Solo travel for theme park fans
Have you ever gone on vacation by yourself? If not, have you ever thought about it?
Solo travel changes your vacation. It's not just the social aspect, either. When you travel alone, you change the economics of your trip. And that just might allow you to visit someplace you though you'd never be able to go before.
Your truly, traveling solo to Universal Studios Singapore
Think about how much money you spend per person when you travel in a group. When you take a roadtrip alone, you're paying the same for gas and maintenance as you would if you had other people in the car with you. A hotel room often costs the same whether you're traveling alone or with a partner. That's why it makes sense to pile the family into the car and hit the road for a relatively affordable vacation.
But when you travel alone, the price per person of that hotel-filled roadtrip skyrockets. If you're used to traveling with your family and taking the car because you think it's the cheapest way to travel, it's time to rethink that assumption before a solo trip.
Here's when solo travel makes more financial sense — when you fly. Unlike driving, adding a second, third, or fourth person to the trip when you're buying airplane tickets sends the cost, as well as the passengers, sky high. Price the cost a single plane ticket against the cost of driving to that place you've always wanted to visit and you might find that flying is the better and cheaper way to go.
But don't stop there. Since flying is often cheaper than driving for solo travelers, why not take a look at the price of going even farther on your solo trip? Perhaps you'd never consider that dream trip to Tokyo Disney or to Disneyland Paris if you had to take the family. But what if you had the opportunity to go somewhere alone? Could a trip to Tokyo or Paris, or some other far-off destination, actually be affordable? You won't know until you start checking prices.
If you're flying to some far-off city, obviously, you'll need a place to stay. While the price of a hotel room for a single often isn't cheaper than when you bring a partner or the family, traveling alone gives you some flexibility in choosing a place to stay that you might not have when you go with a group.
Unless you know someone with a lot of extra space in their home, it's harder to bring the family to stay at someone else's home than it is for one person to claim a space on the couch or in a spare bedroom. (Even if you don't know anyone where you want to go, you can find available spare rooms and places to stay on sites such as AirBnB and Couchsurfing.) Hostels can provide a decent place to get a night's sleep for a solo traveler. Also consider that if you plan a trip to multiple cities, you can avoid expensive hotel costs by traveling at night — flying red-eyes or taking night trains from one destination to another. Never stay somewhere you're uncomfortable, but take the opportunity solo travel gives you to consider alternatives to the same old hotels you'd use as a family.
So where should you go? Theme parks provide an ideal destination for solo travelers who don't just want to get away from civilization and be alone. When you're in a theme park, you're surrounded by many other theme park fans, even if you've come to the park by yourself. Sure, you could just obsess over your cell phone's screen like many other visitors when you're going it alone, but you also could ask the person in line next to you if he or she's ever been on this ride before, then see where the conversation flows. No, you can't bond with your family or friends on a solo trip, but you can meet a world filled with other interesting, engaging people with whom you'd never have talked if you'd been there with your own family or friends.
And let's not overlook the great advantage of traveling alone to a theme park — single rider lines! Traveling alone, you can fly through a park, using every single rider line available, and doing the park on your schedule without having to wait for anyone else to catch up, take a break, or anything else that slows down a group trying to move through the park as one.
Who's going to take your picture, to show that you were there? You don't have to take selfies when you're a solo traveler in a theme park. Any park photographer will take your picture with your own phone or camera, in addition to snapping a picture with their pro outfit.
At Tokyo Disneyland
Worried about eating alone? Don't be. It might be easier to find a single seat somewhere in a crowded counter-service restaurant than it is to find a table with enough seats for the group. in certain restaurants, you can eat at the bar, without having to wait for a table. But don't rule out other table service restaurants, either. Book your table for one, chat up the servers, and enjoy a little time with that cell phone or guidebook that you didn't get while waiting in line because you were sprinting through a single rider queue, or hanging out talking with the people around you in the regular one.
