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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
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    Default Big Vacation by myself?

    I recently graduated college. I'm in a FANTASTIC temp position that has a lot of flexibility with scheduling.... IE, my boss would not care a bit if I disappeared for a week. I am still living at home, so have easy access to care for my animals. I suspect that it will never again be as easy to travel as it is right now.

    I was going to go with my SO, but....if you saw my heartbroken thread you'll know he's out as a travelling companion.

    Most of my friends are still in school/working part time jobs...and just don't have the money for a big trip.

    I want to go to Europe or South America for a week. Has anyone else done "big" trips by themselves? Any New England COTHers up for a Costa Rica vacation?



  2. #2
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    Nov. 17, 2006
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    I've never done it (going to the movies alone was a biggy for me, haha). But I think it can be great, and even therepuetic). Just maybe go with a travel tour so there are others you can meet and it would be safer. I think it would be great! Keep us posted.
    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
    ¯ Oscar Wilde



  3. #3
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    Feb. 19, 2004
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    New Hampshire
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    Default

    Go to a safe place and have fun!
    Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

    Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.



  4. #4
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    Dec. 14, 2007
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    Default

    What time do you want me to pick you up?
    Audaces fortuna iuvat.



  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JLD View Post
    What time do you want me to pick you up?
    I was thinking last week in Feb but I can be flexible!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2012
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    NYC=center of the universe
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    Default

    I traveled Europe alone in the mid-late 90s. It's very, very safe and very, very common. Ireland, UK, and N. Europe are all safe. Spain and Italy are fine but didn't leave me feeling as comfortable. Seriously, I met women in their 60s or 70s traveling Ireland alone by bicycle!!

    Youth hostels are fab. Some in Ireland are on gorgeous, fancy estates. Many of the rooms are co-Ed. In Germany, many of the showers are co-Ed and they are shower heads, not stalls, and nobody but us Americans really care about co-Ed nudity!!

    B&Bs in Ireland are a great value, too. But hostels are where you'll meet people and will probably get some company/friendship for part of your trip.

    Theft is the biggest issue, not personal safety. Pick-pocketing, of course, is an issue, especially in larger cities and the farther South you go (Italy is notorious!!). I kept money in an inner pocket, with some in an outer pocket so I wasn't flashing my location to all. And beware distractions and children!

    If I were traveling alone now, I probably would arrange for a group thing for at least part of the trip. I'm thinking riding or biking (meaning, riding, really).

    Young American women are targets, even if it's just the guy who's looking for a one night stand with a lonely American traveler! (Creep alert for S. Europe there!!)

    But it's like anywhere else, you keep smart about it. N. Europe is much safer for a lone female than the US. I've really wandered alone at night and never felt unsafe.

    I guess I have been alone on business trips more recently in England and France. Never had any problems.

    On the Continent, people will approach you to sign things, mess with string (?!), etc. It's all a scam and best not to engage them. Dirty kids in Parisian subways are always a pick-pocket red-flag!!

    Go and have fun!
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 4, 2012
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    Southeast US
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    I would never have considered going on vacation alone until I got a job in which I had to travel and discovered that yes, a woman can travel alone, eat in restaurants alone, and find her way around strange places alone.

    This fall, I extended a business trip by a long weekend in order to do a little sightseeing and had a fantastic time - all by myself. If you're friendly and even sort of outgoing, it is easy to strike up conversations with your fellow travelers if you feel the need to have a little human interaction.

    However, if I was going someplace like South America where I don't speak the language well and the culture is very different, I would go with a tour group. There are a number of women-only tour companies that offer trips that look like fun and if you go with a group like that, there is no odd-woman-out/third wheel feeling like you might get in mixed tours where most people are couples. If you like outdoorsy activities, take a look at http://www.adventuresingoodcompany.com/. I have several of their trips on my travel wish list.



  8. #8
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    Oct. 22, 2001
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    Go-go-GO!!! You will never, ever, regret it. Some of my favorite vacations were trips I took on my own or added on to a business trip - knocking around small towns in England; sitting on a ridiculous beach in the Caribbean, etc. However, I've also really enjoyed going with a small group - if you have any yoga interest, the folks at Alchemy Tours are seriously fantastic, and do small trips to really cool places (plus they have trips that have biking and hiking in addition to yoga).

    Don't wait for an SO, the "perfect traveling companion", or the right friend to go - plan your dream trip and take advantage of the time to travel now!!



  9. #9
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    Feb. 6, 2003
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    You're young, just finished college and had a recent heartbreak...I say travel!
    Going it alone on a big trip? That would be my DREAM vacation! Not that I don't adore my family, but none of us share what we'd like to do/where to go. I so rarely travel and the very few times I have, all the trips have been necessary family visits. To places I loathe. Doing things I loathe. So I've always loathed travelling, LOL!
    I'd adore going to a dude ranch, rodeo school, cattle drive, etc for a week or two. Neither hubby nor kids would like any bit of that.
    Or camping...in Alaska...on horseback...fishing...wildlife watching. Holy crap that would be nirvana!
    My husband's idea of travel involves 5* hotels, high end resorts, trendy locations.
    My girls are both beach bums and both only like outdoorsy beach things like para-sailing. Haul my ass that high in the air over shark infested water? I don't think so.

    If you're not comfy being alone or think it might be a lot less fun without someone to chat with, etc...I agree with checking out travel agencies for a solo trip. They can hook you up with tours and tour groups that are age or activity related for you to enjoy. And everyone I know who's gone on tour trips well planned out had a blast! Many times they make life-long friends on trips like that. That they then meet up with on annual trips or keep up with online.

