I like the itinerary for this tour and it doesn't seem to be duplicated by any of the standard tours. I was wondering if anyone has gone on this tour solo (or been on this tour with solo travelers) and wondered what the experience is like. I like the outdoor-oriented aspect of the tour, but at the same time have some misgivings about doing lengthy hikes alone.
I understand your misgivings about lengthy hikes alone. The Garmin inreach mini is what I bought my son who is often a solo hiker. It has emergency notifications with built in GPS and the ability to message via satellite. It might help give you that extra safety factor.
I’ve only ever done the regular RS tours as a solo traveler so I don’t have direct experience for your question. I do know that if you put it out there to the group you would love some hiking companions, you might get takers and you might not. I think it will depend on the make up of your specific group.
We did this tour a few years ago. While there were no solo travelers, many of us hiked together. In the Dolomites there were about 8-10 of us that did the same hike, and stopped to have lunch together in an Alpine hut. At other locations, we just hiked with the group of 4 that travelled together, but I think it would be easy to figure out what others are doing, and go hiking with others.
I think it’s a good possibility that some of your tour mates might want to hike with you. It’s also quite possible that you would be able to find organized hikes outside of your tour group.
Impressed you put the ® in the title!
I did the My Way Alpine solo and did not know anyone on the tour prior to arrival. I have done 4 Rick Steve's tours and this one was my absolute favorite. I had the same concern you mention but it was never an issue. We had a great group. I did several hikes and was never alone. Each morning people would comment on what their plan was for the day. I find Rick Steve travelers very inclusive. There was always at least one if not several invitations to join others on their daily adventure. I made several friends and enjoyed every day. I will say you have to be willing to speak up and socialize a bit. I am typically introverted but made myself at breakfast sit with different people and strike up conversation. The tour is amazing for all the places we stayed and opportunities for outdoor activities. Feel free to pm with an questions. I think you would love it.
I did this tour solo. I think this was the most friendly of any of the RS groups I have been with - 10 tours so far. Maybe because tour members knew there would be decisions not made by a guide, we all ended up reaching out to each other. I always had someone to eat with and spend time with, if I wanted. I was also able to go off on my own if I wished. Note, I did not take lengthy hikes on my own, walks, yes, and mostly walks with other tour members. I did take one lonely ramble and realized all of a sudden that there was no one I knew around and few people altogether. And there was a gravelly path, and I had no walking sticks. I retreated.
So I like the suggestion of the Garmin another poster offered.
This is a tour I am considering repeating.
this is the blog of someone who did it solo
We did this tour last month. There were 5 single travelers in our group and they mostly always hiked with someone else. I was part of a couple, and we often hiked with others, too. It was very easy to do. Sometimes people planned ahead, and sometimes people decided to hike together at breakfast, and a couple times we would run into members of the group on the way to a hike and just end up going together. It was a very friendly welcoming group.
I highly recommend the tour.
The only place there was hiking that was uncomfortable alone was the day in the Alpine meadows. One solo woman who was an experienced hiker went off on the her own. Other experienced hikers generally were couples but everyone was very inclusive so if you are experienced and want to do a more strenuous/challenging hike, you will probably be able to join others. For those of us who are the hike-in-the woods types, there were 2 or 3 small groups that started out together. The walk to the first hut was fine ( joined 3 others), there we met up with about a dozen more from the tour. Some new groups were formed depending on which hike they wanted from there - some easier than others. I began with the easy-hike folks, but I was too slow (just didn't get into condition ahead of time) and let them go on without me. I took the paths of least resistance and had no problems.
My tour only spent 2 nights in Lauterbrunnen (RS changed the tour 2-3 years later). The hiking was in the valley or cable car to Gimmelwald or Murren and hike between them. I don't think there's anything to worry about being solo. The mountains were completely fogged in while we were there so I don't know anything about mountain hikes.
In Chamonix, the really experienced hikers did mountain hiking. Most of us just enjoyed the views and the sights - cog train, ice cave (many, many stairs). Two middle-aged women (one with bum knee who didn't hike at all) went kitesurfing. If I'd only known in advance . . .
I was on this tour this past August, as a solo traveler, and I concur with the other posters. Everyone is so welcoming and I was able to join various groups for hikes. Some times I decided to just to do things by myself. It’s totally flexible.
I went solo in 2019 and ventured off by myself every day and it was easily do-able. I imagine my travel-mates would have welcomed me along on their daily itinerary had I asked, but I had my own agenda and timeframe (out early each day, no breakfast).
john, This is an amazingly beautiful tour. I traveled solo and loved walking at my own pace. Although there is no formal tour guide for My Way tours, the guide is on the bus and in the lobby in the morning. His main task was to help us figure out which trails were open, how to get there, and suggest hiking according to our abilities. Most of us took the exact same hiking trail each day and so would run into one another. We were mostly easy-moderate hikers who took popular trails. The only time i felt I got in over my head was Swiss Alps. It was very foggy and I had to guess which way to turn - the trails are not clearly marked at all. Grab a tour mate for that part. Also, you might write down your hiking plans for the day to leave with the guide in case of emergency. Overall, It's a magical experience. I loved it.