Best Tour Companies for Singles
Exodus Travel is our top choice for singles looking to book a trip.
Ligaya Malones is an editor, blogger, and freelance writer specializing in food and travel. Ligaya’s work has appeared in publications including Lonely Planet and BRIDES.
Leila is an L.A.-based luxury travel and lifestyle writer with over five years of experience covering destination guides, hotel reviews, restaurant openings, travel rewards programs, and buying guides.
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A recent study showed that the solo travel industry is projected to experience a significant influx in the upcoming years. Whether you want to experience a solo adventure, see the world at your own convenience, or hope to meet new people along the way, there’s always something worthwhile about traveling by yourself.
Luckily, there are plenty of travel companies that cater to solo travelers to make planning stress-free. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best companies for every budget and travel preference to support your wanderlust—including our top picks for women-only and solo parent travel.
8 Best Tour Companies for Singles of 2022
- Best Overall:Exodus Travels
- Best Sustainable:G Adventures
- Best for True Solo Travel:Black Tomato
- Best for Ages 25-39:For The Love of Travel
- Best for Ages 35-50:El Camino Travel
- Best for 50+:Overseas Adventure Travel Rates
- Best Female:Wild Women Expeditions
- Best for Solo Parent Travel:Intrepid Travel
Best Overall : Exodus Travels
Courtesy of Exodus Travels
Traveling solo on an Exodus Travels group trip means access to self-guided and guided excursions around the world for every type of traveler. Choose a walking wine holiday in Portugal or explore Egypt via cruise boat and sleeper, train for example. Additionally, its Exodus Edits collection offers shorter itineraries of up to five days and is geared towards travelers in their 30s and 40s—though they’re ideal for anyone looking for more vigorous activity such as ziplining and surfing in Costa Rica or sampling street eats and beach hopping in Sicily.
There is no single supplement fee when you room with a fellow traveler, and chances are you may end up with your own room anyway. Booking a travel itinerary with UK-based Exodus Travels includes a full refund should the company need to cancel your trip and a complimentary trip transfer to another tour or different person up to 21 days before the scheduled trip. Plus, travelers who book their third or more trips with Exodus receive a 5 percent discount on their next booking.
What’s more, the company works to curate trips that align with a number of United Nations sustainable development goals including goals for responsible consumption and production, empowering local communities, and climate action considerations. Exodus Travels (founded in 1974) was awarded Best Operator in National Geographic Traveller’s sixth annual Reader Awards in 2021.
Best Sustainable : G Adventures
Courtesy of Intrepid Travel
G Adventures is particularly known for its sustainable, responsible ethos. The company works with small, locally-owned hotels and operators to ensure your travel dollars benefit the community you’re visiting; outlines policies around the child, and animal welfare practices; aims to reduce single-use plastics, and works to ensure experiences taking place in Indigenous communities align with community goals.
Founded in 1990, G Adventures specializes in small group adventure tours to a host of destinations from Asia to South America and Africa to the Arctic. Nearly half of the travelers on every trip are flying solo, and there’s no single supplement if you choose to bunk with a same-sex roommate. Or, select your own room for a fee.
A Chief Experience Officer leads each group tour and itineraries are searchable by travel style. For example, find wellness-centric trips like nine days of daily yoga, visits to Hindu temples, and partake in traditional healing ceremonies in Bali. Or travel with their partner, National Geographic, for an exclusive guided tour of South Africa’s Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and a visit to Soweto township in Johannesburg, the home of Nelson Mandela.
G Adventures partnered with hostel booking service Hostelworld in 2021 to launch its Roamies itineraries. Its combination of backpacking and organized travel itineraries includes countries like Albania, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Vietnam. The trips are marketed to 18- to 35-year olds through like-minded individuals keen on budget travel and communal environments may enjoy these trips, too.
Best for True Solo Travel : Black Tomato
Courtesy of G Adventures
Black Tomato specializes in bespoke luxury travel experiences. For those interested in traversing around the world solo and willing to pay a premium for tailored itineraries, its adventurous or culturally immersive experiences may just be your ticket.