Have you ever traveled alone for a vacation? Please tell us about your experiences, in the comments.
This is great advice. While I've never taken a dedicated vacation by myself, I do travel solo a lot for work. Whenever possible, I try to find time for a trip to a local amusement or theme park near where I'm staying. I pay for any extra hotel nights that I stay, but the airfare is already covered by my employer. Just one more way to save money if you have the opportunity.
I think traveling alone is refreshing. No arguments on when, where or how long to visit each attraction or theme park.
Travelling with a like-minded friend is also good because then not only do you have the benefits of having to pay for only your own bus/plane tickets, but you also get to split the cost of things like hotel rooms and car hire.
I travelled alone to Universal Orlando from Australia in November 2010. I found that very few theme park visitors wanted to talk as they all had their own families and showed no interest in anyone outside their cosy group. I actually found several people extremely rude and unfortunately those memories will always stay with me (along with the good ones, of course!). Generally, the only people who were nice to me were those who were paid to be (hotel and theme park staff). It made for an isolated holiday, but one that I still enjoyed. Company would have made it so much better though.
Can't go solo - I've gotta have at least one other person with whom to share the experience. Although, I guess if I was single, traveling to a park alone might be a great way to meet Mrs. Right, or even Mrs. Right Now for that matter.
Yes, two for a vacation is the perfect number.
Kids are great... for, oh, about 18 years each. ;^)
I'm like Kurt -- I've never traveled on a full vacation alone, but I frequently find myself in the Orlando area for work. If I have some free time, I'll take advantage of my annual pass and hop over to Universal for a few hours. It's fun to roam through the park on your own.....not to mention getting to take advantage of single rider lines :-).
Like others, I've never actually travelled alone, but on my Disneyland trip back in Dec., there were a few times where I was alone because the other family members were tired and headed back to the hotel room (party poopers!). However, there were only a couple of rides at the resort that had single rider lines and each one I tried using ended up being closed. Since it was around 11:00 at night and the fireworks crowds were gone, it really didn't matter, but for those couple of people-free hours, I felt like I had the whole park to myself.
I've done quite a bit of traveling on my own in the last couple of years mainly to theme park destinations – (Florida of course, Virginia(?), and the hot spot of Ohio). While I would definitely like to have someone to come along and enjoy the journey, I wasn't about to wait around for that to happen.
Hannah Montana Rock n Roller Coaster? *shudders*
Honestly I have tons of friends but I enjoy going on vacations and to the parks every once in a while on my own. I couldn't care less what other people and all the tourists think.
Plus, there is the possibility of meeting some cuties while touring by yourself.
My first experience with traveling alone was a few years ago when I would be sent all over the country for custom installations. I was nervous at first, but then really started to enjoy going out to dinner by myself and being independent.
Twice I attended a convention solo, at Swan and Dolphin, maybe 3 days each trip. What would be easier than to boat/walk over to Epcot for the evening? Did it two nights on the first trip using leftover days on a no-exp 10-day pass.
I have planned my first solo trip to Orlando in Sept. I can't wait!
Honestly, this is why my girlfriend and and have talked and both agree to not have kids until later in our life. Yeah they seem like a blessing, but things really do get cut off on the traveling part of life. Her and I want to see lots of national parks and theme parks. It's easier and cheaper with two people compared to a whole family. I think two people is perfect. My Dad and I have traveled the whole United States and I feel like that you did cut costs and had a blast at the theme parks. With only two people, you can still do single rider lines and ride whatever you want whenever you want (well besides Ellen's energy adventure... That's a time commitment there). Alone just feels too weird. When I get off an attraction, I feel the need to explain how I feel about that attraction with someone. How would I be able to do that alone?
I have traveled alone to Orlando IOA/Universal, Busch Gardens Tampa, Sea World and had a great time. Met some really interesting folks and went through the park on my own pace. Rode what I wanted as many times as I liked, and didn't mind eating by myself. Actually, went out to dinner/drinks with some new friends from England I met at the parks. Note: You cannot outdrink an Englishmen when it comes to pints of beer!
