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To ask how on earth you go about travelling solo?

(61 Posts)
Teaandcakeat8 Mon 24-Oct-16 20:21:34

I'm single and likely to be so for a long time. I really want to use this time to see more of the world (on a modest-ish bydget).

However I have absolutely no idea how to go about travelling solo!

Can I book onto a regular holiday? Is Air BnB safe? Am I missing some great single person tour operator? Feel like I'm making it more complicated than it is...

I'm 26 if it helps...

Please enlighten me grin

LaPharisienne Mon 24-Oct-16 20:24:08

Just choose where you want to go and go. Easy!

My only tip from lots of solo travelling would be don't stay in mixed dorms in hostels and if you stay with random people, only stay with women or families.

Good luck! And enjoy

blueturtle6 Mon 24-Oct-16 20:25:36

I went travelling in mid 20s I stayed in youth hostels.
Do a self defence course. (didn't need it but made me feel safer)
Keep phone charged up.
Don't go wandering around at night.

You meet other like minded people in yha,and I had a fab time
If want to discuss I further detail happy to tell you my routes etc, PM me.

sw15mum Mon 24-Oct-16 20:27:12

I went on quite a few group trips when youngish, freeish and single. Backpacking adventure type ones. Went with various companies including Dragoman and Intrepid- all very good. Enjoy! ( v jealous!).

stubbornstains Mon 24-Oct-16 20:28:15

Maybe build in some volunteering work/ group tours along the way, so you get an opportunity to hang out with other people? Could be anything- from WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) to a group white water rafting trip to a yoga retreat.....

isseywithcats Mon 24-Oct-16 20:28:46

start small when i was last single i went to edinburgh on my own for three days, went on ghost walks at night so talking to other people, spent my day time going to places like the castle and the museums stayed in travel lodge so breakfast was sorted, bought sandwiches etc to take back to my room at night so didnt have to sit in a restaurant on my own, i was very wary of wether i would be lonely or not, and i thoruoghly enjoyed myself and im in my fifties

Bertieboo1 Mon 24-Oct-16 20:29:11

Intrepid travel is really fab - I went on four trips with them when young, free and single. Sigh.

Natsku Mon 24-Oct-16 20:29:24

Hostels are brilliant to stay in when travelling solo so you get a chance to chat to people. Never tried Air BnB so don't know about that.

stubbornstains Mon 24-Oct-16 20:30:17

Also, if you want to eat in restaurants, it's a nice idea to have a big lunch, when it's more informal and restaurants are filled with all types, and then just grab something quick for tea.

Mappa Mon 24-Oct-16 20:39:08

I travel solo often. The key thing for me is to plan. Make sure you get a flight that arrives in the day, and to an airport with easy travel connections to the city. Stay at a hostel on a busy street (and one with a bar for mingling). Download a map on your phone so you can use without wifi. I make sure I'm walking distance to most places I want to visit. Start small and build up - perhaps a European city first.

Liiinoo Mon 24-Oct-16 20:45:11

I would pick a holiday with lots to do -either trips or tours or an activity. My first solo holiday was skiing and it was great. I met people in ski school so I normally saw someone to talk to in bars and restaurants.

DD1 Has just come back from inter-railing round Europe on her own. (She is 23). She had a great time exploring new cities, visiting sights and galleries, eating whatever she wanted at odd times of day, sitting in nice bars with a glass of wine and a book, never having to hang around for someone else or get dragged off to noisy clubs.

The first 10 days were tricky because she had pre booked hostels and even in the all girl dorms people were noisy/being sick/fighting. The mixed dorms were a torment to her and she didn't get much sleep. She realised she really valued her privacy so for the next three weeks she spent about an extra €20-30 a night and stayed in hotels with private bathrooms. It meant she had to cut her trip short by a few days but it was worth it to her. It also meant if she was tired she could have an early night with a picnic and so save on eating out. I think a high point of her trip was the hotel in Verona where a little bottle of prosecco from the mini-bar was cheaper than the bottled water.

She is not at all the adventurous type so a trip like that was quite out of character for her. I half thought she might quit it and come home early, but she thrived on it and is already planning her next trip away.

something2say Mon 24-Oct-16 20:45:36

Get a copy of 'First Time Around the World.'
Also try the WWOOF scheme....travelling is expensive where working four hours per day with free board and food is great fun.

Greaterthanthesumoftheparts Mon 24-Oct-16 20:48:29

I can hugely recommend exodus.co.uk for holidays on your own. I've had loads of holidays with them. Fantastically organised and a really good mix of participants. I first went on my own to Vietnam in 2004, was really nervous but it was the most amazing holiday I have ever had. Can't recommend them highly enough, you just have take the plunge!

