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Solo female in London/Paris needs advice

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I'm strongly thinking to head off to London and Paris for a week or so in March or April and need some serious advice. I'm a 26 year old female. I've traveled quite a bit. I'm from Canada; been to a ton of US cities and places in the Carribean. I've only been to Spain in Europe (incredible trip!), but I've never traveled solo. I'm a pretty decent planner if I say so myself so not concerned about that, but traveling solo does make me a bit nervous.

1) Do I book on my own or with a tour?
I think tours are a pain in terms of bus rides and following someone else's schedules and overpriced, BUT the pro of this is I'm thinking I'll meet fellow travelers. Plus I'm very nervous to explore nightlife on my own and that's where the tour group should help right? I'm looking into Contiki. I've read good and bad reviews. As long as I can do my own thing during the day if I wish, I'd be game for this. Thoughts?

2) I'm thinking 7-8 days for both Paris and London. Starting in London and ending in Paris. I don't have a large budget. I found some reasonable priced hotels. London: Royal London, Tavistock Hotel, President Hotel. Paris: Ibis Styles Paris Gare De L Est, Hotel Magenta Paris. Any reviews on these hotels? I've read some and they seem decent. I'm most concerned about location.

3) Any recommendations of how many days to spend in each city and things to do?

4) If I choose to not do a tour, should I not go out at night? I've watched Taken a bit too many times so that makes me nervous. :/

5) How much cash should I have on me? I prefer to use my credit card but wondering what's best.

Thank you for reading. Appreciate any advice.

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