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Suggestion: reduce your costs by shopping for a buddy?

Mission, Canada
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Suggestion: reduce your costs by shopping for a buddy?

Here's just one thought on reducing the costs of solo travel. I know that hostels and other alternative accommodations can be had when travelling. Hey, even camping is a possible alternative if you are prepared for certain locations.

My suggestion for those who don't want to rough it, but would like to "share" accomodations, is to shop around online for a "buddy" who also wants to solo travel to the same destination as yourself.

This "shopping for a buddy" would have to be very careful, but it can lend itself to making new friends on your journeys. You could probably go "buddy shopping" much like you would use an online dating service, or other online ad services. I would however recommend a good deal of judgement in choosing your buddy before finalizing anything. You might want to list your wants, needs, do's and don'ts so the potential buddy is aware of your leaning(s).

The reason I suggest this: it comes from my years of "solo" SCUBA diving travel, where I would meet divers and then have to buddy up with someone. Usually, I would be very fortunate in my pairing or selection. However, I could tell stories of those who were not the best bud.

I still think the idea of "buddy" travel falls under the purview of solo travel, as it not only allows each solo traveller to pair up with another - in some cases a number of solo travellers or pairs end up forming groups - but it also allows each solo traveller to choose to do their own thing if they so choose. The buddies do not have to share meals if they don't want. They don't have to share tours or exploring. It is kind of nice though at the end of day though to sit down to a drink with someone who shares your language and similar travel objectives and chat it up about what each of you have done. I have always found this fun in my previous solo travels.

San Diego
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1. Re: Suggestion: reduce your costs by shopping for a buddy?

These forums have been very good places to meet others who travel to the same cities as I.

I cannot speak for the atmosphere in all the forums but especially in the ones in Italy ,I have made lots of connections. There is a group of 10 women who met on line in "Italy" who are all meeting in Rome in Feb.

We will do activities separately or with some of the others as we choose and will meet up for dinners and evening activities. We are all staying either at a hotel near the Pantheon or at apartments in the same area,depending on our budgets. You can read about our adventure in the Rome forum by putting "We Did It" into the search box.

Mission, Canada
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2. Re: Suggestion: reduce your costs by shopping for a buddy?

riffsmom;

Cool! Just like I thought. I knew people were doing this.

Nannup, Australia
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3. Re: Suggestion: reduce your costs by shopping for a buddy?

I am a 'sort of' solo traveller in that I like to travel on 'small group' tours - anything up to about 16 people, but usually fewer. I travel alone (because My Dear Wife hates to leave home, but is happy for me to wander off once a year), but I find dining alone, especially in the evening, is a lonely and unpleasant experience. If $$$ are an issue the small group tours will pair you with another person for accommodation purposes. I prefer to pay the single supplement so I have some guaranteed 'personal space' where I can gather my thoughts. Depending on the operator and specific tour you can have a lot of free time to do your own thing or with one or more others on the tour, or you might find your whole day is organised for you. I've been on quite a few of these type of trips now and one of the small pleasures I have is watching how the overall group 'sub-divides' as the tour goes on. I accept that they won't be to everyone's taste, but to me they offer the best of both worlds. Just back from Kerala in India and booked for Turkey next May (with different operators).

Dublin
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4. Re: Suggestion: reduce your costs by shopping for a buddy?

Well said!

I find that travelling alone is a rip off.

It would be nice to have a travel buddy to share accommodation and even an evening meal with, although I know that each having their own space is a very good idea.

I am happy to go to the sun, Canaries etc, and just to soak up the sun and the heat on the beach.

We don't get much of either in Ireland!

Thanks again for your excellent contribution.

London, United...
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5. Re: Suggestion: reduce your costs by shopping for a buddy?

I like the idea of 'Buddy shopping'.

Wish I new what to search for before I booked my trip to Egypt, leaving on the 23rd Dec for 10 days. It’s my first time, travelling on my own and I’m pretty worried, woman on her own and all that.

I'm going diving in Sham el shake, so I’m sure I’ll be OK. It’s just practical stuff like, what do I do with my belongings when I want to go for a swim (ex partner would have looked after it)…leaving it just lying on the beach/deck? Never, had evening meal in restaurant (on my own) etc. etc.

Still wished I could have gone Buddy shopping though.

Solo travel Forum = very good idea!

San Diego
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6. Re: Suggestion: reduce your costs by shopping for a buddy?

Mandy, I would not have thought of Egypt for my first solo trip but perhaps you have been there before with a friend?? I hope you write a report here on how it goes for you.

When I went snorkeling alone in Hawaii I met a nice family on the beach and they watched my stuff for me.

I didn't bring valuables though to the beach.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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7. Re: Suggestion: reduce your costs by shopping for a buddy?

Shopping for a buddy might work when one is young, but us seniors prefer the freedom that solo travel gives us. Personally, I find that I have less and less patience as I age, and thoroughly dislike waiting around, wasting time waiting for others only to disagree once they've arrived. Yes, I do feel left out of certain social gatherings as a single traveler, but then I find that I can explore a new place much more thoroughly on my own. It's often hard to talk to strangers when traveling with a friend, but on my own, I don't have this problem. I'd just like to know where the Senior Solo TA Forum is?

WE ALL NEED TO LOBBY FOR MORE SENIOR AND SOLO DISCOUNTS IN THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY

Mission, Canada
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8. Re: Suggestion: reduce your costs by shopping for a buddy?

There are "some" senior and solo discounts available for travel. However, it is hard for the average person to find the deals for solo travel. Additionally, as the last person pointed out, as we get older, we can get a bit more set in our ways. I know I have another 20 - or thereabouts - years before I reach the senior level. Wow! Where has the time gone?

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Suggestion: reduce your costs by shopping for a buddy?

Ever since my best friend and travel partner got married, I've searched for another travel buddy, and have had horrible experiences! I'd much rather travel alone. I dont consider paying the whole price of the room I am occupying myself as any sort of rip off or single supplement.

If you pay the same as a couple would, but get the room the size of a camp cot - that's a different story - but that only seems to happen in Italy!

I actually met a great woman here on one of the Central American forums who I could see traveling with, but we both agree we need to do a long weekend trip before committing to any serious vacation time! I suggested meeting in Santa Fe sometime in 2009.... But, unless I was traveling with a lover I would pretty much want my own room. I have 1 good friend whose husband doesnt like to travel, and we've discussed going away, but she wants to go to Dubai! Not even on my top 100 list!

San Diego
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10. Re: Suggestion: reduce your costs by shopping for a buddy?

I agree evening. I'd rather travel alone than have to deal with my DH who hates to travel! I have met lots of people on these forums and have met up with some on my travels but it is just for a day or a meal.

As you may have read above I am meeting 10women in Rome in Feb. and that will be a new experience but everyone has their own room(except 2 sharing an apt. to save money)and we can choose to join with people from the group during the day or not. We will probably have dinners together which is nice,I think.