Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cape Hatteras an alternative hotel

As a constant solo traveler I continue to seek sources of alternative housing

As a 'mature' solo traveler, I no longer enjoy tent camping or low end motels in order to afford the multiple trips I take.       Over the past year I have been searching for alternatives to chain hotels and the road side motels prevalent in the USA.
 On one of these trips I stayed in a new cabin offered by the KOA campgrounds.  Large enough to accommodate 4+ the cabin had a full bath, mini kitchen, TV and  wireless Internet.    At the same cost as most of the hotels on the Outer Banks, NC  this was a very comfortable alternative.     The cabin was only a few yards from the beach and you could hear the waves crashing during the night.

There was a second opportunity to visit this location again last week while driving North along the coast. This time I wanted to try staying in an AirStream, a silver cylinder on wheels. I had never been inside one of the historic designs and was surprised how spacious it was.   I suppose with a family of 4 it could be a tight fit.
The only room that was difficult to negotiate was the airplane sized bathroom.   But still fun for an overnight stay.  According to one of the web sites for AirStream enthusiasts, these tubes were called Silver Wheels, back in the day.

I was amazed at the compact kitchen with everything I needed: microwave, cook top, coffee pot, fridge

There were two flat screen TV's and WiFi internet


Just a short walk to the beach.  This day there was a HUGE storm and the sand was underwater!
In the 1950s a family would go road tripping with a caper attached to the family car.    Cars in the 1950s were as big as boats and could easily drag an air stream behind them on the nation’s highways .  Read the story on the history of the airstream at

I have an ongoing project to travel as much as possible for a daily cost of $100 or less if possible.   This often forces me to travel off season,  ski areas in the summer, beach areas in the fall or winter. 
But I do not mind the crowds and Americans on vacations are not very tolerant of solo travelers.  
My stay with KOA at Cape Hatteras met my goals and exceeded my expectations.  

So why not try a night in a soup can on your next travel adventure?



Friday, September 21, 2012

Another solo friendly travel offer

After years of being considered a travel group without importance, solo travelers are now seeing offers almost weekly!

Below is a PR anncement for NO SOLO SUPPLEMENTS for 2013 with Interanitoanl Expeditions.

Keep the offers coming!

International Expeditions Waives Single Supplement Fee on Every 2013 Amazon and Galapagos Cruise

Tapping into the growing solo travel market, natural travel expert International Expeditions is offering cabins with no single supplement fee on every 2013 Galapagos Islands and Amazon River cruise departure.

