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Help! 25 yr. old female travelling alone? Am I safe?

Help! 25 yr. old female travelling alone? Am I safe?

Old Jan 19th, 2005, 05:56 PM
  #1  
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Help! 25 yr. old female travelling alone? Am I safe?

I graduated college in December and about to embark on my first time to Europe. Problem is I have tried for years to get friends to go and no one will. (Have dull friends I guess...!)

My question is, will I have fun? Will I be safe? I think I am a pretty smart and adventerous person so I have no problem travelling alone. I just need some reassurance, I think my parents would appreciate it also.
My plan is to fly into London and then go wherever it takes me. I need help from all you experienced travellers!!!

Thanks!
Ral04 is offline  
Old Jan 19th, 2005, 06:37 PM
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Hmm, next week, my 20yr old son flies to London, and he too is pretty much travelling solo, "going wherever it takes him", for a 4 month period (taking a break from college).

You don't state budget ... my son used these budget oriented sites & forums for more info:
http://www.bugeurope.com/
http://www.eurotrip.com/forum/
http://www.letsgo.com/
http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/
http://travel.roughguides.com/

Even if your budget is higher, you should find useful info on personal safety, travelling alone, etc, all geared toward younger travellers.

tom_h is offline  
Old Jan 19th, 2005, 07:25 PM
  #3  
BAK
 
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My daughter was 22 when she went to Italy to sing.

She'd never been out of North America, and had not travelled much here, either.

She flew into Nice, found the train and took it to Lucca, found the hotel where she had reservations, (this is an important point for the first night; make at least a one-night reservation so you have a base to starat from)and over the summer took a few short trips by herself, and then after the performances foundher own way to paris by train, spent a few days there, and got home safely.

No reports of any real problems, at any time, and she had a wonderful visit, in addition to doing the work she went to do.

You'll be fine, unless you do something really silly.

BAK
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Old Jan 19th, 2005, 08:03 PM
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My 21 year old daughter is going to Italy for Spring Quarter and will be travelling before school starts by herself, and possibly afterwards. I'm really happy and excited for her--I feel more comfortable about her travelling alone in Europe than here in the U.S.

Have a great time--I'm sure you'll meet up with other young travellers. Also, do some research before you go--other good websites that seem more geared to younger/student travellers are slowtrav.com and lonelyplanet.com.
artlover is offline  
Old Jan 19th, 2005, 09:27 PM
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We have two daughters who are now 31 and 28. We live in Australia and 10 years ago at the age of 21 our eldest daughter went on a trip to London. Prior to that she'd never lived away from home and whenever her friends asked her if she was interested in moving into an apartment with them, her stock standard answer was always that it was too good at home and she wasn't interested. She'd just turned 21 when a close girlfriend who had travelled to London three months previously kept pestering her to go, so off she went intending to return home within six months. 10 years later and she's still living in London, she comes home each Christmas for a couple of weeks. She's had several jobs in London and for the past 4 years has studied accountancy with the company she's now working for. Several years ago she also met a wonderful young man from Durban, Sth Africa and their wedding is in April this year. She's travelled to many countries throughout Europe, England and Scotland in her spare time, she's had lots of challenges along the way, and with it all she's grown and developed into a delightful young woman, strong-willed and determined. Our second daughter also went to London on her own when she was about 23. She lived in the UK for two years and had many different jobs, did lots of travelling and again it wasn't without its challenges. When she returned to Australia she applied for a position at an outdoor swimming centre and she was the only female up against several males. The males were all out of college with degrees, she on the other hand had lots of work experience behind her. She won the position and is now the operations manager of a large outdoor swimming centre in charge of about 20 or so staff, some who are older than her. Are our girls perfect? No, but we're very proud of them both and of their achievements and we can see that they've both benefited tremendously from their travelling experiences. I see other young people who haven't left the comfort of their homes and families, and they pale into insignificance in comparison. As a parent it's not easy to let go and there's been moments when we've spent anxious moments waiting to hear from the girls. I think every young person should go overseas and learn to fend for themselves, it's the best education you can have and I'm sure you'll never regret it. We're off to our daughter's wedding in South Africa in April and after the wedding our youngest daughter is setting off once again for 5 months travel around the world with her surf boards. Will we worry about her? Probably, but she goes with our blessings and in the knowledge that she's out there doing what she wants to do and taking on more of life's challenges. There are many young people doing what you're about to do and you'll make friends along the way. You'll be safe if you're sensible and don't take any unnecessary risks, be alert but have fun and enjoy the challenges. Life is full of choices, and I'm sure for those who choose to spread their wings and travel the benefits far outweigh the risks. Go for it and enjoy.
magimay is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2005, 05:23 AM
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Yes - why wouldn;t you be?

Every place you're going will be full of young single women living their own lives. Unless you plan on engaging is very risky behavior (does it really seem sensible to wander down that dark alley at 2am?) you should have no problems.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 05:41 AM
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I believe there's an average of about one thread per week with the same Message/Question: "Travelling Alone, Am I Safe?" Has there every been a response that in essence said No so Stay Home? JUST CURIOUS!!! BTW, You'll be Safe so Have a Great Trip!!! Mike
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 11:56 AM
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Thank you to all that answered. Especially magimay. It sounds like your daughters have pretty interesting lives so far. Have fun at her wedding!

I made my mom sit down and read all the replies. I think she has finally come to terms that I am going away from home.
I find people who have travelled to be far more interesting than others. Thank you again!!!
Ral04 is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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Have a great trip, check out this website:

http://www.journeywoman.com
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 01:33 PM
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Here is from a mother who's son went to Europe at 19.