Enidblyton1 Mon 24-Oct-16 21:00:36

Have a look at GVI.co.uk
I went travelling alone in my mid twenties and did a volunteering program with GVI for a month, and then travelled alone for 6 weeks. Volunteering at the start was great because I met some people who I then ended up travelling with for a week. I was travelling in Spanish speaking countries and was often in places where the locals spoke no English. Being with a volunteer program first also gave me the opportunity to learn some basic Spanish, which was really useful when I was by myself later.
A friend of mine did a brilliant truck tour (sorry can't remember the name) which took a group of people (mostly English, Australian, American) through all the countries of Central America - from Mexico to Panama. She said it was fantastic.
My sister travelled the east coast of Australia and that is such a well beaten path that you can't possibly go wrong - very easy to meet people in hostels.

There are so many options smile Hope you have a great time, wherever you end up!

amicissimma Mon 24-Oct-16 21:06:07

It depends rather on what you want to do.

There are various companies that specialise in holidays for singles, with various activities. Eg for walking try Ramblers, HF, secrethillswalking, etc.

For various exploring group holidays, on which some people will be singles, some in pairs, families or groups, companies like Intrepid and Exodus are good.

Cruises tend to have quite a few singles on them. As it tends to be retired people who can go away for a longer time, many fellow travellers tend to be older, but they can be good fun. Shorter cruises attract more people who are working and can only take 1-3 weeks. Specially the more adventurous ones.

If you want to cross the UK/Europe/the world by train Seat61 should inspire you.

I highly recommend dropping into a branch of Trailfinders who can give you lots of ideas and advice. I think all their advisors (sales people) have to have travelled on at least 3 continents, so they should have first-hand experience. They can be a bit too inspiring, so it may be better to leave your credit card at home.

Teaandcakeat8 Mon 24-Oct-16 21:22:26

I should add that I also work full time and don't really want to stall my career... so I'm thinking of starting with short trips to build my confidence.

andadietcoke Mon 24-Oct-16 21:26:29

I'm going to Hong Kong on my own in the middle of November. I'm so excited for my little adventure! I'm staying in a hotel and specifically chose HK because my phone works there on my normal contract, and there's Citymapper and Uber and great public transport.

MundayCakes85 Mon 24-Oct-16 21:29:50

STA travel were great when I booked my solo round thevworld trip. I was able to book flights, tours (Intrepid in Thailand) and bus tickets around Australia. I liked having my itinerary planned, but was able to change things/ dates of flights as I went.
Hostels are great places to meet people. There'a always like minded people to travel with.
Have a great time!

Namechangenurseryconcerns Mon 24-Oct-16 21:33:07

I love traveling alone. Always do my research first and stay in hostels. Just be open to chatting to people and you will find like minded people to spend time with if you want to.
I tend to get take away/street food rather than eating alone in a restaurant or just cook something at the hostel.

Andcake Mon 24-Oct-16 21:35:45

Built confidence with off the beaten track tours with explore worldwide. Definitely worth a look as many people on them are solo but they are relaxed groups then I did more alone

Rachel0Greep Mon 24-Oct-16 21:46:19

As a pp said, start small. See how you get on with a short trip away, taking on board the various pieces of advice above. Best of luck.

FuzzyBadger Mon 24-Oct-16 21:46:41

I travel solo often and have only ever had one trip where I felt unsafe the whole time and it made me question ever travelling solo again, it was Madrid.

Some places have certain types of tourism in certain areas - unfortunately where I stayed, the tourists were mainly college kids from around the world who basically just wanted to hook up. Me being there alone gave many the impression I was there to meet men and it was almost constant (aggressive) attention.

I did as much research as possible beforehand but didn't realise it was the wrong type of research. I had read plenty of blogs but realised afterwards they were written by travellers of a similar age who were into the party scene. So my advice would be to focus blogs/forums/guides that suit you and be flexible, if it doesn't feel right when you get there just move to a different hotel/area.

ilovesooty Mon 24-Oct-16 21:50:26

I've been travelling solo for years and have enjoyed some trips more than others. I have a few favourite hotels which have become homes from home now. Apart from the one which has a delightful restaurant where I always stay half board, I always eat in restaurants at night. It's half the fun.

FuzzyBadger Mon 24-Oct-16 21:51:09

I've never managed to find a reasonably priced solo travel group/site, the prices are ridiculous compared to booking it off your own back.

PikachuSayBoo Mon 24-Oct-16 21:53:49

I went to Thailand when a bit younger than you.

Booked a plane ticket to Bangkok , then another to koh samui. Booked a beach bungalow at a complex I found in Lonely Planet guide. Job done.

There were lots of other travellers/back packers at the bungalows and I was soon finding people to hang out with.

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