17 Cool Summer Patio Ideas for Every Budget

Looking to update your patio this summer? Get inspired with these cute patio ideas. Though not all of them are DIY, you can create your own version or add your own ideas. When it comes to decorating, the sky is the limit. Try one of these cute summer patio ideas and enjoy your hard work in the end.

1. Rustic Simplicity


rustic simplicity
Add some fun color to your garden with this DIY summer patio idea.

2. Luxury Simplicity


Luxury Simplicity
Have some cash? Invest in a luxury furniture for your garden and relax.

3. Cozy Corner


Cozy Corner
Want something unique? Buy some bricks and wood boards and get creative.

4. Vintage Simplicity


Vintage Simplicity
Who said you should splurge on luxury furniture? Tea table, two chairs and some flowers are all you need to decorate your patio this summer.

5. Jaw-Dropping Luxury


Jaw-Dropping Luxury
This is a dream patio (the key word is dream here) that only few can afford.

6. Japanese Style


Japanese Style
Look at this cute table. Love those little chairs too. The great news is that you can create this patio yourself. It is easy.

7. Party Heaven


Party Heaven
Party junkies will love this patio idea for sure.

8. Regal Elegance


Regal Elegance
I would definitely move in this patio for summer, if not for good.

9. Green Heaven


Green heaven
Not everyone is lucky to have a lush garden, after all.

10. Outdoor Living Room


Outdoor Living Room
When you can’t say goodbye to your living room.

11. Lazy Summer


Lazy Summer
When you have a big family, tons of free time and food. Or, when you live alone but crave lots of space.

12. Pinky Beauty


Pinky Beauty
Your girls will love to spend their summertime in your patio.

13. All In One


All In One
Eat and fall asleep without leaving your seat.

14. Blue Obsession


Blue Obsession
A friend of mine made the same patio himself. Who is next?

15. Fireplace Patio


Fireplace Patio
I think fireplace here is like a piece of furniture. Or, someone can’t break up with a fireplace.

16. Modern Patio


Modern Patio
This idea is pretty cute too. Even if you do not have a garden.

17. Single Lady Heaven


Single Lady Heaven
Who said a summer patio should be complicated?

Now that I have seen these cute summer patio ideas, I am going to update my own patio this weekend. I love the Japanese style patio, but not sure I could create it myself. Which of these ideas do you like the most?

New technology could allow multiple vaccines to be delivered in single jab

Multiple injections for vaccinations could become a thing of the past, according to scientists who have developed an approach for delivering many doses of different substances in just one jab.

The technology involves encapsulating drugs or vaccines within tiny particles made of biodegradable polymers. Depending on their makeup, these polymers break down at different points in time, releasing their contents into the body.

Researchers say the approach could allow multiple vaccines to be delivered at once and remove the need for booster jabs. It may also prove handy in treatments for allergies, diabetes and even cancer where multiple injections are needed.

Researchers say it could prove valuable in developing countries, potentially allowing all childhood vaccines and their boosters to be given in one shot.

“One of the main limitations there is access to vaccines and the fact that you have to come back several times in order to get immunity from the pathogen,” said Ana Jaklenec, co-author of the research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “A child or a baby is usually seen once, sometime around the birth time by some sort of healthcare worker.”

Writing in the journal Science, Jaklenec and colleagues describe how they developed the novel technique using biodegradable polymers already approved for use in humans.

The process, they reveal, involves making tiny silicone moulds – rather like ice cube trays – into which the biodegradable polymers are pressed and removed to form an array of box-like structures, each about 400 micrometres across. These are then filled with the required drug or vaccine and allowed to dry.

A lid, made from the same polymer, is then lined up on top of each micro-box and the system is briefly heated to seal it and prevent the drug or vaccine from leaking out.

When injected into the body, the boxes remain sealed until the polymer disintegrates – an event which occurs rapidly, with the timing dependant on the makeup of the polymer itself.

“What’s novel here is that the sharpness of how quickly the drug releases from the particle and the fact there is no leakage at all from the particle until [then],” said Jaklenec.

To test the approach, the team injected mice with microparticles made from one of three different polymers, each filled with a fluorescent substance. Using imaging techniques, the fluorescent substance was seen to be released at about nine days, 20 days or 41 days, depending on the polymer used.

