Freedom. Independent. Liberating. Alive. These are a just a few of the words solo travelers use to describe what it feels like to travel on their own. When you do, your adventure becomes your own: You don’t have to worry about accommodating another person’s schedule, interests, or needs. You can decide what you want to do when you want to do it. And traveling solo doesn’t just mean taking a trip on your own—perhaps you want to travel with your girlfriend, sister, or daughter. Whether you’re traveling independently for the first time, or you’re already a seasoned solo traveler, O.A.T. will take care of all of the details—making it affordable, easy, and more enjoyable for you to see the world on your own.
The O.A.T. Solo Travel Experience
Meet a solo traveler who shares her reasons for exploring the world with Overseas Adventure Travel.
You’ll Never Pay More
O.A.T. doesn’t believe our solo travelers should have to pay a premium to explore the world, so we offer FREE Single Supplements on all O.A.T. adventures and pre- and post-trip extensions and FREE or low-cost Single Supplements on our Small Ship Adventures. We offer solo space on all of our departures, however these spaces are limited. Don’t miss your chance to reserve before solo space runs out.
Solo Traveler Stories
Why Travel Solo With O.A.T.?
Local Trip Leaders
You’ll have a dedicated, expert Trip Leader or Program Director by your side throughout your entire trip. He or she will guide you through the streets of your destination, provide suggestions on where to explore or eat, and translate the local dialect. Plus, you can depend on their resourcefulness and skills in group dynamics to help bring like-minded travelers together.
Comfort & Security
With 36 regional offices around the world, you can rest assured that your safety and security is our first priority. Our regional associates have helped plan every detail of your itinerary—so they know your adventure inside and out. Plus, they will be ready to help you and your group at a moment’s notice.
Travel Amongst Friends
Our small groups—10 to 16 travelers on O.A.T. adventures and no more than 25 on our Small Ship Adventures—are the ideal size for fostering camaraderie with your fellow travelers. Two out of five O.A.T. travelers explore independently—and 85% of our solo travelers are women—so you are sure to forge special bonds as you experience unforgettable moments together.
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
2016 “Best List”
“As a solo traveler, you are making the choices you want to make ... that gives you a great deal of flexibility”
3-Time Solo Traveler
Frequently Asked Questions
You’ll be in the hands of our dedicated, local Trip Leaders and Program Directors, who strive to make all of our travelers—but particularly our solo travelers—feel welcome, comfortable, and included. Whether you need help ordering a meal at a local restaurant or wish to pursue special interests, your Trip Leader or Program Director will be happy to assist you.
Each O.A.T. itinerary is different and includes a mix of included tours, activities, and free time. You have the freedom to make your trip your own—whether that means participating in all activities and optional tours with your fellow travelers, or spending time exploring a destination independently. Your Trip Leader or Program Director will be available to offer suggestions based on your interests, as well as provide recommendations on restaurants, museums, local shops, and more.
Whether you purchase airfare through O.A.T. or arrange your own flight and our airport transfer, you will be met upon arrival at the airport by your Trip Leader or an O.A.T. representative who will help transport you to the hotel. For included meals, the group will dine together. You can choose to spend as much or as little time as you want with the group. Our solo travelers share that they always feel included in the small group and have made lifelong friends on their adventures with us.
Recommended Solo Adventures
Delhi • Jaipur • Ranthambore • Agra • Khajuraho • Varanasi
Tokyo • Hakone • Kanazawa • Kyoto
Casablanca • Rabat • Fez • Sahara Tented Camps • High Atlas Mountains • Marrakesh • Casablanca
EXTEND YOUR TRIP
5 nights Pre-trip: Tangier, Chefchaouen & the Berbers of the Rif
4 nights Post-trip: Essaouira & Casablanca
Recharging My Batteries in India
Kathleen Brose, 6-time traveler, Seattle, Washington
I lead a pretty busy life: As the mother of an adult child with high-functioning autism, and sharing the responsibility of caring for my mom with my sister, most of my time is devoted to others. I love my family, but sometimes the task of caring for them can drain my body and my mind. Because our business doesn’t allow for my husband and I to take many trips together, he encouraged me to take some time away for myself and travel somewhere I’d always wanted to go to recharge my batteries. I wanted adventure and to get lost in another culture—and I knew India would provide me with both. I also wanted to explore a destination that would give me an attitude adjustment: to remind me to be grateful for what I have, and not what I wish I had.
Since I normally travel with my family, I didn’t realize that this adventure gave me the opportunity to be completely selfish—something I don’t normally get to be when I’m at home. I almost forgot what it felt like to not have to worry about anyone but myself.
Did India help me to recharge my batteries and remind me to cherish what I have? Absolutely. I came home with a fresher mind: I wasn’t on edge and didn’t get upset about the little things.
Today, when I find myself trudging through the mundane tasks of everyday life, and I begin to feel drained, I remember strolling down that Varanasi street sipping chai tea … and I remember how lucky I am that I was able to experience such amazing memories, and to cherish the wonderful blessings I already have.
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Discovery and Friendship in Morocco
by Patricia Calzi, 20-time traveler, Brighton, Colorado
People were surprised to hear that I was traveling solo to Morocco. They’d ask me who was going with me—who’d be looking out for me. I told them I’d be with 15 friends; I just hadn’t met them yet. On O.A.T. trips, the rest of the group is so welcoming that it never feels like you’re alone. Married couples don’t act like they’re joined at the hip. They bring others into their circle, and we become a community for a little while. It’s always possible to find someone else who wants to do what you want to do, even during your free time.
