Sunday, January 26, 2014

A cruise for less than $70 + day for solo’s??

cruise vacations
Call Vacations to Go 
to confirm this price, I saw it online today but it may not last.  
I am NOT a travel agent, I just search for low prices daily and share what I find.  
There is a tab for 'single savings' on the left of the Vacations to Go page.

Vacations to Go had this posted recently

8 nights departing April 5, 2014 on

Carnival's Carnival Freedom"

"All rates displayed are per person.

Double Occupancy Inside$449
Single Occupancy Inside$449
Single Supplement

Promotions may not be combinable with all fares.

The prices shown are US dollars per person, subject to availability. They include port charges but do not include airfare or (where applicable) airport or government taxes or fees. This sailing is not one of Vacations To Go's hosted singles sailings.

Important Note: Availability is extremely limited on all FASTDEALS and must be reconfirmed at time of booking. All prices are subject to change without notice by cruise lines, and must be reconfirmed at time of booking. Please have your credit card ready. Click any price to convert to other currencies."    the link I used for this posting....  I only look for prices up to $100 a day, you may choose to spend more.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Student Hotel or Another Alternative for Solo Travelers....

A Hotel Not ONLY For Students

In June 2013 I wrote about alternatives to staying in a hotel, with a story about my stay in a dormitory at London University.    
Courtyard at the London University location

Today I read on line  about a Hotel for Students.      THis may call up an image of a boarding house, sorority house or worse.     However the small chain of hotels listed offered kitchen use, a restaurant, great locations and up scale design.  

From Budget Traveller*  and the Student Hotel home page

photo and article credit from Budget Traveller*

About us

Student housing specialist

The Student Hotel is owned and operated by City Living.  For over 30 years, City Living has specialized in student housing and short stay accommodations.  
about us
The company’s roots lay in Scotland where the MacGregor family started working in student  accommodations at Edinburgh University in 1982.  Having worked in more than 20 European cities, City Living understands how to create a temporary housing experience that students want and need.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Solo Travelers Club: transatlantic sale

Transatlantic & Repositioning 14 Days ‣
Holland America Line ‣ ms Noordam
Solo Deal Alert: 14 Night Ocean Crossing on Holland America Line's ms Noordam. Departs March 21, 2014. Cruise from $1,118 ($80 per day) from Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona. Highlights: Fort Lauderdale, Ponta Delgada, Cadiz, Malaga, Cartagena, Barcelona. Taxes not included; terms and conditions apply. #solotraveler #cruisedeals #vacation #cruise
Call Linda Carella at 800-787-1871, or learn more at   prices can change so call Linda for an update Itinerary Map

Travel Friends you meet when traveling solo

The life of the solo diner table, these
women know how to travel!
A great side benefit of traveling solo, without a relative, a spouse or a best friend, is to meet travel ‘friends’

Travel friends are different than the friends you have at home, work friends or even casual friends.    They can be a 
local you meet while traveling as well as another traveler on your tour or plane or ship.

Speaking with strangers eliminates the limitations we can put on our conversations.  Perhaps because you do not expect to see them ever again, you loose any inhibitions.   The conversations between 'strangers' can often include topics never spoke about back home.
You often speak more frankly with travel friends, sharing hopes, problems or dreams.

The travel friends I like the best are other travelers I meet on my long ship trips and staff members who interact with passengers because they enjoy it NOT because it is policy.  With 7 or 14 days at sea there is time for chats and deep dialogues over dinner or drinks.   

Who have you met on your travel adventures?

Chef took the time to chat with me every day
on a long crossing......such great energy and
a wonderful attitude, I enjoyed our short exchanges
Craig taught computer skills to 'mature'
passengers without ever laughing when I asked
the same questions.....

My BEST TF, we met on an extended
crossing and Pat showed me how
you can have fun every day!  Hope to
see her when I get to OZ
Digital StillCamera
A chance meeting at a museum in
Naples, we walked together
during the visit .