The team also produced microparticles filled with a polio vaccine and exposed them to an antibody test to see if the vaccine’s potency was affected by the heat sealing: no such problem was detected.

Finally, mice were injected with two sets of microparticles made from different polymers – one designed to break down after about one week and the other after about five weeks – with both containing a protein found in egg white. The animals’ immune response was tracked for 16 weeks.

The results reveal that the filled microparticles triggered a response greater than two regular injections of the same dose of protein spaced four weeks apart. Indeed, the response was on a par with that from two regular injections each with twice the dose – probably down to the microparticles themselves boosting the immune response.

The team say the approach could have myriad applications in medicine and beyond. “ You could use pH sensitive materials [or] you can fill with any type of drug, or therapeutic or sensing drug, so we think it has a lot more application than just vaccines,” said Jaklenec.

But, she added, challenges remain, not least that vaccines are normally stored in refrigerators: “[We] have to stabilise all of these vaccines in the body for a long period of time at elevated temperature,” she said.

Andrew Pollard, professor of paediatric infection and immunity at the University of Oxford, was optimistic, although he noted it was early days.

“Technologies which allow slow or timed release of a dose and thus reduce the ‘needle burden’ of an immunisation programme without compromising protection would be welcomed by healthcare workers, parents and their offspring,” he said.

David Goldblatt, professor of vaccinology and immunology at University College London, said the approach was sophisticated.

But, he warned, hurdles remain, noting that it removed the chance to modify vaccines between doses and that there was no way to adjust the timing of vaccine release after injection. “We prefer to avoid immunising when you might have an active viral infection,” he said. “[What happens] if a child has malaria on the day that the [vaccine dose] is released automatically?”

Nevertheless, he said, the approach could prove revolutionary in helping children in developing countries to receive adequate vaccination. “It could be a game changer for that,” he said.

7 Tips on How to Love Again after a Painful Breakup

It can be difficult to love someone again after a painful breakup or divorce, but it’s possible. You might feel fearful, insecure and distrusting, but it’s common and you can overcome everything if you don’t dwell on your past. So, if you’re trying to recover from a breakup, here are a few tips on how to learn to love again.

1. Muse on your past relationship
Although it’s hard and painful to reflect on the memories of your past relationship, it’s really necessary. A failed relationship can teach you many things about yourself and what you want in your next partner. This will help to make your next relationship better. This is also one of the first steps to letting go of your past relationship.

2. Let go of the past
You’ve already reflected on your past relationship, so now it’s time to let go of it. When a relationship ends, many of us are at a standstill because we can’t let go of the past. Just because your past relationship failed doesn’t mean that your new relationship will fail as well. Don’t dwell on your past, forgive your ex or yourself for anything that he or you did, and move on.

3. Love yourself
If your ex initiated the breakup, your ego may be still hurt. One of the most important ways to love again after a painful breakup is to love yourself first. Think about your emotional needs, those wonderful things you enjoy doing in your free time, and your major goals. Take care of yourself, because you really deserve it

4. Go slow
While it takes some time to get over the pain of a failed relationship, your heart will eventually heal and you will want to find your love again. Even if you think you’re ready to enter the dating world, it’s better to go slow. Don’t rush into a relationship, just enjoy the company of your friends, meet new people and make new friends.

5. Enjoy your single life
It’s important to learn how to enjoy a single life. Since you don’t have a partner, you have more time and freedom to do what you want like hang out with friends or family. It’s also the perfect time to do those things you’ve never had enough time to do. Now, you have more freedom to make new friendships. Pursue activities you enjoy, meet people who share your interests and surround yourself with positive things. You know, relationships come and go, but friends will always be there for you.

6. Realize that love is a risk
It’s important for you to realize that love can be a risky ordeal. Sure, you don’t want to get hurt again, so you put walls around your heart to protect it, but do you really want to be single for the rest of your life? It’s frustrating when a relationship fails but once you’re able to get over the pain, you will find your love.

7. Enter a new relationship
Once you start a new relationship, make sure you forget about your old one. Never compare your new boyfriend with your ex. Don’t bring emotional baggage from a past relationship into the current one since it’s a fast way to doom it. Also, don’t assume your partner is going to cheat on you as your ex-boyfriend did. You should trust your significant other.

