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Solo travel

(79 Posts)
Luckylegs9 Mon 14-Mar-16 05:56:35

After many years, I have booked two weeks holiday for later in the year, just before Christmas. Now starting to think I was a bit hasty, how will I fill my time if everyone is in couples? Can any solo travellers give me any tips on not just surviving two weeks on my own, but enjoying it. The weather should be fairly warm, but not hot. I had two weeks with a good friend last year, she met someone and I might as well not have been there, so that is when I made the decision to just go for it.

Anya Mon 14-Mar-16 06:50:00

Where are you going?

Imperfect27 Mon 14-Mar-16 06:51:18

I think that's a great decision Luckylegs. I can't advise you as it is beyond my experience to go away solo - I was a single parent for many years, but always had children in tow - however, I know I would have gone solo rather than not at all if I had been on my own once they had grown and flown. I think you have done the hard step in booking and who knows what lovely experiences will lie ahead!

NanaandGrampy Mon 14-Mar-16 08:36:09

How lovely Luckylegs !!!

I haven't holidayed alone but spent many years travelling for business all over the world and I think the secret is to really enjoy your 'me' time.

Instead of worrying about being alone - revel in it !

You'll be seated more easily if you dine out because theres always room for one ! I love to read and eat so always take my iPad, that also fills in gaps when you're between courses.

Enjoy some people watching ! There's 'nowt stranger than folks' .

Do your research about the place you're going. What do you like to do on holiday - how lucky are you that the choices are all yours and if architecture is not your thing you'll never have to wander round old churches again smile

Look at any day trips that are available - that way you can travel safely in a group and generally people are happy to chat to lone travellers. After all, they're spending 24/7 with their partners - they probably run out of things to chat about.

Set your clock to 'your' time- you dont have to fit in with anyone else but you smile

Have a wonderful holiday !!

Jane10 Mon 14-Mar-16 08:38:51

Do you play Bridge? That can be a good way to meet people then you might find some kindred spirits to join forces with during the day (if you want to)

Izabella Mon 14-Mar-16 08:54:33

Sound advice already given by NanaandGrampy. I backpack all over the world on my own. Group travel can sometimes be stifling and restrictive. You can put on your wings and do what you wish being alone Luckylegs9 and remember most women never take or are given the chance to do this. Enjoy.

Izabella Mon 14-Mar-16 08:56:11

........... And of course current husband often flies out to meet me somewhere he calls civilised at the end of my trips!!

Blondehedgehog Mon 14-Mar-16 10:27:58

For over ten years I have been traveling on my own. I have learnt a lot about many airports. The thing that really gets to me is women traveling with husbands or partners feel sorry I am on my own.

One women said it was a shame I was on my own. I asked her 'WHY'. I dont need someone else to tell me what to do and that I can manage perfectly well. That woman soon shut up.

I say go for it. Take each day as it comes. And for goodness sake dont listen to those who are really jealous of what you are doing, if they were brave enough they would be doing the same

bethanmp23 Mon 14-Mar-16 10:31:53

As a 24/25 year old I spent a year travelling solo around the world, mainly by public transport.

There were no phones or tablets or even portable music devices back then but I cannot remember ever once worrying about what I was going to do to fill my time!

I always had a book to read, but just being in a different place was stimulating - seeing the new scenery, or the local sights and monuments, or talking to fellow travellers and locals, even seeing films in the local language, just wandering around different shops.
I'm sure you'll have a marvellous time. People seem to find a lone female unthreatening and are usually very happy to chat. If nobody approaches you, then you can go up to somebody to ask for a recommendation [where to eat/ what to see/ etc.].

Enjoy your holiday!

SunnySusie Mon 14-Mar-16 10:43:21

Hi Luckylegs, I travel on my own as a 60 something lady. Its lovely being able to choose what you do, where and when and I think you meet more people and have more interesting conversations. I am often astonished at how friendly and helpful people can be.

There are a few things to watch out for depending where you are going. I am very careful not to walk around after dark carrying a lot of expensive kit. In fact if I feel like a stroll I keep to well lit areas and only carry my room key or key card, or if I am in a hotel I ask reception for advice on where is OK. If after a few days of checking things out it all looks alright I might relax that a bit, but its only common sense really.

The other thing I have found is some hotels and restaurants serve meals really, really slowly and it can be a bit tedious if you are on your own. Now I always take a book, newspaper, e-reader or something to meals just in case.

jmo Mon 14-Mar-16 10:53:07

Just go for it!
I have always traveled alone and still doing it. Yes even after all these years I still get those anxious moments but being lonely isn't one of them. As a single woman people are less inhibited in inviting you to join them - that goes for fellow travelers and locals. The trick is to be open to any experience with due respect for your own safety. Don't do anything you wouldn't do at home such as walking alone down dark streets late in the evening, keep your valuables locked away and hold your handbag in front of you.
Take a book or even better a Kindle.
You will have a great time.

sweetpea Mon 14-Mar-16 10:55:30

Go for it Luckylegs! I don't have the courage to go alone, wish I did - my DH is not one for going more than a four hour flight, although we went to the Galapagos for his 70th, I did all the legwork and he enjoyed it. I have been with my daughter in the past and I sometimes think women in couples can get a bit precious with their other half! Have a great time. smile

Cosafina Mon 14-Mar-16 11:00:56

Some years ago I went to the Gambia on my own, taking a suitcase full of books as I fully intended to just lie on the beach and read.

