Travel insights from Andrea Mills, contributor to The Compass

Taking Off: Single Travel

As the famous song goes, "one is the loneliest number." If your client is a single looking for a vacation to book, especially if they are a single parent wanting to get away with their kids, they undoubtedly believe the jingle to be true. But it doesn't have to be! There are many benefits to going it alone – it is a growing trend, in fact. According to a 2018 report by the Adventure Travel Trade Association, solo travel will continue to increase. Whether you have a client choosing to be a single traveler (with or without kids), clients heading to a single destination, or clients taking a single trip for the entire year, here’s how you can help them make the most of it. One is just a number, and sometimes it's the only number you need.

1. Single Parent

The more you can help your single-parent travelers plan ahead, the better. Keep in mind they’ll need to take several documents on their trip: Each child's passport and a notarized letter of consent from the other parent are required, a copy of their birth certificate and a medical consent form are advised (you can download a template of a consent letter online at https://eforms.com/consent/minor-child-travel/). Kids tend to do best when they are busy and have a schedule so look for resorts that offer kids programs and book some excursions in advance.

Steer your client to an all-inclusive resort so they don't need to worry about meals and arrange airport transfers ahead of time – dragging tired kids and luggage through a heckling taxi line to find a ride to your airport is not a great way to kick off a vacation.

TOP SPOT
Reflect Resorts. With gourmet dining, world class spa services and an Explorer's Club to keep the kids busy, everyone will get the vacation they deserve.

2. Single Person

Matt Brelsford, director of operations for Blue Sun Vacations (bluesunvacations.com) has seen an increase in solo vacations, particularly by females. "I am seeing more of a confidence in people traveling by themselves to Mexico and the Caribbean," he says. And in turn, he is finding that resorts are "stepping up their efforts to make foreign, single guests feel not so foreign." An all-inclusive destination is a great choice for a solo trip because there is a mix of structure and flexibility allowing single travelers to meet people or keep to themselves. To position yourself as a vital tool to solot travelers, focus on the message that you’re there to guide them on the experience they want, Brelsford recommends.

TOP SPOT
Any Breathless property. Brelsford says the communal dining tables in particular are a connecting experience and provide an easy opportunity to meet other travelers.

3. Single Destination

A client’s ambitions to tackle ten countries in ten days sounds super exciting and you know their Instagram will look amazing. But in reality? That's a lot of packing and unpacking, checking in and out of hotels and waiting around at airports and train stations. Instead of the pressure to hit the pavement and see the sights, a solo destination offers the opportunity to hang up your clothes, get acquainted with your surroundings and make the most of it. Help your clients choose their destination based on what they’re interested in. Whether it’s fitness and spa treatments, cooking classes or adventure, you can find their perfect-fit resort. Use the hotel's concierge to find out about the local area and hot spots that are worth checking out and pass that info along to your clients.

TOP SPOT
Azul Beach Resorts. Offering everything from private villas to swim-up suites, to your own personal concierge, they can pretty much check off anyone’s entire vacation wish list.

4. Single Vacation

Sometimes life happens in such a way that our vacation days for the year are few and far between. Whatever the reason, one is better than none so you need to do everything you can to help your clients make the most of it. You may feel pressure to craft the more-than-perfect experience if your clients are planning just one vacation, but you can alleviate that stress by taking the time to really qualify them and understand their vacation goals. Be prepared to be flexible and willing to adapt so they feel totally confident and excited for their one big getaway.

TOP SPOT
Be Live Resorts. With destinations like Morocco, Colombia, Portugal and Spain you can scratch an itch for culture while still enjoying the comforts and luxuries of a world-class resort.

Originally appeared in the spring 2020 issue of The Compass Magazine

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