You’ve worked hard, saved a small nest egg, and now you’re ready to see the world. The question is would you do it alone? For many seniors, the loss of a spouse or travel partner has thrust them into a permanent “staycation.”

As more baby boomers hit retirement years, travel agencies are stepping up to the plate with a growing portfolio of senior and “Solo” options for single vacationers.

“I love to travel on my own to remote parts of the world,” said Christine Raisig, 77, of Natick, whose first solo trip was to Bhutan in the Himalayas. “I toured with a small group led by a company called ‘Far Fung Places.’ Just four of us—a German woman, two Canadian women, a guide and our driver drove in a big SUV through the Himalayan foothills all the way to the border of India. We started out as strangers and became good friends.”

Sandy Sims of Norwell traveled extensively with her late husband for many years. But when he passed, she was determined not to unpack her bags forever.

“I had always wanted to see Ireland, but I couldn’t find anyone to go with me,” said Sims, then 55. “So, I went by myself with a tour group from Compass Travel, and it was one of the best trips I’ve ever had. Having just been diagnosed with MS, I picked a bus tour that would be safe for me without too much walking. Our driver was extremely accommodating. We were supposed to carry our own bags, but he always helped me with mine. The people in Ireland were wonderful, and I never felt left out or alone even though I was the only solo traveler on the tour.”

A meta-analysis conducted by the Global Coalition on Aging cites the “physical, cognitive and social benefits” of traveling for seniors. “Travel challenges the brain with new and different experiences and environments,” said Dr. Paul Nussbaum, a neuropsychologist and founder of the Brain Health Center, Inc. “It is an important behavior that builds brain resilience across a person’s lifespan.”

If taking a solo trip abroad or cross-country is on your bucket list, do some research and consult with a travel agent to discover the best deals available.

“Most tours offer hotel rooms based on a per-person double occupancy rate,” said Michelle Bonomi, owner of Scituate Harbor Travel. “A solo traveler will often have to pay a ‘single supplement,’ which is equivalent to the room fee for the second person minus the taxes. There are not a lot of companies that will waive the supplemental fee, but some will. It’s important to consult a travel advisor before you book your trip. If you’re in a foreign country, scammers will target people who are traveling alone. We know which destinations are safe and where there have been problems. We can steer you in the right direction with or without a tour group.”

Tisha Walker of Collette Travel in Pawtucket, R.I. describes her client base as “a lively demographic” of active seniors. “The best thing about traveling with a solo tour group is that everything is taken care of for you. Your hotels and flights are booked, your guide meets you at the airport, your meals are scheduled and your tickets to local attractions are purchased. All you have to do is relax and enjoy.”

Elaine Schembari, 77, of Scituate is a frequent solo traveler within the U.S and Canada. “I’m a history buff, and I went with a tour group to Portland, Oregon to take a riverboat cruise along the Lewis and Clark trail in 2021,” said Schembari. “We sailed on the Columbia and Snake Rivers and ended up in Seattle. And this year, I will be going to Quebec to cruise the St. Lawrence River. My first trip was fascinating, and I can’t wait to see what I learn about our country this time.”

Eldertreks is a travel agency that offers “discovery” trips designed exclusively for people aged 50 and over. Geared to physically active seniors, small tour groups explore remote areas of more than 100 countries around the globe. If you are up for an expedition to Antarctica or a tribal African safari, Eldertreks may be your ticket to adventure.

On the other hand, if your vacation style aligns more with drifting down the blue Danube or sipping chianti in a Tuscan vineyard, a river cruise may be a better choice for your solo travel. Viking and Silversea are just a few of the many luxury lines that cater to seniors, offering stunning sight-seeing, tickets to Viennese concerts, and leisurely walking tours to local landmarks.

Now an experienced solo traveler, Raisig realized her dream of seeing the Andes in 2023. She got a bargain rate in the off season aboard a 500-passenger Hurtigruten ship, didn’t have to pay a single supplement for her solo cabin, and set off on an adventure to Patagonia and Cape Horn.

“We cruised through channels between Chile and Argentina that were studded with snow-covered mountains and glacier-marked fjords,” said Raisig. “At age 77 with bad knees, I was told that if I wanted to land at Cape Horn, I would have to be able to get out of a rubber zodiac boat and be prepared to mount 150 stairs. I walk a lot, play pickleball and do yoga, so my balance is good, and I went for it. What a feeling to make it to that storied ground right where the Atlantic meets the Pacific. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

“Some of the people on our trip were in their eighties, and they were happy to stay on the ship and not go ashore on the Horn. We took a bus to be close to the foothills of the Andes. It had been a cloudy day, but the clouds suddenly parted and we saw the amazing granite peaks looking like upside-down ice cream cones against a blue sky. What a moment! My daughter likes to visit tourist cities like Rome and Paris, but I like nature and history. That’s why I go solo.”

Elaine Bongarzone, 76, of Scituate flies every year to visit her daughter who lives and works overseas. “I’ve flown alone to China, Japan, Malaysia, Israel, Prague and Thailand,” said Bongarzone. Travel has been a great joy in my life and a great education. I’ve gone swimming in the Dead Sea, got baptized in the river Jordan and picked cherry blossoms off the trees in Toyko.

“If you’re physically mobile enough to travel, my advice is to do it now, with or without a partner. The world is a wonderful classroom.”