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Any suggestions on a European travel destination for a single female traveler in December?

Any suggestions on a European travel destination for a single female traveler in December?

Old Nov 4th, 2000, 09:21 PM
  #1  
Cara
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Any suggestions on a European travel destination for a single female traveler in December?

I'm considering a trip to Europe in early December, but everyone is telling me that it will be so cold that sightseeing will be miserable. The areas of most interest to me that I haven't visited yet include Scotland, Ireland, Prague and Southern Italy. Any suggestions? I'm also trying to decide if I should travel solo or book my travels via a tour group. Does anyone have any advice on a tour company that has a good mix of travelers? Thanks for any advice.
 
Old Nov 4th, 2000, 10:46 PM
  #2  
t
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t
 
Old Nov 4th, 2000, 11:19 PM
  #3  
imho :D
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My friend went to Europe in winter (late Nov-early Dec) and loved it, even though she hates the cold. So, go! Depends on what type of siteseeing you want to do too, I think- outdoors nature type things or museums and stuff like that?

How well travelled are you? Brave? Independent? In that case, go alone. If you choose to go on a tour, find a small tour group- those big coach ones aren't terrific.
 
Old Nov 5th, 2000, 12:56 AM
  #4  
Howard
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Hello -

Southern Italy is certainly not too cold in early December. I'm not sure how southern youa re talking about, but figure a lot of weather in the 50's and 60's in the far south. Not ideal for an outdoor cafe, but fine for general sightseeing. Ireland and Scotland can be very gray, but will not be bitterly cold. Prague is the cold spot on your list.

As a fan of indepndnet travel, I would also say skip the group.
 
Old Nov 5th, 2000, 01:16 AM
  #5  
Sheila
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Scotland can be great at that time of year. It is not warm You can expect daytime temperatures of up to 5 or 6 Celsius and night time below freezing.

The Great Outdoors can be stunning if a bit less green than it is in spring; but you need to know that a number of tourist attractions will be closed- not all but quite a lot.

There are good concerts, street entertainment, pantomimes and shopping, all in the run up to Christmas. And I think Scotland is a pretty good place for someone on her own
 
Old Nov 5th, 2000, 03:56 AM
  #6  
c
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Just browsing around the internet, I found the travel page of the British Museum, which seems to have some very interesting tours year round. They are very unusual and specialized and go to rather esoteric places.
I find walking tours with a commercial company are wonderful when traveling without a friend. It's very easy to mix with the other people and the groups are smaller than 15, usually smaller than 10. They go to small towns and beautiful rural areas and you have a lot of contact with local people. But these tours are usually in spring and fall, not winter or summer. But you might look into it. I think ATG-Oxford may have some winter tours.
I would think that if you were going to travel totally alone, winter might be a nice time. Not overwhelmed with visitors, local people might be especially glad and curious to see you, and you might have a lot of enjoyable interactions with them, if you like that sort of thing.
Smithsonian Museum defintely has small group tours. I think they are mainly for elderly very wealthy people. They appear to be educational, but not too active, and very very very expensive.
 
Old Nov 5th, 2000, 04:15 AM
  #7  
c
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Oops. Mistake Actually I have no idea whether the Smithsonian tours are small groups. I meant to say there are quite a few in winter. Very expensive. I wouldn't use them, but I think I heard they're good.
 
Old Nov 5th, 2000, 06:35 AM
  #8  
Lauren
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I, too, will be a single female traveler this winter. I have never been to Europe before, so I chose to go with a tour group. Although I am very independant and know that I could do it on my own, I chose the tour because I could be with others if I got a bit lonely, wouldn't have to worry about renting a car, and other things that can get a bit hairy if you are in an unfamilar surroundings. It's a 28-day tour that leaves Dec 28 and returns Jan 24. (If you are interested, email me and I will tell you more specifics.) I am a bit worried about the possibility of cancelation of the trip. In that case, I will still be going to Europe. However, I probably will stay in fewer areas.
 
Old Nov 5th, 2000, 05:01 PM
  #9  
kc
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Loved Edinburgh!
 
Old Nov 6th, 2000, 10:19 AM
  #10  
Pete
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You might want to combine travel in Edinburgh and Southern Ireland.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2000, 12:24 PM
  #11  
Christina
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I belong to Smithsonian Associates and the above comment is correct, their tours are very expensive and attract wealthy retirees. I think Rick Steves' tours have a good mix of people (www.ricksteves.com) and here is a tour group for singles with some good deals and tours (www.osolomio.com). Many years ago I did a tour with TWA Getaway and liked it a lot; it is nice that you can do what you want if you wish, but have some people to eat dinner with or stuff if you don't want to be alone; anyway, the TWA tours are moderately priced and also attracted a good mix of ages and people. I think the more moderate/budget in price you go, the more likely you will get a wider variety of ages and types of people. I myself would not recommend Scotland or Ireland in Dec--I was there in August and it was rainy A LOT and people were wearing wool winter coats (I'm not kidding). Prague will no doubt be cold too, but I would think it might not be as bad as those places. Also, I think for what you want to see, Prague is not quite so dependent on better weather. I don't agree with the comment about avoiding tour groups with big coaches--those coaches are very comfortable and the group does not have to be that large for them to use one; TWA used one for some rides through the country, etc (we didn't do a lot by bus), yet the groups were not that large, less than 50 people, probably only 2-3 dozen. Any decent tour group you use is probably going to use one, and having had the extreme displeasure of being in a small, uncomfortable van for hours in a small tour group of about 10 once, I would opt for the nice comfortable bus any day.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2000, 08:42 PM
  #12  
clairobscur
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Sure...but some people would consider "less than 50" as a *huge* number of persons...Personaly, I wouldn't be interested in such a tour...perhaps in this kind of tour with a dozen or so travellers and a guide, where it's possible to debate about the places to visit, the schedule, etc..
 
Old Nov 8th, 2000, 11:07 AM
  #13  
Shanna
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Greetings, Cara. Many tour groups have Germany Christmas Market tours in early December. These markets are great fun, wonderful exquisite items for sale, lots of food, cash only! It was my first trip to Germany so I did a tour; would go next time independent. Cold cold cold, but so pretty. My group was too large - around 40, but mostly friendly. I was traveling alone, so appreciated the company. I seldom go out at night and winter days are very short, so the group allowed me to go about after dark instead of staying in the hotel. We hit Munich, Salzburg (Austria), Nurnberg, Rothenberg - one other. Also went to Rome in January one year - not too cold, but cold enough that I preferred to be indoors. That just didn't work for me, not in Rome where my heart just wanted to be outdoors. Although Paris in December worked very well - because it was sunny and about 50 during the day. I was on a photography mission on that trip and the light was phenomenal. If you keep moving you can stay warm. Cities warmer than countryside, more cozy cafes. Silk underwear and those funny silver glove liners. Hat! Capes are better than coats and wonderfully dramatic against a winter landscape. Have fun - I envy you!
 
Old Nov 9th, 2000, 08:46 PM
  #14  
Jc
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I went to Scotland in early December two years ago alone. I took train from Glasco to Highland, and hiking around Port Williams area. It wasn't cold and the views was increditable.It is easy and safe to travel alone in Scotland. I have done a lot of travels in Europe alone in the Winter, the best thing is no line-up in all the tourist attractions. The draw back is it gets dark too early.
 

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