Article written by AAA Travel & Packing Expert: Anne McAlpin

Did you know traveling solo doesn’t mean having to travel alone?  So many people I meet tell me the same thing: They finally have the time and means to travel, but they don’t know anyone who is in the same situation  – or interested in the same destination.  For many, the perfect solution is to travel solo on a guided vacation.

I’ve hosted numerous trips for AAA, including river cruises and land tours, and most of our members were traveling ‘solo’ within the group.  Many have made lasting friendships and continue to travel together to new destinations to this day.

One of the best things about a guided vacation is most of the highlights are included – which means you won’t miss out on something important.  And often, there are many extras included that you might not have done if traveling on your own.

Here are a few examples:

One of my favorite days on our AmaWaterways Christmas Markets Cruise started with cruising the Rhine past majestic castles – where – upon arrival in the beautiful city of Rüdesheim – a variety of excursions awaited us.  Some of our group chose the historic walking tour while the wine connoisseurs where whisked away for wine and apricot brandy tasting in a centuries old wine cellar – and a few of the more adventurous of our group headed out on a guided vineyard hike and bike tour – with time for everyone to also explore the local Christmas market before meeting up for dinner onboard to share our experiences.

Then, to top off the day – AmaWaterways had yet another treat in store: after dinner we were invited ashore for an evening of local music and to enjoy the famous Rüdesheimer coffee – a truly magical day.  And the best part of all?  Sharing experiences and meeting new friends – friends that I’ve continued to travel with over the years.

And some great memories from hosting AAA guided vacations include our Ireland tour where we experienced a once-in-a lifetime stay in a luxury 17th century castle and an Italy adventure with a tour of the famous ruins of Pompeii after which we spent the afternoon enjoying a Neapolitan lunch al fresco… just a few of the benefits of group travel.

Additional benefits to traveling solo on a guided vacation or cruise:

  • Many companies make solo travel easier by eliminating the ‘solo supplement’ often found on guided trips and cruises – providing a private single room without an added cost.
  • It increases your ability to meet new people with the added security of having a guide.
  • Being solo within a group offers flexibility: some days you can go it alone or go with the group… it’s your choice.

With all the changes in travel these days, it goes without saying that having a professional travel agent arrange and manage all your trip details – and traveling with an experienced guide to take care of things along the way – is invaluable. When you’re ready to start planning, our AAA Travel Agents have plenty of ideas to inspire you.  Start your journey at

And – here are a few travel essentials from the AAA Travel Store that make solo travel easier:


After you, keeping your valuables safe should be your number one priority. This hidden neck wallet – designed to be worn undercover – features a main pocket with mesh divider to keep your passport, credit cards and currency organized.

Special lining blocks unauthorized RFID scans, and the tech fabric whisks moisture away from your skin. The fully adjustable lanyard can be customized to fit specific needs – a good choice for easy access if wearing dresses while traveling.

As an alternative to the neck security wallet, some travelers prefer a waist option.  Made with the same high tech fabric – it features two zippered compartments to carry all your valuables. The elastic belt can be extended up to 50in using the easily adjustable buckle.

Staying connected when traveling is always important – especially when traveling solo. A fully charged power bank – like the Z-Gear 5000 – allows you to charge your portable device  anywhere – providing up to 2 full charges for most devices – and even has a built in flashlight.

As a solo traveler it’s important to pack light – and a 21” spinner bag like Travelpro’s Platinum Elite Hardside bag – is a perfect choice.  It’s easy to manage without help and the two zippered divider panels keep contents separated and organized. The built-in TSA approved lock allows secure access for inspection when required.

Available in Navy, Black and Grey

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