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Neither, though, do I feel ready to be part of an escorted tour, unless it’s somewhere really exotic.The market divides into four main areas – dating holidays, where the aim is to party all night; the much larger market for single people who want to meet up with others with similar interests but don’t want to feel obliged to pair off with somebody; destinations aimed at ‘independent single travellers’ that may well be suitable for couples as well; and escorted tours where everything is taken care of from the moment you arrive at the airport. You can find resorts competing to be the ‘biggest singles resort in the world’.
For instance, Orthodox Jews, Christians and Muslims believe that the Torah was received from Yahweh on biblical Mount Sinai.And for those going on holidays where you do have to pay a single supplement, Archers offers to organise a room share with somebody else of the same sex.Cruises and rail journeys are often good options for those travelling alone.What all these companies offer is a get-together on the first night and the opportunity to dine with the rest of the group and to go on excursions together.There are usually 12 to 16 in a group, with women tending to outnumber men.Festivals are also very friendly places to go on your own.
There’s always a cafe or somewhere you can meet other people and talk about what is going on – sharing your excitement about what you have seen during the day, and in the process learning more about a country through swapping experiences.
There is even a string of ‘hedonism’ escapes that promise a ‘hip vibe’ and are explicitly aimed at swinging singles.
Much more sedate are ‘house party’-style holidays run by the online dating company Kindred Spirits which makes it clear they are not about finding a sexual partner but sharing experiences, such as watching the sun go down over a Patagonian lake with like-minded people.
Just You offers two nights on safari as part of its Kenyan package or eight days cruising down the River Duoro.
Among its wide range of activity holidays, Friendship Travel includes yoga in Turkey and Spain, and golf in England.
These companies also offer ‘discovery weekends’ so that people can get a taste of what a singles holiday is about.