Your travels might look like hiking and biking in Patagonia, embarking on a spiritual pilgrimage through Bhutan and India, chasing glaciers and geysers in Iceland, or learning to cook Georgia and Armenia’s local dishes or Japan’s regional cuisine.
In 2017, Black Tomato launched its Get Lost adventure travel experience. With the support of a dedicated team, and without prior knowledge of where you’re headed, Get Lost participants will find their way home from an undisclosed location. The location is selected based on a pre-travel questionnaire about which environment you’d like to immerse yourself in. Then, show up at the airport and the adventure begins.
Best for Ages 25-39 : For The Love of Travel
Courtesy of Contiki
With 80 percent of individuals traveling with For The Love of Travel jet setting solo, each trip is packed with opportunities to meet fellow Millennial and Gen Z, travel enthusiasts. For example, within your small “crew” of up to 14 people, make new friends doing snow sports and unwinding in saunas in Lapland or devouring tacos and sipping mezcal in Mexico City. Trips range from four to nine days, including weekends in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain wilderness or an extended weekend in Costa Rica where you’ll hike through rainforests, relax in hammocks, and hike, bike, or surf.
According to company feedback, the average FTLOT traveler is 30-years-old and interested in meeting new people. The company bills itself as a mid-range travel company, where “we might stay in a more basic hotel for a couple of nights so we can include a Michelin-worthy meal and a private catamaran ride.”
In 2022, FTLOT plans to offer at least 10 new itineraries including to Belize, Turkey, and Spain’s Basque Country. And for those with the flexibility, the company launched Sojrn in 2021 featuring month-long, themed stays in destinations like Cape Town—focused on biodiversity—and a fashion-oriented stay in Paris.
FTLOT requires an initial deposit and allows installment payments if not paid in full.
Best for Ages 35-50 : El Camino Travel
Courtesy of Encounter Travel
According to El Camino Travel’s founder, Katalina Mayorga, elder millennials are their strongest customer base. That means if you were born between 1980 and 1985 approximately, you’ll find yourself among curious, like-minded solo travelers looking to immerse themselves in destinations like Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, and the Eastern European nation of Georgia. Some trips even add a professional photographer to capture shareable shots so you can remain in the moment.
All of El Camino’s guided, small group trips max out at 12 participants. They’re also curated with an ethos of preserving and protecting local culture, the environment, and communities. For example, some of their partners include the Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville in Tobago and La Sierra Artist Residency in Santa Marta, Colombia.
Best for 50+ : Overseas Adventure Travel Rates
Courtesy Flash Pack
Overseas Adventure Travel is primarily aimed at American travelers aged 50 and over. It offers guided itineraries to worldwide destinations, including Africa, Antarctica, Asia, and the South Pacific, with trips ranked by activity level and accompanied by a list of physical requirements to help select an itinerary that is best suited for you. For example, their Japan and South Korea itinerary advise that participants be able to carry their own luggage as the selected hotels do not have porter service.
Some of Overseas Adventure Travel’s most popular trips include 17 days of wending the Adriatic from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina (think a walking tour in Dubrovnik, sampling traditional Bosnian food in Sarajevo, and exploring the Zagreb’s countryside). Or 15 days through Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and ending in Helsinki, Finland. All trips offer pre-and post-itinerary extensions, and either waive the single supplement entirely or offer a discount on a private room.
The company offers a free Roommate Matching Program which helps you find a like-minded, same-sex roommate. If they can’t find a match, your single supplement is deducted. Small group sizes typically average 13 travelers.
Overseas Adventure Travel won the Solo Travel Award for Best Tour in 2017 and 2018, thanks in large part to its policy of offering a limited number of single spaces for each itinerary.
Best Female : Wild Women Expeditions
Courtesy of Overseas Adventure Travel
It began as an all-women, Canada-based canoe tripping company in 1991, and Wild Women Expeditions is perfect for boundary-pushing women who want to travel independently and enjoy the safety and support of an organized tour. The company also prioritizes hiring female tour leaders and on-the-ground guides. It offers outdoor adventures for women of all ages and identities and with a range of physical abilities (“whether your greatest skill is tracking a storm or talking up a storm, summiting mountains or summoning courage, keeping your kayak in line or coloring outside the lines,” as the company describes).
