Your Guide to Traveling Alone with Groupon Getaways
With trips to Kenya, Paris, and even the Amazon, people are always looking for a good Groupon Getaways review. They want to know what it's really like to take a Groupon Getaway, but the next most popular question is how to go about traveling alone on a Getaway. After all, traveling alone is intimidating and even if you work up the courage to investigate a solo Getaway, then all of a sudden you see an extra fee and flee. Having traveled to England, France, Austria, and Hungary by myself and loved it, I think it's a downright shame so many people let a lack of a travel buddy keep them at home.
To help put those fears to rest, I decided to talk to my friend and fellow savvy traveler Laura Stratford. She's become something of a Getaways connoisseur after successful solo trips to Peru and Morocco via Groupon Getaways, and she's in the midst of planning her third: an excursion to Australia. Together, we've come up with some tips and tricks to give you the confidence to take the plunge the next time your mouse is hovering over the "buy" button.
Structure can be a solo traveler's best friend.
"Booking a Getaways trip made the entire experience easier. All I had to do was figure out how to get to New York, where my initial flight would leave from," says Laura. This is especially great for newbies to solo travel, because it's that fear of downtime that can be one of the biggest hurdles.
Lots of structure doesn't mean there's no flexibility.
On her trip to Morocco, Laura added in a day trip to the coast that ended up pairing her almost entirely with French speakers. "If I'd been with someone without any background in the language, they probably wouldn't have wanted to go and I wouldn't have seen argan trees with goats perched in their branches." If you've only ever traveled with others, the idea that no one can shoot down your idea to spend a little longer at a museum or skip the afternoon hike can be incredibly liberating—lean into it!
You don't have to be new to travel to enjoy the benefits of a Getaway.
If you already travel a bit, you might think you wouldn't like doing a tour, but Laura disagrees. She'd already been to India, France, England, and Scotland before booking a Getaways crossed her mind. "It's the fact that it's a solo trip that tipped the scales, actually," she says, noting that having less to plan and fewer logistics to figure out made it a lot easier to commit to.
You'll still save money in the long run, even with that pesky solo-traveler fee.
The additional fee is probably the biggest thorn in any potential solo traveler's side. It can feel like a trick to be ready to buy, only to see you'll be shelling out extra to go on your lonesome. But having taken a few of these, Laura says you're thinking about it all wrong. "It's only a couple hundred dollars for the entirety of the trip. On a 4- to 7-day trip, that's not very much per day, and booking a hotel room without splitting it with anyone else would likely run you that much anyway."
Here's an example: On this 10-day trip to Thailand, the rate for a couple is $1,099. Solo travelers have to pay a $475 fee, though, which sounds like a lot! However, if you were to book the same trip on your own, you'd pay nearly $1,200 for your hotel alone. Add on airfare, meals, and excursions and suddenly it's a lot more obvious how much you're really saving, fee and all.
Traveling alone doesn't mean always being alone.
Laura and I both agree that solo travel can make it a lot easier to meet people, though that can seem counterintuitive. I was once taken skiing in the Alps by a group of Canadians who happened to be on the same train as me, while Laura happily recounts that in Peru, "I met a young couple from the Boston area that I'm still in touch with who just got engaged a year after the trip!"
All there is to do it is to just do it.
Traveling by yourself can seem scary, but as Laura says, "If you've gone to the Getaways deal site more than twice to look at all the details of the trip . . . go ahead and click the 'buy' button—you'll figure the rest out when you need to." With everything else being taken care of for you, making the decision to buy is the only real hurdle. But now that you know what to expect, what are you waiting for?
Photos courtesy of Laura Stratford.
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