It’s okay to be hesitant about entering a new relationship again after a painful breakup, but I hope these tips will help you. Do you have any other tips? Share them please.

7 Amazing Benefits of Being Single during the Holiday Season

The holiday season is approaching fast and you are still single and perhaps desperate. Did you know that there are a few wonderful benefits of being single during the holiday season? This year, embrace your independence and stop moping about not having a partner. Sure, you cannot snuggle with your significant other while it is cold or snowing outside and you cannot go out on a romantic date. However, there are many other interesting things you can do when being single during the holidays.

Meet new people, make friends, spend time with your family, and find a completely new perspective of the holidays through your own eyes. Don’t think that you will be single forever, you will definitely find your man soon enough. So if you are single this holiday season, take a look at the list of 7 amazing benefits of being single during the holiday season! I’m also single this month, but I will definitely enjoy the holidays and I hope you will enjoy as well.

1. Family
Spending more time with your family is one of the best benefits of being single during the holiday season. While this is a difficult topic of discussion for many people, family time is actually essential. You might have a complicated relationship with your parents and this holiday season is a perfect time to make it up with them. You can bring a board game and enjoy playing together. If you and your family have never played board games during the holidays, take this holiday season as a great way of beginning an absolutely new tradition. Don’t be afraid to try. You will create happy, priceless and funny memories with your parents and siblings!

2. Me time
The holiday season is not only about spending time with family and friends. What about ‘me time’? It’s a time to spend some quality time with your thoughts, to pamper yourself, and to enjoy a wonderful alone time. Just sit down with lit candles, hot chocolate, holiday treats and movies and enjoy this time! This holiday season, I’m going to enjoy a nice breakfast in my bed without any distractions, disturbances, or worries. I simply want to drink a tasty hot chocolate in bed, eat different Christmas treats, snuggle with my kitten Amanda, and enjoy watching my favorite movies the whole day. I think it’s a good idea!

3. Holiday parties
Well, can you tell me when was the last time you went to a holiday party alone? This year, enjoy the freedom of doing what you want and enjoy going to or hosting a holiday party. It’s a great opportunity to go crazy decorating your house or even dorm room and splurge on tasty food and party favors. Turn your party favors and food into beautiful decorations for the tables. You don’t actually need a boyfriend to make you feel special these holidays. Having fun at holiday parties is one of the most amazing benefits of being single during the holiday season.

4. A flexible schedule
Perhaps you always went to your partner’s family’s house instead of yours and you didn’t like it. This year, you have a flexible schedule and you can do whatever you want to do. Having a flexible schedule is really great because you can go on vacation to a different country without asking anybody. You can go and visit your cousins whom you haven’t seen for a long time without thinking that your boyfriend wouldn’t want to go. This holiday season enjoy your freedom and don’t be desperate!

5. Fun
Call up those best friends you haven’t seen for several months and have lots of fun together! While the holidays can be crazy and stressful, it’s a great idea to call up everybody you know who’s single. Just because you are single doesn’t mean you cannot have fun. Sometimes people find their partners when mingling with other singles.

6. Help
Although it can sound like cliché, using your free time to help people in need is another incredible benefit of being single during the holiday season. You can donate toys to kids or visit the elderly. You can even start a new tradition with your family! Volunteer at the soup kitchen or give clothing to homeless shelters. Helping people in need could be one of the best ways to forget about being single and start focusing on a real meaning of this enchanting holiday season.

7. Save
If you are single during the holiday season you don’t have to buy a gift for your partner! While men are simpler and it seems easier to buy presents for them, it still costs money. This year spend money to make yourself happy. Or, simply help people in need. If you don’t have a partner that means you don’t have to spend time, money and stress on him, but instead, you can spend time, money, and stress on yourself! You can also use the money toward purchasing a nice present for your parent, BFF, or even professor. I’m sure they will like it and appreciate it!

Enjoy these charming holidays, even if you are single. Believe me, it’s possible to have fun without having a partner by your side. Do you know any other benefits of being single during the holiday season? Please share your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!

