Best singles holidays for under-40s
If you’re under 40 and single, there’s a world of exciting holidays waiting out there for you. You might look at travel websites and brochures and see images of happy smiling couples and families, but there are also plenty of options for solo travellers, including specialist singles companies and mainstream tour operators that are simply popular with people travelling alone.
Whether you’re looking for budget places to stay, small group tours to take you off the beaten track, an active adventure or a more luxurious beach break, there’s plenty out there.
Here’s my pick of the best singles holidays for under-40s.
Activity holidays for under-40s
From cycling to yoga to trekking through jungles, there’s an activity holiday to suit everyone. If you’re looking for adventure, Wild Frontiers has small group holidays in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, the deserts of Rajasthan and the Chilean Andes, with more than 70% of their guests travelling solo.
One of the most popular activity holidays for solo under-40s is a safari in Africa. You could discover gorillas in the wild with Rainbow Tours in Uganda.
You needn’t venture far off the beaten track to get active on holiday. Inghams has trips exploring the lakes and mountains of Europe with no single supplement, so you could choose from Italian lakeside scenery or the peaks of Austria and Switzerland. In winter, there are ski breaks for solos while Friendship Travel runs Learn to Ski weeks in the Alps, exclusively for singles.
Or explore the world on two wheels with cycling holidays for solos. Saddle Skedaddle runs group trips in the UK and overseas, where you can choose from an easy leisurely pace or adrenaline thrills on a mountain bike. Headwater runs self-guided cycle trips, with popular routes including Venetian villas & vineyards, Lake Constance, Gozo and gastronomic Burgundy.
For an active break that’s as good for your mental as your physical health, try some yoga in an exotic location. Destination Yoga has trips in Ibiza, India and Thailand – you can even combine yoga with skiing in the Italian Dolomites. Or stay closer to home with yoga weekends in Kent with Simon Low. The Fitscape collection from the healthy holiday company is great if your travel goal is losing some weight and getting into shape.
Escorted tours for singles
Small group tours are great for solo travellers, whether it’s part of a longer trip around the world or a standalone break, and several companies focus on the under-40s age group.
Solo Travellers is the UK’s only specialist in escorted tours for singles. Its range of small group tours includes interesting European cities such as Dubrovnik, Vilnius, Krakow and Bucharest. It also runs longer adventure tours to destinations including Ethiopia, Georgia and Armenia and Iceland.
If you’d prefer a tour group with a wider age range, several companies run groups from 20 to 60 that are perfect for anyone looking for a taste of adventure. Try these small group tours in Cuba, with solo travellers making up around half the group, or this two-week Cuba walking holiday. Or discover the desert and ancient sites of Jordan with On the Go Tours – Trek Petra is a great active option or see the country’s main sites and then chill out by the Red Sea with Deserts, Ruins, Reefs.
If Asia tops your list, Insider Journeys has some great solo traveller trips with around a third of its groups travelling alone. Vietnam Insight, Cambodia Revealed and Burma Revealed are perfect for first-time visitors to the three countries.
If you want an African safari without the hefty price tag, check out these overland tours with Tucan Travel, which says 60% of passengers travel alone. It’s a sociable, fun and adventurous way of experiencing this great continent. Groups consist of 12 – 24 passengers with a mix of hotels and tented camps. Popular itineraries include the 10-day Mara and Serengeti tour which visits the Masai Mara, Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater.
Budget accommodation for solo travellers
If you’re travelling on a budget, it’s easy to save a few pennies as you discover the world. Hostels have had a major upgrade over recent years, so there’s everything from free champagne to art installations and sun decks, as well as female dorms, women-only hostels and private rooms. Hostelbookers has a great range from around the world.
More tour operators are waking up to the growing numbers of solo travellers, so if you’re looking for a beach holiday, there’s a huge choice including long-haul and short-haul sun, all-inclusive, luxury and budget beach breaks – whether you want to be alone, or with a sociable group of likeminded people.
Solos Holidays runs one and two-week breaks at its ClubSolos hotels on Crete and Santorini for various age groups, including 25-45 and 30-59, as well as breaks for all ages, exclusively for singles. The nearby Mistral Hotel in Crete is also for singles only, if you’d prefer somewhere that attracts a wider age range. Or head to the luxurious Hotel Volcan Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, which has no single supplement at certain times of the year.
For more hotels with no single supplement worldwide, Mercury Holidays has three and four-star winter sun, as well as tropical island destinations including Bali, Mauritius and Sri Lanka, many with all-inclusive options.
The Indian Ocean needn’t be the preserve of couples. In Kenya, there’s no single supplement at Turtle Bay Beach Club with Tropical Sky, while Barefoot Traveller has an exclusive single rate at Bandos Island Resort in the Maldives from May to October.
Or head over to the Caribbean, where the adults-only Breathless Punta Cana resort in the Dominican Republic promises a party-atmosphere, as well as a very low single supplement and plenty for solo travellers. For something more low-key, The BodyHoliday in St Lucia has dedicated single rooms. no single supplements and the option of sociable communal dining.
Learning holidays for singles
From photography and painting to cookery and languages, you’re certainly never too old to learn something new. And while you’ll find a wide range of ages on most learning trips, you’re sure to have at least one interest in common.
You can brush up your cordon bleu skills with a cookery holiday. Five-star Lucknam Park near Bath has its own Cookery School. And if you’re looking to learn some life skills, Skyros has weekend breaks in the UK, Venice, Paris and Marrakech, focusing on personal development, with sightseeing between the life coaching.
Volunteer holidays for under-40s
Volunteering often makes an appearance in gap years, but older travellers with specific skills are even more in demand, whether you’re looking to develop a CV or give something back. At home, the National Trust working holidays include everything from coastal locations to archaeology.
Or for a unique experience, two different companies let you see the world at a discounted rate as you help disabled travellers along the way. The Jubilee Sailing Trust takes specially designed tall ships around the world, allowing disabled teens and adults to travel, with enthusiastic able-bodied travellers assisting them and the permanent crew.
Traveleyes International offers similar trips for blind and visually impaired travellers, with sighted companions helping guide and describe as they embark on city breaks, activity holidays, beach holidays and short UK breaks.
Last updated: 7 December 2016