We at VACAYA believe life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. That’s why we encourage all Solo and Single Travelers to throw caution to the four winds and travel with us. We fully recognize that traveling alone can oftentimes be a scary prospect, but remember… at VACAYA you’re never alone for long (unless you want to be, of course). And here are a few tips to help you get on your way!

The online VACAYA community is incredibly welcoming, so we’ve created an official Facebook Group specifically for Solo Travelers looking for a roommate. We call it our “Solo Travelers Playground” – a place for you to meet other solo adventurers. In addition, each of our vacations has an official Facebook Groups Page. These are great resources for finding other Solo Travelers who are also looking for a roommate. In our experience, the most successful pairings are those initiated by the people actually looking. Simply post in our Solo Travelers Playground or in the individual event groups that you’re seeking a roommate and let others come directly to you. This method gives you the opportunity to interview prospective roommates beforehand, allowing you to make a strong pre-trip bond. Assuming you find a match on your own, you can both simply book a room together as any friends would.

JOIN OUR SOLO TRAVELERS FACEBOOK GROUP

Don’t want to share a room? No problem. Sometimes it’s just more convenient and comfortable to have your own room, which is why we offer Solo Travelers a “My Own Room” option – a single room all to yourself. At our Oasis resorts, we offer a single supplement on an as-available basis. While we have less flexibility on our cruises, if you’re willing to pay both halves of the normal double occupancy and gratuities rate (plus one port charge fee), we are happy to accommodate you in your own room.

Never traveled solo before? We can get you sorted. Check out some of our most frequently asked questions, or get in touch with us any time!

A General Note to Solo Travelers About VACAYA Add-On Experiences:

Our Add-On experiences are markedly different from our cruise and resort programs, which are full of social activities that bring Solo Travelers together. On our Add-On experiences, there are typically whole group activities each day, but there’s more independent time than you’d find on our cruises/at our resorts. So while Solo Travelers are certainly welcome to join our Add-Ons experiences, they require a certain level of confidence and comfortable independence. 

SOLO TRAVELER SUCCESS TIPS

So you’ve decided to travel on a VACAYA trip as a Solo Traveler… now what?

Each VACAYA trip is different, based on its type, its location, and the overall number of guests. So you’ll find that each has its own unique identity. However, each of our event types – Bliss (big-ship cruises), Oasis (resorts), and Luxe (small-ship cruises) – offers myriad opportunities to connect with other travelers. From Solo Traveler Cocktail Hours to special dinners to game nights (and those are on top of all the other scheduled group activities), you’ll always have moments of connection with other travelers.

We often hear about “cliques” on our and other companies’ trips and we’d like to address that topic truthfully and transparently. Yes, they do exist. What looks like a “clique” as an outsider looking in is usually a group of friends who’ve met each other on a prior trip and have now reconnected on this trip. The social bonds that happen on our trips is intense and can sometimes last a lifetime.

So what’s the best way to turn a “clique” into a “click” as a Solo Traveler? This is where your confidence comes into play – even if you’re shy. As a Solo Traveler you walk right up to that group and say, “Hello! You all seem to be having the best time. I’m John and I’m traveling by myself this trip and I’d love to join in all the fun!”

There’s not a single group that won’t invite you in with open arms. Before you know it, you will have “clicked” with a whole group of new friends.

We recognize that level of confidence takes a certain boldness, but it’s the single best way to put yourself out there and start building those connections on Day 1.

VACAYA has nurtured a long list of Solo Travelers who’ve traveled with VACAYA over and over again. We spoke with a few of them about the Do’s and Don’ts of being a successful Solo Traveler. Here are their tips for success:

