Boston, MA January 24, 2012:  If your New Year’s resolution includes more travel, yet you worry that you can’t travel alone, fear not.  Latest data from leading travel company Grand Circle show that traveling solo has never been more popular or more satisfying, particularly for women.

As we all know, with advancing years, comes the likelihood of more serious and unexpected life changes – death of a loved one, divorce, and ill health of your regular travel companion – and that very often these challenges blind side us.  Grand Circle understands this better than most having served more than 500,000 Americans travelers over 50 in the last 5 years alone.  But this doesn’t mean that personal desires and life ambitions have to come to an end, too.  “Absolutely not”, says travel expert and Grand Circle Vice Chair Harriet Lewis.  ‘I’m in my early-sixties and in the last 12 months alone I traveled thousands of miles.  My husband is not always available to come with me – and like most women, I sometimes prefer the company of other women, so I travel with my daughter and my girlfriends.  I also like traveling on my own but in an environment in which I know I’ll meet travelers and be safe and have access.”

Harriet finds that traveling the world gives her enormous personal satisfaction, and believes that it makes her a better person. “Climbing Egypt’s Mount Sinai at night, so that I could see the sunrise at dawn, is a life changing experience I will never forget. The Middle East was an area of the world I had explored before, but not in such depth, and experiencing the people, cultures and places of Syria, Jordan, Israel, and most recently, the Sudan—all of which are in the midst of great change has shifted my worldview.  Travel changes us.  It makes us more curious, more thoughtful, more tuned in to our world.” Harriet advises other women who are considering traveling solo to ask themselves the following questions as part of their preparation: 

  • What do I want to gain from my travel experience: Adventure? Culture? Relaxation? Inspiration?
  • Which destination, countries or regions interest me most?  Make a list and put them in order—develop your travel “bucket list.”
  • Do I want to travel with like-minded people - friends, family, or other vacationers –or go it alone?
  • If I’m with a group, and all begin as strangers, who will I eat my meals with? Does my tour operator help facilitate these situations? Will the guides help me meet people? Will the group be small enough so that I matter or is it so large that I get lost in the crowd?
  • Will I have chance to explore and ‘go off the beaten track’ on my own or must I stay with my group the whole time?  Will I have knowledgeable local guides at my destination, and will they help pursue my individual interests?
  • How can I get the best value for my money?  Does my tour operator waive the single supplement fee?
  • How else can I save money?  Does my tour operator match singles as roommates or help us to arrange these ourselves?  What else is offered to me if I’m traveling solo?

 

Harriet says that women who take the time to ask themselves these key questions will ultimately have a much more fulfilling experience. “Travel is the best way I know to enhance your life.  I really believe that what Mary Anne Radmacher said about travel is true for women:  ‘I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”

 

-Ends-

Note to editors: Your readers can call for a complimentary copy of Harriet Lewis’ latest book “101 Tips for Women Travelers”, 1-800-221-2610-or visit www.oattravel.com/tips.

Overseas Adventure Travel and Grand Circle Travel are part of Grand Circle Corporation, the leader in international travel, adventure and discovery for Americans aged 50 and older.  Since its establishment in 1958, the company has served more than 2 million travelers by offering more than 75 escorted vacations, river cruises, and small group adventures by land and sea worldwide.  Headquartered in Boston, Mass., Grand Circle has more than 35 offices worldwide.  More than 70 per cent of the company’s travelers are women, while 96 per cent of those traveling as solos are women, too. 

 

For further media information and images please contact:

Priscilla O’Reilly, VP, PR, Grand Circle Corporation 617 3466841, poreilly@gct.com

Randi Leeds, PR Manager, 203 391-8397, randi@womenkind.net

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