Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Familiies can make travel for Solos difficult

Vacationing Groups vs Solo Travelers

I have always traveled off season, not ONLY because prices are affordable but to avoid the crowds who go on vacation and particularly families.   I have no objection to family travelers but the travel mentality of a group is different than an individual.

Groups loose their sense of personal space.  They fill whatever space is available.  Just watch a group walk along a sidewalk.  Try to pass and they are oblivious to your presence.   Groups feel they must walk abreast no matter the width of a path or sidewalk.  
Many simple activities can take far more time when the family vacationers are out in force.
Eating a quick service lunch takes longer when each member of the 'group' is asked  "what do you want?"  and all the accompanying questions on how the item should be garnished or prepared.
Entrance fees for groups is time consuming:  adults, seniors, children, calculating the cost for each group member.

Tours are often filled to capacity during peak travel times and a solo traveler must find a seat with the odd family member of a group or walk at the perimeter of the tour 'group'.  

Most solo travelers will not notice or care about any of this.  One of the big losses of traveling at peak vacation times is that locals have little time or interest in interacting.   I meet many locals and have great conversations when I travel 'off season'.   I might be the only visitor  to a church or shop and the attendant will often take the time to tell me about a town treasure, a shop product or even talk about themselves.

As a solo traveler how do you interact with families traveling on vacation?     Are you 'adopted' into their group?   Do they consider you an interesting oddity as a solo traveler?  Or as often can happen are you invisible to other travelers? 

Finding hotel accommodations can be more expensive during family vacation times.    Hotels and resorts prefer families to solo travelers.   Simple fact, 3 or more travelers SPEND more money. 

Obtaining a table at busy restaurants for a solo is another challenge.   But eating before the crowds arrive or take out meals is normal for some solo travelers. 


  1. We are "older" travellers who also try to travel during the off seasons for the same reasons as you do. Yes, there are some downsides but we are travelling for the adventures not the hassles. You really nailed the sidewalk usage and so far this has been true in most countries we have visited especially if you are near a cruise port!
    Good luck with you travel adventures.

    1. I agree with you. Travelers are not the same as vacationers. When you are all competing for the same space, activity or experience, it can diminish the experience.
      seems as if mature travels are relegated to off season if they don't want to be over run by the crowd!