Ask the experts: Travelling companions

Our panel give advice on finding like-minded travelling buddies if you're going solo

By National Geographic Traveller (UK)
Published 21 Feb 2015, 11:00 GMT, Updated 1 Jul 2021, 16:30 BST

Q: Are there any clubs or societies for solo travellers looking for like-minded travelling companions? I'm in my fifties and I'm open to small group tours, but I find the idea of sharing a room with a stranger intimidating and the single supplements off-putting.

Glen Mutel, editor, ABTA Magazine: For package holidays, solo travel specialist Just You offers escorted and independent trips worldwide, from hiking in Nepal to a road tour of Iceland. You can also have your own room without having to pay a surcharge.

The women's online travel community, Thelma & Louise, is a great place to meet people, plus there are travellers' reviews, a trip-planning function and destination guides.

One Traveller arranges small escorted group holidays for over-fifties, everywhere from Prague and the Austrian lakes to St Petersburg and China. There are pre-departure nights in airport hotels to dine with fellow travellers, and no single supplements.

For more advice and tips, visit the ABTA website.

Sarah Barrell, associate editor, National Geographic Traveller (UK): A special-interest trip is ideal for meeting like-minded travellers, and many group tours, notably with Go Learn To, have no single supplements. Painting in Italy has launched art classes in Florence, plus tours off the tourist track including a visit to the Vasari Corridor in the Uffizi, learning about Florentine paper marbling, and attending a lecture at The British Institute titled The Role of the Artist in Renaissance Florence. One-week courses run from March to November, and cost from £1,599 including airport transfers (not flights), half-board accommodation, tuition and excursions.

Adventure companies, such as Dragoman, Explore, The Imaginative Traveller and Wild Frontiers, often cater to mature solo travellers. Many guided group tours have no single supplement, making exotic destinations such as Africa, China, Taiwan and South America very accessible.

Kate Kenwood, Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO): Choose a trip that fits your hobbies. Keen on horse riding? Want to learn about wine? You'll find inspiration and advice on destinations to suit your interests from the 120 members of AITO. And while holiday companies simply pass on hotel charges, you can avoid single room supplements by travelling in May or June. In these months outside the main school holidays, you'll often enjoy a double room to yourself.

Get in touch: If you're in need of travel advice, email our team –

Published in the March 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)


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