Lea Lane's Top Ten Picks for Solo Travelers
Naples and Amalfi Coast
Top budget pick
This stretch from Sorrento to Salerno is heavily discounted in winter and early spring. Temperatures can be cool then, but the reason to go remains beauty---whether from off-road belvederes, or amid gardens in Ravello. Good deal: SITA blue line buses from Sorrento to Salerno.
Top budget pick
If you like Maine and bargains, you'll love the Canadian province of New Brunswick, just to the north. I enjoyed sweet scallops and even sweeter strawberries, and experienced the highest tides in the world in the Bay of Fundy. I find Canadians extremely kind and helpful. And when you're soloing, it's especially nice to be traveling in a foreign country where you can speak the language.
Top budget pick
Never colonized, Thailand has unusual rituals that date to the 13th century. The country remains exotic and inexpensive. Bargain at the vast Weekend Market for handicrafts and silk fabric. Some of the world's greatest hotels are in busy Bangkok and fine rooms can be under $100.
Top solo experience pick
The national parks are crowded, but you don't need company to enjoy any of it. In fact, viewing the Grand Canyon once with others and once alone, there was no comparison. Solo was better!
Top spa pick
Relentless pampering can be jarring if you're unaccustomed to either the indulgence or the price tag, but if you're looking for a solo experience that places you at the center of the universe, this spa is exceptional.
Top lodging pick
Beds-and-breakfasts are right-on for solo travelers. Among the standard amenities are a private room (and, often, a private bath), full breakfasts at communal tables, drinks in the parlor, the opportunity to trade information and travel stories, a friendly house cat or dog to pet, and pastry and coffee anytime. What makes or breaks the experience, usually, are the owners. You never know when you'll come upon a Basil Fawlty or some other similarly memorable character, and traveling solo, you'll often connect.
Favorite solo city/domestic
What can anyone say about The Big Juicy Apple that hasn't been said? You'll be among many other soloists when you're on your own, and restaurants, attractions and hotels will cater to you comfortably. Soloing here is no biggie, and you can be stimulated and busy 24/7. Concerts, theater and museums are great places to spend time alone.
Favorite solo city/ foreign
Language will be (almost) no barrier, and same as in NYC, you'll find loads of fellow soloists. Take day trips to see the Cotswalds, Oxford or Cambridge. Try walking tours, a great way to meet others. Pubs are fun, and you can always join in a game there.
Peter Deilmann Cruises. Top river cruise line. On the rivers of Europe or on the high seas around Asia, this popular European company offers comfortably elegant accomodations, great food, a relaxing pace, and a sophisticated clientele, agreeable to soloists.
Windstar. Top small cruise line. Cruising under five sails, or motorized, you'll find fewer than 300 other cruisers, which makes for a nice group for soloists. Itineraries include the Mediterranean, The Greek Isles, Tahiti and the Caribbean. Food is excellent, and vessels are sleek and elegant.
From Lea Lane's Solo Traveler: Tales and Tips for Great Trips.
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