A Taste for Travel reader asked where she could go to recover from her shattered marriage. She was desperate for a change in scenery after her relationship of 10 years ended. She didn’t think she would be cheerful company for a friend, but was nervous about going it alone. Australia’s most popular travel site, Lastminute, has just published the results of a survey on what women want when they travel, and the info collected from 5000 women contains good tips. Especially on holiday cures for the broken-hearted.
lastminute.com.au 2012 Female Travel and Lifestyle Report says one in five women have booked a holiday to get over a relationship break-up. The most popular spots to mend a broken heart: Bali and Thailand for some beach action and lots of spa-style pampering at affordable prices. Closer to home, Melbourne, Sydney, the Gold Coast, and Byron Bay also get the break-up-recovery-weekend seal of approval. I recommend surfgoddessretreats in Bali which is exactly as it sounds – a surf, yoga and spa retreat for women travelling solo or with friends.
Group tours ensure you’re with company if you don’t want to go it alone. Back-Roads Touring, Tempo Holidays and Cox & Kings all do small tours of no more than about 16 people, so you don’t feel lost in a crowd but the numbers are small enough for people to get to know each other well. You should ask the company what percentages are singles, and some destinations may attract more singles than couples. I recently did a Back-Roads Touring trip through Provence and the Riviera, which was mostly couples. The other woman travelling without her partner, and I became good, fast friends, sharing complementary tastes in what we wanted to explore. Among the Back-Roads advantages: staying in small, cozy hotels where if you breakfast alone you don’t feel conspicuous; a lovely tour guide who remembers your name and what your bag looks like, getting off the beaten track, exploring historic villages first thing in the morning, long before the gigantic tour buses roar up the road. That was a big plus.
Another option is a walking holiday. New Zealand, Australia and Italy particularly do these well. Or here’s a challenge – walking 800km across Spain on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. Earlier this year Ailsa Piper (who is happily married) shared her remarkable journey where she started off walking this historic trail by herself, but had the company of pilgrims when she needed it. More about Ailsa’s journey here. And she walked 1200km.
Lastminute says over 40% of women have had a holiday romance, with 19% developing into a long-term relationship, 10% turning into a serious long-term relationship, marriage 9%, and divorce 1%. There was no mention of long-distance relationships.
- 50% of women believe solo travel sounds like an adventurous and rewarding way to travel
- 46% have holidayed alone
- 26% think it sounds exciting but would be too scared to try it
- 24% think it sounds too lonely and depressing.
Lastminute’s picks for solo travel: Ireland, Costa Rica, Amsterdam, tropical North Queensland, Paris, Hong Kong. When all else fails, retail therapy!
*Pictures courtesy of Travmedia