7 Things You Should Remember When You Can’t Find Your Love

If you can’t find your love, there are several important things you should know. You may not find the perfect man at once, not to mention there are no perfect men at all. Being lonely is not a bad thing, no matter your age. But it doesn’t mean you should sit at home waiting for your love. Go out, meet new people, make new friends and chances are that you will find your man faster than you may think. The following tips can help as well.


1. Better to be alone than with the wrong guy
Many women stay in unhealthy relationships because they are afraid of being alone. However, I believe it’s always better being alone than with the wrong man. I don’t know about you, but I can’t spend my time with the person I don’t like. Or worse, spend the rest of my life with a man I don’t love. If you are single now, keep in mind that it’s better to wait than to be sorry. Enjoy your single life to the fullest and stop worrying about the future.

2. You are single for a reason
Many women spend days and nights at work and home in front of their computers or TV, moaning about being so lonely. If you are single, there is definitely a reason for it. Maybe you need to change your work schedule so that you have more free time in the evenings. If you have free time, consider going to the gym, join a club or take a dance class. I don’t recommend online dating, but if you think it’s for you, give it a try!

3. Stop worrying about what others say
If you are single in your 30s, your family members and coworkers might always want to know whether you date someone or no, and when you are going to get married. It’s probably the toughest questions for singles, but it’s important not to worry about what other people think and say about you. It’s your life so don’t let anybody control your relationships.

4. Your love is closer than you think
Sometimes love is closer than we think. You may look for your dream man everywhere, but it may turn out that he lives just around the corner. Maybe it’s your friend, neighbor or coworker. Think of all the relationships with guys and find out if any of them likes you more than just a friend and if you like any of them. One of the things you should remember when you can’t find your love is that he may be closer than you think.

5. Change yourself
While you don’t have to change yourself to suit a man, it’s okay to change some of your traits. Maybe you should become less selfish or angry. Maybe you should learn how to respect men and build a strong relationship. Maybe you need to improve your communication skills. Consider your drawbacks and try to improve them. It will help you to find your love faster.

6. You are afraid of getting close to a man
You may love dating and meeting new guys, but you may be afraid of getting close to a man you like. You may not realize it, but it keeps you from finding your future husband. Opening yourself up to someone isn’t an easy thing, especially if you are a shy person. But sometimes it’s good to take a risk.

7. You can have kids even in your 40s
Many people say that a woman can’t have children after 30s, but it’s a myth. Yes, it’s better to have kids in your 20s when you have a better health, but no one can tell you that you will never have a child if you don’t get married and pregnant in your 25 or at least 28. If you lead a healthy lifestyle – eat healthy and exercise regularly – you have no reason to worry.

If you are single, you shouldn’t feel unhappy. You will definitely find the right guy, just don’t stop your search. There are so many happy single people that enjoy their life because they know that they won’t be alone forever. Do you worry about being single? What do you do to find your love?

Destiny or Choice? Why It’s Great to Stay Single Until 30

If you are nearing 30 and you are still single, don’t worry, there are a few reasons why it’s absolutely fine to stay single and free throughout your 20s. Even if it’s not your choice, stop worrying about your single status and start enjoying your life as it is. I’m 25 myself, and I have felt the pressure of finding a man and starting my own family. I know how it’s hard to see your friends getting married and having children when you are single, but I also know there are many great benefits of staying single until 30. Here are some of them:


1. Peace of mind
Peace of mind is one of my favorite reasons to stay single until 30. Sure, not all relationships are consumed with problems, but there’s always the bad and the good in any relationship. There might be some disagreements about finances, family values, or living conditions. You have to worry about numerous things and you don’t have time for yourself. Plus, you may experience high levels of stress on a daily basis. When you are single, you know that the only person who could cause problems is you. And when you and your partner will get married after 30, you will have more experience to solve life issues and your marriage might be stronger and happier. Though, my cousin and her husband got married at the age of 22 and they live happily for 10 years now. They both have peace of mind and they rarely fight.

2. Freedom
The most common reason why so many people stay single until 30 is independence and freedom. I love freedom and perhaps this is my major reason why I don’t want to tie the knot now. When you are single, you can make personal decisions, come and go when you want. Even if you are dating someone, you are almost free. You can go out and have a lot of fun without worrying that your spouse is waiting for you now. You can also travel a lot and see the world, you are free and single so be sure to enjoy your freedom.

