Solo surf holidays at Swell surf campYou've worked hard all year and you've got limited vacation time.
You're looking for a surf holiday/vacation but there's one issue preventing you from booking your surf holiday; you've got no-one to go with!
You are not the only one, 70% of the people that come to Swell are solo / single travellers.
That's why Swell is:
An ideal holiday for singles over 40
An ideal holiday for singles over 50
An ideal holiday for singles of any age...
It might just be the thing we are asked more often than any other: 'I'm a solo traveller, will I be OK?'
The truth is that you being single and looking for a single's surf holiday actually means you are in the majority these days: Think about how many people you know at work or amongst the community in their 30's, 40's and 50's who are divorced or separated and living alone; it naturally follows that they are also facing a single's vacation.
Being single and over 40, over 50, or even over 60 does not mean that you are less entitled to have fun than a younger person, or a couple travelling together. Quite the opposite in fact. In our experience, people travelling solo often have more fun rediscovering themselves, finding their inner child on a single's surf holiday than the couples who are travelling together.
"Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer."
Setting out on a solo vacation is a daunting prospect; we understand that perfectly. As the owners of Swell surf camp, Jim and I know exactly how it feels to be travelling by yourself; we have both experienced that in the past. Arriving at a hotel, seemingly full of happy couples who you are quite sure are staring at you for being single, is an awful thought. Sitting in your room watching CNN and eating a room service because you don't want to be dining alone, yuk; noone wants to be Billy or Sally-no-mates.
Staying at Swell will give you a totally different feeling, we guarantee it!
Let's take Patrice, a regular client of ours as an example. He's 67 now, but first came to stay at Swell as a youthful 62 year old. He didn't feel his age at all and was still active. He'd never surfed before, but learning to surf was on his bucket list. He searched for single holidays, single holidays over 50, holidays for one and many more, yet he was still petrified at the thought of travelling alone.
Luckily for him and us, Swell came up in his searches, but naturally, he was still anxious: What if the driver didn't show up as promised? What if noone talks to me at Swell because I'm 'too old to surf' and I end up sitting in my room, alone? These are all natural thoughts which go through the head of a person on a single traveller vacation.
What actually happened to Patrice is what all our guests at Swell experience. He arrived at the airport as a single person, but within seconds, had seen his name on a sign in the arrivals hall at the airport and was with the first member of our amazing, friendly team, Franklyn the driver. Fresh off the 'plane, he was no longer by himself.
After a short taxi ride to Swell, he entered the camp. All his fears dropped away. Smiles greeted him at every angle. Not just our staff, but also from relaxed, fellow guests, the majority of whom had themselves arrived on a single travel experience a day or two earlier.
Patrice stays with us every year without fail; his preferred time to come is November. He's always to be found helping our lovely cooks, Arecelys and Esmeralda, wash the dishes up after dinner; don't worry, that's not part of our package, that's just how at home Swell makes him feel and he's not the only one.
Swell is unique. When we first opened, 9 years ago, we had bought separate tables for dining. Within a few days of being open, we noticed that our guests kept putting the smaller tables together so they could form bigger and bigger groups. It wasn't something we had thought of or made them do, it just felt natural. A group of mainly single people on vacation had bonded quickly and just wanted to have fun together. After a few weeks of watching the furniture moving, we had our wonderful, huge dining table designed and made. Seating 20, this is now the focus of Swell and of all those folks who had initially searched for a holiday for one and ended up in a holiday of many.
Singles vacations for people over 40 & 50
Our guests not only eat together at Swell, it's completely usual for them to go out as a group for dinner on the other nights, or on shopping trips, and many swell nights have been spent at the lively Karaoke bar in Cabarete, with people getting up to sing who would never have dreamed of doing such a thing. Swell gets you like that. In 9 years, we've never seen a guest arrive solo and stay alone for the vacation, it just doesn't happen.
Our guests are terrifically varied in their careers and come from some really interesting walks of life. We've had army majors, wealthy entrepreneurs, CIA operatives, NYPD detectives, psychologists, professional sportsmen and women, more doctors, dentists and lawyers than we could count + even people who have flown in on their own private jets. Those of us who have more 'normal' jobs don't need to feel inadequate, the mix just makes for some fascinating dinner conversations!
And please don't feel that you need to be particularly outgoing or 'interesting' to be part of this unique group of guests: You can also quietly join in. The shared experience of travelling to the beach together in Michel's van, with his Dominican music playing, learn to surf together, cheering together when a wave is caught and ridden, and returning to Swell for the best breakfast around our big table, will automatically bring you close to other members of the group.
Countless friendships have been made at Swell (and even a couple of weddings!) and we are proud to see the number of 'Swell reunions' which go on all over the world. It's even better when groups of people who only met at Swell, return to us for another round of surfing and fun.
“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that damn mountain.”― Jack Kerouac
INTERESTED IN JOINING SWELL?
Have a look at our surf lessons course to see more details about how we teach our guests
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE AGE?
The average age of people traveling to swell for an adult surf camp varies per week, but generally speaking, the people that come to Swell on our surf camp holidays are aged between 35 and 60. The average age of Swell clients is 44 years old. That’s not to say that in certain weeks there are more people in their 20’s than 40’s (or the other way around). Also, we have had people well in their 60’s on a Swell beginner surf camp.
