- 10 years ago
That sounds fantastic! Go for it.
That sounds fantastic! Go for it.
If I were you, I would look into hostels. Hostelworld.com ranks hostels all over the world on lots of factors. Look for some that has a high “fun” rating or something like that. My experience with hostels EVERYWHERE was that there is no shortage of like-minded people just hanging out who will be happy to welcome you into a group if you are feeling lonely. I did several trips where I would spend a few days with someone I knew and then a few days by myself. Those were often my favorite days, where I would bring a book and enjoy a cafe alone. No pressure of conforming to what your travel partner wants to do/see/etc. After having some TERRIBLE travel partners, traveling alone can be amazing.
I’ve done it. I think traveling alone is the most exciting & empowering thing a woman can do. It’s nice to get to be by yourself & get to do what you want to do when you want to do it!
Bring a travel adapter!
Obviously, be safe. Don’t tell anyone where you’re staying & get home before it gets really dark. Instead of partying at night, I woke up really early to get around town to see the sights & spent the entire day traveling.
I wouldn’t suggest a hostel. Hostels are cool when you’re 18… if you really want a solo European vacation stay at little indie hotels (check them out on tripadvisor first)! They’ve got so much charm. The only downside is the size of the rooms– they’re like 1/4 of the size of most US hotels! haha in one hotel in London I stayed at, in order to sit on the toilet I had to put my feet in the shower. It was SO cramped! lol
A lot of people usually take trains to get around, but sometimes flights are cheaper. Flying from Paris to Rome can cost under $200 USD if you plan ahead…
Good luck & happy planning!
I read a great blog – crazyauntpurl.com – and she frequently talks about travelling alone and how awesome it is. She has some great tips but the biggest thing is this – Have a wonderful time!!
I did it and it was a blast. I do think that I was hyper-careful on trains and in other situation where I was interacting with crowds. I tried to always look like I knew where I was going and what I was doing. I made sure that before I set out for the day that I knew what the agenda and the route was. I hooked up with other girls traveling either together or by themselves and I tried to be very skeptical of all the men pressuring me for dates. ( I got asked to be someone’s date for the Cannes Film Festival and it killed me to turn it down, but I felt safer for it.)
If you are staying in hostels, stay in the girls dorms and you’ll meet so many great and adventurous girls. I traveled around with so many Aussies on walk about!
I did a 3 week backpacking trip through Italy in 2007. I started in Milan, traveled around a good portion of the country for 3 weeks by train, and then flew out of Milan again. It was an awesome experience and now whenever I’m nervous about something I remember my first day in Italy as a little pep talk.
Here are my tips, some of which have been brought up by other posters.
Best of luck to you! I traveled alone because I’m a teacher and didn’t have anyone who could spend that length of time away and I’m so glad I didn’t put it on hold. I really wasn’t even lonely until the tail end of my trip. Good luck and enjoy!
In Fall of 2008 I spent a week traveling Europe on my own and had a great time! (London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin) I made sure to stay in public places and kept an eye on my belongings, but didn’t have any problems. I didn’t ‘flaunt’ anything I may have had on me (phone, computer…) and tried to make it look like I always knew where I was going… even when I was lost in Brussels without a map 🙂
I stayed in hostels, which while lacking in privacy, gave the opportunity to meet other travelers that I could socialize with at night (since I wasn’t comfortable wandering around most cities alone at night)
Also- check out RyanAir. I flew from Latvia to London for $20!
You ladies are giving me such great tips! Thank you!
I am getting really excited. June 2011 is a long ways off….but at the same time it’s godo to have something fun to dream about now that the wedding is over haha
Eurorail pass. Has anyone else suggested a Eurorail pass? Mine got me happily through a semester in Europe as a college student. Overnight trains were my fav, because they’re only an upgrade fee and save on a hotel. I was a broke student then though, haha.
I had an Eurorail pass 8 years ago when I was running around Europe( I have lived in France for about 3 years total)…. It is the easiest way to travel. We would just go to a city and then find out where we were going to stay when we got there… not a care in the world.
I still go running around europe but this time I have more $ to do things like go to opera in Vienna (doing that tomorrow night :))
Definately something that I would recommend for anyone to do.
I spent 2 months traveling alone in Europe the summer before I started law school. The World Cup was happening at the time in France so I avoided the country altogether. Didn’t need the crowds. It was enough excitement to be in a country when their team was playing! I definitely had some fantastic experiences, and I stayed in youth hostels mostly so I always met people. It was nice to have the freedom to change plans quickly if you want without worrying about a travel partner. You should watch out for weirdos on trains but the Euro pass everyone else mentioned is key.
Have fun. You learn a lot about yourself.
I’ve traveled solo in Europe, and I loved it! My best advice is to bring a journal, even if you’re not typically a journal writer. You’ll have so many amazing experiences that you’d normally talk about with a travel companion, that it really helps to have somewhere to put your thoughts 🙂 So exciting! I hope you have a wonderful time!
I have a bit of a different perspective. I spent a semester studying abroad in Madrid, and did a lot of shorter trips around Europe from there. One of them was 4 days in Rome by myself. It was honestly very lonely and I would not do it again. I don’t think you’ll have any issues with safety, but just in terms of meeting people in hostels it can be a mixed bag. I stayed in a room with 7 other people in a hostel; everyone else was traveling with someone. I wanted to explore the city and see all the cultural stuff; everyone else was more into going on pub crawls every night. When I was sightseeing, I would run into Americans, but everyone seemed to be in families, tour groups, etc, and I didn’t really connect with anyone. I really wanted to talk and share my impressions of everything, and it was SO frustrating not to have anyone to talk to.
That said, I am not the most outgoing person ever, and I am particular about how I like to spend my time on vacation. There’s few people I travel with well because am really intense about sightseeing dawn to dusk. I would say if you are outgoing and more flexible about your schedule and activities it could work.
@GirlWithARing – I was very lonely on my own as well. I’m with you in that I don’t think I’d do it again. But looking back, I’m glad I did. It was a pretty amazing experience, but not necessarily a fun one. So I would recommend going alone for someone who wants to, but with the caveat that it might be more meaningful than enjoyable.
How exciting! I’m glad you are doing it because I know that you will have a blast!!!!!
I went to my solo Europe last year (SEpt/Oct). Tips? Hmmm…
Owwwwww, I’m super jealous!!! Now I wanna go back! 🙂
Do you know which countries/cities you are planning to visit?
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