3. Focus on your career
When you are not married, you can focus on your career and reach most of your career goals until 30. Sometimes a marriage can interfere with the career goals. While it’s great to have someone who can help you pursue your dreams, it’s better to make a career alone.

4. Less responsibilities
You don’t have to worry about cleaning, cooking, and running errands for your spouse. Plus, you don’t have to bear the responsibility of being a good parent. However, you still have to learn to be reliable, responsible, and dependable. The best way to do it when you are single is by volunteering in the community, though there are many other ways such as caring for a family member or taking on a leadership role at work.

5. Pursue your dreams
Many older people always tell me to wait for marriage and kids. Once I asked them why and most of them told me that this can help me avoid a pre-30 and midlife crises. When you will be in your 30s, you will have less regrets since you achieved most of your goals in your 20s. So pursue all your dreams now while you have nothing and no one standing in your way.

6. More personal space
Another reason it’s fine to stay single until 30 is personal space. As a single woman who lives alone, most of the time you’ll wake up and come home to an absolutely empty home. Yes, it’s not so funny, but you’ll have your own bed, your own fridge, and your own TV. The only person who has access to all the things in your house is you. Frankly speaking, it’s not a reason for me to stay single until 30, but I know many women who like to have more personal space and who enjoy having their own little things like a bed or a fridge.

7. Know yourself better
Staying single until 30 gives you more time to get to know yourself better. You won’t be able to love someone if you don’t love yourself. If you are unmarried in your 20s, take this time to learn your purpose in life and things that make you who you’re. I personally look at the 20s as a perfect time for confusion, struggle, and growth. When you have your own family and kids, they can distract you from all those things and you might not have time for knowing yourself better.

The biggest mistake most single women make is thinking that there’s something wrong with them. While there might be a critical reason you are still single, there is nothing wrong with you! You are beautiful, unique, independent, and you will certainly meet your love one day. Do you think it’s good to stay free and single until 30?

7 Simple Ways to Stay More Positive Every Single Day

If you think you lack positivity in your everyday life, here are a few simple ways to stay happier and more positive every single day. Sometimes little things such as listening to uplifting music or speaking to a positive person can make a big difference in your day. Don’t you wish that there was a list of the simple ways to stay positive daily that you can use to make your everyday life brighter and happier? Read on and discover some of the most effective ways to stay positive every single day.


1. Spend time around positive people
Everyone has at least one toxic or negative person in their life, and I’m sure you are no exception. If you can avoid negative people, do so. If you are working towards being more positive on a daily basis, you should spend more time around positive people and those who love you and respect you. You will notice that you become happier and more positive in no time.

2. Focus on positive things
You can always find something positive, even in the worst situation. When I have a hard day and when everything seems dull around me, I just go for a walk, enjoy nature and watch birds. I also like to watch kids playing in the park. They are so positive and they help me stay positive as well. If you are at work and you don’t have an opportunity to go out, take a short break, spend it alone thinking of the good things in your life.

3. Surround yourself with positivity
One of the best and easiest ways to stay more positive every single day is to surround yourself with positivity. Sign up for inspiring or motivational email lists and read them each morning. You can also start your day with listening to happy, inspiring music. If you put yourself in a positive frame of mind in the morning, you will accomplish anything throughout the day.

4. Find what you’re are most passionate about
I have noticed that people are happy and positive when they find their passion and are able to make it reach fruition. While it may take a bit of soul-searching, finding what you’re are most passionate about is one of the most effective ways to be happier every single day.

5. Better yourself
Whether it is emotionally or physically, working on yourself is a great way to become more positive daily. When I think of the most difficult times in my life, the most effective way I have found to pull myself out of them was by improving myself, either emotionally or physically. Start exercising regularly or jazz up your current workout routine, change your diet, or read some useful books. While it sounds weird and even stupid, you’ll see a huge difference, believe it or not.

6. Make your to-do lists
Keep your life in order and reduce your stress levels by making lists. It’s less stressful when you keep track of things you should do when it’s on your to-do list in front of you. Moreover, it’s a great and even happy feeling to cross off the last thing on your list. If making lists helps you stay calm, begin making them daily and you will have a better mood and will be less stressed.