Most clients are from the USA, Canada, and Europe, and 80% of them are working professionals who want the comforts of a boutique Surf retreat combined with the social aspect of a surf hotel.
Swell is a social place, however we are not a ‘party / drink’ till 2 in the morning kind of place. Everyone wants to get up early to catch the best surfing conditions in the mornings.
DO THE ROOMS HAVE A/C?
Yes, all the private rooms are fitted with A/C and careful use of it is included in your stay. You must never leave the A/C switched on when you are not in your room, nor use it with the windows or doors left open. Swell surf camp reserves the right to charge additional fees for A/C when it is used improperly.
I’M A BEGINNER SURFER, WHEN IS BEST FOR ME TO COME?
If you are a complete beginner surfer, you have the best choice since there are very few days of the year where you wouldn’t be able to surf as a beginner. This means that the whole year is open for you to take lessons as our surfing lessons are undertaken on the ‘inside’ of the reef (so you are protected from larger waves whenever there is a swell running).
HOW SAFE IS THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC?
Unlike recent media coverage portrays, yes the Dominican Republic is a safe country to visit or to live in.
Recent reports of deaths in large All Inclusive resorts highlight, in our opinion, the dangers of ultra-cheap holidays with accommodation, all you can eat food & alcoholic drinks, plus transportation, which leaves the hotels with as little as 15-20 USD per day to try and house, feed and water their guests. This is not sustainable tourism and it leaves the hotels in a very difficult situation. At those prices, they are forced to cut corners.
Would you consider a restaurant in Europe or North America who charges 7 USD for unlimited food and alcoholic drinks, a healthy and safe place to eat and drink and then do it 7 days in a row? The answer, of course, is no. Add existing medical conditions and over-eating or drinking, in a tropical climate, and you have a recipe for disaster.
We, the owners of Swell (from the UK and the Netherlands) have lived in the DR for 11 years, with our 2 children. The only time we ever suffered from food poisoning was when we were invited to lunch at an all Inclusive-hotel.
What is not safe to do in the DR?
– Drink the tap water
– stay somewhere which is too cheap to be true
– Buy or consume drugs
– Sit under a palm tree in heavy winds with ripe coconuts hanging in the tree 🙂
We have never done those things and as a result, neither we or any of our 6000+ guests have ever been hospitalized, let alone died.
CAN I STAY LONGER / SHORTER THAN 7 DAYS?
Staying longer at a Swell Surf Vacation is not a problem, we get a lot of returning clients that do not like the cold weather in their home countries during the winter, and stay at Swell Surf Camp for several weeks.
Even during our wintertime, you do not ever have to wear a wetsuit, the water is warm, and leave your warm clothes at home too, just bring plenty of sunscreen.
Staying shorter is also possible, although the minimum stay most of the year is 4 nights. At Swell we do not have a set arrival date, so see what flights are available, send us a message and join us for a surf holiday with like-minded adults.
I HAVE DIETARY RESTRICTIONS
Whilst we do not have a team of chefs to cater to every whim, we are well used to catering for vegetarians, vegans and people with other food intolerances. We have a wide variety of ingredients to choose from and will always try our very best to cater for your needs if you tell us in advance, so just send us an email to see what your options are.
IS THIS A WOMAN SURF & YOGA RETREAT
No, at Swell we are open to all; men and woman are welcome to join us for a unique Caribbean Retreat
WHAT OTHER SPORTS / ACTIVITIES ARE ON OFFER?
It is not just surfing that we offer at Swell. We are located in Cabarete on the north coast of the Dominican Republic; THE action sports capital of the Caribbean, so other watersports you can choose to learn or do here are: Wingfoiling & Kitesurfing. But there are also adventure trips such as Canyoning, Snorkeling and diving to do in the afternoons, after you have done 1 or 2 surf sessions in the morning. Or join in on one of our Yoga classes. You will not be bored in Cabarete!
WHICH DAY OF THE WEEK SHOULD I ARRIVE?
You can arrive any day of the week with us if we have space, but Saturday arrival is best in a 7-night stay as that is always a day off from surfing. Just contact us to see if we have space for you for your chosen dates.
5 REASONS WHY SWELL IS PERFECT FOR SOLO TRAVELERS
When the idea of opening a surf camp started in 2009, we didn’t want to convert an existing villa into a surf camp; We started from zero with the help of an architect.
So we designed a large communal area, which is the heart of our place.
This is where we have breakfast, and dinners, socialise after surfing and chill out during the day.
Here are the reasons why Swell is so ideal for solo travelers:
- Easy to meet people, the communal area is where people hang out, (not in their rooms)
- 70% of our guests travel solo.
- The town we are in, is full of active people, co-working, surfing, foiling, sailing, enjoying the good Caribbean way of life.
- We organize active day trips that most of our guests sign up for.
- Our staff has lived in the town for over 15 years so are great for tips on where to eat, drink, dance etc.
That’s why our slogan is: arrive as a guest, leave as a friend!