Solo Travel: Thailand Elephant Ride
Thailand: Elephant Ride

Traveling solo means you’re the one who gets to decide where you go, what you see, and what you will do while you’re there. Planning your trip with a professional travel consultant allows you to get your priorities on a blank piece of paper with no competing interests or arguments over what your itinerary should look like. There is an emerging trend for solo travel, especially with women.

Solo travelers look for more personal, enriching experiences which fit into their time frame. Planning a custom vacation for yourself is a lot easier than trying to figure out different schedules and budgets with your friends. When you’re flying solo – literally – you can simply choose your destination and go – no need to wait on friends or family to decide they are also itching to see the Northern Lights. Another valuable quality of solo travel is that you get exclusive “me time.”

Solo Travel: Thailand Elephant Ride
Solo Travel: Thailand Elephant Ride

You don’t need a traveling buddy to see the world. This is not to say that you will not pair up with like-minded people while on a group tour to complete your day. Sharing dinner together or partnering to kayak a white water river excursion only makes sense.

On a recent trip to Thailand, I wanted to ride an elephant, but I wanted to make certain the animals were treated humanely and I would remain safe. I researched the Thai Elephant Home outside of Chang Mai. During our “elephant orientation class”, I found myself surrounded by like-minded solo travelers. For that one day, I felt surrounded by new “best” friends. I met a young man, Ben, who was probably 20 years younger than me. He was a taxi driver in Las Vegas. He said he would work 7 days a week for 7 months straight banking lots of travel funds. Then he would book an international flight. He had a bucket list of experiences for an extended destination immersion. Ben also wanted to spend time with Asian elephants while exploring Thailand. For one day we shared a memorable experience together.

Your first solo trip

Themed or special interest travel would be a good place to start. For example, Globus Family of Brands has an entire division devoted to Italy travel, Ed-ventures Inc. offers religious Reformation tours, and G Adventures specializes in small group, high activity tours. Just to name a few.
If you plan to consider the solo traveler route, please take it seriously, work with a travel consultant who specializes in solo, independent travel and savor each moment. Since we spend most of our days plugged in, looking at computer screens and pleasing others – whether it be with friends, family, clients or coworkers – taking time to go out into the world by ourselves can be freeing.

Linda Meadors

Linda Meadors has been affiliated with Blue Horizon Travel, Orion IL since 2002 with a focus on affinity groups which has included jazz clubs, heritage groups, school fund-raisers, celebrities with followers, reunions and church fellowship groups. Many individual clients started as group members. Linda has served as the MAST International Travel Writer since 2012. In 2018 her group and personal travel destinations will include: Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy and England. A year of college study abroad at the University of Vienna set her wander lust in motion to work in travel, convention planning, marketing and most importantly, communications.