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Avoid Loneliness When Travelling Alone

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Most people will recognise that travelling is one of life’s most precious joys. While the home is certainly where the heart is, being able to visit new places and see new sights is an important part of extending your life experience and opening your eyes to new and unfamiliar cultures. Fortunately, the latter half of the twentieth century has seen technology advance to the stage where almost everyone can travel with ease and comfort.

Whether you just take a weekend break to Paris or plan to go on a long haul trip to New York, travelling can be a life changing experience. But while taking a holiday can unlock some of the wonders of the world, travelling can also be a lonely experience when travelling alone.  For the traveller about to embark upon a solo trip the prospect can be fraught with trepidation and uncertainty. Will I stand out and be more vulnerable in a new city? Will I speak with anybody during my time away? Will I be the only person eating alone in a restaurant?

Unfortunately big hotels can seem impersonal and uninviting places and often fail to cater to the needs of the single traveller.  For example people travelling alone might end up staying in a tiny cell of a room yet still pay a single person supplement.  Why should this be?  The argument from the travel industry has always been that one person uses the same amount of electricity, bedding and staff time as two people. While that might be true, it also demonstrates a bias towards their most preferred customer, a couple, who are perhaps more likely to spend more money on other facilities provided by the hotel such as the restaurant and the bar.

Of course, if you can beat loneliness, travelling alone can be great fun and a perfect situation.   You never have to answer to anybody.  If you want to wake up at the crack of dawn to be the first person through the door of the Acme Museum, there’s no one around to complain.  In some ways it may force you to take more notice of your surroundings and pick-up on the small details of a place.  And, it goes without saying, you might find your perfect holiday romance whilst away.

There is a wealth of travel websites, blogs and forums that tackle the issue of travelling alone and perhaps the single most important  bit of advice they offer is to choose your accommodation wisely.  Homestay accommodation is not a new concept in travelling, it has been around for many years, especially for providing accommodation to foreign students.  Staying in a Homestay can be a completely new and highly rewarding experience.  The host, a private individual or a small guesthouse owner, is usually someone who is extraordinary helpful, who enjoys meeting people from all corners of the world and by opening up their home to travellers often encourage an experience of sharing.   Great tips can be gleaned from the host such as the best live music near their home or not-to-be missed local event or festival, which you may not find in  a guide book.  Through the openness and willingness to share their knowledge of their culture with great pride, especially if the guest shows a genuine interest in their country, sometimes strong friendships can be established from the experience.   Furthermore, guesthouse and B&B Homestays usually have communal areas such as a dining room or lounge where people can meet, share experiences or even plan day trips out together.

Being single should not put people off from travelling and seeing the world.  The key is to be smart about your home from home and ensure you will be staying in a place where you can interact with people who care.  Needless to say Homestay holidays are here to stay and offers the perfect solution to the single traveller.