The cover story about solo travellers (Traveller, April 12) was full of great suggestions. I wanted, however, to reiterate a point made in The Tripologist a few weeks back. It may help some solo travellers, especially women, to be reminded that small group tours are often a perfect way to travel solo. Those such as Intrepid offer tours with groups consisting of as few as nine people; usually a solo female traveller or two among them If you are worried about having to share a room with a stranger, there's always the singles supplement - money well spent in the lottery of snorers, chronic late-night phone users, insomniacs and people with irritable bowels and moods. Being a solo traveller in such a small group tour makes for exciting and adventurous travel without the danger and uncertainty.
Bless you, Ute Junker for presenting so many good tips about travelling alone. Having poured through pages of ads for glorious-sounding trips for "x" amount of dollars per person, followed by those words - "twin share", it was refreshing to read about the many positive things for doing it solo. As a single female wannabe adventurer of a certain age, I appreciated the way Junker succinctly covered many of the more daunting aspects of seeing the world alone: selecting destinations, planning, potential hassles and the big one, dining alone. It has inspired me to rethink my future travel plans with renewed optimism.
LETTER OF THE WEEK
Tatyana Leonov's article on traditional Taiwanese dishes, (Traveller, April 12) gave me a tantalising reason to return to Taiwan. Taiwan is a well-kept secret and one I would recommend for the independent traveller. In Taiwan all signs and announcements are in English. It's also very clean, easily navigable by public transport and offers a wide range of activities for all ages. Taiwanese are polite, friendly and helpful, the shopping is great and the museums are world class though someone should visit to write about its wonderful scenery.
I was stunned to read in Luxe Nomad (Traveller, April 12-13) that Lee Tulloch did not ask Catherine Deneuve to stop "chain smoking" during a meal on the launch of SS Deneuve. Tulloch gets no support from this reader regardless of her being a guest of Uniworld. It was a surprise to hear that Deneuve seemed oblivious to other passengers' rights. Luxe Nomad is normally a well-presented and lively column but this was an exception.
Although often advised by travel agents of the potential problems associated with the use of free credit card travel insurance, I'm delighted to report such concerns are not always accurate. Three weeks before our expensive tour of South America my husband suffered a stroke which required the cancellation of our booking. The tour operator, Bunnik, repaid 25 per cent of the deposit and Zurich, the underwriters for our Commonwealth Gold MasterCard, compensated us for the remaining 75 per cent, apart from a $250 excess.