7. Do something for yourself
To stay more positive on a daily basis you should do something for yourself every now and then. Take a break from your responsibilities and enjoy it. I have super busy schedule, but I allow myself a 20-minute mani once a month and I never feel guilty about it. Do something for yourself on a regular basis and you will see how happier you will be.

Sometimes it’s extremely difficult to stay positive, though it’s possible. With the myriad problems life throws at us, we need to learn how to cope with them without worries and stress. By doing the small things mentioned above, you can make your life much more positive and you can inspire others to cultivate a positive attitude as well. What do you do to stay positive daily? Share your tips with us please.

AMD’s Vega-powered supercomputer packs 1 PetaFLOPS of compute power on a single server rack

AMD’s Project 47 achieves 1 PetaFLOPS – Representational ImageMorris MacMatzen/Getty Images
Last week, at its Capsaicin event in Los Angeles, AMD showcased Project 47, a space-saving supercomputer that can achieve 1 petaFLOPS of single-precision compute performance and handle one quadrillion calculations per second.

Though 1 petaFLOPS isn’t a record-breaking benchmark for modern day supercomputers that go upto100 PFlops, it is the footprint of this machine that strives to redefine supercomputing into a more affordable reality for machine learning, graphic virtualization, rendering, and other performance intensive tasks. Project 47 leverages Inventec’s 2U parallel computing platform P-47, AMD’s powerful EPYC server processors and upcoming Vega-based GPUs, all while sitting in a rack of individual servers.

Simply put, AMD’s new supercomputer takes 99.93% less space than IBM’s $100 million Roadrunner, the first supercomputer that broke the 1 petaFLOP barrier. The supermachine, which was the fastest in 2007, used 12,960 PowerXCell CPUs, 6,912 dual-core Opteron processors and took up as many as 296 racks covering nearly 6,000 square feet of floor space.

On the contrary, the advanced Project 47 only uses 80 Radeon Instinct MI25 GPUs, 20 AMD EPYC 7601 processors, and 20 Mellanox 100G cards, with 10TB of Samsung memory.

But, this system isn’t just about footprint and computing performance. It comes with 30 gigaFLOPS per watt energy efficiency and only requires 33.3 kW to deliver one 1 petaFLOP of single-precision or 2 petaFLOPS of half-precision compute performance. As noted by AMD, this is “25% more efficient than competing supercomputing platforms”. Team red also claims Project 47 has “more cores, threads, compute units, IO lanes and memory channels in use at one time than in any other similarly configured system ever before”.

As of now, there’s no word on pricing of Project 47, but AMD says, the system makes an incredible “performance-per-dollar” prospect and should be available from Inventec and their principal distributor AMAX sometime in Q4 of this year.

Turnbull government reportedly developing single logon scheme for range of government, consumer activities

Aussies could be able to a range of things online under a new plan being considered.

AUSTRALIANS could soon be able to shop online, register their car and update Medicare details under a new “super logon” scheme being developed by the Turnbull government.

Speaking exclusively to the Courier Mail, Digital Transformation Assistant Minister Angus Taylor, said the government is working on creating one username and password per person to do a range of activities.

It could mean a person is able to update their address, buy groceries and stream their favourite shows under a single account.

“Right now, you might have 10, 20, or 30 different logons across different websites, (like) the Department of Human services, banks, telecommunications and the state government,’’ Mr Taylor told the Courier Mail.

Chris Griffith reviews the Samsung Note 8
“I think I counted about 60 or 70 different ones.”

The opt-in plan would likely involve a twostep verification process with a code being sent to a mobile phone.

He said it could help people switch between companies more easily and reduce the risk of identity fraud by ensuring people do not have to remember as many passwords and logon details.

SOLO TRAVEL: HOW TO AVOID SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

Patricia Schultz, who wrote the travel bestseller 1000 Places To See Before You Die, has a simple message for anyone with an incurable case of wanderlust but is without a companion. “If you can’t find anyone to travel with then go solo,’’ she says.