The company travels to 31 destinations around the world like Egypt, Tanzania, and the Azores islands. Itineraries are typically adventure-based and are filtered on their website by activity, with options ranging from sailing to cycling and horse riding. Imagine yourself sea kayaking and snorkeling in the Galapagos or scaling glaciers in Alaska.
Most guests are solo travelers and there’s no single supplement to worry about as accommodation is typically in a shared room or cabin. Though if privacy is a priority, you can usually snag your own room for a nominal extra fee. Group sizes are kept small and social with between six and 14 women, depending on the itinerary you choose. The average group size is eight.
Wild Women Expeditions also takes care to curate trips that avoid or minimize the disturbance of wildlife; supports environmental education and advocacy projects; and partners with social justice and women’s rights organizations.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best women-only adventure travel companies.
Best for Solo Parent Travel : Intrepid Travel
Courtesy of Wild Women Expeditions
Intrepid’s family-themed holidays welcome adults traveling with children, including solo parents looking to travel with their kids without the stress of planning and coordinating a trip. Since each family’s travel needs and preferences are different, every itinerary includes an “essential trip information” section where Intrepid outlines whether the trip would be a good fit for you and your kids, as well as a physical rating from least to more strenuous activities.
For example, an itinerary through part of the Amazon Jungle in Peru advises the jungle can be very hot and humid, and that the weather can be unpredictable in the Andes. On the other hand, an 11-day trip to Borneo island in Southeast Asia lists a minimum age of 5 and outlines a range of accommodations from hotels to guesthouses and jungle camps; on a few occasions, travel times between destinations range between four to five hours. Trips to Costa Rica, Tanzania, China, and Morocco are also listed.
Individuals under 17 years typically receive a 10 percent discount, and the company requires that adults have at least one child under 18 years traveling with them. As part of Intrepid’s commitment to responsible travel, itineraries support initiatives surrounding sustainability and conservation, climate education, and preservation of Indigenous culture.
The Different Types of Adventure Travel
Lois Friedland is a co-author of “Frommer’s 500 Adrenaline Adventures,” and a freelance travel writer who has visited 55 countries.
Adventure travel is one of the fastest segments of the travel market, drawing in more and more people on a yearly basis. But what exactly is adventure travel and what can you expect out of an adventure trip? That is completely up to you, because “adventure” has a different meaning for every individual traveler.
That said, in its purest form, this type of travel generally offers some classic experiences and activities that truly help to define its style. If you’re planning on taking your first adventure travel trip, here are some of the activities you can expect to be a part of the itinerary.
Traveling on foot through remote locations has always been at the core of adventure travel. Whether that means backpacking along the Appalachian Trail, trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, or simply heading out for a backcountry adventure on a local trail, this is a great way to explore any destination. Travelers have always enjoyed walking tours and pretty much no matter where you want to go, you’ll likely find some options for hiking and trekking there. Often these trips involve camping overnight along the way too, adding yet another adventurous element to the equation.
Cycling trips are another popular method of transportation and category for adventure travel. Rather than exploring a destination on foot, travelers climb aboard a bike instead. This allows them to cover more ground at a faster pace, while still feeling connected with the landscape, culture, and people there. Mountain biking offers a similar experience, but allows access to more remote, off the beaten path, destinations, while introducing a more challenging aspect to the riding as well.
Travelers will find options to ride just about anywhere these days, ranging from French wine country to the entire length of Africa.
Canoeing and kayaking trips are another popular way to experience a destination, granting travelers access to lakes, rivers, and even oceans. This type of travel can be as serene as paddling the Greek Isles or as wild as taking on some of the top whitewater destinations on the planet. One word of caution however, travelers should have some experience paddling before embarking on these types of journeys as they can be strenuous and dangerous depending on the nature of the water involved. Flat water is generally safe, but whitewater can be treacherous. Both can be fun if you are well prepared.
While not often viewed as a form of adventure travel, mountaineering and climbing expeditions still fall under the same very broad umbrella. These types of trips typically require more skill and experience than simply trekking in the mountains and tend to be more technical too. That means requiring the use of ropes, ice axes, crampons, and other specialized equipment to reach the top of a mountain. A climb to the top of Kilimanjaro is mostly non-technical, and falls under the trekking category, while an expedition to Mt. Everest is squarely in the more challenging mountaineering realm. Altitude can often play a bigger role in this type of adventure too, which can literally take place on every continent.
