Traveling solo can oftentimes be a daunting experience, especially for those with little or no experience embarking out on their own. But with some advanced preparation, through travel books and online sites featuring valuable advice from travel experts, a solo trip can be a completely rewarding experience. One of the world’s leading travel experts is Jack Ezon, President of New York City-based Ovation Vacations and among a select few honored this year as an A-List Travel Agent by Travel+Leisure. The following are five helpful travel tips for solo travelers from one of the best in the industry.
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1. Stay in a hotel with some local buzz
“Stay in a hotel that has some great buzz, especially if it has a local crowd and music or a great bar nearby. Not only is it easier to meet people, but even if you don’t want to get to know a random stranger, the ambiance just picks you up…and of course people watching rarely gets dull.”
2. Stay connected
“Young travelers are obsessed with www.couchsurfing.org, but there are many other sites where visitors can be partnered up with other people. Sites like FourSquare can also help you identify friends or acquaintances that happen to be in the destination you are heading to. Also, connecting to friends via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook helps remove loneliness by helping you communicate to people you know wherever they may be so you can share your experience with someone immediately. You should also always be in touch with people back home and check in with them regularly to ensure someone is watching over you and accounting for your presence. Should anything happen, those people will surely begin a search to help you from abroad.”
3. Occupy yourself
“Bring some great books, your iPad or computer and plan to have a project or two to keep you busy.”
4. Find your passion
“Take the opportunity to find your passions and focus on them. Perhaps you want to be healthier – go for long runs in the morning. If you are artistic, bring some sketch pads along to focus on in your free time. Whether traveling on business or leisure, pockets of free time can bring on the lonely blues. It is important to turn the emptiness into an opportunity to do some of the things you always want to do but never got around to.”
5. Seek single supplement discounts
“If you are going on vacation to an all-inclusive resort or cruise, look for single supplement discounts. Often times, singles have to pay double to go on a cruise and be alone in a cabin. You see, these companies price their rates based on two people in a room. Some cruise lines like Crystal and Silversea, allow single passengers to stay on board and only pay the regular per-person rate even though they will be alone in their room. In addition, they often have hosts on board to entertain and engage with single travelers, whether over dinner or even on the dance floor.”
About Jack Ezon: Jack is President and Partner in Ovation Vacations, a part of Ovation Travel, one of the largest travel management companies in the country. Over the past six years, he has helped Ovation’s leisure business grow from $3 million to over $100 million. He is one of this year’s Top 12 Super Agents in the world by Travel+Leisure Magazine and was previously listed among the top 25 Travel Agents for 2011 by Travel Agent Magazine and Virtuoso’s Most Innovative Travel Advisor for 2010. He regularly publishes travel articles in regional magazines and sits on several travel advisory boards.
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.