Frequently Asked Questions

(1) What is Connecting: Solo Travel Network (CSTN) all about? | Mission Statement.

(2) When did CSTN come into existence?

(3) Who started CSTN?

(4) Who are CSTN members?

(5) How does the network operate?

(6) Is CSTN run by a travel agency?

(7) Do travel companies pay to have their trips mentioned on the CSTN website.

(8) Can CSTN help avoid single supplements?

(9) What is the Single-Friendly Travel Directory?

(10) Is the Single-Friendly Travel Directory available without subscription?

(11) Can CSTN help me find travel Friends?

(12) What do people say about CSTN?

(13) What does membership include and how much does it cost to join Connecting: solo travel network

(14) Why does CSTN charge a fee to join?

Answers

What is Connecting: Solo Travel Network (CSTN) all about?

CSTN is a not-for-profit, international organization of individuals interested in sharing going-solo tips, news about single-friendly trips, and in promoting hospitality and good will among solo travelers everywhere. See our Mission Statement.

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How long has CSTN been in existence?

Since January, 1990.

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Who started CSTN

Veteran solo traveler and writer Diane Redfern founded Connecting: Solo Travel Network (CSTN) after a year-long, around-the-world solo journey.

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Who are CSTN members?

About one-third of the adult population lives a single lifestyle these days, so we solo travelers are as diverse in taste and lifestyle as we are numerous. CSTN members are aged from 18 to 80, about 60% female, and 40% male. We're divorced, widowed, married to spouses who don't care to travel, or we're just plain single.

Some of us are adventurous; some of us are not-so-adventurous. Some like to travel in the lap of luxury; others like to rough it. Some want to lie down on beaches; some want to climb mountains. Some like to visit museums; some prefer casinos. The one thing we have in common is that we are all looking for comfortable and economical ways of traveling alone.

Many members don't want to travel solo at all. They would rather share holiday experiences and expenses with other congenial individuals. Or, they want to join comfortable group tours without paying expensive single supplement fees.

Normally, we have between 1,500 and 1,800, paid-up, current members at any given time. About 48 percent live in Canada, 48 percent live in the USA, and a few live in other countries – our dearest wish is to have CSTN friends all around the world.

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How does the network operate?

CSTN publications and services provide all the information and contacts necessary for planning a going-solo holiday, including Reader Reports, Travel Tales, and going-solo tips for traveling independently. For those who prefer group travel, CSTN also searches the world and provides contacts for travel companies and organizations that may be deemed "single-friendly" because their pricing and general policies are attractive to people who travel on their own. Individuals who wish to do so may network personally on our secure, private message board: CSTN Friends in Travel.

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Is CSTN run by a travel agency?

No. CSTN neither organizes, leads, nor sells tours. However, we do search the world for single-friendly tour and cruise connections that avoid expensive single supplements. The unbiased aim is to provide readers with all of the vacation options available to single travelers, so long as the trip organizer is deemed to be reputably associated within the travel industry at large. Contact information is always included for any single-friendly company or organization mentioned in CSTN publications.

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Do travel companies pay to have their trips mentioned in CSTN publications?

Not as a rule, although certain fund-raising efforts may include paid-for, low-key associations, such as including trip-specific, direct to website hyperlinks for qualifying companies. Regardless of that, any tour company, cruise line, resort, spa, lodge, travel club, or other travel-related organization whose packaged holidays are deemed single-friendly qualifies for mention in CSTN publications and/or related web pages. Additionally, these organizations receive a free-of-charge listing in a regularly updated Single-Friendly Travel Directory, a supplementary publication that every subscriber receives for use as a travel planning resource.

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Can CSTN help me avoid single supplements?

Yes. Any travel company mentioned on the CSTN website must provide single-friendly vacation options. These packaged vacations could be offered by travel agencies, tour companies, single travel clubs, cruise lines, lodges, spas, resorts; any and all holidays that help single and solo travelers are newsworthy for CSTN.

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What is the Single-Friendly Travel Directory?

It is a regularly updated holiday planning resource listing over 250 tour companies, cruise lines, resorts, lodges, spas, ranches, single travel clubs, and other travel-related organizations that have been deemed sensitive to the needs of people who travel alone.

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Is the Single-Friendly Travel Directory available without subscription?

No.

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Can CSTN help me find travel friends?

Although it is by no means a requirement, subscribers are encouraged to help foster friendship among solo travelers by participating in advice, hospitality, and/or lodging exchanges Guidelines.
Visit our discussion board: CSTN Friends in Travel.

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What do readers say about CSTN?

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Travel Editors' Comments

More current website-based links are posted on our home page.

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Membership

Access to our "Member Index," which includes the following electronic publications and services:

One-Time Registration Fee

Canadian Residents: Internet E-Membership $28.00 (payable in Canadian funds).

USA Residents: Internet E-Membership $28.00 (payable in US funds).

Residents of other countries: Internet E-Membership $28.00 (payable in US funds).

Payments

NOTE: Payments may be by money order (payable to Connecting: Solo Travel Network), MC, VISA, or American Express.

By Mail: Connecting: Solo Travel Network
689 Park Road, Unit 6
Gibsons, BC V0N 1V7
CANADA

By Telephone: +1-800-557-1757 (tollfree North America), +1-604-886-9099

Or, Join online

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Why does CSTN charge to join?

Because registration fees cover operation costs, CSTN doesn't have to rely on paid advertising to exist, which in turn allows completely unbiased editorial content in CSTN publications. Also, registration fees help us help inidviduals in developing countries fulfill their dreams of a better life: CSTN members support KIVA. Read more about CSTN's part.

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Mission Statement

The First purpose of Connecting: Solo Travel Network is to encourage hospitality and networking, internationally, among people who travel without a partner.

The Second purpose of Connecting: Solo Travel Network is to report without bias about going solo vacation alternatives or any holiday option that can be designated sensitive towards the needs of people who travel alone.

The Third purpose of Connecting: Solo Travel Network is to foster the above concepts within the ideals of responsible tourism.

Explanation of Terms

Single Supplement: Most packaged holidays are priced so that each of two people pays a per-person rate for shared accommodation. A single participant who either cannot find a roommate or wants to occupy a room alone normally must pay a "single supplement" surcharge.

Single-friendly: To qualify as "single-friendly" a trip must avoid single supplement charges, either by offering a "guarantee share" option, or single occupancy rooms without added single supplement surcharges, or, at least, a low single supplement of less than $30 per day.

Guarantee Share Option: Some tour organizers and cruise lines pair-up individuals and guarantee that a single who is willing to share accommodation pays no more than the per-person, double occupancy rate, even if no room mate can be found. Any travel or vacation company that offers "guarantee share" options or otherwise avoids single surcharges is considered Single-Friendly and qualifies to have its holidays publicized in CSTN publications.

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