Travel Tips for Single Travellers

Travelling solo can be an exhilarating experience: you can immerse yourself in new surroundings and different experiences without needing to worry about the different tastes and requirements of companions. It is the perfect opportunity for self-indulgence.

Of course, you may have some concerns, but with a little forward planning, you can save money and enjoy a memorable holiday. Here are a few tips for novice single travellers:

Keeping Safe
When travelling alone, you don’t have anyone to watch your back, so taking a few common-sense precautions will help you to stay safe:

  • If driving alone, make sure that your hotel will still be open if arriving late at night.
  • Keep to public, open spaces, especially at night. Follow your gut instinct and if something feels wrong to you, remove yourself from the situation.
  • Try to blend in with the locals: don’t pore over guidebooks too obviously and don’t wear flashy jewellery or touristy T-shirts.
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary with friends at home and keep in touch regularly by phone or email.
  • Be aware of the new friends you are making. Con artists may present themselves as charming companions but keep your guard up, as they often target single travellers.

Worried about being lonely? Try an activity holiday!
Activity-based holidays are a great option for solo travellers. You could learn to surf, explore a different cuisine, or try a painting course, without worrying whether your companion is getting bored; many residential courses do not charge a supplement for single guests.

Being in a group of like-minded people means you will always have someone to chat to and you will probably find you are not the only solo traveller in the group. Just do a search online to find specialist activity holiday companies that fit your hobbies and interests: you’ll be surprised at what you find!

How to avoid the single occupancy charge

According to Which?, the supplements that holiday companies and cruise lines impose on single travellers can range from 25% to 100% of the cost for those travelling as a couple, so travelling solo can prove expensive.

If you are on a tight budget and don’t mind sharing, ask your tour operator if it is possible to share a twin room to avoid extra charges. Are you flexible on dates? Try lastminute.com or laterooms.com for last-minute bookings, when tour operators may be more willing to waive single supplements.

Cruising can be an attractive choice for a solo holiday. Several cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean and P&O, offer single cabins that do not attract a supplement. Book early as they usually get snapped up!

Berlin: So Much to See and Do

Once divided by the Berlin Wall, the German capital is now a vibrant and unique city that welcomes visitors from all over the world. With a similar climate to the UK, expect late spring and summer temperatures of around 20C/68F, ideal for sightseeing.

Seeing the city
It’s easy to get around Berlin. The centre is compact and pedestrian-friendly, and the public transport network of trams, buses, underground and light rail is efficient and inexpensive.

The 18th century Brandenburg Gate, located on the historic street Unter den Linden, is a Berlin landmark. A more modern symbol of the city is the World Clock in the Alexanderplatz.

Berlin has one of the world’s most famous zoos, as interesting for its architecture as for its animals. There are parks and green spaces, mostly along the banks of the river Spree. Museums and galleries cover science and technology, history, art and literature, and much more, with several museums focusing on the history of the city itself.

For a bird’s eye view, visit the Fernsehturm (TV tower) or rise up in the Weltballon tethered balloon.

Shopping and dining
No trip to Berlin is complete without a visit to the huge Kaufhaus des Westens department store, usually abbreviated to KaDeWe. Clothes, toys, household goods and much more are spread out over eight floors. Views from the top floor restaurant are spectacular, while coffee and cake at the food court is an institution for tourists and locals alike.

The KaDeWe is situated at Alexanderplatz, the principal shopping area. You’ll find other department stores, clothing stores, and restaurants here, as well as a few hidden surprises like the motorcycle museum.

Kurfürstendamm (often known as Ku’damm) is also a great place to spend time. One of the most famous boulevards in Berlin, it has some great restaurants, shops, and hotels. It is particularly noted for having the shops of many famous fashion designers.

East and West
Reminders of the city’s past are everywhere. A monument near the old Tempelhof airport commemorates the Berlin Airlift, and sections of the Berlin Wall have been preserved across the city, including at the East Side Gallery.

See a reconstructed Checkpoint Charlie at Kochstraße, and visit the bridge at Bornholmer Straße where East Berliners first began to cross to the West when the border opened.

How can you tell when you’re in the former East Berlin? Look at the traffic lights and see if you can spot the distinctive hat-wearing red and green men. Created in the East, Ampelmann was due to be phased out after reunification, but he was saved by popular demand!

Skåne: The Swedish Riviera

Known as Sweden’s Riviera, Skåne is full of white-sand beaches. You may not have thought of a Scandinavian country as offering as a holiday where the beach can be enjoyed, but there are some simply stunning coastlines just waiting to be discovered in the region.

From the city of Malmö, which faces Denmark, to the more laid-back Åhus, to be found in the east, there are plentiful beaches and other natural beauty spots which will delight you. Temperatures frequently reach as high as 22C/71F in summer.

Ribersborg 
Just a short drive or twenty minutes stroll from the heart of Malmö, Skåne’s largest urban centre is Ribersborg. This superb beach offers a shallow approach to the sea and a one-and-a-half mile long stretch of sand.

Popular with Swedes and Danes in the summer months, the beach is reminiscent of an old-fashioned upmarket British seaside resort, sporting ice cream kiosks and beach cafés. There are also well-maintained playground areas – good news for families.

Popular activities include swimming, ball games and windsurfing. Barbecues are plentiful too, as extended families spread out and enjoy their food with plenty of space.

Malmö
Being a city, Malmö offers the best of both worlds, with many top notch hotels and restaurants to enjoy, while only being a stone’s throw from the white-sand beach. It is also worth knowing that the water quality is very good, something that cannot always be claimed of other urban beaches in Europe.

Åhus
About a 90-minute drive from Ribersborg is the wonderfully well-kept beach at Åhus. On a section of coastline named Åla, Åhus is situated in Kristianstad Municipality and has a population of about 10,000. In the summer months, this increases dramatically due to tourism, mostly from within Sweden itself.

Also, there is a famous beach handball competition which is held here each year. The beach at Åhus offers fine sand, which is white and constantly rearranging itself among the dunes thanks to the gentle currents. Providing a fair degree of shelter, the beach is one of the best in the whole country.

The town of Åhus is also famous for vodka production, a local tipple which is often enjoyed with another local delicacy, eels.

Mölle
Located in the far north-west of Skåne, about an hour from Malmö, is Mölle, one of Sweden’s oldest seaside resorts. Developed at the end of the nineteenth century on the Kullahalvön peninsula, Mölle was originally a fishing village.

Today, it remains a popular holiday destination and is widely associated with its beautiful, sandy beach. Mölle boasts some excellent hotels, but you are just as likely to find mid-range B&B’s if preferred. If you prefer shingle beaches to sandy ones, then there are a couple in the close vicinity, too.