Want to Travel Independently, While Still Making Friends? These Group Experiences Rock!
Yesterday, I had a conversation with a new friend who, at the age of 70, has found herself single again. She is now terrified that she won’t have the courage to do the things that she wanted to do while she was attached… most importantly, travel!
We talked about solo travel and our conversation led to an experience I had a few years ago with Road Scholar. It was my first group travel adventure and it changed the way I looked at guided experiences.
My First Group Travel Adventure with Road Scholar Surprised Me
After an overnight train trip from Zurich, I arrived alone. But, I immediately joined a group of like minded travellers.
Over 9 days, I became part of a group of 16. I discovered friendships and met wonderful explorers. All the while, I felt like I had the freedom to do the things that I wanted to do on my own.
If you are a woman who has always travelled solo – or you find yourself single for the first time in years – I highly encourage you to give one of Road Scholar’s Independent City Discovery travel adventures a shot. They give you the freedom to explore, while wrapping you in a protective blanket that ensures a smooth and comfortable trip.
What is a Road Scholar Independent City Discovery?
Road Scholar has been offering hundreds of educational travel adventures worldwide for more than 40 years!
They have programs in signature cities and national parks that offer walking, hiking and multi-generational opportunities.
However, the Road Scholar Independent City Discoveries collection is one that most appeals to me.
These learning adventures are offered in cities around the world. They combine unique group activities with opportunities for independent discovery.
Each day, after breakfast, the group spends some time with a Road Scholar expert who knows the city well. Then, you venture out by bus to visit the places that bring to life the historical and cultural information discussed.
Lunch is usually on your own, or as happened with me in Prague, with a new friend or two.
The afternoons are free for your own independent exploring. Most Independent City Discoveries include lectures, self-guided excursions and passes for public transit and museums.
As a side note, these programs are very affordable!
Discovering Magic Places
As someone who enjoys solo travel, I can tell you that the afternoons alone can be simply magical. Once you feel confident about the city, you can start wandering on your own.
With the security of knowing that your group is back at the hotel, you can be a little brave. For example, on my trip to Prague, I headed towards Charles Bridge, which is a busy tourist spot. Along the way, I took a wrong turn and ended up at the spectacular Vrtbovska Garden.
I walked around the spectacular manicured garden and fell in love with the terraces that took me all the way up to the most spectacular panoramic view of the city.
I even got caught up in a wedding photo shoot and made friends with the beautiful couple when I captured a gorgeous picture of the bride.
With an Independent City Discovery Program, You Still Have Freedom
With this type of program, you can stay independent. At the same time, if you want to make friends, this is totally possible.
One of my special connections on the trip to Prague was Penny, a woman in her 80s who was traveling with her children. She had been on over 40 Road Scholar trips and was the most wonderful curious, fearless explorer.
What Cities are Featured?
Road Scholar has 19 different Independent Programs. Several are in depth learning immersions lasting 45 days. Others offer shorter, 9-day, experiences.
Here are a few examples of the shorter programs.
This experience allows you to explore beautiful Paris and celebrate its wonderful food, culture, museums, architecture and open air markets. Choose either expert led walks or independent excursions.
On this trip, you can explore French Canadian heritage in the urban UNESCO setting of Québec City.
Enjoy the stunning architecture of the Old Town to the historical countryside and Laurentian Mountains. Visit the fabulous parks and islands. Explore the great cuisine, language, architecture and culture.
Explore the heart of Eastern Europe in the stunning medieval city of Prague. Trust me when I say that its past holds many secrets!
From ancient monuments, art and music to the ideas and innovations that came from the fall of communism, it is a city you won’t forget.
Discover Amsterdam, which was once home to great artists like Rembrandt and Van Gogh. It is often called the “Venice of the North” because it is a network of 90 islands linked by canals and over 400 bridges.
It is a stunning city with beautiful 17th century architecture. It is highly recommended for people who love art!
Florence, the city that inspired Leonardo da Vinci, Dante Allegheny or Michelangelo, is a jewel. It expresses the Italian passion for beauty, cuisine, architecture and design.
Its holy spaces and cathedrals, the Uffizi Gallery or Medici Chapels, are simply breath-taking!
For me, these 9-day Independent City Discovery Programs are a perfect blend of independent and group travel. They are simply perfect for women in our Sixty and Me community.
Have you ever been on a group travel experience? Which one? Have you ever heard of Road Scholar? Would you be interested in taking one of their trips? Please join the conversation!