If you’re contemplating a trip on your own, you might be in good company. Both men and women are traveling alone more, according to recent travel industry surveys and many resorts within easy driving distance of Denver are creating opportunities for these solo travelers.
“We’ve really seen the all-inclusive wilderness properties be a big hit for solo travelers, particularly those that are newer to the outdoors,” said Krista Heinicke, director of public relations at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. “You have the comfort of Broadmoor lodging and its pampering staff, but can step outside of your comfort zone with new activities like horseback riding, fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and more with this built-in communal nature to the experience so you can engage with others if you desire — or stay solo with a book on the porch.”
The growth in solo travel has been attributed to a post-pandemic desire to get out and see the world without waiting for the perfect mate to hit the road. Some experts saw the trend start before 2020, but either way it continues to increase for both men and women — though primarily women.
MMGY Global, an integrated marketing company that specializes in travel, stated in 2022 that, “In the growing trend of solo travel, 1 in 4 Americans plans to take a trip alone in the next six months.”
There are many Facebook groups for women solo travelers to share tips, some divided by age or the chance to join in planned group travel together. There are also travel planners who specialize in creating solo travel itineraries for women who are concerned about the safety of traveling alone in certain parts of the world.
While tour groups are one way to get out and explore in the comfort and safety of a group, resorts like the Broadmoor are offering more and more opportunities for individuals that don’t have to be solitary for the entire trip.
This summer in northern New Mexico, the Taos Ski Valley’s Blake Hotel began their new Elevated Experiences with three themes: Adventure, culture or wellness. Guests select their preferred theme, complete with curated activities with up to 12 other people, for a three-day-and-night stay.
“Every guest, whether in a group or solo, receives pre-trip concierge communications to customize an itinerary that’s perfect for each traveler’s needs and desires,” said Aaron Gulley, program developer of The Blake Elevated Experiences. “These weekends are extremely inviting for solo travelers since the group dynamics of travelers bonding over activities together makes for a welcoming and social environment.”
For example, Elevated Experiences guests are invited to select between their choice of massages and facials during the Wellness Experience ahead of time.
During my own time at The Blake, I was solo for the first day and night before my husband arrived, and this gave me a chance to get to know the two other couples also participating in the Wellness Experience. We discovered that we all wanted a little Adventure Experience mixed in to our weekend, so we added a hike together during what would have been separate down time on our own. During dinner each evening, we had a chance to get to know one another and discuss our reflections on the day’s activities — which sometimes meant changing up our plan as we collectively realized we’d rather hike than repeat meditation.
I had the option to join our Wellness Experience group for dinner and breakfast, and we shared picnic lunches during a wilderness walk outing and after a scenic chairlift ride up the ski mountain. In other words, there were choices to carve out more alone time for myself or stick with the group. One day, I decided to hustle back from a group hike so I could catch some of the Taos School of Music’s summer school performances on my own. The others took this opportunity to do what they preferred at this time.
Vista Verde Guest Ranch in Clark, just outside of Steamboat Springs, calls out solo travelers on their website to let them know how they will accommodate them.
“All of our activities are set up so nothing is private and it’s all semi-personalized,” said Devyn Cordes, sales and marketing director for Vista Verde. “We ask our guests what they want to do and then, for a few more specifics to properly group them. For example, let’s say that a guest wants to hike. We then ask them, ‘What kind of a hike? Something rigorous, scenic, moderate?’ From here we group guests together based of similar goals. So, singles are mixed in with couples.”
Vista Verde Guest Ranch only allows six people per guide or wrangler during activities.
“This is a fantastic place to travel as a solo traveler because it’s so social and dining and activities are not private,” Cordes added.
Gulley at The Blake in Taos Ski Valley noted that they have seen couples, siblings and solo travelers so far. “The Blake Elevated Experiences are a great option for singles because the group dynamic of each channel makes the weekend social and convivial even for those traveling on their own,” he said.
With more people getting inspired to travel — in part thanks to social media and also the ability to work remotely — the numbers will likely be growing for these types of integrated solo experiences. The travel search engine Kayak reported that searches for single traveler flights are up 36% in 2023 over 2022 and Skyscanner, a similar site to Kayak, reported that 54% of travelers were considered a solo trip in 2023.
At the Broadmoor, guests can choose to stay solo or opt in for some of the group time. Heinicke hosts the resort’s annual women’s fly-fishing weekend and observes how the solo travelers in the mix join in the conversation and merriment, while also getting some solitude on the water.
“Guests can come together over meals and happy hours, and at Cloud Camp in particular, you have a chance to join for Cooking Club in the kitchen with chef and other guests,” said Heinicke. “You can’t help but come away with some new friends!”
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