Take caution however; you should only embark on a mountaineering trip if you have the necessary skills and experience to do so and are traveling with a certified mountain guide.
18 One-of-a-Kind Adventures to Add to Your Bucket List
From high-flying balloon rides to walking with elephants, you’ll want to experience these unique adventures
Take photos where Ansel Adams once did
For photography fans, there’s nothing better than learning from the legends who inspired your hobby. Hotel Jackson in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, offers an immersive option that lets you receive private instruction from a local photographer, all while exploring the famous scenes once captured by Ansel Adams, David Brookover, Williams Henry Jackson, and other great photographers. Read about 19 top hotel bucket-list experiences around the world.
Tour an underwater museum
You’ve been to plenty of museums—but have you ever toured through one … under the water? Now you can at America’s first fully underwater permanent sculpture exhibit, the Underwater Museum of Art, in South Walton, Florida. Learn more about the world’s strangest museums.
Help baby sea turtles make it to the sea
The Fort Lauderdale area in Florida has one of the most diverse landscapes and ecosystems in the country, giving you ample opportunity to have one-of-a-kind experiences with wildlife. From March to October during sea turtle nesting season, you can help many of the conservancy programs assist these tiny reptiles as they try to make their way safely to sea.
Walk with and bathe elephants
Though you’ll likely see plenty of Instagrammers taking an elephant ride, activists throughout the world ask that you not get atop these gentle giants but, rather, walk beside them or wash them instead. Because these animals have to be beaten to be tame enough to have passengers, it’s a better experience to help them adjust back to life after captivity through sanctuaries. One of the most recommended experiences is the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where you can walk with, feed, and wash elephants for a full day or even a weekend.
Courtesy National Corvette Museum
Drive like a race-car driver
Zoom, zoom—go! For those who can’t get enough of life in the fast lane, you can take your chances behind the wheel of a race car. At the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, you can get behind the wheel of a 2017 Corvette Stingray Z51 for laps around a 3.15-mile road course. Included in the experience is classroom and in-car instruction, 20 minutes of driving, lunch, and more. Check out 15 of the world’s most luxurious train rides.
Take an Alaskan cruise
Even if you’ve been all along the Caribbean, there’s nothing quite as eye-opening or beautiful as a cruise through the colder climate of Alaska. On a Princess Cruise Lines sailing, you’ll tour the Great Land’s glaciers, wildlife, national parks, and more. Just make sure you pack a solid camera—you’re not going to want to forget this!
Go air gliding over wine country
Not sure what air gliding is? This form of flight doesn’t use an engine; instead it relies on the dynamic reaction of the air against the wings lifting the surface. This makes for a quiet, peaceful … and beautiful bird’s-eye view of an area. One option offering vistas of serene lakes and wine country is available via the Finger Lakes Soaring Club in New York, where you’ll reach a mile above sea level.
Go ice skating at the world’s largest “rink”
You don’t have to be Olympic level to test your chops at the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa, Canada, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Spanning 202 kilometers (that’s 126 miles) from Kingston to the St. Lawrence River, this skateway claims the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest naturally frozen ice-skating rink, fitting 90 Olympic-sized rinks in its diameter. Each year, more than one million visitors skate their way here to be part of the history.
Go swimming with whale sharks
When you stay at Marquis Los Cabos, an all-inclusive luxury resort in Los Cabos, Mexico, time it right so you can test your swimming skills … alongside sharks! From September to May, the property partners with Cabo Adventures to give travelers the experience of a lifetime as they see what underwater life is like next to the largest fish in the sea. After coming face-to-face with 20 to 30 of the gentle giants, you might also catch a glimpse of dolphins, stingrays, and other sea creatures, before recovering from the swim with Baja-style lunch. Check out these 11 amazing bucket-list beach vacations.
