View Full Version : Taking a vacation by yourself

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08-03-2012, 01:58 AM
I did this vacation once. It's a family owned and managed hotel that caters to Solo travelers. The guests tend to skew a bit older (40's) but they are usually pretty friendly. It's not about hooking up or dating but really just people who want to get away, have a good time, and do as much or as little as they want.

The hotel is quite nice, and the food is amazing (organic, vegetables grown in the garden out back, and the recipe of the mother of the owner). They have a set dinner time so you can meet fellow guests.


08-03-2012, 02:23 AM
Echoing what jl22aries said about hostels. You'll meet a lot of people at them who are also traveling alone, and there are a lot of cheap day tours you can take with them. Age isn't really an issue at hostels anymore, in fact, a lot of them are no longer marketed as "youth hostels" for that reason. People of all ages stay at them.

If you go that route, don't bother signing up for the membership with Hosteling International unless you know in advance you're staying somewhere that requires it. A lot of good Euro hostels aren't members of that group, and a lot of the ones that are don't even bother to ask to see your card. If you end up checking into a hostel that asks for the card, you can either buy the membership then, or pay the extra ~$2 a night for non-members.

08-03-2012, 02:38 AM
Both the Lonely Planet forum and hostels.com are good sources for identifying which hostels are best for you. I am perfectly fine going with hostels, especially if I'm traveling by myself, though I usually stay in a hotel the first night or two when I'm getting over jet lag. However, I know a number of people who don't like hostels. It all depends on the person.

08-03-2012, 02:52 AM
I was incredibly vigilant against pickpockets in Barcelona because I'd heard so much about it, and I had no problems.

It's a good idea to read up on the gypsy scams before going there, but even then they can get past a lot of people's precautions. Travelers in Europe have had their wallets stolen out of front, zippered pants pockets.

08-03-2012, 03:58 AM
I pretty much agree with everyone's posts. I've traveled overland by myself down the length of Africa, South America, across southern Asia, Central Asia, etc., hiked the Camino de Santiago alone. I love going alone because it's a personal challenge. Rarely do I travel with friends; some are okay, some will start to whine as soon as they're somewhere foreign. You have to be so careful. Frankly, I'd rather pay the extra money a hotel room costs for a single. Also when there's two of you, you tend to talk to each other and miss out on that wonderful, chance conversation with a complete stranger.

All the comments about hostels are right on. It's easy to meet people there; guests in expensive hotels tend to be somewhat aloof. Stay away from resorts or anywhere honeymoon couples go. That will get depressing. Ditto to the above comment on the Queen Mary II. It's fantastic. Europe can be a little tricky to meet people because everybody is going about their jobs and daily routines. You might consider signing up for cooking classes or language classes somewhere; that's also a good way to meet people to hang out with or go out to dinner with. Sometimes when you're not in the mood to meet anybody and want the alone time, nothing gets your head clear than traveling solo. It's cheaper than counseling.

If you like doing things at home on your own and enjoy your own company, you'll be fine. The bigger regret would be not to go.

Aussie Willy
08-03-2012, 03:58 AM
I agree about the hostelling idea too. I have met so many great people in hostels on travels. And you all have something in common because you are travelling.

If you are worried about eating meals on your own, just take a book.

08-03-2012, 04:00 AM
How about woofing? If I had the time to go on an extended holiday now, I think that is what I would do.

08-03-2012, 04:36 AM
If you would be open to staying at youth hostels (which people of all ages use) and pensiones, you will meet people who you can either go out for a meal or drinks with, or spend the day with seeing attractions or even spend a few days with.

I travelled Europe with a friend for a short while until I decided to go out on my own as she was kind of driving me crazy. (She had other people she could meet up with.) Once on my own, I met people in Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Ireland and England who I spent time with in all of the above situations. It's great because you meet people from all over the world, get to do things you might not do otherwise (or by yourself) and as soon as you tire of them, you're off to somewhere (or someone) new.

Have lots of fun! And report back to us. :D

Let's see if I actually get to do it and don't chicken out as usual. ;)

ALWAYS REMEMBER: What would Joe Perry do? Why, kick ass and go for it! :respec:

08-03-2012, 04:45 AM
Oh lordy, I travel by myself so often it doesn't even occur to me that it's something that you can do with another person. :lol:

Seriously, traveling alone is a great experience. Go for it!

08-03-2012, 06:07 AM
How about woofing? If I had the time to go on an extended holiday now, I think that is what I would do.

You mean working on organic farms? Or is woofing where you set a hound dog loose to track down a lesser gay?

UMBS Go Blue
08-03-2012, 06:14 AM
Granted, I'm a 5'11" guy who can fend for myself, but I flew around the world by myself for 70 days last year, and have also visited all 50 U.S. states and 9 of 10 Canadian provinces. I can prove it - I've earned at least 400,000 lifetime miles on each of United, American, and Delta/Northwest (with the help of alliance airlines and elite status bonuses). In many trips I may meet up, travel with, or stay with local friends, but for the most part I've traveled on my own. If I want to go, I plan it thoroughly, get up off my a**, and just go. No hesitation, no regrets.

If you're female, traveling around Western Europe should be very easy because public transportation is so plentiful and gets you everywhere you want to go. People are generally helpful and (at least somewhat) conversant in English. Just be as street-smart and use common sense, just as you would walking on the street on your own anywhere in the U.S., if that's where you're from.

08-03-2012, 06:17 AM
and 9 of 10 Canadian provinces

Which is the shunned 10th?

UMBS Go Blue
08-03-2012, 06:19 AM
Newfoundland (and Labrador). That is definitely on the agenda because I have a soft spot in my heart for how they hosted American (and international) travelers during 9/11, so I want to visit Gander (and Gros Morne NP, of course) as a way of saying "thanks" by stimulating the local economy in my own minor way.

08-03-2012, 06:23 AM
Go for it. Some hostels offer private rooms, too - so you have the built-in social scene without having to share a huge 20-person dorm room. Or do a mix of hotel and hostel to get the best of both.

You mean working on organic farms? Or is woofing where you set a hound dog loose to track down a lesser gay?


08-03-2012, 08:30 AM
I traveled half away around the world by myself in my 20s, although a friend from home did join me for several months of that one-year jaunt. For the most part it was fine and suited my independent nature, although it could get lonely. The hard part was you need to put yourself out there to connect with other people, which I'm not always in the mood to do.

As others have pointed out, staying in youth hostels is a good way to meet people. And some places are more fun to be by yourself with others. I had a great time on my own in the Philippines because it was a such a lively culture and it was easy to meet people just wandering around the streets. Manila especially was a blast. I linked up with other travelers in the Philippines easily as well as locales. Filipinos would always approach me on the bus or boat, or at a street food stall, and ask to be my companion.

In general, I'd say warm climates and beach time environments are easy places to travel by oneself.

I'd still travel by myself - and without Mr. Japanfan - if I had the time and he did not, as I enjoy the freedom and ease of being on my own. And there are places I would like to go that he would not.

Basically, if there is a bar and a hot tub, I suddenly make acquaintances easily :P.

Traveling on one's own is an adventure in a way that traveling with a partner or friend is not. I would never let the fear of traveling alone be a reason not to travel. But of course, be sensible and aware of the dangers of traveling alone, particularly for females.