Make sure you have worldwide health insurance coverage. Always let your parents know where you are, and how to reach you in case of emergency.

Do they have e-mail AND know how to use it? Do they have your e-mail address?

Financially - what if they need to send you money? Maybe a joint account with at least one parent is a good idea?

Of course it's safe to travel, but remember - your parents never hear from you often enough. At least it seems so
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 01:54 PM
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You don't detail your itinerary, but if it includes Paris, it may be reassuring to know that it's a relatively safe city. But .... there's a Latin side to the character of some young (and not so young) fellows here, and it is not too unlikely that you'd be wooed, verbally, if you spent a while in Paris. My wife, who ran a study abroad program in Paris in the late 1980s advised her female students to: 1) Ignore (totally) any conversational openings from guys they did not want to meet -- specifically, do not say a word -- and 2) Never smile in such situations. A smile is taken as encouragement.

Have a wonderful trip, and shame on your friends! They don't know what they're missing.

Dave_in_Paris is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2005, 02:13 PM
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It's impossible to guarantee your safety or even predict if you will have fun without knowing you. Have you ever traveled before? Do you live alone? Do you have experience in cities or have you lived a more sheltered life? Do you enjoy your own company? Do you have enough money saved to afford reasonably safe places to sleep, transportation when you need it, a return ticket home if you want to end the trip, etc. Do you have your passport yet (just kidding!)?

25 and a college graduate is not exactly way young (many people in their late teens or even high school do what you describe).

I've traveled female solo a lot but on shorter trips and I am older. I always have a blast and never yet had a problem of any sort.

I would recommend having a plan and reservations for the first couple days minimum. Especially landing in London, it is a huge city to be winging it IMO. After a transatlantic (assuming from the US) flight it would be nice to know how to get there & where you were going to stay at least the first night.

I feel it takes MORE research ahead of time to <go wherever it takes> you, if you want to get the most out of your trip, and have it be all you want it to be.

Wandering around with no plan sounds romantic but in reality you could end up in boring places, paying more than you expected, for not so nice places to stay.
suze is online now  
Old Jan 20th, 2005, 02:24 PM
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Suze is right about doing some planning at least. It doesn't mean you have to book the whole trip in advance, but do some research, have a list of possible places to stay, and which cities/towns you want to visit. The perhaps when you are getting tired of one place, you could book a few nights in your next destination. Using the internet you can book just a little in advance and so still have a lot of flexibility, but not be arriving in each city without someplace to stay.

Get a cell phone so you can stay in touch with your parents. Doesn't mean you have to use it every day, but it's nice to know you can, and it will definitly make them feel better.

There are quite a few threads on this forum about solo traveling. Do a search and you'll find lots to read. Here are a couple of threads to try:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2
andwww.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2&tid=1370305
isabel is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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I think the answer is, generally, yes, you will be safe.

A lot depends on you. Have you ever been away from home before? I say this because I know some very old kids who lived at home while attending college, and still live at home, and I think they would be very nervous about travelling. If you have never been away from home, I think going to Europe for a first trip might be a bit much; in that case, my suggestion would be to take some more local trips to get a little experience before travelling to more exotic lands.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 03:41 PM
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I think it's great that you want to do this - travel is the ultimate education. The only real regret I have about my younger years is that I didn't travel more before I became encumbered by all the responsibilities that modern adult life brings - have a great time!
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 03:46 PM
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Your question is like asking "if I go to the mall am I safe?"

Who knows? You may be and you may not be safe at any place at any time. A plane may crash into your house when you are in bed.

It is up to you to accept the challenge of traveling and accepting whatever may happen with intelligence.

You could be a ninny as far as we know. What does your family say, they should know you fairly well.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 04:20 PM
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Ral04- Way up top tom_h suggested The Lonely Planet and their excellent BB called The Thorn Tree. I really want to point this out, because here on Fodors (as you notice) you are getting responses from parents and older adults responding to your question. On TT you'll be hearing from your peer group directly.
suze is online now  
Old Jan 20th, 2005, 05:12 PM
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Being able to reach you by cell phone would certainly reassure your parents (yes, I'm another parent - I have two daughters working overseas). But you'll need one that works on the GSM system used in Europe, most of the world for that matter. [American posters can correct me on this, but I believe that although GSM is used by some US carriers it operates on a different frequency?] Search this forum and you'll find plenty of discussion on that subject.

Also I'd suggest buying (after in London) a prepaid phonecard that provides cheap rates for calls home from payphones and other fixed line services.

I second the recommendation to register at Lonely Planet's Thorntree forum. I think your best bet will be to use youth hostels, where you'll meet lots of other young travellers whose brains you can pick and where you can join tours, find out where the action is, etc. You can join the International Hostels Association before you leave and qualify for discounts. I think their site is www.IHHostels.com and from memory it has extensive info on member hostels all over the world. My son, who made his first overseas trip (to Japan, Korea and China) found the hostel network an invaluable way of finding his feet in a new city.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 05:13 PM
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Ral04 - sorry, I had that website wrong. It's www.hihostels.com.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 04:53 AM
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I'm going to bite my tongue on the entire "I'm 25 years old and have to prove to my mother that I won't get raped and murdered in Europe" idea. I think of it this way (by the way, I have 2 boys and 1 girl... they are all raised that when you graduate, you backpack Europe for the summer and then go to college... one son did this at 16). I always think my kids have a much, much smaller chance of being hurt in Europe than they do if they stay home and spend the summer driving our winding mountain roads with their friends. As far as money management - my son has a Visa debit at the same bank where I bank. If he needs money, I just transfer some into his account.
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