Tina has a concierge travel business in Naples
but you will want to become TA friends with her.
This was one of the best days I had in Italy, I
forgot I was there to do an interview for Home To
Italy, it was as if I was visiting an old friend.


New friends in Venice: Irma and Monica                         On my next trip Home to Italy we shall
have a cooking day with Ada.


AMAZING Norma!  We had tea together on the Queen Mary one afternoon.
I love a woman who will order one of everything!  oh yes we both did.
Norma is a painter and a teacher.  She taught a painting class during the cruise.
Such energy at 90!

Solo dining tables:   On  previous crossings I had never joined a solo table.   On this trip I was admonished to put on my 'friendly face' and join the table the first night to see what it was like. So it was a great pleasure to find myself seated at a table of totally diverse passengers on the east and west bound trip.  

As with any group there were some personality clashes.  Only 3 other passengers arrived the first night and two of them did NOT return the second night!  Was it something I said?  

But Holland America replaced the empty seats with a great group of travelers:  Norma (see above) the ship's painting instructor for several weeks, Horst who I did not realize spoke English and Ralph a well know musician who was performing during the sail.

My return trip was even more interesting but my new travel friends did not want to be written about.
You Never know who you will meet when traveling..

My newest TF who is a traveler full time!  
He promised to send me a list of diners in NJ I can explore.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

'Solo Travel is on the Rise' according to a Travel Weekly article

Solo travel on the rise.............


This is not news to dedicated solo travelers.  


It is exciting to see solo travel given the coverage it deserves!

Will the cruise lines stop charging solo travelers up to double the cost of other travelers?  (Yes, I know about the cabins for one)  
Will hotels start offering prices for one traveler?  (available in many European hotels)
and my least favorite ad is 2 for 1 pricing......
Airlines, buses, trains or ferries do not charge more for one person.
This should be a wake up call for the travel industry, you are ignoring an untapped market. 
Read the article by Leanora Collett for Travel Weekly.*


by Leanora Collett for Travel  Weekly

"Roy Morgan Research has released statistics that indicate more travelers are choosing to travel alone. Over the past decade there has been an increase from 12% - 14% travelers are seeking new adventures and choosing to travel less with their families and go solo instead.
With the increase in solo travelers, destinations will be looking for new ways to attract the new market.
There has also been a marked decrease in the number of families going overseas with their children. Only 26% of people travelled as part of a family, down from 29% a decade ago. The lack of the traditional family structure could be a reason behind the decline.
The decline in family holidays is having an effect on major theme parks and family destinations, such as the Gold Coast, with fewer families making the trip.
Research showed individuals travelling with other relatives slightly increased from 12%-13%. Statistics remained consistent for couples, those travelling with friends, school groups and tour participants."
      *  Travel Weekly is the market-leading magazine for the Australian travel industry, featuring news and analysis, career advice, training and product information, competitions and giveaways, new technology and online development, cruising, and leisure and business travel.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Learning Italian while Traveling Solo in Italy

If you grew up in an Italian American family that spoke Italian, you were fortunate.  Many of us lived in a family that fought to become American and the Italian language was never spoken to the children.
Often we would hear adults in the kitchen punctuating their speech with words I would not translate until I was living in Italy during college.
Have you tried  cds, classes, Rosetta stone or even Skype ‘live’ lessons to become fluent in Italian?  Now you can immerse yourself in Italian life while traveling Home to Italy and learn Italian.
There are thousands of schools listed on any on line search.  Most towns and cities in Italy offer an institute of Lingue.   On my yearly trips Home to Italy I try to take a short course if I am staying in one location longer than a week.   Let me share a few different experiences you can have in Italia.
sorrento (1)
The staff and students face away from the windows because the view is too distracting!

