Solo Travel: Pros and Cons: 2011
Many people are reluctant or nervous to travel alone. Share your tips on traveling alone safely, economically...and without being lonely.
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Solo Travel Rocks!
I am a 29 yo female and have been traveling alone for 4 years. I backpacked for two months in Europe and have done a bunch of trips to Canada. I usually stay in hostels but I have recently started couchsuring (www.couchsurfing.org) and I will definitely be doing more of that on my next trip. It is such a great way to meet people and see how the locals live! I wish I would have known about couchsurfing earlier!
As far as safety goes, I have almost never felt unsafe. I am smart though. I don't go out at night by myself and I don't walk down dark alleys (duh). The world is not as scary as your parents and the media make it out to be!
Minneapolis, MN USA Thu 12/29/2011
Singles/Solo Travel: Avoid single supplement!
A great way to avoid single supplements for solo travelers is finding a travel club or organization that pairs people up with roommates. They often also try to get affordable single supplement rates.
I belong to Singles by the Bay Travel Club.
They have members all over the US and do trips to Europe and beyond. Really great group. You can learn more about them here: http://singlesbythebaytravel.com/
Hampden, MA USA Tue 12/13/2011
Italy in the Winter--Solo
Hi, everybody! I'm heading out on my first Euro solo voyage in February[INVALID]I'll be in Italy for 2 weeks! I'm very excited but a little part of me is nervous since I will be planning it all by myself. I will be traveling on a low budget and was able to find a few B&Bs and reasonably priced hotels. I'll be landing in Florence and hope to spend my first few days there. I plan to go on a walking tour the first day or so and spend the next couple of days wandering around and just enjoy being there. After that, i plan on heading down to Rome for about 4 days or so, partake in another walking tour or two then head back on a train to Florence. From Florence, I'd like to take a few day trips[INVALID]Siena, Pisa, San G. I'd also like to spend a day in Bologna or Lucca. I'm also very, very tempted to venture out to Turin for a day but I don't want to exhaust myself too much. How does this itinerary sound to you experienced travelers? Is it too ambitious? What are your tips for me[INVALID]a first time-Euro traveler (F, late 20s), pretty street smart and intuitive but not so great with directions :/ How is the train system[INVALID]is it fairly easy to navigate? I would love any feedback! Thanks in advance :)
USA Tue 11/22/2011
I've traveled solo to England, Scotland, Wales, Finland, Mexico, Japan, Italy and about 30 states. I find that being aware of your surroundings without being paranoid is key. Never had a problem. But I would travel more if the Single Supplement didn't exist!! There is a petition circulating on the White House petition site about this...http://wh.gov/TwT. It's worth checking out.
Providence, RI USA Wed 10/26/2011
Solo trip to London england
I will be going to London England by myself and need advise where to stay that would be safe with a great location. I want to meet nice people so I am not looking to stay in a large hotel but one where it feels like a "cheers" atmosphere and I can walk to local places if I want. Please advose
Corona, Ca USA Sun 10/23/2011
Sue from Philadelphia: Barcelona is an outstanding city to visit. Actually, one of the most fun and interesting places to visit in Europe. Of course, if your prime goal is art, there are better options (Rome, Firenze, Paris, Madrid ...) but if you want a mix of art, nice street walks, amazing cousine, design/fashion shopping, good weather all year round, a beautiful and long beach by the Mediterranean, gothic quarters, surrealistic buildings, some Picasso, some Dalí, a cathedral that is an explosion of light (Gaudí's Sagrada Familia), the best romanesque museums and «tapas bars» everywhere, with inexpensive and incredible food & wine, go there. No problem travelling alone. Just wacht your pocket when strolling in the "Rambla" street ...
Mestre de C.
L'Empordŕ, Spain Mon 10/17/2011
Sue from Philadelphia: Barcelona is wonderful! I was there on a solo trip last year and loved it.
Athens, GA USA Thu 10/13/2011
I have traveled alone in the UK and just returned from a two week solo to Italy.