Go on a safari
Although there are plenty of ways to experience wildlife in South Africa, consider staying at a game lodge and take a guided tour from locals at the expansive and renowned Kruger National Park. You’ll embark on a sunrise-through-sunset safari that offers glimpses of various species, including zebras, giraffes, and elephants, as they stop by watering holes or go on walks. For a luxury experience, Leopard Hills Lodge is a popular choice, with lodging options ranging from tents to suites.
Visit one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, there is only one still standing: the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. The royal tombs and the nearby Great Sphinx will amaze you with their beauty and history; it’s impossible not to appreciate the magnitude of time as you stand next to these ancient treasures. Because Egypt is a tumultuous place to visit, it is a smart idea to go with a tour group, like Contiki, that will get you from point A to point B seamlessly. Explore these 10 UNESCO World Heritage sites everyone should visit at least once.
Spend the night in the desert
When you fall asleep under the desert sky, you’ll lose count of the endless stars that dot every corner of the sky—that’s why spending a night in the sands of the Middle East should be a bucket-list item for every traveler. For a luxe experience, book a night at Qasr Al Sarab, 90 minutes outside of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Kayak with belugas
Whale watching is one thing, but rowing alongside hundreds of whales with young calves nudging at your oar is a different experience entirely. Because the mammals are curious and vocal, you’ll hear them as they guide you along the Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada. Read about 50 things to do before you turn 50.
See a new wonder of the world
This adventure takes you from Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, to Iguazu Falls, an expansive waterfall that borders three countries: Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. While on this trek, you’ll experience these jaw-dropping sights and spend time in Buenos Aires. What’s not to love?
Have the Sistine Chapel all to yourself
As with any world-renowned monument, lines at the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City are usually hours-long, even when you have prepurchased tickets. This is especially true during peak travel seasons, so why not rent the place just for yourself? Via City Wonders, you can book a very small tour group that allows you to enter 30 minutes before other tour operators join, and 90 minutes before the general public is allowed inside. This gives you the opportunity to witness Michelangelo’s handiwork without being nudged in every corner. Check out these 10 forbidden places no one will be allowed to visit.
Meet, pet, and feed wolves
Usually, the very idea of having a wolf encounter would be enough to make you run for the hills—literally. But when you visit this Wolf Education Center in Divide, Colorado, you have the opportunity to get to know these animals in a safe, protected environment. After taking a tour of the mountain area, you’ll get 25 minutes of feeding, petting, and even “kissing” wolves as a photographer captures the experience. Pick up a bucket-list idea for every state.
Explore the Amazon
The largest tropical rain forest in the world showcases an incomparable biodiversity, with captivating plants and animals you won’t find anywhere else on the planet. At the center of the Amazon is Manaus, Brazil, where the second-longest river in the world, containing one fifth of the earth’s fresh water, runs through. When you take a river cruise here, you’ll see the wonders of the jungle up close, giving you an experience you’ll surely write home about for decades (or at least post about on Facebook).
Take a hot-air balloon ride
Every September, you can take in the Snowmass Balloon Festival, one of the highest-altitude hot-air balloon events in the country in Aspen, Colorado. Over the span of three days, 30 pilots compete in challenges, like a distance race that covers the entire Roaring Fork Valley. When you stay at Hotel Jerome, you’ll get an up-close-and-personal view of the spectacle, and that venue can help you book a ride yourself. Read on for 11 bucket-list destinations that won’t break the bank.
Lindsay Aurora Tigar is an experienced digital editor and blogger in NYC. Her blog, Confessions of a Love Addict, has a large following around the world, thousands of subscribers and hundreds of thousands of unique visitors a year. A book project based on her blog is under development and represented by theJames Fitzgerald Agency.The New York Post named her New York City’s most eligible single in January 2014. She was also selected as one of New York’s most desirable singles by the lifestyle dating website, Rachel & Chris, and has partnered with several popular dating blogs to create viral content. She is part of the HerCampus Blogger Network and spoke at their summer conference in New York on “How to Be a Powerhouse Blogger.” She’s a social media and digital media guru with big followings on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.She freelances for several sites, including Shape.com, eHarmony.com,AskMen.com, Engagement 101 and more. She’s also the resident dater forWomen’sHealthMag.com, writing weekly about her dating adventures in her ‘Dater Diary’ column.