Solo holidays for the bereaved

By Sophie Tull

The loss of a loved one is something that each of us is likely to experience at some point, after which it can be difficult to fall back in love with life. That’s why, alongside experts from Solos Holidays, Ramblers Walking Holidays, Friendship Travel, and Cox & Kings, we have compiled a collection of holiday ideas for recently bereaved folks, to help you find enjoyment in new and perhaps surprising ways. You’ll be able to creating lasting memories, connecting with like-minded people and perhaps pursue an interest or activity in a gorgeous location.

How to prepare for your first solo trip

Planning your first trip alone can seem daunting, but Alice Baird of Solos Holidays encourages you to focus on yourself and your interests: “Take the time to read about places that interest you and think about the things you would like to do when you are there”.

First holiday ideas

Everyone is different, but a good starting point for a first solo holiday is one that is easy and stress-free. Colum McLornan of Friendship Travel recommends two destinations in particular: the UK and Greece.

If you have never travelled abroad alone before and are nervous about doing so, then a walking holiday in the New Forest is a great place to start. With no language barrier or flights to catch, this UK weekend break is the perfect way to “test the water” while enjoying beautiful scenery and sociable companions. On the other hand, if you are comfortable travelling abroad and fancy a more exotic location, Greece boasts good flight connections and hotels with a sociable “house party” atmosphere. Check out these house party holidays in Rhodes.

Renee LiButti of Ramblers Walking Holidays also encourages escaping into nature for a first solo trip: “Travelling to new places, walking and connecting with nature are great for everyone’s physical and emotional well-being”. These UK walking holidays are also worth considering. Solos Holidays offer a range of ClubSolos properties – small friendly hotels that are exclusively for you and your group.

Alternatively, Cox & Kings recommends four destination-specific tours for single travellers: Exotic India (“a land of joy and spiritual rebirth, and a lovely place to visit as a way of moving on”), Splendours of Sri Lanka (“a Buddhist destination where the belief in life after death may offer solace”), Treasures of Peru (“a place of awe-inspiring landscapes”) and Natural Wonders of Costa Rica (“to be surrounded by life in a wild, tropical haven”).

Holidays for trying new things and pursuing old interests

Solos Holidays offers a range of traips tailored to your interests. Whether that be a golf holiday, turning your hand to sailing, exploring mountainous terrain, or relaxing on the beach. You can try one of their walking holidays in locations such as the Peak District or Corfu, or explore cities like Rome and Budapest. Take a look at their choice of walking holidays with no single supplement.

In addition to traditional UK walking holidays, Ramblers also provide special interest walking holidays with a focus on a variety of things such as culture, gardens, wildlife, navigation, and yoga.

Friendship Travel offer a range of fun-filled holidays, including gulet cruises in Turkey, house party style trips in Greece and a ski trip for singles.

Cox & Kings offer solo-only tours with expert guides as well as tailor-made family holidays, so that you can spend this time with your loved ones whilst travelling the world and trying new things.

Holidays for bereaved single parents

Travelling with children after losing a partner can seem overwhelming and therefore choosing a holiday where there is a support network could be the best idea. For example, you could decide to travel with one of our recommended single parent holiday companies. Travelling in a group can give a sense of community and with tour leaders on hand, there’s always someone to turn to.

Alternatively, choosing a child-friendly resort with a kids’ club is another option as this will give your children a chance to form new friendships and try out fun activities. Find more ideas at 101 Family Holidays.

Holidays that offer a helping hand

No matter how keen you are to explore a new part of the world or pursue a lifelong interest, doing so alone is likely to make you feel slightly lost or nervous at times. But not to worry – holiday companies that design trips for solo travellers take this into account and are always there to lend a helping hand, both before, during, and after your trip.

Before

When in the initial stages of organising your trip, Solos Holidays offer a “with you all the way” service where their friendly travel consultants help you through every stage of the planning phase, giving advice on documentation, regional airports, transport options, airport hotels and even airport lounges.
Ramblers are especially well adept with helping you plan your first solo trip after losing a partner. With 29% of their previous clients being widowed, they understand how to help you choose and organise the best trip for you.

Similarly, Friendship Travel will play it by ear to work out what type of holiday you would be most comfortable with and then go from there.

During

Solos Holidays, Ramblers and Friendship Travel all emphasise that despite the social nature of their holidays, there’s no pressure for everyone to be sociable 24/7 and that you can take a step back anytime you need some space or alone time.

Alice Baird of Solos Holidays says their trips include energetic, fun and caring tour leaders who make sure that everyone feels welcome and is well looked after throughout the entire trip: “We do everything we can to ease individual travellers into a sociable group and to make our time together as inclusive as possible”.

Ramblers give you the opportunity to choose between a slower-paced holiday with plenty of time for reflection, like their Hadrian’s Wall National Trail, and an activity-filled break with one of their UK and European city breaks. Moreover, some of their tours can be booked with no single room supplement, like their Walking From San Telmo holiday to the Spanish island of Majorca. Again, everyone is made to feel welcome. Renee LiButti of Ramblers Walking Holidays says: “Our holidays are guided by experienced and qualified leaders who are sensitive and sympathetic”.

Friendship Travel also offer friendly hosts to make you feel at ease throughout your trip. Moreover, they will often have guests who are in the same situation as you so you will be able to find others who are going through or have gone through the same experience.

After

The memories made and the friendships formed don’t stop once the holiday has ended.

Alice Baird of Solos Holidays says: “It’s very rare for anyone to leave without an address book of names”.

Renee LiButti of Ramblers Walking Holidays says: “Many of our walkers have returned year after year, often with new friends they have made on previous holidays”.

Alistair Coull of Cox & Kings says: “For the first couple of days, it’s common to feel unsure of your new surroundings and companions, but as the trip progresses, you will naturally open up and make firm friends.”

Is a solo holiday really for you?

While a solo trip may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it can give you that extra boost you need to get you back to enjoying yourself, whilst forming friendships and making memories. As emphasised by Alice Baird of Solos Holidays, a solo trip is much more than just a holiday: it is an experience that leaves you with “a sense of achievement at pushing your own boundaries”.

Many of us feel more comfortable trying something new after hearing what others thought of the experience, so the following is a customer testimonial from someone who experienced a solo holiday with Ramblers after losing a loved one:

“This was my first holiday with Ramblers and the first since my wife died. The leader and the group as a whole were very sensitive about my loss and respected my need to be alone some of the time. …” – Frederick, Tinos & Andros holiday, May 2018.

For a more detailed customer testimonial and some extra encouragement, see Take the plunge with a solo Adagio holiday written from the viewpoint of a widower.

Last updated: 2 June 2022

Before you book

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