My first trip to WDW was with others, who RUINED the experience for me. Since then, I have gone...eight or nine times, and went solo all of those times except one. It is 100% different by yourself than with others.
I recently went to Universal Studios Singapore alone while in the city for business and found that visiting a park alone was still a lot of fun. I was there when the park opened and managed to walk around to all the key rides in the park in less then an hour. For whatever reason almost nobody uses the single rider line there unlike Orlando where waits can be 20-30 minutes. This gives you a huge advantage to being on your own. I walked directly onto Transformers 3 times in a row with no wait via the single rider line and when I got to the Mummy I was literally the only person in my entire vehicle since most people hadn't made it to the back of the park yet. That made for an interesting on ride photo and rather awkward moment when I pulled into the exit area by myself and was greeted by 3 employees to help me get off vehicle. Sure, it is more fun to be with people but, as a theme park fan, it is certainly worth going on your own if you happen to be by a new park with no friends around. You can do whatever you want, when you want. I will say some rides are more awkward then others such as when I piled into the circular Jurassic Park river raft with a group of Singaporean strangers and they were clearly wondering what an adult American man was doing there by himself. You also have to accept that people will stare at you a bit when traveling alone as a westerner in Asia.
I loved going on vacation alone when I was younger. I once went to Egypt. Nothing booked or anything. That was crazy, I tried 2 days in a row to get a train ticket from Aswan to Luxor but they refused to sell me one until I asked some German girls who had tickets and I found out you had to be there before noon. The other day I could leave.
much rather travel alone then to travel with people whom you can't get along with.
I travel solo all the time. Do what you want, when you want with no whining. Such as BTM 4X's in a row at midnight. As long as a restaurant has a bar, no problems. They offer the same menu as table service. Plus,there's usually some game on the TV over the bar.
I've been able to go to WDW six times since 1979, and 1/2 of the time I've gone solo. My most recent solo trip was in October 2013, and it was my first time at Universal Orlando.
The benefit of solo traveling is seeing everything you want without delay. The unfortunate thing is once you done it, you're done. No reason to return. When I travel with family, I enjoy it more, but I never see it all since it is quite unaffordable to pay for everyone's expenses so you make choices and compromises. Thus I will want to return to try something I missed previously. One disadvantage of solo dining is it is harder to enjoy the food by yourself. You just want to eat and run.
The best part of going solo is the flexibility. You don't have to work around someone else's wants, needs or availability, so you can book the nice low peak times when hotels are screaming out for your dollar to help keep the doors open, those obscure times when flights or trains are cheap, etc.
I go to Disneyland alone frequently (AP holder). I love going with my 25-year-old daughter, but a few days solo are great. Go where I want, do what I want, sit and read if I feel like it. It's a nice break for me - no responsibilities, just time for relaxing.
I've traveled to theme parks many times by myself & I do enjoy it for the most part. On one hand, I love it b/c I can get through the park fairly quickly then move on to another park (if it's a multi-park trip). I can ride what I want in the order that I want w/o having to wait on other people who may want ride the scary stuff I don't want to ride or vice-versa. My poor hubby, bless him, I love to be able to ride rides together but he doesn't ride coasters anymore so he paitently waits for me, holding all the bags, etc. til I get done w/one ride then we'll go to another ride, where he'll wait again & so forth & although he rides the water rides, I feel guilty that he has to wait on me so in that respect, I do like going alone b/c I don't have others waiting on me. Plus, going alone means I can go as fast as I want inside the park then leave when I get tired or 'done'...great way to do it on those multi-park trips knowing I don't have to wait on someone else who may want to go at their own pace which may be slower than mine, especially if I'm w/someone who has to make multiple trips to the restroom or want to stop for a bite to eat which I generally don't so, to me, it wastes time having to wait on others, selfish, I know but I like to get in & get out & move on to something else for the day.
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