According to the latest statistics, as of 2014, “124.6 million Americans 16 years and older were single, or 50.2 percent of the population (Christian Science Monitor).” That’s an increase of more than 15% in the last 35 years. More than half the world is single.
So why does the travel industry assume and price according to double occupancy? It’s the travel and leisure industry’s way of appearing at the hostess stand and looking down their nose at you and booming “Just one???” YES! I’m single and I choose to eat in public by myself damn-it! One day I’m going to grow some kahunas and say that very loudly…and perhaps over the intercom system. That would be very tempting except I will already be the single beta fish in the big tank all by myself being watched with a wary eye by everyone else…”poor thing”
I’ve lived under the misguided notion that I needed to wait for that significant someone to enter my life and take me away from all THIS….my life. It finally occurred to me that I like THIS life. A LOT. And I like to eat out. And travel. Why am I waiting on someone to become the other “occupant” to make me “double”? I’m not. Thus the new journey of solo travel has begun. My new goals for this plus-50 life are:
Summering on a beach. A luxury I’ve always dreamed of since I came to teaching. That dream will happen this year on Tybee Island, GA. Total island immersion!
Taking a cruise. Currently researching the “single supplement“…more to come
Flying somewhere exotic.
Visiting a quaint New England town. I’m thinking Stars Hollow-like, the fictional town of Gilmore Girls.
Finally seeing New York City.
Seeing Alaska. Short of moving there permanently (and leaving friends), I’ll have to visit.
Teaching internationally (even if it’s just for the summer).
All of these WILL happen and I will be happily blogging about those experiences. Here’s the dilemma in the planning stages….evidently no one travels alone! Obviously that is not true! So why does the travel industry continue to penalize solo travelers?
So the research begins.
This happened to me just this morning: A vacation package company called me, Grand Select Cruises, and offered me a seemingly great deal – all for $776 per person ($1552 couple). I explained that I travel solo and wanted a price for that and was redirected to a “supervisor” who explained that he could hook me up for $996 for the trip. So technically I’m paying a penalty of $250 because I travel alone. This should be against the law. If nothing else, it’s rude and patronizing. The unsaid tagline is “bless her heart, she can’t find anyone to travel with so obviously she will take what she can get”…obviously these people don’t know me…settling is not my thing!