Being a single traveller opens up a world of possibilities to you. Unfettered by the desires of anyone else, you are utterly free to fulfill your travel aspirations. Often the only thing that gets in the way is fear; the closer you come to booking your trip, the larger your worries seem to loom.
But like any obstacles, these concerns (which are shared by most single travellers) are there to be overcome - and the rewards for doing so are beyond magnificent. And the great thing is that once you've taken the plunge and conquered all those little fears you have about solo travel, you will have the confidence to explore the world in this way time and time again.
Here are five of the most common concerns of single travellers - and how to tackle them.
1. Will I make friends?
This is one of the most understandable worries - the fear that you won't meet anyone and therefore spend your entire trip feeling alone. It's also one of the least likely to come into fruition, so try to put it to the back of your mind.
When thinking of travelling on your own, you often miss a vital part of the picture - the thousands upon thousands of other people who are doing exactly the same thing. Likeminded single travellers will be drawn to the same attractions as you and, like you, they will be looking for someone to share their experience with. Voila, you've made a friend; probably many by the end of your trip.
However, if you're travelling independently, there's no real way to eradicate this fear - except to simply have faith that it will all work out. By embarking on a group tour, you can actually sweep away that concern entirely and enjoy the run-up to your trip unplagued by thoughts of holiday loneliness.
Whether you dream of feeling humbled by the majesty of the Grand Canyon or hiking in the Canadian Rockies, picking an itinerary that suits you exactly will no doubt lead you to people people who feel exactly the same way.
2) If I choose a group tour, will I have anything in common with everyone else?
This is one of the biggest advantages of small group tours - you are virtually guaranteed to have a lot in common with your fellow travellers. In fact, it is likely that these new acquaintances will turn into lifelong friends.
By having picked not only the same destination, but the same tour as well, you and your new companions will already have something very tangible in common - not to mention an excellent talking point to break the ice. And, as you visit each awe-inspiring destination, those talking points will keep on coming.
3) Will I be safe?
Safety is a natural concern when travelling solo - and something that you do need to give a little extra attention to in the planning stages of your trip. For example, some of steps worth taking include researching the safest areas of the destinations you are visiting and finding reputable accommodation there, as well as making sure someone back home has a copy of your full itinerary.
Again, concerns over safety can be easily overcome by joining a group tour. Not only will you have company whenever you'd like it, but you will also benefit from a well-planned itinerary that has been created with safety in mind.
4) Will I be able to find my way?
Even seasoned travellers make navigational mistakes; getting lost and finding your way is part and parcel of the travel experience, especially when travelling solo. The truth is that it can often be quite rewarding - the satisfaction of finding your path again, and the joy of stumbling across unexpected gems along the way, are both enriching and wonderful.
However, the other side of the coin is that getting lost can also be stressful and upsetting - especially if you're unable to get back to somewhere you know for a prolonged period. If you know you're hopeless at navigation and want to avoid the potential stress, this is another reason to opt for a group tour instead. This way, all the tricky navigation will be done for you and, if you do strike out alone for a few hours, there will always be people close by if you do need help.
5) I'm not sure how group tours work - what if I book one and it's not what I expected?
As you've seen, a lot of the most common concerns over solo traveller can be solved by going on a group tour - but this can itself set your mind worrying. After all, if you have never been on a tour like this, you immediately wonder how it works and, ultimately, if you're actually going to like it.
Of course, the only way to find out with complete certainty how you feel about something is to do it - but don't worry, because with a little research and, if you like, a conversation with us, you can alleviate your concerns.
At Grand American Adventures, we are specialists in group travel to the USA. We keep our groups small so it is very easy to get to know your fellow travellers, and to have the best possible experience of the incredible places you visit. Our expertise not only goes into creating a beautifully crafted itinerary designed to show you the USA at its most authentic, but also will be shared with you as you travel. What's more, you won't face any single traveller supplements. We offer expertly designed, unforgettable group tours to the USA - including trips especially for single travellers.