DOs

  • Say hi to EVERYONE. Every single time you pass someone in the hall, by the pool, in the restaurants, or on excursions give them a warm hello. That simple gesture will instantly set the stage for any deeper connections that may come later.
  • Smile! Often, authentically, and without fail. Everyone is on holiday and the happier and more jovial you appear on the surface will transform you into a magnet – drawing more and more people into your orbit.
  • Laugh! Like smiling, a hearty and genuine laugh has healing powers beyond measure.
  • Stay positive. While we understand life can sometimes be a bit dark, fellow guests typically don’t want to play therapist. Everyone has paid to escape the real world – if only for a week. So it’s best to leave the negative baggage at the pier. That doesn’t mean you can’t share your story. In fact, we encourage you to share it with others – that’s what forges strong bonds. But a constant “woe is me” vibe can quickly turn others off and they’re less likely to want to hang out with you if everything always comes with a Debbie Downer energy. This one is super important and requires constant self analysis. If you decide to share a heavy story, be sure to balance it with something more positive, uplifting, and/or humorous. Then you’ll be seen as someone who is multi-faceted and not just an Eeyore. Don’t be an Eeyore.
  • In that same vein… recognize that both the charter event and the social fabric that’s built on each trip is complex. From the outside, it’s easy to sit on the sidelines and think “Why didn’t VACAYA do it this way?” or “I would have done it differently.” One of the biggest pitfalls we’ve seen new Vacayans face is going off on VACAYA (for whatever reason) in our Official Social Media Groups or at our events. It’s proven the fastest route to social self-annihilation.

These charter events are a living breathing beast of an undertaking with different stakeholders, ever-shifting operating procedures, and distinct goals at every level. With VACAYA, you have the most experienced charter team on earth pulling it all together. Every issue has been looked at from every angle to make the best decision for all involved – chief among them our guests. So while you might not like some facet of the experience, it’s always best not to go off on the issue in the public forums. Talk directly to The V Team and we’ll do our best to explain why something is the way it is or we’ll say, “You know what? You’ve seen this from a completely different angle than any of us ever has and we love your take! Thank you.” There’s a constructive way to provide feedback and one where the masses will literally turn against you. We’ve seen the latter too many times and we’d like you to avoid that pitfall. So if you have an issue about something we’re doing or have done, talk to us. That’s the quickest way to resolution and a sure-fire way to avoid being ostracized.

  • Roll the dice sometimes. Sure, it might come up snake eyes every now and again, but these trips are finite experiences; our time together is limited. So take a break from “the norm” and put yourself out there in new ways. Using the VACAYA motto “Open sea. Open mind.” as your inspiration, we encourage you to open yourself up and say “yes” more than “no.” Doing so leads to infinite reward.
  • Keep it cool. There’s a fine line between being super fun and suddenly overbearing – especially when drinking is involved. Stay balanced and don’t dominate or overpower a group discussion. Give others the grace to take everything in and respond accordingly.
  • Book excursions. There’s no faster way to build connections than through shared experiences. The excursions we offer range from sedate city tours to adrenaline-pumping activities. No matter your speed, jump in and do. It’s the doing that builds connections.

 

DON’Ts

  • Don’t be a jerk. Nothing turns people off more. Being unkind to other guests or to the staff will almost certainly put you in social exile. And it’s really hard to recover from that.
  • A logical extension to that is… don’t be a jerk on social media – especially in the official VACAYA groups. Nothing puts a sour taste in fellow guests mouths more than someone being a jerk to others in social media. The truth – whether you want to admit it or not – is that everyone is keeping score to a certain extent. So support, lift up, or make people laugh. That’ll win them over before you ever step foot on a trip.
  • Don’t be “that guy (or gal).” We want you to have fun, but we all know and recognize when someone crosses that line from tipsy to drunk. The best advice we can give to drinkers (Solo Traveler or otherwise) is to know and respect your limits. If you feel like you’ve made that transition to “sloppy mess,” it’s probably time to go to bed.
  • Don’t be a braggadocio. It’s a turn off in nearly all social settings, but especially on VACAYA trips. Ok, so you have money. Fantastic. Many onboard do – especially on the Luxe trips – but walk the walk, don’t talk the talk. Buy a round of drinks or even dinner ashore some time if you’d like to make a great impression, but going on and on about the vineyards and multiple homes you own can be a real turn off. Not to all, of course, but to many. It’s ok to pickle those facts in when appropriate to a conversation, but do it with social grace – not in an “I’m better than you” kind of way. Doing so will almost always lead to being ostracized, which is the exact opposite of the “clicks” you’re trying to make.
  • Don’t stand on the sidelines. To connect, you have to get in the game. We recognize this is tough for some people, but that’s why The V Team is there – to help each and every Vacayan reach their full social potential, maximizing your “clicks.”

 

Fundamentally, each VACAYA trip is like the rest of life… you get out of it what you put into it. So “put in” openness, positivity, and happiness and you’ll be greatly rewarded as a Solo Traveler.