I came home having not even finished one book. The guests in the hotel kept inviting me to dine with them (clearly upset to see a woman alone), and the locals also took to me, inviting me to their houses to eat ("my mother has prepared you something special") and taking me out and about to see the sights. And no, it wasn't about finding a Sugar Mummy.

One of the best holidays I ever had!

As others have said: have a book or an iPad as a fallback, but just be open and interested and you'll have no need of it!

helmacd Mon 14-Mar-16 11:02:40

Absolutely go for it, but just one word of caution. In regard to the message which says there is always room for a single diner - that isn't always the case!
I have been told quite clearly by some restaurants that they don't welcome single diners - we take up a whole table space , tend not to drink that much and only deliver half the potential income. St Ives and Killarney stick in my mind in particular. I speak only about the UK/Ireland, never having the guts to venture abroad on my own! Maybe they're more welcoming abroad!

NanaandGrampy Mon 14-Mar-16 11:10:14

Helmacd That's very sad to hear you say that about single diners. I do note though that's its in the UK and Ireland - and that maybe says more about our perception of customers ( i.e a nuisance not a pleasure grin.

Certainly in other parts of the world that really isn't the case especially in tourist destinations where we are the life blood of their economy.

Smithy Mon 14-Mar-16 11:31:21

I went abroad 18 months ago on my own for the first time. I decided to go somewhere I'd been and obviously liked as it was only for a week and this proved a good idea as I didn't have to get lost finding my way around. I also did a bit sightseeing using local buses which was great. I ate at lunchtime rather than evening which is more relaxed and as I was technically self catering I had a bite to eat in my apartment before having a wander out.
Unfortunately I have been unable to repeat the experience due to ill health, but there's still time yet.
Just go for it but of course follow all the advice already given and good luck!

wot Mon 14-Mar-16 11:40:31

I went to Hull on my own last year and filled my time with museums and looking round shops. I didn't go out in the evenings though. It did get lonely and would have liked to have shared it with someone but I'm glad I went. Other times, I have travelled alone to stay with relatives in Europe. I couldn't bring myself to eat alone in restaurants so existed on take aways and Burger Kings! I did come home early though, due to loneliness. I would love to see more of England but getting from my cottage to a train station is not easy. [and I haven't got the nerve to drive anywhere!] I loved having a hotel room and bathroom to myself. Free bus pass to use when you get to your city---excellent!

wot Mon 14-Mar-16 11:41:57

Also, I think I prefer to go alone rather than stay with relatives! That sounds awful but I do feel awkward in others' homes.

wot Mon 14-Mar-16 11:47:21

Luckylegs....I always felt nervous before leaving home but once on the train/plane, it's great I met my brother and his wife in New York in 2008 as they were flying from Belgium. I hate flying but couldn't miss the "Holiday of a Lifetime" and doing it gave me some confidence. Nowherew booked this year CBA

wot Mon 14-Mar-16 11:57:42

If I ever book a sunshine holiday, I'd probably go with Saga so that I wouldn't be the only wrinkly old bag by the pool!

shelana Mon 14-Mar-16 11:57:52

I can feel for you as I have booked a "solo" holiday,having lost my husband last August.I made it a short one so that I could take stock and book a longer holiday later if it was successful.

I wish you I very happy holiday-as I am sure you wish me.

Bonnes vacances!

NannaM Mon 14-Mar-16 12:12:27

I have had many solo vacations over the past years. My advice would be to take lots of paperbacks which you can chuck after reading, don't take anything valuable (jewelry, iPad) if going to a third world country. Use the hotel safe and only take the cash you need for the day with you. Read up about your destination before you go and be open to new conversations and experiences. Ask questions......most locals love to show off their city, food and country if given the chance.
Better to live with memories than die with regrets!
Good luck - due to dwindling finances and ill health my travelling days are over, but I would do it all again in a heartbeat if I could!

wot Mon 14-Mar-16 12:12:41

I'm sure you'll both have a good holiday. It's good for thinking things through when You're away from your home turf!

nannalyn53 Mon 14-Mar-16 12:17:59

Wot: Saga don't only go to 'sunshine' destinations, they do plenty of other types of holidays too, including cruises if that appeals to you. For every long haul holiday, they offer a FREE chauffeur service to take you to the airport and collect you. This was fantastic as we live 250 miles from Heathrow and would have had to book into a hotel either end of the holiday. It was utter luxury being collected and driven to the door.
The Saga tour in the US that we did a few years ago had quite a few singles on it, and as we deliberately sat with different people for meals each day, we got to meet them all and (like other couples) made it clear they were very welcome to join us if they wished to, which some did. Those we got to know had been before and said they found it very easy to have company on these holidays if they needed it. Saga also do singles only holidays. No, I don't work for them! Just rate them highly. Other holiday companies are available ...........wink

lizzypopbottle Mon 14-Mar-16 12:24:33

I keep looking at brochures and online for a holiday by myself. My husband died eight years ago. He loved going on holiday abroad but I found it stressful and restricting. I didn't like feeling 'trapped' in a place and prevented from travelling home until a set day and time! Now that I have only myself to please, I'm more interested in the idea of a holiday away. Trouble is, I'm pretty sure I'd fritter my time away reading and I can do that cheaply at home!