    Go! Have a blast! And tell us all about it on the next OT day!
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2004
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    Default

    I have traveled a fair amount by myself, including throughout the U.S., and to the Caribbean, Canada, Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, and Spain. I have never had any issues, and have never felt uncomfortable. You do need to be smart about how you travel, but if you are smart and follow common sense, I don't expect you'll have a problem.

    BTW, Costa Rica is beautiful and there is a ton of stuff to do there! I have friends that live there and have been there several times. I always look forward to my next trip there!



  11. #11
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    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Yes, stay safe, don't do stupid stuff, crazy maybe, but not stupid.

    have a great time!

    While I have not vacationed alone, I do enjoy traveling solo much more than with other people.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.



  12. #12
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    Jul. 11, 2005
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    Do it!! I spent 8 months backpacking around Australia on my own and it was the best experience of my life. It started out as a 2 week trip with a friend, and at the end of two weeks, she went home and I decided I would stay. I worked in hostels to pay my way through the country. It was absolutely amazing. (This was in 05-06). Traveling on your own is a great way to learn about yourself - teaching you to be really self sufficient and also allowing you to do exactly what you want to do without worrying about someone else. I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I could!
    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.



  13. #13
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    Jul. 20, 2007
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    I'd do it in a heartbeat. Last year I went to the Netherlands by myself (well I did fly with a horse belonging to the farm where I work but somehow I don't think that counts LOL!). I stayed in Amsterdam for a couple of days after the horse got settled in and had a great time by myself. I say go for it!
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain



  14. #14
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    Jun. 24, 2005
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    Costa Rica is wonderful! A friend and his wife went for an extended weekend, and now want to retire or get a vacation place there. They went on a great five-hour trail ride around the Mount Arenal (spelling?) volcano, and they loved the hotel (not the 5-star pricey Inn or Resort), and the Trapp family (cousins of the Sound of Music Trapp family) inn up in the mountains is wonderful. There's another Trapp family inn in the capitol city too. The wife went to the spa at the Arenal hotel, and loved it!
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  15. #15
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    Sep. 4, 2012
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    Default

    I second the Australia recommendation. I've been there several times, never alone, but it would be a great place to travel on your own. People are incredibly friendly and open and it is very easy to strike up conversations with strangers. There are also lots of hostels, which are great places for young, single travelers.

    On one of my trips, we did a camping safari from Alice Springs to Uluru to Kings Canyon and back to Alice Springs and had a fantastic time. IIRC, there were a couple of single travelers on that trip.



  16. #16
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    Sep. 23, 2003
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    NC
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    A week would not be nearly enough time, I don't think! For Europe I'd want to spend at least a week in each country - three days in the capital city and at least three days in the country. You could spend a week just in London and still miss out on a lot. Been there, done that, don't know when I'll make it back. But as a 21-year-old female on my own, I was certainly never uncomfortable.

    For a week I'd stick to somewhere "special" in the US or the Caribbean.

    two sticks - Are you a Canadian citizen or other Commonwealth country? I'd have thought that kind of thing would be illegal?
    "Why would anybody come here if they had a pony? Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country? It doesn't make sense!"



  17. #17
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    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scaramouch View Post
    A week would not be nearly enough time, I don't think! For Europe I'd want to spend at least a week in each country - three days in the capital city and at least three days in the country. You could spend a week just in London and still miss out on a lot. Been there, done that, don't know when I'll make it back. But as a 21-year-old female on my own, I was certainly never uncomfortable.

    For a week I'd stick to somewhere "special" in the US or the Caribbean.

    two sticks - Are you a Canadian citizen or other Commonwealth country? I'd have thought that kind of thing would be illegal?
    You go to Munich, you need a least a week to see a fraction of the exhibits at the 'Deutsche Museum' not to mention half the week is down the drain with jet lag!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.



  18. #18
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    Mar. 14, 2004
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    I agree that a week isn't enough time for Europe -- not sure about Costa Rica.

    I have done most of my major travel alone. I'm not the backpacking/gone for 6 months or more type of gal and never was, but I got low budget cottages or saved frequent flyer miles -- lucky for me my job at the time required a lot of travel and I was allowed to keep my points.

    My personal experience was that I preferred to be alone (a) in rural/scenic areas and (b) anywhere a lot of driving was involved. I like to stop when I please, spend a lot of time in one place if I please, take umpteen photos hoping for the perfect one if I please. I sorely missed companionship in cities. City things (clubs, dining out, music, even museums) seem to do better with a friend or SO, for me anyway.
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  19. #19
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    Jul. 11, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scaramouch View Post
    two sticks - Are you a Canadian citizen or other Commonwealth country? I'd have thought that kind of thing would be illegal?
    I'm a US citizen, I had a 90 day travel visa, and applied for (and was granted) an extension for an additional 6 months. Again, this was in 05-06. I worked off my living arrangements by cleaning, usually 2-3 days a week, I didn't make any $ but didn't have to pay to live at the hostel. I had a tent and sleeping bag and mostly camped in the hostels that had camping set ups.


    ETA - For a week or less I would stay in the US or somewhere close. I think for another country you need a minimum of 10 days.
    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.



  20. #20
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    May. 31, 2010
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    Tampa Bay Area
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    I'm considering a solo trip myself, though I'd be doing Scotland. I have friends that have done several trips with G Adventures Tours and rave about them; they recommended them to me because their tours are small groups and seem to include lots of solo travellers or people travelling with just friends so its easy to fit in and socialize. They have great South and Central America options. In fact I have a guy friend who wants to do their Macchu Picchu trek in late June and is probably going solo, unless I cave and go.

    So, I say you should go for it, and maybe check out some tour options for help navigating the foreign country.



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