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Suggestions for solo female traveler (age 40) 1st trip to Europe?

Suggestions for solo female traveler (age 40) 1st trip to Europe?

Old Mar 17th, 2005, 05:55 PM
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I took a Globus Tour in 1999..my first trip to Europe. It was 16 days including the two travel days. There was a broad age range in the group. Youngest was 13 with her parents, two single girls in early to mid 20's..each traveling on their own, two sets of honeymooners, believe it or not, and the others from probbably early 40's to late 60's. It actually was a good group..two "interesting" couples that complained about everything but it gave us someone to talk about..mean..I know. Anyway, we went from London, to Paris, to Lucerne, to Florence, to Venice, and ended in Rome. The big cities were three nights each, and then two in Lucerne, two in Venice, and the only overnighter was Florence. Pick up tour brochures from a travel agent and read them cover to cover. You will find the class of hotels, how many meals are included, the itinerary, the places you actually go into, the places you just drive by, the "extras" that are offered etc. I would say that the less expensive tours would probably give you an age range that you might be more comfortable with. As another poster suggested, the high end tours are usually filled with more senior travelers who have the dollars to spend on them. I picked the tour I was on because it wasn't so rushed and especially if one did not want to take the extra tours that were additional charges, you actually had quite a bit of free time should you want it. Every afternoon really was free time if we wanted. Globus, as well as others, also have very fast tours..the 18 city in 21 days type and if that's what you prefer go for it. Lots of people take 'em or they wouldn't be offered all the time. I just didn't want to be that rushed. So, get yourself to either the tour websites or to the travel agent and check out the different ones. I'm sure you will find something that is a good fit style wise and budget wise.
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Old Mar 18th, 2005, 06:54 AM
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Another good place to get ideas about organized tours is the ads in travel magazines. That would be a great place to start! Budget Travel, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geo Traveler, and Travel & Leisure to name a few of the major ones.
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Old Mar 18th, 2005, 07:53 AM
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Hi Cece,
The advice so far is just wonderful. I'll give you a couple of websites devoted to women traveling in groups. Some are clubs, and for a nominal fee you'll get loads of info and connections. You might want to check them out:
Womenstravelclub.com
women-traveling.com
adventurouswench.com
Don't you just love the name of that last one! That's how I think of myself.
Lea
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Old Mar 18th, 2005, 12:26 PM
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Personally, I find travelling in a tour group stifling but I understand if you are hesitant about travelling alone. I would strongly suggest you book an independent tour that jsut gets you between cities and provides hotels, etc. The dining experiences in a tour package IMHO do not expose you to the best of what Europe has to offer and cuisine for me is a large part of the pleasure.

I have been very fortunate as to have developed a love for travel at an early age as well as an independent spirit. I have never had a problem meeting people while travelling and IME the number of solo traellers, especially females, is on the increase.

Do your research well and minimize the number of cities you will visit. It would be a shame to blow through these wonderful cities without ever really getting a chance to know them.

It it were me, I would pick one country and immerse myself in 2 or three cities. Italy is always my first choice.

Enjoy!
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Old Mar 18th, 2005, 12:33 PM
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You are right on, kfusto. Fodor's commissioned a Roper poll right before Solo Traveler came out (March 1), and they found that about 1/3 of women (and men) polled had traveled alone for pleasure in the last 2 years--3 nights or more. That's a huge increase from previous polls, and some these people them are members of couples who just want to get away, because it's fun. A real trend, and a great one.
Lea
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