Holidays For Single People
Rule #1: Have Fun!
The holidays are often a dreaded time for single people. Your attached friends are busy with their loved ones, and you may feel all alone.
There is no need to feel lonely or sorry for yourself, however. Nothing stops you from making your own fun traditions for the holidays.
In fact, there is a tongue-in-cheek “Singles Awareness Day” (acronym – wait for it – is S.A.D.), celebrated on 15 February, the day after Valentine’s. For many it is like a protest against Valentine’s Day, its sentimentality, its commerciality, and its manipulativeness.
In China, there are millions of single men, because of the one-child policy and the preference for boy children. They have recently developed “Single’s Day” or One’s Day.
It was started in 1993 at Nanjing University on 11/11 (11 November), because the number 1, single, and bachelor all have the same meaning in Chinese. It has become a very hip and fashionable holiday among young people. Parties, karaoke, doing some special gambling, and other social activities have become huge on that day.
For yourself, you can do something like working out and then volunteering – a sort of self-improvement exercise. If that doesn’t appeal to you, perhaps you can embark on a themed movie marathon and veg out session.
Or, you can make your own exciting holidays with your own traditions. For instance, you can make a promise to make special travel plans every year – seeing a place you’ve never seen before (near or far from home, it doesn’t matter). You get the idea.
Warning for the Single Traveller: The Single Supplement
If you decide to travel for the holidays, one thing you should look out when you are booking your vacation is the single supplement.
These are extra charges for single travellers, which can range between 10 and 100 percent over the advertised prices of travel agencies.
The justification used for charging the single supplement is that a hotel is foregoing extra revenue by giving a single person a room that can hold two persons. Or that the room cleaning and preparation charges are the same for two people, and so the single traveller will have to bear the full cost.
So although you will be going on holidays for 1 person, it will be like you are paying for 2.
The Solution: Specialised Single Travel Companies and Tours
The solution is to make sure that you go with holidays tour operators who are specialised in offering vacations for singles, because when you book their holidays, no single supplement should be charged.
The extra charge is eliminated by some companies by roommate matching. Best Single Travel, for example, matches according to gender, and they let you interact with your potential roommate on Facebook before you travel to ensure compatibility.
Some single people go on the internet to find travel partners, but this is not advisable, for what should be fairly obvious reasons.
You can never be sure about the real identity of people on the Internet. That is why going through a specialised tour company is best. They will do all the vetting beforehand.
There are all sorts of singles vacations packages that are available: holidays for young singles, holidays for single people over 50, holidays for single people over 40, all inclusive singles holidays, weekend breaks for singles, holidays for singles over 60, Christian singles holidays, cheap holidays for singles, holidays for single parents and the list goes on and on.
Two Main Types of Singles Holidays
The difficult choice is mainly for the holidays for singles over 30, regarding which type of tour you would like to go on. This pretty much depends on your personality, really.
There are often no differences in the tours, it is just the difference in the ages (and, usually, interests) of your travel companions.
To use the example of Best Single Travel again, the tours are basically to the same places – Exploring Vietnam, Eco-Tours in Costa Rica, Ballooning Tours in Albequerque, African Safaris, Greek Island Hopping, Weekend Getaways in Las Vegas — with pretty much the same itineraries.
Checklists and Safety Guides for Single Travellers
One final note for the single traveller: make sure you have a proper checklist for safety. The best singles holidays are ones where you have loads of fun, but are safe in the end.
As part of your checklist, we suggest the following:
- Do you have extra copies of all your travel and identity documents? Are they in a safe place? Can they be located by someone at home if you are in trouble? (A friend, family member, work colleague, bank staff member, etc.?)
- Do people know where you are and where to reach you? (Have you seen the movie 127 Hours? Don’t let that happen to you!)
- Make sure you note down your credit card company’s customer service number, in case you lose your credit card, or it gets stolen.
- Ensure that you know who will be picking you up at the airport. Do not “wing it” or “play it by ear” when you are at the airport. Make arrangements beforehand, even if you think doing so might cost a little more.
- Particularly for single women: do not let the freedom of being in another country make you let your guard down. Avoid looking like you are alone, or a tourist (e.g. walking while looking at a map). Always look confident and like you know where you are going, even when you have no idea. Tell white lies when you need directions like, “I am supposed to meet my friends/boyfriend/husband at such and such a place, can you tell me how I can get there?” Or tell strangers whom you talk to that your friends are waiting for you at the hotel, and that they’re a little boring so you just went out for a little while on your own. You get the idea.
All in all, holidays for single people should not have to be a dreaded time. Make your own traditions, have fun, see new places, meet new people, and make new friends!
You might be interested in reading this article from the BBC on Why Are Couples So Mean to Single People?
If you are a single parent, or interested in single parent issues, check out Gingerbread‘s website. It’s quite excellent, headed by former single parent and Harry Potter author, JK Rowling.