I never ate supper alone. People are so nice as are other travelers. The only advice I have is to watch your stuff in train and bus stations and dress a little for dinner, black pants as opposed to capris. I took my diary to supper and would write but I never finished since people are interested in solo women travelers for the adventure. Just make eye contact and smile. Ask the Italian couple what they are having. I met nice people. I am not a glamor gal and am pushing 50. Do not order off the tourist menu, dive into the local stuff, and if you mistakenly order a bottle of wine for lunch instead of a glass, give it to a couple when you leave. Don't be afraid to talk to people, you will be amazed at the experiences you have.
Springfield, MO USA Wed 10/05/2011
Female solo travel - need suggestions
I am a female in my 30's. I feel comfortable to travel alone to new places. I need suggestions to plan a trip in Europe. Duration: 5 - 10 days Timing: late Oct or in Nov Accommodation requirements: budget, clean, safe and conveniently located. I am fine with B&B or hostels; plan to travel solo to somewhere for a week or up to 10 days. I narrow my destination to Barcelona and a couple of other places. I have been to Paris, Rome, London, Madrid and want to go somewhere new, that has plenty sight-seeing to do during the day, and fun activities and friendly people to hang out at night . I am thinking Barcelona. Would that be a good place for solo female? What other places I can add on to the Barcelona trip? Any other suggestions?
Philadelphia, PA USA Wed 09/21/2011
Solo Travel Clubs!
Solo travelers unite! I run a travel club comprised of ALL solo travelers. We go all over the world and people pair up to save money on single supplement costs. Check us out here: http://www.photoflytravel.com/
totally free to join us too!
Boston, MA USA Mon 07/25/2011
Looking for Travel friend
2o years old traveling alone to Greece. I would love to have a Platonic friend to meet up with that can enjoy the night life,good food,and beaches with me in Mykonos ,and Santorini Greece. I will be in Greece the July 25-August 03 If interested in a travel buddy,Email me :)
CA USA Fri 06/10/2011
Have travelled all over the world ...sometimes on a group tour, sometimes solo...much prefer solo. My next trip will be two weeks in Tuscany...I have discovered I also prefer to stay in one place longer and really get to know it.
Redlands, Ca USA Sat 05/14/2011
I like to travel alone. I have friends –not too many- and relatives –not too many- and so on –not too many-... But I do like to travel alone. My soul happens to love merging into the dark blue of the sea, or into the walls of an old Romanesque monastery (St. Martin du Canigou is a clear example of this), or to get lost in any tiny fishing harbour at early morning. Travelling alone is a sad business some times, but a superb experience when art and nature are your primordial targets. My stomach loves fresh fish grilled on olive oil and a pinch of garlic. My feet love to climb hills, to jump over a puddle, to tread the hot sand, to swim ... It is such an eccentric pair of feet! It is such an insatiable stomach! It is such a unstable soul! Yes: I love to travel alone.
Mestre de Cabestany
L'Empordŕ, Spain Sun 05/08/2011
I have traveled solo all over the world. I find what helps me the most is research. By knowing the ins and outs of my destination I am able to more easily settle in and look less like a tourist. I always try and learn at least a little of the language so I don't stand out so much. Traveling solo just requires basic common sense.
Moretown, VT USA Sun 04/17/2011
Solo travel and meeting business contacts
I work free-lance and as such, have e-mail contacts with clients and fellow professionals all over the world, as well as attending national and international conventions for my profession. When I travel, I ask my contacts in that area if they'd like to get together for a meal or coffee or (in the case of clients) if they'd mind if I dropped by their office. Since most of us work free-lance and appreciate chances to get out of the house, they usually say yes, and even the business clients like to know who they've been working with. Another option is to seek out the local organization for your profession in the host country. I usually travel solo, but these kinds of contacts keep me from turning into a complete hermit.
Minneapolis, MH USA Thu 03/24/2011
Going It Alone
I've traveled by myself to Europe twice and even though I was staying with friends, I was left to my own devices during the day while they worked and I could not have enjoyed myself more - I never felt like a tourist and I never felt unsafe. You really do have the freedom to go at your own pace and you don't have to worry about going to see something that doesn't appeal to you. Just enjoy the solitude and embrace the oportunities that you make for yourself on the trip.
