Solo Travel: Pros and Cons
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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Austria, great for solo travel
For my 60th, I went to Vienna and Salzburg last year and had an amazing trip. It was important for me to find a hotel in an area where I felt safe, that was walking distance to major sites and near the subway. Using Google Earth helped in locating my hotel and seeing the surroundings.
I traveled by train to Salzburg and had reserved tickets in advance. It was a bit difficult to get all the train schedules on the internet but I was prepared in case of a last minute change. I also took a Danube river cruise from Melk to Krems. Do your research, get all the info before the trip, decide what you want to see and do, see what others say on TripAdvisor on hotels, etc. and you should have an amazing trip. Writing a travel blog every night to your loved ones and friends helps in not feeling alone at the end of the day.
Pierrefonds, Quebec Canada 04/13/2013
My Solo hints and discoveries
I started traveling solo early last year (1 month trip). Used RS books as my guide, but also did alot of googling and using other peoples books.
I just used some common since, figured out what i wanted to do/see and then look for planes/trains and stuff how to get from A to B. Didnt step one foot in a car (didn't want to either) with exception of a guided tour in Normandy, France. Just an FYI, you can go to Airport web sites and they will give you info on how to get to the city center via bus, train, taxi and such. after that its up to you. RS books also gives this info, but if youre going somewhere RS doesnt cover, its handy knowledge.
Trains were more confusing but found out that they dont post a trains gate until 15 or 20 minutes before departure. Love their train system too - puts ours to shame.
one cool feature of trains is that the stations are usually located in the town center so no shuttles are need to get into town. Also, the security lines were usually shorter.
i planned enough time between xfers either train or plane jic of possible delays.
I bought train tickets using all available methods. IE. @ counter, e-ticket, email and such just to try different methods and see what fits my needs. one thing about europe trains, some of them dont show any schedule 3 or 4 months out, so you have to plan those later. But what i do is to look at current times/prices and ASSUME those will be offered at my time too - and it usually was the same too.
theres alot of good info and hints in RS books, so readup!
one thing tho, going Solo is that meals are lonely. But im going to make a point of making a meal date in every country i go to this Sept.
fwiw, the only time i felt "lonely" was eating chow. Most of the times i was either in a museum, walking/riding to/from or sleeping.
Portalnd, Or USA 03/15/2013
I have been travelling solo female since I was 19,started in Mexico,south america,and now most European countries,to Spain and morrocco in May and June 2013,you must go to Crotia and island hop on the ferries!!!
olympia, wa. USA 03/15/2013
Solo Travel VS Group Travel: Best of both Worlds
There are pros and cons to both as the person below just pointed out however I have finally found a solution that comes as close as you can get to solo travel but with a group. As a woman there are many places I just don't want to go alone but I love the adventurous aspect and off the path options that are often only available to solo travelers. Check this travel club out--its free to join and they put together trips that combine the best of both worlds! (not a dating thing at all dont worry)
Miami, FL USA 03/08/2013
Solo Travel: Pros and Cons
I've been traveling solo since 2004. I have very little tolerance for groups and schedules, so solo travel allows me complete autonomy. Sleeping in, sitting for hours at a cafe people-watching, lingering over that glass of Absinthe, getting lost on purpose, that's what vacation is all about!
Seattle, WA USA 03/07/2013
The Thrill of Solo Travel
I'll soon be off for another solo trip to Europe - Lisbon. I often get asked by friends and family if they can tag along, but I put them off because I absolutely love the freedom of traveling alone. I can be completely selfish as to my wants. I've been traveling alone to Europe since 2007, and this will be my 3rd European trip within a year. I think I'm addicted to travel.
Washington, DC USA 03/04/2013
I agree with the other posters! I'm 60 and I've been traveling to Western Europe for 30+ years, often solo. I do a mix of one day, organized tours to places I could not reach to without public transportation and on my own. I know enough language to navigate and am courteous. Nothing builds your self esteem like getting off the airplane somewhere wonderful and knowing "I can do this!"
Reno, NV USA 02/06/2013
Hi to Christy Christy Houston, Texas USA 10/21/2012 I would like to visit Europe again in 2013 and would like to find a travel buddy (female). If interested, please let me know here.
Sandra from Montreal
Montreal, Qc Canada 02/05/2013
Facebook group for solo travelers
The Solo Travel Society on Facebook is a page for solo travelers to share information, find solo travel inspiration, tips and stories. You'll find many like-minded travelers there.
Toronto, Ont Canada 01/16/2013
Rea,while you are in Florence a great trip is to a b&b inGhivizzano; Casa La Pace is owned by 2 Americans. I spent several weeks there and it is one of the greatest trips i have ever had. They take you on tours each day and then to dinner each evening. You can get there by rail, only about 1 hour from Florence. If you go to their web site you can see what they have to offer
little rock, ar USA 01/13/2013
Solo Cruises are the Best
I am 55+ and I love to travel Solo. My first trip was a 7 day cruise. I found the Norweigan Epic has cabins for the Solo travler. My second cruise was a transatlantic cruise..Miami to Barcelona. I had so much fun and met a lot of people from all over the world. Needless to say I have taken 8 cruises since then. Now I am interested in spending 6 months in Europe for 2013. 3 in Barcelona and 3 in France. I would love any feedback or suggestions.
