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Solo Traveller - Looking for others! Mar/Apr 09

Solo Traveller - Looking for others! Mar/Apr 09

Old Sep 14th, 2008, 05:16 PM
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Solo Traveller - Looking for others! Mar/Apr 09

I'm heading over to Europe for a month in March/April 2009 - travelling solo!! The thought is still a little daunting so I'm looking for others to chat with and possibly meet up! I'm toying with the idea of doing a Contiki tour.
I'm 25, female and from Australia - I want to see as much as i can but am open to anything!
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 05:21 PM
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I don't mean to sound like a mother, but here I go.
I'd be very careful about meeting up with any and all sorts when traveling solo. Fodorites often have GTG, meet up when traveling or if they live nearby, but I would just give some thought to protecting your privacy and make sure you don't put yourself in a risky situation. Use the usual cautions about being in a public place, not heading out with strangers, etc.
Sorry to put a damper on things. Do get information and since you have some time, maybe you will get a feel for those you meet online.
I'm sure you'll meet some great people. Just be careful.
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 05:25 PM
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Thanks I expect the same from mum when I tell her my plans. Then my nanna, and gran and every other person I know It's a tough situation, also a little risky but at this stage it's more the share of information I'm looking for.

Thanks for the warning though, you need a good old reality check occasionally
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 05:33 PM
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You're welcome. Just so you know, I think it is wonderful for you to be traveling at your age. We traveled in the US, Mexico and Canada, but not til 2004 did we start traveling to Europe. I think it the most wonderful thing to do, travel, see other cultures, break out of your own little world.
So, I would never discourage you from traveling. I'd encourage it for everyone. Go, and have a wonderful time, just keep safety in mind.
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 05:38 PM
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Thanks, I will do and look forward to it too
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 06:09 PM
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I travel with friends in March every year, and we'll be in Rome March 18-26. We're not exactly party animals, but we love to eat and explore and spend long days seeing as much as possible.
Who knows, if you're there at the same time we could have a little GTG with any other Fodorites around at the time.
I've never attended one and no idea how to start such a thing, but it might be fun. From what I've read, folks of all ages from all over participate.
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 06:37 PM
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Tammy, I understood Challiman to be saying that solo travel is great but do not advertise to the world you are traveling solo, lonely, open to anything (unless you really are open to anything) and willing to meet up and hang out with anyone that comes along. I travel solo, talk to people I meet along the way but never admit I am solo. A simple safety measure. My friends are always catching up with me later, around the corner, or off doing their own thing for a time. No one needs to know my personal business. Have a great trip!
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 07:04 PM
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Tammy -
Agree with all the prudent cautions but with that out of the way, start putting together your wish list.
In terms of practical advice for planning:

Get a map and figure out the relative distance between places you want to visit. In general, it is better to stay in one place for at least a few days, making day trips from your temporary home base, than to jump from one place to another. There is a book titled Europe by Eurail, available on amazon.com and probably elsewhere, that is something of a classic and uses this approach. Buying a Eurail pass may or may not be your best bet, but this book was very helpful when I started visiting Europe.

Create files on your computer where you can store info you find online. I create a file for each country and subfolder for the specific cities in each country, and a folder for transportation (air, rail, ferries, etc.)

If you find a web site with good info bookmark it because you may not be able to remember the url later. Remember you can also save html pages for offline viewing.

For extended trips it can help to get a calendar with large blocks for each day and pencil in locations You can also do something similar using a spreadsheet program. Do not get caught up with planning a detailed itinerary for each and every day, just enough to let you figure out where you want to be and when.

If you go with a tour group (anathema to many posters here, I know) much of the logistic planning is taken care of but you lose the ability to vary your itinerary as whim strikes - and you never know what whim will strike when and where.

Female Fodorites can offer more specific advice on what to pack, but at that time of year you may encounter a range of temperatures and should plan on dressing in layers.

While Fodorville is my home base, there are other sites that cater to travelers your age, such as thorn tree.

And of course take advantage of the wonderful information here by using the search function.