“Travel is a gift and travelling solo is simple because you don’t need to compromise, you can follow your heart and do the things that interest you, you can stay somewhere longer or not go there at all, you don’t need to keep pace with anyone else, and serendipity finds you.

“When you travel with a family member you bring a little bit of home with you, and exist within a bubble under the guise of companionship or security, but when you remove yourself from that comfort zone you’re guaranteed a different experience.’’

For some solos it means packing a bag and going with nothing more than a return ticket and wish list crammed with things to see. But others seek safety in numbers by joining an escorted group, and the good news is an industry built on the Noah’s ark principle that travellers come in twos is finally evolving to meet the needs of every single.

HOW IS SOLO TRAVEL CHANGING?

The biggest change is choice. Single travellers are now offered ways to avoid single supplements, discounts for booking early, to go where they please from deepest Africa to Antarctica, and in the style that suits their comfort zone and bank account.

There are now also more travel businesses serving singles — some agencies expert in making plans and bookings, others launched to lead trips.

Ken Morgan established Two’s A Crowd in 2012 to help solos access the same experiences as people able to journey in a duo.

“We used to run a suburban travel agency and many of our clients were solo, it was hard finding great deals and tours for those clients because the industry was set around twin share, so we decided to do something about it,’’ he says.

“We started with a couple of group tours but now go all over the world with more than 20 small-group trips every year and while Vietnam and Canada/Alaska are most popular we’re introducing places like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Borneo and even Iran.

“While our small-group tours continue to be popular an area in demand is cruising — it’s hard for solos to get deals due to high single supplements and clients tell us its daunting boarding a ship alone — so we’ve made it our mission over the past year to give clients access to deals and travel with other solos.’’

Small group tours are helping solo travellers see the world.
ARE MORE WOMEN TRAVELLING SOLO?

Women seem more comfortable than men to hit the road — independently or in a group — with Butterfield & Robinson sales manager Caitlin Ryan reporting the number of ladies booking with the company has jumped by 50 per cent since 2012.

“Women tend to be more adventurous than men when it comes to joining group trips alone and choosing destinations like Portugal, Italy and Spain where they can become immersed in new culture, community and cuisine,’’ she says.

“The feedback we receive from guests is that an active holiday with daily hiking and cycling excursions is less isolating than a fly-and-flop trip at an all-inclusive resort and participating in outdoor activities immediately binds travellers in a way laying by a pool cannot.’’

Women are more independent travellers than men.
DOES SOLO MEAN SINGLE, AND LONELY?

Annette Porter, who owns Travel With Me which is a travel agency with thriving solo traveller club, says it’s never correct to assume solo equals single with many of those choosing to go away without a companion leaving a spouse at home.

“Our club is for solo travellers but that doesn’t mean single — many have partners who don’t like to travel, or they want to visit different destinations to their spouse — and while most prefer a single room they like to travel with other solos for company,’’ she says.

“I often hear complaints from solos who book tours to find they’re the only solo in a group filled with couples and friends travelling together, which makes them feel alone, so we get a small group to travel on an existing tour so they know they’re not alone.’’

SO WHAT IS A SINGLE SUPPLEMENT?

Insight Vacations managing director Alex O’Connor says imposing a single supplement allows tour companies to “offer a room normally occupied by two people to someone who prefers to enjoy the comfort of their own room’’.

Hotels and ships do the sums assuming rooms or cabins will be occupied by two people, so sole travellers are charged more — sometimes as little as 10 per cent, but often up to 100 per cent of the standard twin tariff — to cover costs.

Hotels set a room rate rather than per-person fee, ships often charge one person double to occupy a twin room but eliminate taxes and gratuities on the second fare, and tour operators will add an amount that’s a percentage of the standard charge so those going alone can occupy private accommodations.

A single cabin on a cruise ship.
HOW CAN I AVOID IT?

According to Fiona Dalton, managing director of Uniworld River Cruises, the most obvious way to avoid the single supplement is to find hosts that “value their solo-traveller community’’ by offering discounts or waive the charge completely.

“Be flexible. Discounts may not be offered at the exact time you hoped to travel but there may be alternate dates or itineraries which offer the same program with a saving — and when you see an itinerary you like don’t hesitate to lock it in because single-traveller offers are capacity controlled like any other promotion,’’ she says.