Houston, Texas USA 10/21/2012
Solo Travel Group!
Our travel club is perfect for solo travelers looking for a different type of adventure! We design our trips with off the path adventure and twists and turns like a solo trip! Most of our members are solo travelers too! BTW--its a free travel club so check it out: http://www.photoflytravel.com/
We're heading to Eastern Europe next month!
sausalito, CA USA 08/21/2012
Solo Travel: Pros and Cons
The bliss of traveling solo is simple: you see what you want, when you want to. You set the pace and the itinerary. I'm an only child. Being alone isn't an issue. Solitude centers me. A smile and a nod is my introduction and I find pleasant, helpful people throughout the world. I can also glare and utter no with force. Stops peddlers and inappropriate behavior. Solo travel keeps me sane, provides perspective, renews my faith in fellow human beings and genuinely elicits joy.
Land of La, CA USA 04/16/2012
Julie's List of Single Female Friendly places to eat in South Africa
In March I spent time as a solo female traveler in South Africa. I went to Cape Town, Franschoek, and Stellenbosch. I compiled a rather lengthy list of the best places to eat for a single female:
Now I'm traveling through Europe before I head back to the US. I'll try to compile a similar list for Europe!
I just returned from my first solo trip. I'm 50+ and went for two weeks in Ireland. I figured it would be a good bet for a safe trip my first time out. I rented a car and drove from Dublin south all the way around the perimeter (almost) of the country and back around to Dublin again. I also only made reservations for the first and last night of the trip, and the rest of the time, I just popped into B&B's and had no trouble finding nice places to stay. I had a wonderful time. I found people to be helpful and willing to help me decide my route for the following day. I went in March, so tourists were light and roads were empty. Downside was a few of the places I wanted to see were closed for the season. I only had a time or two when I felt a bit lonesome, but connecting with home each night on the internet was my solution, and it worked nicely. I met some really wonderful folks and really got to see the "real" Ireland. Would highly recommend it to solo female travelers and first-timers. Already starting to think about where I want to go next!
Redlands, CA USA 03/18/2012
Female Traveling Solo
I just returned from a very memorable 2-week birthday trip to Italy. It was my very first visit to that gorgeous country and I managed to see 10 cities in 2 weeks; Thanks to a lot of advanced planning & research. I read Rick's travel guides and watched his DVD's. I booked hotels and my guided tour of the Vatican Museums & St. Peter's Basilica online ahead of time. I also found it very helpful to learn basic Italian by borrowing books & CD's from our local library.
I enjoyed this solo trip much more than my 1999 trip to London & Paris with my controlling ex-husband. Traveling solo enabled me to meet so many wonderful, nice, and helpful people- my "angels". It also gave me the freedom to see what I've always wanted to see.
To address the safety issue, I stayed at centrally located convent guesthouses which were also much cheaper than the surrounding hotels. I put all my valuables in a special Samsonite wallet worn around the neck and tucked inside my coat.
I spent my 50th birthday at the Carnevale in Venice and met people from around the world. I traveled to Florence, shopped in Regello, visited Sienna, San Gemignano, Rome, Napoli, Sorrento, Positano & Amalfi. It wasn't difficult because the Italian train system is very convenient and comfortable.
I arrived home safely here in ND with no incident because I made it a point to leave all my jewelry at home, bring my old camera, and not carry a lot of cash. I also avoided walking in dark alleys by myself and always walked fast in brightly lit main streets instead. Right now, I can't wait to receive my complete set of Rick's Travels in Europe DVD's so I can reminisce and plan my next solo trip!
Best travel tips for women like me who love shopping- Do not over pack. Leave a lot of room in your luggage for your purchases. Shop in Florence & Regello instead of Venice. Wines, perfumes, and cheeses are so much cheaper in Italy than in the US.
West Fargo, ND USA 03/10/2012
Solo Travel Club Pics!
Check out the pics of this solo travel club.--its a different way for solo travelers to see the world: http://singlesbythebaytravel.com/
Hamden, MA USA 03/09/2012
Solo Female Traveler
I love solo traveling! My last trip, traveling with eurail pass at age 60+, began in an appartamento in Certaldo Alto, Italy (walled hill town), continued to a few days in Cinque Terre, then an incredible week of hiking & sleeping high in the Alps in Gimmelwald/Murren. From there, Cochem, Germany on the Mosel River - wineries & Rick's favorite castle; a few museum-free, wandering days in Paris, and a delightful week in Dinan, France. A week in Brugge, then the Chunnel to London and a day on Center Court at Wimbledon! Can't wait for the next one!
GA USA 03/02/2012
Sandy in Corona: UI've been to London alone and had a wonderful time. I stayed in a B&B near Victoria Station (its name was Cherry something -- found in Rick's book). Location was convenient, neighborhood was quiet.
Atlanta, USA 02/25/2012