Sorrento, Italy, Sant’ Anna Institute
While spending several  months in Sorrento I joined the program for adults at Sant' Anna Institute.   Adult students from all over the world and at all levels of proficiency, attended  classes and participated in a variety of cultural activities offered.
Contact Olga Stinga for details on your Learn venture
For information on your learn adventure, 

Individual or group lessons are available.  In addition to their 50+ program this year they offered a December program including a home stay with a host family….a total immersion during Christmas.
Full day language tours are offered.  Cultural events offered to students include  local art shows, concerts, visits to Pompeii, Herculaneum,Naples the Amalfi coast, Capri, and  cooking lessons.  Olga tells me they just added a voice course with a local soprano. Share your interest with Olga and SASI should be able to find an Italian experience for you.

Puglia, Italia.  PARLIAMO ITALIANO in Puglia

Enjoy a one or two week Italian Language Immersion in Puglia for Italian language lovers.  Participants will combine not only Italian lessons but also the exploration of Puglia:  one week in the  South, the Salento, one week in the Trulli area in the North.

In addition to conversation lessons by two local instructors, students will enjoy a special activity caffè con amici”. organized conversations with local Italians to improve vocabulary and spontaneous speech.
  photo credit:

All levels of Italian language are welcome, as well as students of any age.  Accommodations are in self catering flats.  Contact for dates and cost.


Venice:  Learn Italian with a weekend homestay  
The perfect combination of travel treats:  cooking lessons, language classes while living with a family 

clip_image002   Experience life with a Venician family, learn Italian and take a cooking lesson, the perfect immersion!

I met Monica Cesarato last November after several months of online chats. Nothing prepared me for the ‘dynamo’ who took me through the streets and alleys of Venice on a ‘quick tour’ of a Venice, to neighborhoods I had never visited.

clip_image004Monica seemed to know every shop and building, sharing anecdotal history at every step. You are not a tourist when you see a town or city with a local.

This homestay includes all meals in her family home, 12 hours of Italian language lessons, a 3 hours cooking course in a real Italian kitchen and a 3 hour Tour of Venice.

Spend a weekend as an Italian not a tourist! Your stay with Monica will be a memory that will remain. A trained teacher and an accomplished cook as well as a guide for your visits to Venice, contact her at

Learning while traveling is the perfect activity for a solo traveler.   Instant new friends when you join a group for language lessons, a cooking class or a tour of the hidden treasure.   

Saturday, January 11, 2014


The Herald Sun just posted this on line:
SOLO travellers who book by February 28 with Cruiseco can enjoy savings on a selection of reduced or no single supplement fares on select twin cabins and suites with Fred Olsen Cruise Line. For example, sail on the 880-guest Boudicca on a 14-night Southampton return voyage "In search of the Northern Lights" via Alesund, Tromso, Alta, Bodo and Bergen departing March 8, single fares start from $2958. Or cruise the Norwegian fjords aboard Balmoral from Southampton return for 11 nights departing May 6. Single fares start from $2878. On-board gratuities are additional and payable on board.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Does your Stuff keep you from traveling?

Before I started longer term travel 2+ years ago, I decided to sell my house and stuff so I could travel far and for more than the meager 1 or 2 weeks that I considered sufficient for a 'vacation'.

Back at the  property for a few months, this is the 3rd time I am sorting, donating and selling some of the tings that I can never take with me or afford to store.  

How VERY interesting to find the items I could never give away 2 years ago are now not worth the effort to sell! 

What do you do with a full dark room set up?  A pottery wheel?  Ski boots?  
Well every time I sort the boxes they become less important.  I am now down from perhaps 75 storage boxes to 25 and counting!  

But the bigger question is:  Has the financial need to sell my house so I can travel more, really been a crutch for WHY I don't travel more……  just did 14 international weeks this year along with the 8 to 10 domestic weeks so I am much closer to my goal.

Friday, January 3, 2014

No solo supplement, see article from the web

I just read on line that Uniworld is offering some sailing on river cruises WITHOUT a solo supplement....

Way to go Uniworld!

read this and other articles at
link is above