Asking for a friend, any Travel Forum members have experience taking the Village Italy tour as a solo traveler? Interested in knowing your opinions as to the comfort of your accommodations, whether any other solo travelers were in the group, sense of ease dining and utilizing your free time on your own on this particular itinerary. Thanks in advance for the input!
I did not take Village Italy, but if the RS tour I took as a solo is typical, there shouldn't be any problem. My rooms were fine (I paid for the single supplement), there were 2-3 other solo travelers, I was at ease with my free time. At first I faced a challenge with dining on my own. I do this just fine at home, but I found I was a little initimidated overseas for some reason. I learned to just speak up and let people know that I would like to join others for dinner. Once I took the initiative, there were no problems and I did feel far more comfortable by end of the tour. I took a solo trip last April and didn't feel uncomfortable at all eating by myself in restaurants.
Probably the only "downer" depended on how the tables were set up for the group dinner. If they were all in tables of 4, it could feel a little awkward. If there were some that were a different number or one big table, it seemed to be a little bit more comfortable for me.
The groups on RS tours have a reputation for being inclusive and friendly. I can't imagine that the Village Italy tour would be anything different. I encourage your friend to give it a try. Your friend will never know if he/she likes this way of travel without trying it. (I always laugh at a poster on this forum who talks about how horrible tours are, without ever actually having gone on a tour) Try it! Then he/she will know whether it is a fit or not. That is what I did last summer and I am signed up for another RS tour this summer. I wouldn't want to only take tours, but I think that they can be a great travel option, especially for solo travelers.
I took the Village Italy tour solo. There was one other single but most couples were open to having me join them for outings and meals. I normally travelbon my own so spending free time by myself was easy but that was my choice. I was again often invited to joins others.
For me, the hotels were hit or miss. Some good, some not so good. But that is subjective.
I did VI with my brother and SIL but I had the single supplement. To me the rooms were fine. I’ve been on 11RS tours and there are always some hotels that are nicer than others.
There was just one solo on my tour and she spent time with everyone as far as I could tell.
She insisted on taking me to dinner because since I paid for a single supp she also wound up with a private room! Very sweet of her!
I don’t think you can draw any conclusions on numbers of solo travelers on any given tour based on anecdotal reports. Tell your friend to go and have a great time no matter who else is on the tour! This is a wonderful tour...but so were all the others!
We aren’t solo travelers, but when we did this tour there were two women who were. They had each paid the single supplement by choice. At our last night dinner they each confessed that as neither had done a RS tour before, they feared that we would all be decrepit, regardless of age. Nothing could be further from the truth. Tour members are naturally people who are open to new experiences and meeting new people. You start the first evening with something in common- your presence! You will be welcomed to join everyone and as you have moments here and there you will discover more interests in common. We remain in touch with a solo traveler from our Prague tour. We have done three tours and we also travel abroad independently.
The beauty of the tours, and this one specifically, is that there is plenty to do. When free time happens members are already assembled after an organized activity. Just stand near a friendly face and ask if you can join, IF they haven’t already included you which is far more likely. No one will say no, I promise. I expect that your friend is female. We can always find something to talk about.
The hotels vary from year to year and probably tour to tour during a year. We have never experienced something beneath us. A few very thin pillows convinced me to purchase inflatables that we put into the cases with the room pillows. Otherwise, minimum grade of Satisfactory.
Last positive, RS tours were recommended to us by hubby’s single friend (like an additional sister) from high school !
I did this tour solo in 2012 and had a great time. I am happy traveling independently but also enjoy the group times such as dinner, happy hours and other group gatherings. Accommodations on this tour were good to excellent. My favorite rooms were in Montone (no longer on itinerary) and the agriturismo outside Siena. I don't recall having a true single room with just a twin bed, but I may somewhere along the way.
As always, RS provides lots of free time options. In Lucca, for example, I spent an afternoon taking the train to Pisa. (Note: Pisa was very crowded in 2012; I dread to think what it might be like now.) I was never lacking for things to do, either independently or with a small group of tour members.
I really enjoyed the few hours we had in Assisi. That town just feel right. I went back last year on the My Way Italy tour where you actually spend two nights. Well worth it. Other highlights included the mosaics in Ravenna the Pentecost celebration at the cathedral in Orvieto and, of course, the visit to Tenuta la Valette winery outside Orvieto for a wine tasting.
This is really a nice tour with, at least theoretically, a chance to escape the worst of the crowds in Italy.
I just returned from a Village Italy tour. This was my 6th Rick Steve's tour all as a solo traveler purchasing the single supplement each time. My experience on the Village Italy tour was great! The accommodations as a single supplement can differ drastically from the doubles for some reason but on this trip the majority were excellent. On all of the Rick Steve's tours I have taken I have been very comfortable as a single. I have always had the opportunity to join couples or other singles for meals and during free time or to go off on my own. I will say that I am totally comfortable being on my own so maybe that is why it works for me. There have always been singles on the tours. This tour had 2 other singles, one totally on her own and one traveling with her family. No regrets only happy memories for me.