-end looms large for solos who dread “being home alone for the holidays”. The continuing pandemic makes it hard to know what to do. Entry requirements are constantly changing country by country. However, there are still lots of unheard of solo travel deals with no single supplements.
Option One: Top Solo Travel Deals for Holidays: Roughing it-A Small Ship Explorer’s Dream:
I joined a small expedition of fourteen fellow adventurers for an exotic adventure. It was a no-frills way to spend a Christmas vacation. We started out in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas. We were heading ten hours by fast boat from the nearest town. As a result, our small band from seven to seventy were well-advised not to slip on the deck and break an ankle. We started our Christmas Day festivities swimming in the Amazon. Although before the trip ended, two of our group did attract snacking piranhas, the latter did not live up to their Hollywood-inspired reputation!
The main draw, beyond the river cruise, itself, was the lure of the rain forest and chance to look for wild life in their native habitat. While exotic birds were easy to spot, camera-shy larger species liked to stay hidden. (For the best viewing, I made a day-long visit to the modern Science Center (Bosque da Ciencia) just outside Manaus and watched feasting capybaras, 125 pound gentle giants, at the Hotel Tropical Ecoresort.) In any case, trekking the rain forest deserves to be on anyone’s bucket list. We ventured where no one had been before in recent times. The underbrush was so dense that a guide went first with a machete creating a narrow path. Wasp nests the size of basketballs were a shock. Luckily, they kept to themselves.
Nightlife in the Amazon was wild but a far cry from a late night in Manhattan! When the sun set, the jungle came alive with a joyful chorus provided by hundreds of unseen frogs. In the dark, the only glimmer of light came with our attempts at capturing a photo on a lone boa constrictor or sloth nestled in the canopy overhead or a caiman gliding by level with our canoes.
When the cruise ended, it was back to Wi-Fi and getting resettled in a 5-star resort. Along with endless selfies, I collected a lifetime of memories in two short weeks.
Learn More about Top Solo Travel Deals for Holidays:
Practical Solo Traveler Savings Tip Number One:
Take advantage of low prices during rainy season. As I found out in the Amazon and during India’s monsoons, tropical rains may be intense, but they do not last long.
Option Two: Luxury Solo Travel: 5-Star River Cruises:
One Thanksgiving I took the option to travel alone in Central Europe. Although the temperature was brisk, the prices had also dropped. Holiday markets cruises combine many single traveler deals with no single supplement. The most popular cruises (and land packages) tend to be in Old Europe from Budapest to Vienna. For a “white Christmas” or lead up to the holidays, they offer a landscape with fabled castles, hearty “Glühwein” and choirs singing ancient tunes.
For luxury solo travel, I chose a top Mekong River Cruise for New Year’s in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. After a traditional Christmas Eve at home, I lined up at Washington, DC’s Dulles International Airport on Christmas Day for the long trip across the Pacific Ocean. After a quick change of planes in Beijing with only seconds to spare, I was en route to Bangkok for a quick overnight and then on to Siem Reap, Cambodia. With two days of sightseeing with a local cab driver, I was off to cruise the Mekong to Vietnam. Unlike roughing it in the Amazon, this 5-star cruise was very elegant. The fully air-conditioned ship served virtually endless wine and top dishes. The river was narrow enough that each day I could snap photos all day long from the deck. Daily stops provided a good glimpse of both fabled tourist sights and local markets.
Top Solo Travel Deals for Holidays:
Option Three: Relax in a US West spa or hit the slopes? Choose one, or combine the two!
I chose Santa Fe, New Mexico for a snowy Christmas filled with colonial architecture, Native American culture and history dating back to its days as part of Mexico. The Georgia O’Keefe Museum was also nearby. Walking distance to shops and cafes made it the near perfect holiday. The only disappointment? I had dreams of taking a day trip to ski at Taos. I had not counted on the fact that because of the holidays, there would be no ride shares or local transportation to the slopes! From what I have heard of Taos, as an (infrequent) intermediate skier, I likely would have found it more challenging than exhilarating.
For spring break, I chose the US West again but in “Big Sky” country in Montana. The Lodge at Big Sky was ideally set at the base of the slopes, walking distance from two lifts. The resort area was compact making it easy for solo travelers to meet fellow skiers. Apres-ski went far beyond sampling local pubs from:
Swimming in indoor pools
Riding horses in warmer weather
Whitewater rafting nearby to
Practical Solo Traveler Savings Tip Number Two:
Check out pre-season or late spring skiing. Both tend to have cheaper solo travel deals then since snow is not optimal.