You might know Indagare as a great online resource for vacation planning—but they also put together trips of like-minded people. While you can click around to check out recommendations for free, membership has its perks (guaranteed upgrades, spa credits, VIP treatment pretty much anywhere you go). There are three levels of memberships: The middle tier offers custom-curated itineraries.
Cox & Kings
Cox & Kings organized the first ever expedition to Mt. Everest back in 1922 (in fact, they've been at this for 255 years...as they arranged trips to India in the 1700s). Within the massive trip catalog you’ll find journeys of the romantic, family-friendly, and adventure varieties, but it’s the Escorted Discover Tours that are designed specifically with solo travelers in mind. Group sizes are kept to a minimum and itineraries offer the ideal down time to activity ratio. Destinations like Reykjavik, Iceland (evenings are spent hunting for the aurora borealis), Mongolia (live like a nomad, sleep in gers, ride camels), and Peru (spend four full days exploring the ancient city of Cuzco) take travelers off the beaten path without sacrificing security.
Right now is the time to see Cuba in its most authentic state, mainly because the recently loosened travel restrictions mean that people will soon flock. Cuba Explorations’ people-to-people tours are designed to offer the most immersive experience with guided sightseeing expeditions to architectural gems, culturally significant sights, and plenty of opportunity for interacting with the locals. Groups are small, so you won't get lost in the crowd, though they'll also curate a private trip to fit your taste.
Mountain Travel Sobek
As the name suggests, Mountain Travel Sobek made its name in trekking adventures. In fact, they pioneered organized travel to the Himalaya mountains some 40-plus years ago. These days, their repertoire has expanded to include kayaking in Alaska, snorkeling in Fiji, and a slew of safari destinations. But climbing excursion are still well-represented with guided hikes to Machu Picchu and Kilimanjaro, among others. Their other claim to fame is the high caliber of people attracted to the unique itineraries—so much so that you’ll be more than happy to spend time with fellow travelers well beyond the scheduled activities.
This discovery-minded travel company prides itself on consistently attracting return travelers and we totally get why: Groups are never more than 16 people deep and are often tag-teamed by a designated trip leader and knowledgeable locals. Along the way, depending on destination, you’ll stay at fine hotels, quaint B&Bs, and luxe tented camps. Itineraries vary from classic Galapagos Island sailing excursions on small yachts, to once-in-a-lifetime tribal expeditions where you’ll get to stay in remote villages, spend quality time with a hunting-and-gathering community, and explore game reserves.
Focusing on safaris in Africa and Asia, this eco-tourism pioneer is the steward of 33 luxury lodges located in some of the most pristine parts of the world. As part of their mission, they preserve the land, protect rural, indigenous cultures, and safeguard the wildlife—and as a guest, you get to participate. Their tented camps in the Masai Mara look particularly stunning.
The idea for Overland was born when a Williams College graduate rode his bike across the US in 1982 and decided it would be great to offer kids a similar experience: meeting a challenge as part of a small team of comrades. In 1984, Overland kicked off with three bike trips in New England. Today, it offers biking, hiking, leadership, language, writing, service, and field studies programs both in the US and internationally, for students in fourth through twelfth grade. Trips typically range from one week to a month, and they vary from community service in the Southwest to hiking in the Pyrenees while learning Spanish.
With sixty-five years of experience, AFS offers international exchange programs in more than forty countries around the world. The summer programs take teens to places like Ireland, China, France, Turkey, Finland, Spain, Argentina, and Italy. Some are home stays; some are dorms; some highlight language, community service, or specialized cultural immersion (i.e., a summer soccer program in Paraguay). AFS also runs semester- and yearlong exchange programs; if interested, you can host an international high school student of your own.
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