“Look for waivers on popular itineraries or selected dates and Uniworld’s Tulips & Windmills, Castles along the Rhine, Remarkable Rhine, European Jewels, Paris & Normandy, Burgundy & Provence, and Bordeaux already have offers in place for 2018 sailings.’’

Pandaw wipes the supplement completely on many of its Asian river journeys while Captain Cook Cruises now caps the surcharge at 30 per cent for all Murray Princess three, four and seven-night voyages letting solos cruise from $1200.

SHOULD I SHARE WITH A STRANGER?

Another way to avoid the single supplement is booking with a tour company that matches guests to share hotel rooms — a technique that’s almost always successful with firm friendships quickly forged — and Trafalgar Australia’s managing director Matthew Cameron-Smith explains solos can save hundreds by embracing this option.

“Guests are partnered based on sex and it’s generally successful when strangers are matched to share,’’ he says.

“Those open to being paired with another guest tend to have an approachable nature and bond easily — we see it all the time, strangers become friends for life within days — and it’s always nice to have a familiar face at breakfast and dinner when travelling solo.

“Depending on the trip length the savings can range from $500 to $1200 and if you opt to be paired with another guest, but there’s no other solo of the same gender, you stay in a single room at no extra cost so it’s win-win.’’

Butterfield & Robinson tours include cycling in Vietnam and Laos. Picture: supplied
ARE THERE OTHER OPTIONS?

Cabins built for one, money-saving offers, and on-board security make cruising an attractive alternate for solos with Beyond Travel’s general manager Bryce Crampton recommending small ship coastal cruising and river cruising as top options because compact vessels “foster a friendly atmosphere’’.

“There’s a relaxed vibe on board so striking up a conversation and developing friendships is easier as you’re not just another face in the crowd but part of a small group of travellers enjoying a shared experience,’’ he says.

“The best single deals get snapped up quickly, so singles after a deal should register their interest and be prepared to book as soon as they can, but if a departure is not selling well there may be some last-minute deals.’’

Volunteering and exploring a destination by rail rather than road are great options while staying in an apartment with kitchen — either from Air B & B, or belonging to an accommodation chain such as Adina or Adagio — will allow for a self-catering stay eliminating the need to sit alone in restaurants at mealtime.

Tour groups are looking after solo travellers.
SOLO SAVING

So, you want to travel solo? Here are a few companies working hard to show you the world without penalties for not being part of a pair.

* More than 30 per cent of Cosmos passengers adventure alone. The coach-tour company promotes “guarantee share’’ reservations that link travellers of the same gender to share a room, eliminating the single supplement, or get their own room should there not be a suitable match. cosmostours.com.au

* Intrepid Travel offers the sharing option on every trip and has launched dedicated departures for solos on popular India, Morocco, Bali and Vietnam expeditions. intrepidtravel.com

* On The Go Tours boasts “no single supplement/no sharing’’, which guarantees no hidden costs for those going it alone, and include a transfer from airport to hotel at the start of the trip promising a hassle-free arrival for solos setting foot in a new country. onthegotours.com

* Two’s A Crowd guided getaways are just for solos with the average group size set at 15 people, everyone gets their own room, and itineraries include a mix of sightseeing and downtime. twosacrowd.com.au

* Maeve O’Meara’s Gourmet Safaris to destinations in Australia and overseas are solo friendly with activities organised that suit both singles and couples while the Gorgeous Safaris to Vietnam — there’s a new itinerary coming in 2018 — promise every person a private room. gourmetsafaris.com.au

* Holland America Line has a Single Partners Program, matching solos of the same sex to share a stateroom and hosting events to connect those cruising alone. The line’s newest vessel the MS Koningsdam also features one-person staterooms. hollandamerica.com

* Travel With Me is a travel agency with a solo traveller club that promotes “no single supplement tour options’’, advertises last-minute deals with little or no solo supplements, introduce members seeking similar holidays, and hosts fully-escorted excursions for solos to destinations from Barcelona to Borneo. travelwithme.com.au

* Trafalgar offers solo-rooming rates when each brochure is released giving guests the chance to save between 25 and 100 per cent on standard supplements. trafalgar.com