What made Morocco so good was the combination of a fantastic itinerary and Aziz Kebiri, our Trip Leader. He was a natural-born storyteller. That’s how he taught us about his country—through stories. Every single day, there was something interesting to learn, something that made us rethink what we thought we knew. Aziz had told us that Morocco wasn’t like other Muslim countries, and it was just like he said. It was everything I expected, and nothing like I’d anticipated.
I bought a piece of alabaster from one of the local craftsmen; I like to bring home things that are iconic to the regions where I travel. Aziz was able to do the translating for me, and I could tell that this little old man I was buying the piece from was so pleased to be making the sale. I could hear it in his voice, and see it in the careful way he wrapped the item for me. He wasn’t just excited for the money—he was thrilled to see something that he’d made, something representing his country, going to America, where other people would see it and admire the craftsmanship.
Camping for two nights in the Sahara Desert was something I’ll never forget. It was absolutely amazing to go out at night and look at the stars in that vast blackness. You’d hear voices, because people would sit in the chairs in front of their tents and chat. You’re with like-minded people, and, in that safe setting, it gives you the freedom to do what you want to do. In the Sahara, you could just sit on your own and be quiet, or you could join others, talking and pointing out the constellations together. It was just spectacular.
I’m already planning future travel. I’m going to the Galápagos later this year with three ladies I met in Morocco. We didn’t know each other beforehand, but we became close during the trip. That’s how it is with these groups. Not only do you have your Trip Leader, but you suddenly have 15 new friends looking out for you, too.
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Expecting the Unexpected in Southeast Asia
by Jane Hansen, 4-time traveler, Groveland, California
I started traveling on my own after my husband died. I have a single friend who likes to travel, so sometimes we travel together; sometimes we travel separately. Destinations just pop up for me. I don’t go someplace just so I can say I’ve been there—I travel because I want to see new places, so I try to go to places that I haven’t been.
Most recently, I took OAT’s Ancient Kingdoms: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia adventure. It was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on! My Trip Leader, Ron Chomdee, was just an absolutely terrific person. Really exceptional! He led us through all four countries, and everything worked well, because he was very efficient. And the people in my group were very pleasant.
Angkor Wat was a real highlight of the trip. It’s one of the few remaining ancient wonders of the world, and it was everything I had hoped it would be. In fact, I was able to do just about everything on this adventure, except that, physically, I didn’t want to go into the Cu Chi Tunnels on my hands and knees in the dark—but then, I wouldn’t have wanted to do that 20 years ago, either!
Did I mention that I’m about to turn 91?
You see, I don’t consider travel difficult. What I like to do is spend several weeks with a small group, because I really feel as though I get a sense of the destination. Small groups are much more manageable. In 2002, I went to China with a different company. There were two buses of people, and we spent a lot of time waiting to get on and off the bus. With OAT, you get to stay in different kinds of accommodations, too, that are too small for larger groups. It’s just a different kind of trip.
Some people, when they travel, just want to be entertained. They want everything to be exactly the same as it is at home. But when I travel, I know things are going to be different, and I just ignore the things I don’t care for. You make up for it in what you learn about the culture. That’s why I don’t take a lot of pictures or keep a journal. I like to see what’s there while I can.
The fact is, I refuse to look and act my age. I know that I got lucky with the genes I inherited. But more than that, in travel, a lot of your enjoyment depends on your attitude. You see, I’m an optimist. I always expect my trip to be good, and it always is. You can’t be fearful that something’s going to happen. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling solo or not. Anyone who’s in good health can enjoy travel. Just drink bottled water, take your pills, and have fun!
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Bangkok • Luang Prabang • Mekong River Cruise • Vientiane • Phnom Penh • Angkor Wat • Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Traveling Solo on the Dalmatian Coast
by Peter Zalewski, 22 -time traveler from Boston, Massachusetts
When I retired from my job as an air traffic controller, I knew that I wanted to travel as much as I could. I’m happy to say that has been the case, and that Grand Circle and O.A.T. have been a big part of my life as a traveler.
I’ve had so many great trips, but the Hidden Gems of the Dalmatian Coast & Greece was definitely a memorable one. I recall being amazed at all the lavender in Hvar, and Zagreb was a great city (made even better by the fact that our ship was docked in such a convenient location). I distinctly remember Dubrovnik, and being so impressed by how well it had been restored. After seeing the images of the toll the Balkans War bombings took on the city, it’s hard to believe that it has bounced back so quickly. Looking around, you’d never know anything had happened there. The buildings and stone work all looked so beautiful—it was such a remarkable restoration.
I also chose to go on the pre-trip extension to Bled, Slovenia, and it was a reminder of why I do an extension on virtually every trip I take. Slovenia is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever seen. The snow was on the mountains, the rivers were crystal clear—it was just such a quiet, peaceful, pristine country. I am so glad I went.
My Program Director, Barbara, was awesome—which was no surprise. She was really friendly, and well versed in what she was talking about during the trip. And because she was a resident of the area, she was able to help us create connections with the locals. That’s always my favorite part of the trips: the people we meet. It helps to give me perspective, and I always walk away knowing that I’ve learned something about the culture.
I generally travel solo, which is a great thing for me. I like to have my own space, and it allows me the freedom to go where I would really like to go. Plus, I’ve traveled with Grand Circle enough to know that I always meet great people on their trips. So even if I’m by myself, I can always invite other people to join me on an excursion, or simply chat with them on the ship.
Many people tell me they are afraid of solo travel. They worry about running into difficulties, like the difference in language or currency. I tell them that it’s nothing to worry about. There are rarely any difficulties, and when there are, Grand Circle staff is always there to help. It really is a great way to travel, so I highly recommend going for it!
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