Here are our Updated Single Traveler Tips on Saving on Solo Travel. During a recent holiday radio travel interview, I was reminded that my first truly solo trek. I was a student “seeing America” on a 5 week public bus odyssey. I was committed even then to packing light. I left home armed with only an overnight suitcase, I purchased an open ticket from Washington to Los Angeles. There were with unlimited stops in between. With no real plan, I headed due West. I slept on the bus. Eah day, I made day stops when the sun came up.
Thinking back on that trip, I realized lessons learned then still applied. In today’s world of GPS’s, it is easy to arrive in a new destination with no idea of the regional geography and miss this Savings Tip #1 for Solo Travelers:
Updated Single Traveler Tips on Saving on Solo Travel:
Tip #1: Never overlook the benefit and cost savings of the add-on.
On my student trip across America, I failed to do. I initially (mis) understood that Chicago was “half-way” across America. Having not checked out the 3 major routes across the country, I never considered adding Arizona and New Mexico. However, I did manage after Chicago to visit a Wisconsin dairy farm. From there, I went to a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece in Racine, Wisconsin. Next I stayed outside Davenport, Iowa before visting friends in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Going West, I joined the cleaning crew in an early morning self-guided tour of the state capitol in Denver. After a swim in the Salt Lake, I arrived in San Francisco. There I took my first helicopter tour ever before heading south to Los Angeles. In typical student fashion, I had “budgeted” well. I arrived back home with about $2 left!
Geography is now one of my favorite hobbies. On my first solo jaunt, I had not checked a map before leaving home. As a result, I missed great cost-effective add-on’s.
Some good examples I found later:
-Having a spa vacation in Arizona one Thanksgiving, I took an extended day trip to the Grand Canyon.
-One Easter at the Big Sky Ski Resort in Montana, I added on Yellowstone. (Please note: Notwithstanding campfire singalongs of “Home on the Range”, you must say Bison, not “America Buffalo”, that “roam”.)
Considering the price of international airfare, it is really important when traveling abroad to find values with add-on’s.
Some of my favorites:
-New Zealand plus Cook Island (Think Rarotonga, Aitutaki and an uninhabited atoll. Caveat: Avoid my mistake. I ran barefoot in the sand. I tripped over hot coals from a partially covered earlier beach barbecue.)
-Spain plus Morocco
-South Africa extended to include Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe/Zambia or islands en route home
-Iceland plus Luxembourg and the heart of Europe
-Ecuador and Galapagos Island
-Chile and Argentina (or even Easter Island)
Some great add-on’s not to overlook are in-country. When I was a recent graduate on an art history tour of Italy, I was disappointed to find out that Venice was not on the itinerary. Since none of the group wanted to go, I made a day trip solo via Alitalia. It was a glorious day. However, there was some real comedy en route. As the only foreigner on the flight, I understood nothing anyone said the entire time. I could only trade blanks stares when queried. One other option was to reply in Spanish to questions in Italian! (Seemed closer than English in any case.)
So remember, Updated Single Traveler Tips on Saving on Solo Travel: Tip #1:
Before booking your flights, always check out what options there are close to your destination both in-country and in the neighboring region to see the most at the greatest savings.