You’re forgiven if the phrase “singles travel” sends a shiver down your spine. The words conjure images of cougars prowling on cruises and unruly 20-somethings putting Spring Break to shame. It does, in our not-so humble opinion, a deep injustice to what solo travel can be.
An increasing number of tour companies have realised that singles are seeking something more. A new generation of group adventures are less expensive, low-pressure, and culturally enriching. Some are targeted specifically to singles; others are simply designed to help solo travellers connect with like-minded nomads. And if neither guided option appeals, the planet is chock-full of amazing places worth exploring on your own.
Below you’ll find a collection of some of the world’s best singles travel destinations for the over-30 crowd. Wanderlust (and maybe lust-lust) awaits.
38°N | Santa Eulalia, Ibiza, Spain
38 Degrees North – stylised as 38°N – hosts ass-kicking fitness retreats on the beautiful isle of Ibiza. Guests may select one of the results-driven programmes that include kettle bell workouts, HIIT sessions, yoga, and more, or create their own bespoke fitness and nutrition package. Accommodations are at the 5-star ME Ibiza and 4-star Sol Beach House, both in Santa Eulalia. An active holiday rejuvenates both body and mind, and offers ample opportunity to meet someone during group workouts (hint hint).
New Orleans | Louisiana, USA
Vibrant, diverse New Orleans offers something for every kind of single man. Its most infamous attraction is the raucous two-week Mardi Gras celebration. If you’re a bachelor with plenty of party left in him, check out our guide to surviving the festivities. If your rowdy years are behind you, the Big Easy offers plenty of calmer, more sophisticated pursuits. The city is the hometown of jazz music and known around the world for its incredible melting pot cuisine. Don’t leave without sampling the gumbo, jambalaya, po-boys, and beignets.
Paro Taktsang | Paro Valley, Bhutan
Spiritual reflection is a task best undertaken alone. Make the most of your singlehood with a visit to Paro Taktsang, also known as the Taktsang Palphug Monastery and the Tiger’s Nest, a Himalayan Buddhist temple complex tucked improbably into a cliffside in Bhutan. The structures were first built in 1692 around a cave, but the location’s history as a meditation site dates back to the 8th century. The trek to the monastery takes anywhere from 1-4 hours, depending on your fitness level, and provides breathtaking views. Once you’ve arrived, you may enter the buildings provided you leave shoes, cameras, and other electronics behind.
Jamaica’s blend of adventure, nature, and nightlife makes the Caribbean island an attractive escape for all kinds of tourists, but when you’re single and feeling frisky, there’s one special draw: Hedonism II. The raunchy resort is known around the world for its X-rated getaways. Although it’s popular with couples, singles are also welcome to join the fun (solo men are even allowed to get down in the adult playroom, as long as they’re invited). Read more about Hedonism II here.
Esalen Institute | Big Sur, California, USA
According to the famous Einstein saying, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you’re single and sick of it, it may be time for a life overhaul. The Esalen Institute is a retreat centre and intentional community that offers hundreds of personal development workshops each year in the incredible coastal setting of Big Sur, California. As the birthplace of the human potential movement, Esalen has played a key role in expanding minds, hearts, and spirits since 1962.
Pizza Consulting | Naples, Italy
It’s a fact that cooking skills are sexy, so use your single travel time as an opportunity to work on them. In Naples, birthplace of Neapolitan pizza, master pizzaiolo Enzo Coccia teaches weeklong classes through Pizza Consulting. The amateur course aims to introduce the secrets of the classic Neapolitan pie through a mix of theory and practical application. More advanced courses are available for pros and those who dream of becoming one.
Road Trip With Dragoman | Multiple Locations
Road trips are notorious relationship killers, so why not take one when you have no relationship to lose? Dragoman has been at the forefront of epic overland travel since 1981 – and when we say epic, we really mean it. Your trip could last less than two weeks or over three months. Dragoman’s adventures take place all across Asia, Africa, and the Americas, and vary widely in length and intensity. Your itinerary could take you to the wilds of Kyrgyzstan on the Silk Route, the remote Amazon basin in Brazil, the Sahara Desert in Sudan, or somewhere even more off-the-beaten-track.
The thing about having a partner is, they’re extremely invested in your continuing existence. A trip that could potentially be the end of that existence, therefore, is likely to be vetoed in favour of something less prone to end in your untimely demise. So while you’re single, defy all the death you can. We suggest trying one of these daredevil destinations.