The saying goes that life begins at 40, but it’s often those approaching retirement who have the most freedom to travel the world.
Still those faced with going it alone might find travelling over the age of 60 a little daunting…
But what’s more important, a travelling partner or fulfilling the adventures you always wanted to do?
That’s right – the second option!
Emerging trend for women to travel solo
It seems that women are embracing the new trend of travelling solo. Searches for ‘solo travel for women’ increased by 132%2 from 2018 to 2021. And according to research by Condor ferries, 59% of women solo travellers would travel alone again in the next 12 months.
So, if you’re considering a solo trip, why not make this your year to visit your dream destination. After all, why should you miss out on the opportunity to see the world just because friends and family may be busy?
Planning a solo trip
Before you decide where to go or where to stay, you need to decide why a solo trip is appealing to you. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I seeking adventure?
- Do I want somewhere I can feel refreshed and rejuvenated?
- Do I want to see the sights I’ve always dreamt of?
Where to stay on a solo travel trip
If you’re hoping to go sightseeing and are looking for a little luxury on a solo trip to Europe, why not consider these luxurious hotels in Madrid; spoil yourself with 5-star service and fine foods.
If you’re considering a solo trip for the chance to relax and recharge then why not consider a Holistic Wellness stay at Badrutt’s Palace – a Swiss Alpine Sanctuary. It’s an enchanting resort where guests unwind and rest.
If you’re seeking adventure, then these resorts offer the perfect place to stay alongside programmes packed full of fun breathtaking activities, such as snowmobiling and dog sledging.
Where to go on a solo travel trip
If you’re in need of some inspiration on where to go, we’ve got you covered. Here are 5-holiday ideas to make solo travelling for over 60s a whole lot easier!
1. Explore the battlegrounds which created the modern world
Exploring historical settings by yourself can really give your imagination room to take it all in.
For any history buffs in particular, this is the ideal solo holiday.
There’s also plenty of sites other than battlefields to experience on these trips. Including the Tyne Cot Cemetery, with over 12,000 war graves and a memorial wall displaying a further 35,000 names of unburied soldiers who gave their lives.
The Somme 1916 Museum in Albert will also provide you with a fascinating account of the events that occurred during this five month-long battle.
There is also a huge range of Second World War sites that can be easily visited from the UK. The most infamous is Auschwitz in Poland, which displays the history of the Third Reich and Holocaust: a harrowing yet unmissable destination when visiting Krakow.
Further afield, thanks to the 1957 film The Bridge on the River Kwai, Thailand is home to one of the world’s most popular war sites. In Kanchanaburi, you can visit the Death Railway and the famous bridge that inspired the film, where hundreds of thousands of prisoners of war were forced into labour to aid Japan’s war effort.
2. Discover the world’s most striking landscapes on foot
Enjoy the company of others, explore the great outdoors, and keep fit!
That’s just some of the reasons why walking holidays are a fantastic option for solo travelers over 60.
One of the most popular walking routes in the UK is the West Highland Way in Scotland, a 96 mile path that is the country’s most beloved long distance walk.
Although the record for this trek is a lengthy 14 hours, over 60’s can still plan the route to suit their fitness and experience. Just make sure you have enough time to enjoy the stunning scenery – as well the many pubs dotted along the route.
South of the border is the “Coast to Coast” trail, a path that winds almost 200 miles from Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea. If you’re doing a solo walk, a good deal of research may be required before you head out, but tourist information offices and National Park websites have a wealth of information available. There are also plenty of handy smartphone apps you might consider downloading before you head off.
Popular routes across Europe include trails exploring the Norwegian fjords. Here you can enjoy some of the world’s most spectacular scenery, such as Pulpit Rock, or Preikstolen, perched 600m above the glittering fjord. This 6km walk takes around four hours and is at its very best from May-October.
3. Ride the rails on a classic solo train journey
A classic way of traveling involves train journeys and, on these holidays, it really is just as much about the journey as the destination!
Long-distance routes such as the Orient Express and the Trans-Siberian Railway may be the most famous but there are plenty of other unforgettable trips closer to home. Such as the Caledonian Sleeper, which travels between London and the Scottish Highlands.
One of the best ways to discover a destination by train is to purchase a travel pass which can be used on your own bespoke route. If you are planning on traveling across Europe then the Interrail passes are invaluable with unlimited train travel for an entire month. As an added benefit, over 60s can enjoy a 10% discount!
4. Hop in a Cadillac down the California coast
For many the favourite way to explore the United States is by road.
Not least California’s highway 1. Better known as the Pacific Coast Highway, it’s probably the world’s most iconic drive.
The route hugs the Californian coastline for most of the 655 mile route. You’ll glide through world-famous beach destinations such as:
- Venice Beach
- Santa Barbara
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
The perfect companions on the open road for the solo traveller. This truly is a bucket list holiday!
For a drive a little closer to home, Europe does have Austria’s High Alpine Road. The breathtaking journey windes through the Alps at 2,500m above sea level.
If you need any more inspiration, check out the best spots in LA for your next visit.
5. Cruise with accessible solo cabins and 1st class facilities
Cruises are designed to be accessible
If you have any mobility issues, cruises offers one of the safest and most accessible ways to enjoy a holiday.
You can forget about the dragging suitcases along airports and waiting in long queues. Many of the biggest cruise liners have now been designed with older passengers in mind!
Going solo has never been more sociable
There was a time when a solo cruiser was considered an unusual sight.
And for those who did dare go it alone, extras fees and uncomfortable dining-for-one were commonplace – but no more!
Solo cruising has become much more popular in the past few years. Many of the biggest cruise companies now provide:
- Solo cabins
- Dedicated activities for solo travellers
- A range of dining options
So there has never been a better time for the older solo traveller to hit the high seas.
The over 60 traveller cruising alone will find it easy to meet and mingle with other passengers. And thanks to organised solo meet-ups, onboard events and a range of restaurants to choose from, you’ll never be short of good company from fellow solo travellers.
Travel Insurance for retired solo travellers
Why not enjoy your retirement travelling solo? When travelling alone, it’s even more important that you have access to support should the worse happen while you’re away. Should you choose to travel with AllClear’s Over 65s Travel Insurance, you can have peace of mind on your travels as well as benefitting from:
- Coronavirus cover that has been rated Superior by a leading independent UK consumer champion
- Cover for all pre-existing medical conditions
- Flexible cancellation cover with no upper age limits
Written by Lydia Crispin, MA Content Creator at AllClear
Edited by Letitia Smith, M.Sc. Content Manager at AllClear
2 Based on Google Trends Search volume data for the UK from 2018 to 19 compared to 2020 to 2021.
3 Ranked first Overall for Travel Insurance on SmartMoneyPeople.com from over 14,300 independent customer reviews on 27/01/2021.