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Guests enjoy rainforest walks on the Amazon river cruise
Guests enjoy rainforest walks on the Amazon river cruise
Quote startI loved the excellent staff, small group size and no single supplement for this Amazon cruise. I often travel alone and that is a determining factor.Quote end
Helena, Ala. (PRWEB) September 20, 2012
Tapping into the growing solo travel market, nature travel expert International Expeditions is offering cabins with no single supplement fees on all 2013 Amazon and Galapagos small-ship cruises.
“We have seen growing numbers of single travelers looking for safe, escorted travel to the world’s wildlife-rich regions, and in 2012 solo travelers have made up 21 percent of all passengers in the Amazon and Galapagos,“ said IE President Van Perry. “IE has made every effort to make our journeys open and inclusive for all travelers, and that includes keeping single supplements as low as possible and waiving the fees on cabins throughout the year – not just at the last minute.”
These statistics echo a report released in May 2012 by TUI North American Specialist, a collection of adventure tour companies, which stated that solo travelers accounted for 22 percent of the business for those adventure companies, up two percent over last year.
Aboard IE’s pioneering journey into the headwaters of the Amazon River, guests travel aboard a classically styled riverboat, the 24-guest Aquamarina, enjoying numerous wildlife sightings. Daily outings on this small-ship adventure take travelers deep into the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve to spot diverse wildlife, hike into the rainforest, and even fish for piranha. During excursions into the narrow river tributaries, guests may spot more than 100 kinds of birds, pink and gray river dolphins, sloths, giant otters and nocturnal animals such as caimans and capybaras.
“I loved the excellent staff, small group size and no single supplement for this cruise,” said Amazon River cruise guest Justin Child of Valencia, Calif. “I often travel alone and that is a determining factor.”
Amazon expedition passengers also spend time with Ribereños in remote river villages, handing out school supplies to children and meeting with a local shaman. Ensuring a high level of authenticity, IE varies the villages guests visit during their Amazon expedition.
2013 rates for the 10-day Amazon River cruises start at $3,898 and include pre-cruise accommodations, complimentary onboard laundry, all excursions, most meals, transfers and tips to porters and waiters for included meals.
On the 10-day Galapagos Islands cruise, International Expeditions’ 32-guest yacht M/V Evolution navigates to captivating islands, where the small group size allows for easy access to the wildlife and far more personal attention than guests find aboard large cruise ships. Onboard, guests sail in comfort with spacious accommodations, fine cuisine and a host of amenities including an observation deck (perfect for whale watching) and canopied bar, plus complimentary snorkeling equipment, wetsuits and kayaks.
In addition to daily snorkeling and hiking, other highlights include a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Center, famous for its tortoise breeding programs; an exploration of Santiago Island, a haven for finches, doves and Galapagos hawks; and a sailing to iconic Kicker Rock.
Highly trained Galapagos naturalist guides enhance travelers’ experiences by sharing their in-depth knowledge and bringing guests within inches of giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, penguins and other animals.
Prices for the Galapagos Islands cruises start at $5,098 in 2013, and include pre- and post-cruise accommodations, all excursions, most meals, transfers and tips to porters and waiters for included meals.
For more information or a brochure on 2013 journeys, call International Expeditions at  1-800-234-9620 or visit
About International Expeditions
Celebrating 33 years of nature travel, International Expeditions specializes in small-group journeys to Earth’s most exhilarating destinations. A pioneer of environmentally responsible travel, IE is committed to preserving natural habitats and improving the welfare of the people and communities it visits. International Expeditions has been named to Travel + Leisure’s list of “World’s Best” tour operators & safari outfitters for seven years and to National Geographic ADVENTURE magazine’s list of “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth.”

Monday, September 3, 2012

Can solo travel be affordable?

You hardly can pick up a travel magazine or Sunday travel section in the remaining newspapers, and NOT see Solo Travel mentioned.     Traveling alone still brands you as doing something odd or different.

So now that solo travel has become the new target market, when will travel service providers take us seriously?   Just as I planned to blast all the travel providers for pricing my trips at 50% to 100% more than other travelers,  I receive emails all week advertising no solo supplement on cruises for 2012!   Wow.

An article in The Australian newspaper in NSW, Australia listed several ships that are offering attractive rates for solo travelers and even which companies will create more solo cabins for future guests.  Travel.     Recently Cunard offered several of their transatlantic crossings an European cruises without any solo supplement.     Even without a supplement many of the upscale ships may not fit in your budget.  Or like me, you prefer a number of trips each year, not just one grand adventure.    Other solo

I just finished the last issue of Budget Travel magazine. Their special deals section lists great prices for trips all over the world.    However, even in the summer 2012 issues there were many of the special trips with solo supplements.

How do you handle the solo supplement when you travel?

UPDATE:   I just saw this on line, NO SOLO SUPPLEMENT!
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Single Supplement Waived Savings

Solo travelers can cruise at no additional charge as Uniworld waives single supplements

on select 2013 departures.

Book and deposit at time of reservation to take advantage of these savings.

 Click here to view applicable dates.

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Itineraries           Available Departures

Springtime Tulips & the Rhine (2013)       Mar 27

European Serenade (2013)          Mar 29

Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley (2013) Aug 15

Tulips & Windmills (2013)              Mar 23, 25

Enchanting Danube (2013)           Mar 24, 31

European Jewels (2013)                Jul 14

Paris & Normandy (2013)              Mar 15, 22

Burgundy & Provence (2013)      Mar 24, 31

Grand France (2013)       Mar 15

Venice & the Po River (2013)      Apr 7, 14, Jul 21