“Alone Together” – VACAYA Provides Getaways For Unicorns Who Want To Go Solo

Photos courtesy of VACAYA
Photos courtesy of VACAYA

After thirty-three consecutive hours without rest, he can be forgiven for thinking that he’s hallucinating: like the strands of a wind-blown cobweb, twinkles seem to billow from below, sticking to his barely-focused eyes which are rimmed with red lightning–

–but no, it’s not a mirage, not his childhood home of Little Falls, Minnesota, vandalized by the blurry tints and shades of sleep deprivation…it’s Paris, really Paris, the French one.  The lights of the City of Lights glimmer and glisten four thousand feet below him, even as the Eiffel Tower looms in front of him.  Circling the Iron Lady, he spots his objective, Le Bourget Aerodrome, overrun by 150,000 wild and waving well-wishers.  Here, a safe landing will translate in French, English, and every other language to lifelong fame.  “Lucky Lindy,” they’ll call him, if he actually pulls this off, as if luck has anything to do with it.  

He pulls back on the throttle, and the Spirit of Saint Louis sighs, tilts.  The world’s first one-man, trans-Atlantic flight is about to come to a successful and spectacular end…  

Nearly ten decades ago, solo travel was difficult.  Like really, really difficult—arduous and noteworthy, one might even say, as lived out by the Lake State’s own Charles Lindbergh…but well into the 21st Century, solo travel has become less so; so less so that it’s turned into a bona fide trend among those who recreate enough to create trends.  One deliverer of such recreations and such trends is VACAYA, a large-scale, all-inclusive company that, according to its own website, “charters entire ships and resorts so LGBT+ travelers and their straight ally friends have the freedom to express their individuality, make personal connections, celebrate life, or simply relax…together.” 

“Solo and single travelers make up about twenty percent of our guests and they certainly add to the fun and excitement of each of VACAYA’s vacations,” reports VACAYA co-founder Randle Roper.  “Most are members of our Solo Travelers Playground on Facebook, which has become a great hub for pre-trip connections with others and also an invaluable resource for finding roommates for VACAYA’s various vacation events.” 

Causes for sojourning alone vary as much as light once it’s shone through a prism.  As another VACAYA co-founder, Patrick Gunn, observes, “There are many reasons someone might be traveling with VACAYA alone. It could be as simple as that none of their friends were available to join them, or it could be because they want a room all to themselves so they have a dedicated space to host others.”

Whatever the solo traveler’s itch, there is a complimentary scratch.  Notes Roper, “On each of VACAYA’s trips, our solo and single travelers are presented with specifically-targeted activities designed to connect them with other solo and single travelers.”  

The travel industry was one hit hard by the (still-lingering) COVID-19 pandemic, and some lone adventurers are determined to make up for time lost to global quarantine, a form of location exchange granted the somewhat-unsettling name Revenge Travel.  “Obviously people hated being locked down and having their ability to travel cut off,” Gunn says.  “So now that they can get out there again, they’re booking trips at a feverish pitch.”

The notion of vengeance, happily, ends once the trip is booked.  Roper elaborates: “At VACAYA, we’ve worked tirelessly to make each of our vacations feel as ‘normal’ as possible, but that doesn’t change the fact that behind the scenes, nothing is normal.” 

The pandemic has dispatched a revenge of its own, alas.  “Hospitality labor shortages and supply line challenges continue to make the world of post-pandemic travel challenging,” Gunn admits.  “VACAYA guests recognize that disconnect, though, and have shown great appreciation for our team’s efforts to at least make it feel more normal.”

Another trend among single globe trotters is mitigating the imprint their trottings leave on said globe.  “That’s always top of mind with our guests and internally with our team,” Roper insists, revealing the emerging eco-friendly vacation trend.  “That’s why VACAYA has made concerted efforts to only partner with companies that are pushing the bounds of what’s currently possible in the realm of sustainability.”

Turning carbon footprints into carbon tiptoes is work that begins at home.  “For our day-to-day business and for our events, we’ve also moved to almost-entirely digital platforms, avoiding unnecessary printing–and paper waste–everywhere we can,” Gunn proclaims.  “In addition, our team’s uniforms are made from recycled water bottles that have been taken directly out of our world’s oceans. On average for any given VACAYA trip, our uniforms represent over 5,000 water bottles that have been recycled and repurposed.”

With all of these trends considered, solo travel might well, as it did with the bleary-eyed son of the North Star State a century ago, lead to multiple friendships that stand the test of time.  “No matter whether you travel with VACAYA on your own or with a big group of friends, if you’re open to all we lay before you, you’re guaranteed to expand your friend circle and build relationships that have the potential to last a lifetime,” Roper assures.  “Those relationships are absolute gifts to those ready to receive them.”

For more information on VACAYA, log on to https://www.myvacaya.com/

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