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The First Post

June 10, 2010

Last July, at a relative’s wedding abroad, I reconnected with a cousin who lives one state over, but who I hadn’t seen in years. She? Single and thirty-something. Me? Single and thirty-something too. Our respective mothers felt that our similar statuses could only mean one thing:

“Why don’t you go on a singles’ cruise together?”

This is a lot like fixing up the only two [insert race here] friends you have because you think they’re bound to have a lot in common and get along swimmingly. Nice idea, but it doesn’t always work. Traveling with someone can be a lot like getting married: you’ve got to have similar ideas and goals about what’s going to make your trip a success. More often than not, I’ve found that my ideas and goals don’t always mesh well with others. In the few instances where I’ve met people who have similar travel aspirations (and tolerable personalities), there are often spouses and children and work considerations which make a joint trip next to impossible, so what’s a girl to do?

Hit the road solo.

Not being an heiress or independently wealthy, this is often a very expensive proposition. Most travel sites, when offering deals, create these deals with the “double occupancy” default, meaning that this deal is only a deal if two people share the cost. But what about when you’re shouldering the cost alone?

There are ways to get around the sometimes exorbitant price of traveling by yourself without selling the firstborn-you’re-never-going-to-have-because-you’re-single. My favorite? Saving on lodging by staying at a hostel or a campsite.

I’ve done both. Last year, a solo trip to the Caribbean was made possible by an incredibly cheap airfare and the hospitality of a campground. For Thanksgiving, I scooted up to Montreal on a cheap train ticket from New York and stayed at a hostel. So what if one of my roommates smelled like weed and slept the entire time? It was all part of the experience.

I’m looking for great tips on keeping costs down while traveling alone because right now the travel account is close to running on empty and I’m craving an infusion of the unfamiliar.

Any thoughts?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    June 10, 2010 8:20 pm

    “In the few instances where I’ve met people who have similar travel aspirations (and tolerable personalities), there are often spouses and children ”

    Well, I do consider my personality quite tolerable and I do have a spouse and children. Just say it Marsha! You are talking about me. haha LOVE YOU! soooo wish I could venture off with you for some exciting travel which does not include singles destinations or Sesame Street characters. Now that I have muddied you beautifully written blog with my silly comments, I shall go take a turn about the room Jane Austen style and think of you.

    • ensignemm permalink
      June 12, 2010 5:33 am

      You were actually one of the friends I was thinking of. I remember when I’d just met you wishing that I’d met you earlier in life…I would have tagged along on your jaunts abroad!

  2. Judy permalink
    June 11, 2010 12:52 am

    Marsha this is wonderful. I too have often traveled alone for one reason or another and have similar budget issues. One way I like to keep my costs down is go traveling places where I know people whose homes I can stay at! Or even hooking up with friends/family of friends in other countries. I’ve done this a few times and it has always turned out wonderfully. Not only do I have a free place to stay but I usually have a tour guide as well! It’s great and they are always excited to have you. Thanks for starting this blog. You are amazing.
    Your newest sister to the single world

    • ensignemm permalink
      June 12, 2010 5:31 am

      Ah, yes, bunking with friends. I really ought to take advantage of the face that old college friends are spread out over the U.S. and the world….

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