Oh, one last thing - if you find something that looks too good to be true (5 star hotel for $20/night!) it probably is.
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 07:49 PM
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Tammy: I admire you for traveling solo. It is something I did just once years ago, leaving DH behind to take my Mom and my aunt back to the Us, while I drove across Ireland and flew to England to visit friends, then flew to paris, cuz none of them would go with me.
It all worked out well, I was doing some research in Paris, but I found it to be lonely in the evenings, and went through contortions to find company to have dinner with, strangers, but with introductions. This was prior to Fodor's GTG meetings, which I have yet to enjoy.

I now find myself in my older age, wanting to find people with whom to travel, but it's tough. I am eccentric, as I am sure most of us are. Love good food, but not a party-er, love to meet people, and talk about travel, esp. young eager, funny people like those on Fodor's, am in great physical shape, luckily, and My DH is tired of the travel.

But who wants to travel with a 75 year old, who may write travel articles, and know a lot, but may be a pain in the [email protected]$ at times?

Couldn't there be a safe way for like minded people to get together, spend some time together (intercity train travel, or air travel, a meal once in a while, a chance to meet each other's local friends,in a safe way.)
Any ideas, people??
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Old Oct 14th, 2008, 05:21 PM
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I have traveled by myself, with friends, and on a tour, on a few different occasions.

I was in London by myself a few years ago. I was suppose to meet up with a friend, but she was held up in the States by a hurricane!
I was nervous before I left, but I had a great time. I felt safe, but I was also very careful. The exploring part was great because I got to see everything I wanted and at my own speed. It was a little sad having dinner by myself. And not because I mind eating alone, it was just at that point I was ready for a little conversation and someone to talk to about everything I saw and did.

If you find a friend to go with make sure you can tolerate that friend. And they can handle their own. After about a week with even my closest friend I was ready for a little separation. And that just means an afternoon or two to do are out thing.

Traveling on a tour. I save this for last because I think if you are going for a month and by yourself this is probably a better option for you. I did Contiki tour, and while I know most people on this forum don't really like tours, I had a great time. Mine was really short, 10 days. And a little too short. Since you have the time, I would take at least a 23 day tour. I would suggest one that spends at least two nights in most cities. On Contiki you will find a mix of people, which I think is great. Some are heavy partiers, some are not into that at all, some (like me) are somewhere in the middle. Some people are into meeting their fellow tour mates and some people are not. In my opinion that is half the fun of travel, whether you are on your own, with close friends or on a tour. I love to meet and talk to people of the same and different nationalities. The days are pact and for the most part are left up to you. In Venice they had a glass blowing and lace making demonstration. I opted out of both as I saw glass blowing the last time I was there and I really wasn't that interested in lace making. Some dinneres are provided for you at your hotel and some are optional extras you pay for. A few of the dinners at the hotel were good, but many were not. The optional dinners were great and included enough wine to feel warm inside=) Lunches are left up to you. And breakfast were included and decent. Other optional excursions were a canal cruise through Amsterdam, wine tasting in St. Goar, a bike tour through Munich, gondola ride and dinner in Venice, lake cruise and Mt. Stanserhorn in Lucern, and Mulin Rouge in Paris. Okay, well I am getting a little lenghthy. Let me know if you have any questions I can answer.
I was suppose to go on my contiki tour with a friend and she backed out about two weeks before. I met some great people and some of those people are still friends. In fact my tour manager is doing a contiki tour of the State and I met up with her a few days ago!
Have fun and definitely go somewhere!
Z
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Old Oct 15th, 2008, 07:18 AM
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I'm female and have traveled solo in Europe (Amsterdam, Venice, Paris, also Mexico).

But I do not try to meet up with other people. If you really don't want to go alone, I probably would suggest joining a tour for your trip instead. Rather than being solo and arranging meetings with strangers over the internet. For me it would simply be awkward, even if not outright dangerous.

It's really not "daunting" at all to go alone, easier in some ways than traveling with a friend. To my view, I don't see how meeting up with people you don't know would make it less so. Seems like it would be more stressful to me.


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