Tracey Davies, Editor of 101 Singles Holidays, shares some holiday ideas for those looking to travel solo and make new friends. Tracey says...

Travelling solo is an empowering feeling. I've travelled a lot over the years and nothing quite beats the freedom of doing exactly what you want, when you want, and making no compromises. However, I do love to meet new and interesting people. There are ways we can meet people with similar interests - by booking a holiday that appeals to like-minded folk.

According to the latest American Express Global Travel Trends report, 69% of travellers are planning to travel alone this year, which means solo trips are ripe pickings for making some great new friends in 2024. Here are a few that have caught my eye recently.

For long-haul adventures

Cox & Kings - Machu Picchu, Peru - Treasures Of Peru Solo Travellers Tour

Bucket list holidays are a big draw to the solo traveller. Maybe you've saved up for a trip of a lifetime or want to celebrate a special occasion and meet some new friends along the way. Cox & Kings specialise in small-group tours with destinations including India, Peru and Costa Rica. Their Exotic India: Solo Travellers tour includes bonding experiences like seeing the Taj Mahal at sunrise and coming face-to-face with Bengal tigers in Ranthambore National Park.

Cox & Kings = Taj Mahal, Agra, India - Exotic India Solo Travellers Tour

By far the best way to experience China is on an organised group tour, which tends to attract similarly adventurous folk. Wendy Wu Tours have been the go-to for China trips for the last 25 years and their dedicated solo traveller trips often result in life-long friendships. Their 16-day Wonders of China tour includes exploring the Great Wall, encountering the Terracotta Army in Xian and seeing giant pandas.

For once-a-lifetime experiences

One of the beauties of solo travel is that you can treat yourself to your holiday of a lifetime. Inspiring Travel offers some incredible trips for solo travellers, including a horse riding holiday at White Stallion Ranch in the foot of the Tucson Mountains. While Rainbow Tours offer a wide array of once-in-a-lifetime holidays for animal-loving solo travellers, from tracking mountain gorillas and chimpanzees in Uganda to spotting caiman and capybaras in Brazil.

For cultural connections

For something a little more unique, an expert-led cruise by Peter Sommer Travels can really get under the skin of a destination. Their Gastronomic Gulet Cruise attracts lovers of food and archaeology from across the globe as it explores the mosques of Istanbul, Bodrum's beautiful beaches and the otherworldly landscape of Cappadocia.

Love Renaissance art and Italian food and looking to meet arty gastronomes? Martin Randall Travel specialises in offering unique cultural tours focusing on art, architecture, music and gastronomy. Led by art historians, lecturers and experts in their field, these trips are incredibly specialised and are a great way to meet people with the same interests.

Regent Holidays - Team On Glacier On Superjeep Tour

Kirker Holidays also offer themed weekend trips, including to the Rossini Festival in Pessaro, La Scala in Milan and opera weekends in Venice and Stockholm. While Regent Holidays offer some great short breaks to cities in Iceland, Poland and Denmark.

For learning new skills

Flavours Holidays - Cooking In Tuscany

Whether you want to learn how to cook up a Sicilian feast or paint with watercolours, a great way to meet people with similar interests is on a learning holiday. Flavours Holidays offer some brilliant trips where you can return home with a new skill in your armoury. Always in small groups, you can learn how to cook authentic local dishes in destinations across Italy and Spain or study Pilates in Marrakech.

Meeting people is a big draw for booking with a singles holiday specialist like Friendship Travel. They offer everything from ski trips in Les Deux Alpes, Christmas cruises in the Caribbean to painting holidays in Italy. But if you're looking for an easy fly-and-flop holiday, their fully-hosted hotel breaks in the Mediterranean are a fun and easy way to meet people on the same wavelength.

For walkers and ramblers

HF Holidays - Yorkshire_Dales_Group

Walking holidays can be one of the best ways to make new friends. Conquering a mountain pass or completing a long-distance trail is a great way to bond with others. Operators like Ramble Worldwide, HF Holidays and Solos Holidays all offer some brilliant itineraries all over the world from Glen Coe in the Scottish Highlands and the Yorkshire Dales to Galicia in Spain, the Algarve and Lanzarote. I met a fascinating bunch from all over the world on a recent walking holiday in Glen Coe. After the day's guided hikes, we continued the camaraderie over dinner and drinks back in the country house and I left with a bunch of new friends.

RambleWorldwide_Picos De Europa Walking Holiday In Spain_Augut 2023

As a foodie, I also like the sound of Hedonistic Hiking's trips which combine guided hikes through the wilds of Umbria, the French Alps or Tuscany, with gorgeous gourmet meals in hand-picked local restaurants.

Hedonistic Hiking - Hiking On Elba

For health and wellbeing

A wellbeing retreat can be a great way to meet other solo travellers. Whether you're looking for some light pampering or back-to-back yoga and HIIT classes, The Healthy Holiday Company offers an extensive range of wellness escapes catering for the solo traveller, including a week in the gorgeous Shanti Som retreat in Andalusia.

For floating friendships

European Waterways - Aboard Hotel Barge Panache

With lots of social spaces and onboard fun, cruises can be a great way to meet new people, especially if you're a solo traveller. However, some of the larger cruises can feel a little overwhelming. For more of a houseboat party vibe, European Waterways offer all-inclusive river cruises on their fleet of luxury hotel barges with itineraries across France, Italy, Scotland and Ireland.

Find more ideas at 101 Singles Holidays.

By Tracey Davies, Editor of 101 Singles Holidays