Alberta, Canada Tue 03/15/2011
I'm 61 and travel solo most of the time. Have been in Europe now for 7 months -- and enjoy: my own schedule, staying places for 3 -4 days, talking w/shop keepers, hotel or b/b people, strike up conversation w/others when I can - sometimes language is a barrier(Italian - I know zippo)..loneliness happens, but it always passes, and the next train or bus out of town offers another new stimulation - email friends at home... I travel off season - lower prices, eat one main meal at lunch, watch the train prices, rented a gite in France for 3 months and paid for one month what they charged for 1 week -- traveling off season is definitely the way to go! Have done some work/accomodation exchanges - great way to learn about an area, do a blog which is fun.... I would still be at home if I didn't say "I'm outta here!" and go.....
Taos, NM USA Tue 03/08/2011
5 ways to meet Travel Partners
Here are 5 tips for meeting travel partners. 1. Ask other travelers for advice. 2. Stay at a hostel or small family-run hotel. 3. Participate in small group city tours. 4. Teach English overseas. 5. Get lost and ask for help. I wrote an article and elaborated more about these tips. You can check it out at www.hubpages.com/hub/solotravel.
Atlanta, GA USA Tue 03/08/2011
I am single woman who has traveled in solo in Scotland many times. I have rented cars and traveled by train. I've joined small day trips and taken longer week walking trips.
If you are traveling in summer, you should try to book your room in advance as there are fewer single rooms. Some places will sell a double room as single, but some places won't, so your choices can be limited if you have not booked in advance.
Single track roads are very common in the highlands and other rural areas of Scotland. There are very clear rules that deal with them. When two cars are approaching in opposite directions the car that first reaches a passing places stops on his/her side of the road and waits for the oncoming car to pass. A friendly wave is common courtesy between drivers. Another rule is that uphill travel has the right of way. Here is the link to driving in Scotland from Visit Scotland. [url]http://www.visitscotland.com/guide/travel/travel-around-scotland/driving-in-scotland[/url]
Another aspect I like about Scotland is that in many pubs I am very comfortable getting a drink alone. I sometimes will sit at a table and work on a journal or have my computer and work on photos. Other times I have sat at the bar and met local people and enjoyed the music and discussions. In general, the Scots are friendly in their pubs and make you feel at home.
Another tactic that I've used has been to go to music festivals where it is easy to meet people over similar enjoyment of the tunes.
Madison, WI USA Tue 03/08/2011
Interact with the Locals!
I love traveling alone. In fact, I prefer to travel by myself as opposed to with someone else 90 percent of the time. I think solo travel is easier and I don't have to compromise on my itinerary. To combat the feeling of "alone," I generally socialize with the natives - in Germany that means a beer garden (nothing quite like walking up to a rowdy table and just throwing yourself in the mix). This past summer I was in Barcelona for part of the World Cup, so I found a great bar with a ton of locals along the water and enjoyed two matches using broken Spanish conversing with locals - nothing gives you the feeling of traveling in Europe quite like mixing with the local populace. If I wanted people who spoke English, I would have stayed home! I've got quite a bit of experience traveling alone, and am planning on heading to Eastern Europe late this summer and doing three weeks alone.
Miami, FL USA Mon 02/21/2011
Hi, I will be in Paris June 24 - 27 (four nights) before joining a RS tour. I would be interested in meeting other solo travelers for dinner. This is my fourth trip to Paris. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orange, CA USA Sat 02/05/2011
love solo travel
I have now taken 1 3 week trip to Southern Italy and 1 trip to Wasington DC alone. I will never worry about having a traveling partner again. I found both of these trips to be completly liberating and fun. I did what I wanted when I wanted without anybody else passing "judgement". I stayed mainly in hostels for companinship, but found that I could talk to people everywhere. It started to become fun to observe the social mores of talking to me (a single 48 yr old woman) in different enviroments and with people of various nationalities. In a nutshell I think anyone who wants to travel should try a trip alone, I think the vast majority will love it.
Miami, FL USA Mon 01/03/2011