RACHEL’S BLOG Holidays for Single People – the best of times, the worst of times…

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Ever been on holiday on your own?  I have.  Believe me, holidays for single people are a very different experience for a variety of reasons – let’s just say they’re character forming.  But if you’re up for a bit of an adventure, it can be the best fun ever.

A quick google search around Holidays for Single People reveals hilarious/ghastly tales about a monkey nicking a girl’s bag and adept enough to unzip the wallet scattering her bank cards to the four winds.  Or how about arriving at the wrong airport with no hope of commuting to the right one on time, or finding yourself in the company of a bride who bolted at the altar.  Now that happened last one happened to me ….more on that in a minute…

Ok at this point, absolutely understand – loads of you will switch off at the whole idea of Holidays For Single People but for some of us with short or long memories, the single years can be very painful on so many levels.  Just remember that 40% of marriages end in divorce so there actually are a lot of us out there who didn’t get it quite right first or second time around….or sadly lost their soul mate. But we can’t just stay home all the time.

People who click on Holidays For Single People are either looking for the equivalent of Match.com or they genuinely fancy a bit of time away with like-minded people doing something fun, educational or perhaps fulfilling a lifetime ambition to visit a country, or enjoy a different kind of experience.  If romance blossoms, well, that’s a bonus.  But it’s not top of everyone’s holiday shopping list.

It dawned on us that our skittles weekends could be a real taster for a single traveller.    They’re busy, focused, full of friendly people and through a game of skittles or darts, everyone has fun in a team spirit and makes friends very quickly.  There’s no agenda, other than having a good time.  That’s the magic of pub-type sports.  No barriers.  And when we know we have singles coming away with us, we always keep a special eye out for them to make sure they’re in good company.

Drawing on my own experience here, I’ve been on a few singles holidays and even a cruise.  Some were amazing, but others were a bit woeful.  And it was invariably down to the organisers and how much effort they put in to guiding their guests.  I soon found it was perfectly ok to drift away from the poor man whose opening gambit was to talk about the sandwich fillings at his wife’s wake.  Or another who came equipped with photographs of his house and his boat moored at the bottom of his riverside garden, desperate to find a new partner.

But the very best of the best was the bride who couldn’t quite go through with it.  I’d booked a holiday in Italy as part of my recovery from a marriage breakdown.  It was all very relaxed and low key until this poor girl rocked up.   It seems she had second thoughts at the altar and did a runner, booking a last minute flight to escape all the fall-out.   So she was there to party and celebrate what was, by the sound of it, a very wise, if eleventh hour,escape.  She was non-stop hilarious company and those at nearby dining tables in the evenings looked on in envy at the fun we were all having on our singles table. Obviously the ex-bride’s impromptu holiday wasn’t going to be the trip of a lifetime for her, but for the rest of us, it was unforgettable.

So, what have I learned from my singles holidays:

  • Practise putting on your own suntan lotion – be prepared for weird red marks on your back or pluck up the courage and ask a fellow traveller to help out
  • Photographs – resign yourself to selfies or entrust a stranger with your phone
  • Keep a travel diary – it’s fun to read back on the high and low lights of your trip
  • Noise cancelling headphones – not only cut out babies’ cries and grown-ups’ rows but can be a polite signal to end a boring conversation during travel
  • Dining alone. Bring a riveting book or iPad if you really want to eat alone
  • Solos’ table – well meaning by your holiday company but unless it’s properly managed, it’s a bit of a saddo. You’re an adventurer, not an alien.
  • Console yourself that when you get older, couples will trust your company more and be prepared to be more inclusive.

So, what do we do for single guests on our Serious About Events weekends:

  • we’ll help with the sun tan lotion if required
  • we’ll happily take pix of you
  • contribute to your diary
  • introduce you to fun dining companions
  • team you up for a bit of fun on the alleys and invite you up on to the dance floor
  • you won’t need noise cancelling headphones because our bands are terrific and it’s adults only so no kids!
  • our aim is for you to have a great time, meet new people, enjoy the skittles – and who knows, sometimes Cupid strikes lucky too.