The 3 most important reasons to travel solo at 60+

We get to retirement, or close, and the siren song of travel beckons. But to travel solo?

Finally, the planets are aligned: time, treasure (ok, budget treasure), and a talent for discovery. We want to go, and yet lingering doubt perceived roadblocks. No one wants to go where you want to go.

A travel partner becomes unable to go.A recent loss alters the course of your life, not to mention travel plans.

It doesn’t take much to upend rickety self-confidence.

“Travel solo at my age? I don’t think so.” So goes the refrain in your head.

Try this refrain instead:”Travel solo at my age? Why the hell not?!”

Need some reasons to pack those bags? Read on.

You set the budget

If you want to go luxury, then go luxury. Some of the best travel I’ve done has been on a more restrained budget, allowing me to see more of the “real” destination, not just a fancy hotel.

Perhaps counter-intuitive, but true in my experience.

Tour companies and travel agents are happy to accommodate you and mix and match to meet your budget. Often, they will cite a “base price,” and you can tweak from there.

A firm I’ve used, and heartily recommend for their customization, is Yampu Tours. They offer a wealth of travel experiences, at every price point.

The best part? A travel consultant pop-up window will greet you on their website. Honestly, it’s a chance to talk to a real human about what you might want to do, where you might like go. Even if you have no real idea.

Another tour company that specializes in solo women travelers is Overseas Adventure Travel. And the dreaded single supplement? Nope, gone.

You set the destination

Think about it — there are probably 3–4 (ok, maybe more) places you’ve secretly wanted to go. For a variety of reasons it didn’t work: no interest from spouse, friend, family. No time. You put it off.

That’s what I’m here to say: in your 60’s the “putting it off” is no longer a valid excuse.

Now, my friend is your time. So think about that place you’ve always wanted to go because the help is there to make it happen.

You set the itinerary

Maybe the best part of travel at 60+, and particularly a solo journey, is that you needn’t answer to anyone. If you want to spa, go for it. Tours, soaking up the local culture, language classes.

Introduce yourself to the world. It is waiting to meet you.

If you want an immersive activity, it’s there, too. I like Yampu’s approach to immersive travel and their volunteer opportunities in particular.

It needn’t be the entire trip, but if the opportunity to interact with the local population — and with children, especially — resonates with you, there are ample opportunities to fold that into your experience.

It’s just one of the many advantages of solo travel. Your trip, your terms.

Is solo travel the ultimate self-indulgence?

Some would say so. I’d say that by the time you’ve reached your early 60’s you’ve earned the right to make your own decisions. Chart your course.

This doesn’t mean you are abandoning your family or your commitment to those things important to your life.

It does mean that you are answering to your self, to your wishes, and perhaps to the fulfillment of a life’s dream.It’s not selfishness, it’s self-affirmation.

It does mean that you are bold enough, confident enough to strike out on your own.

Good for you!

Take that kernel of self-truth, listen to your inner voice that says, “I’d like to see Hawaii” and book it. Rarely, if ever, does your intuition lie.

It comes down to this:

If the choice is between going solo and not going at all, there is only one answer: book the trip.

And please become a 3 Score Traveler by posting a photo on Instagram: @3scoreandmore.

In the meantime, let me know how the planning goes.
Cheers,
Jane
Copyright 2018  3 Score & More  All rights reserved
An earlier version of this article appeared on Medium.com

Sweden confidential: 3 epic places that will make your heart soar

Sweden is one of my favorite destinations.  The southernmost region, Skane, where pastoral and woodsy beauty mixes with a stunning coastline, is a magical place within a very modern country.

On a solo road trip through Skane, I uncovered 3 unforgettable places, each deserving of its own narrative to share the soulful experiences of the seaside, forest, and yes, sophisticated dining. 

Following is a summary of that trip which, at every turn, made my heart soar. The common thread is the laid-back warmth of the Swedish culture which both recognizes and celebrates the natural beauty and bounty found in this corner of the world.  Links to the previously published posts are noted below.

Continue reading “Sweden confidential: 3 epic places that will make your heart soar”

How to have the perfect lunch: Sweden’s Daniel Berlin Krog

In Sweden’s southernmost agricultural heartland, about an hour from Copenhagen’s airport, lies Daniel Berlin’s dining experience, outside the town of Tomelilla. To call it a restaurant doesn’t do justice to the careful preparation and exquisite presentation of a bounty of local food, in the hands of a team who respect the palate’s  power to delight, nurture, comfort and celebrate.

Paired with 5 wines hailing from France, Germany, and Spain – from dry whites to a sweeter Muscadelle that foreshadowed the close of the meal – the lunch tasting menu was a taste bud explosion. Over 12 courses, all ingredients are grown on site or sourced locally, excepting the dessert’s Tanzanian chocolate. On a brilliant autumn afternoon, here are some highlights. You’ll be booking a table, I promise. Continue reading “How to have the perfect lunch: Sweden’s Daniel Berlin Krog”

Why this is a spa for your soul: Sweden’s amazing Nyrups Naturhotell

If you yearn for the different, the soulful, a stay at Nyrups Naturhotell is the answer. Deep in the birch and beech forests of Skåne, Sweden’s southernmost province, near the town of Höör, this experience brings the essence of living in communion with nature to the post-modern, complicated world. No glitzy fanfare, no need to travel to remote corners or to bring anything special beyond an open mind. The secret sauce is the simple power of nature.  As it turns out, that’s pretty potent.

Continue reading “Why this is a spa for your soul: Sweden’s amazing Nyrups Naturhotell”

Nordic Noir goes to the spa: Sweden’s Ystad Saltsjobad

It was Inspector Kurt Wallander, the fictional lead of the eponymous “Nordic noir” PBS/Masterpiece series, that interested me in Ystad in the first place.  Coastal, windswept, with a rich history dating back a millennium, it seemed an appropriate setting not only for crime stories but also as a place to launch a 5-day road trip through Skane, Sweden’s southernmost province.  I was determined to start with a spa. The venerable Ystad Saltsjöbad, with various packages and ad hoc services, was the perfect fit. The seaside location was a strong plus; to my mind, nothing is more restorative.  An easy reach by car from Copenhagen’s airport.  It was an inspired choice; I knew I would regret that my schedule allowed for only an overnight stay.  Continue reading “Nordic Noir goes to the spa: Sweden’s Ystad Saltsjobad”

Iceland: Searching for Richard Serra, Discovering Reykjavik

Pair of pillars, Afangar, Videy Island

The mission:  To see renowned sculptor Richard Serra’s striking installation Afangar (“Standing Stones”) on Viðey Island, a national preserve across the harbor from Reykjavík.  With that brief, I savored a taste of Iceland on a layover to New York from London. In searching for Richard Serra in Iceland, I discovered Reykjavik Continue reading “Iceland: Searching for Richard Serra, Discovering Reykjavik”

San Francisco Solo @ 60+ 8 Tips to make it great

Golden Gate Bridge looking north

The best thing about San Francisco is San Francisco 

–Frank Lloyd Wright

Here are 8 tips from as I set out to change-up the typical San Francisco tourist experience. Would it be weird, as a 60+ solo traveler?  Not one bit as it turned out, and the freedom was priceless. Continue reading “San Francisco Solo @ 60+ 8 Tips to make it great”