There is much to be said in favour of travelling alone: you get to choose your own destination, transport, accommodation and itinerary; you also get to eat, sleep and drink when you want without having to take into account someone else’s preferences. Hoteliers and travel agents are slowly coming round to the idea that charging a ‘single person supplement’ is not fair and accommodation prices are therefore becoming more reasonable for the single traveller.
Single travellers often find that they meet a wide variety of people throughout their holiday and most manage to strike a nice balance between independent solitude and socialising. Yet many report that the journey is often the most difficult part of travelling alone, since it is feasible that one can end up sitting next to someone who, for various reasons, does not turn out to be an ideal travelling companion. Travelling alone can also make women in particular feel vulnerable since it becomes plainly obvious that they are unaccompanied the moment they sit down in their allocated seat.
Coach travel to the Continent is becoming an increasingly popular means of transport amongst people looking for affordable travel options. Further, on iDBUS coach trips it is possible to pre-book a seat and single travellers might prefer to choose a seat close to the driver to feel secure. The free on board Wi-Fi and plug sockets provided on all iDBUS coach trips also allows a passenger to plug in their headphones and deter unwanted attention or conversation from other travellers if they prefer.
If you are thinking of travelling alone this year, whether for business or pleasure, taking the coach will allay the costs that might still be incurred at your chosen accommodation for staying solo. The tickets are usually cheaper than the cost of travelling by other means: for instance, iDBUS coach trips start from as little as £8 at the moment (ends 30th Jan). You can travel from London with iDBUS to Paris for £16 at the moment or with iDBUS to Lille for just £8. Journeys by iDBUS to Paris and Lille do take longer than the same journeys would take by plane, but at those prices the extra time is well spent – especially when you can sit back and enjoy the ride in peace and quiet if you choose.
Remember that travelling by coach with a reputable company like iDBUS means that you will be only ever picked up or taken to bus stations in central city locations (such as London Victoria Coach Station and Paris Bercy) where staff will be there to meet you and load your bags.
When you arrive in Paris or Lille, travelling alone gives you greater opportunity to interact with the locals – take your French phrase book and try out a few key sentences. Most French people who live or work in the main cities are more than capable of speaking English but they do appreciate it when tourists make an effort to try to speak the local language. This gives your holiday a greater depth of experience and can lead you to discover sights and attractions that are off the beaten track. Stay safe and enjoy your trip!