There are many questions solo travellers ponder before setting out on a group tour for the first time. Will it be hard to make friends with the people who are travelling together? Is there going to be any flexibility in how I spend my time? Will there be any other solo travellers? Does my style of travel suit that of a group tour? And will I have fun?
Janet Clements thought many of these things herself before travelling with us. She recently enjoyed our Very Vietnam and spent an extra five days in Cambodia at the end. Here she shares her experiences of being a solo traveller with On The Go Tours.
1. Did you have any worries about being a solo traveller before setting off?
I was terrified. Having been brave enough to book it, I spent quite a bit of time with Sarah Bansgrove (my reservations consultant) checking every thing out. She was always quick to respond to my emails, explaining everything to me and reassuring me.
2. What was your favourite part of the tour?
There were so many wonderful experiences. The best bits in Vietnam were the night spent on the boat in Halong Bay and the exciting rickshaw ride in Hanoi. My 60th birthday was also a great day with a meal and cake to celebrate.
In Cambodia, Angkor Wat was the highlight. It was amazing and the sunrise there was magical.
3. What was the best thing about being a solo traveller?
You can get up and go to bed when you are ready. You can join and spend time with different people throughout the tour. And make lots of new friends. A daughter of one of the Australian couples has already been to stay with me in London.
4. What advice would you give other solo travellers?
If you go determined to have a good time, you will. Talk to everyone. If you want help, ask for it. I was nervous about the sleeping arrangements on the overnight train ride and I shared my concerns with a lady in the group. She said tell the guide and he was excellent, sorting everything out perfectly.
5. What are your future travel plans?
I was the only single traveller not sharing. There were two other single ladies who didn’t know each other, one from England and one from the US. I spent some time with the one from England and we agreed to share next time. We’re making the most of a two-for-one deal to India.
I went on the holiday as a treat to myself for my 60th birthday, thinking it would be a trip of a lifetime. I intend to do a holiday like this every year. As a result of the excellent service I received and the wonderful friends I made, I feel I can go anywhere and do anything.