If I could, I would travel with someone all the time, but the fact of the matter is sometimes I feel like it is OK just to take off on my own, splurge on a fancy hotel or spa package, and get away from it all. Some may judge my luxury choices and need for alone time, but I don't care.
It's not always easy to find travel companions as a single woman. The older I get, the harder it seems to be to sync my friend's schedules with mine and plan a vacation. Single friends have to coordinate vacation time at work, and if you work for the same employer, that can be even more challenging. Don't even get me started on my friends with boyfriends and spouses, and if they have kids, well, forget about it. Even if I managed to find that Mr. Right to whisk me away on vacations, will his schedule work with my travel life?
My life as a travel writer is not a nonstop vacation as people assume it is. Press trips are hectic and full of schedules, and there is often little or no down time to relax. I take pictures of magnificent pools, lavish hotel rooms and restaurant feasts, but sometimes there is one photo-perfect dish for 20 writers and I have a paper cup sample with a plastic fork. Therefore, when I do get to take a vacation, I do not feel guilty about splurging on something great.
When you can't find someone to splurge with you, then spending the day at a local spa is an excellent way to get away. In fact, a few hours getting an exotic spa treatment at Shangri-La Toronto's Miraj Hammam Spa is equivalent to a two-hour getaway in Morocco.
Another favorite spot of mine is the Trump Toronto Hotel. For staycations, I visit the Pure Beauty spa where I get a luxury spa treatment, like a bamboo massage or oxygen facial, and then hang out at the hotel pool as a guest. Depending on my spa schedule, I grab lunch at the America restaurant down the hall, and by the end of the day, I feel like I stayed at the hotel for a day.
Mini luxury getaway
Traveling alone can be expensive even when choosing vacations on a budget, with single supplements and having to pay for the cost of a hotel room while budgeting can be difficult. I have learned that luxury vacations are possible if you book smarter.
Even 5-star resorts have deals and best times to book
When I am traveling alone, an added perk I get is to choose the dates I want to get away. Booking mid-week can get me a luxury girls' getaway package, which includes spa, dining and other hotel room credits I can enjoy myself verses splitting them with three other girls. That means a better spa treatment or splurging on a steak dinner at their fanciest restaurant.
Every destination has an off-season
Choose vacation spots during their off season and you can get some great deals on luxury hotels and resorts. There are fewer people around, and as a solo traveler looking to get away at times, it feels like I have the entire resort to myself.
Greta Garbo said it best when she said, "Darling, I want to be alone!" I don't think I need to defend my solo luxury vacation choices, and I will continue to splurge and treat myself whenever I can.
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