Please share this with your friends; you might be doing them a great favor. www.thewomenstravelgroup.com  has written a Three Act Play for a First Solo Trip for Widows and Others who lost a partner.

Act One

Not interested, worried about finances, unable to concentrate on one owns needs. Want to get away from friends, who look with care and underlying pity. Need a vacation from paperwork and loneliness. Need companions to travel with, who are ‘companions to travel with’ not just family or a friend doing you a favor. Need someone to  assure a well planned vacation where there is minimal ‘third wheel’ experience. Start with administrative stuff as a sort of a warm up exercise.

Make travel related lists and check off each item when done,  like Frequent Flyer accounts  which might be in your partner’s name and or email. Reassigning all travel information is an administrative job to be done bit by bit, as you think of new accounts, ff numbers, credit card advantages, even  luggage tags.  Check finances and make sure you can afford the trip and any extras like the gift you should definitely buy for yourself.

Act Two

Make a decision to take a vacation, even if you are scared. Find a group you trust.  A group of all women assures  friendliness and self help, not offered by mixed travel groups. Remind yourself of college where you sat around for hours talking with other women!  Find a place you dreamed of, ideally  not visited with your partner. Choose a place that is intriguing, a location that makes you think about other than loss: India? Australia? South America?  Places that take you away from your new life situation. Take a single room or ask for a share if you have concerns about being alone in a hotel. Ask every and all questions; they are all answerable . If you need to cry while asking, say you will call back with a written list. Make that list and review it; you might find you can answer a lot yourself. Begin to muster a new confidence in yourself.

Act Three

Prepare for your trip, well in advance. For the first trip solo, you are probably less focused and less organized than for the second. In Act One we discussed changing accounts and information. Urgent are the family contact in your passport,  or embedded in airline accounts and the requested way to be notified about changes in your airline schedule. The notification for cancellations and delays might be to your partner’s cell phonevia texting or  in his/her email. Hotel upgrade programs like Hilton Honours might still be in his/her name. There is no more awful feeling than asking for the upgrade and being told it is not in your name but in the name of a lost one.

The Standing Ovation

You go on your first solo trip. After the first day and probably first sleepless night, you find yourself enjoying the taste of a fresh croissant at breakfast. At lunch you laugh. During the day you swoon at the majestic Andes or mysterious Taj Mahal or just at a beautiful child on the roadside. You begin to gain confidence, worry less about treating yourself to a glass of wine solo at the hotel bar. You relax at the hotel spa getting the massage you never had before. On your return flight home, your mind is full of stories you want to share with friends, not because you are in mourning but because you had an adventure. Congratulations. The Women’s Travel Group gives you a Standing Ovation!!!

You can do it, and we want to help. Read about us at www.thewomenstravelgroup.com and talk to us at Phyllis@thewomenstravelgroup.com or 646 309 5607.