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Taking the plunge to travel on your own (after bereavement or separation) have you manged to overcome it.

(62 Posts)
bikergran Sun 02-Jul-23 09:18:00

Lots of us are in this situation and I know there has been threads about it. But I have just booked a night away about 3 hours drive from my home.

For me it is 9 yrs living on my own, I do have 2 dds and gsons.

I have not been far on my own in that time although I am one of those who will just get up an get my big girls knickers on and go. But I have to be in the mood.

I don't have a passport so obviously stay in the uk.

2 weeks ago I booked 2 night in Whitby Yorkshire, there was a reason I wanted to go and that was to scatter some of my mums ashes as she never got her last holiday to Whitby. I was going on my own to start with then one of my Dd wanted to come, we had a lovely time.

But I feel the need to go back up It felt unfinished. Couldn't get a single room at the right price in Whitby so have found lovely little guest house in Scarborough

I am quite a confident person (well was) I like the excitement of booking somewhere but then!! as the time creeps nearer I sort of start going a bit cold.

Quite happy to travel in the UK. I have been on a couple of day trips with the local firm Llanddudno is another favourite spot of mine.

Soooo... have "you" taken the plunge? did you enjoy or did you get cold feet as the date approached.

I will be driving there on my own (will pack my little picnic and stop half way)

Siope Sun 02-Jul-23 09:43:20

I’ve travelled alone, and continue to do so, quite a bit for pleasure and, until last year, for work, regardless of whether I’ve been single or married.

I hope I will continue to do so.

Scribbles Sun 02-Jul-23 10:45:36

I was used to travelling, often alone, for many years. After my husband died, shortly before the first lockdown, I desperately wanted to travel to see old friends and revisit some of the places we loved but, suddenly it was illegal.

When travel was possible again, my first excursion was to spend a few days with an old friend. To my horror, I realised that my confidence in my own abilities had completely gone and the prospect of travelling from Lincolnshire to Surrey by train made me tremble with fear. But I did it. I knew if I didn't, my life would be very constrained.

After that, I booked a short special-interest holiday, travelling by train and found the travelling was less stressful with careful advance planning - checking on the internet for how much time between connecting trains and which platforms they arrive and leave at; checking the layout of unfamiliar stations and so on.

Now, it's fine. Although I now do most of my travelling with my new partner, I do still make some journeys alone and have no worries.

Mind you, I've stayed in this country, so far. My passport has expired and I loathe airports so much that I'm not sure I'll bother to renew it!

Incidentally, this fear of travelling alone afflicts men, too. My current partner was widowed four years ago and, too a large extent, is still uncomfortable travelling on his own by car, train or bus.

I think the crucial factor is to get out of your comfort zone and just do it. You were a capable, rational person when there were two of you and you're still the same person, even when there's only one of you.

ronib Sun 02-Jul-23 10:57:11

Fabulous fish and chips in Whitby plus Whitby Abbey. Also retro clothes shop and Whitby jet jewellery. I think Scarborough has good boat trips. Enjoy.

biglouis Sun 02-Jul-23 11:13:47

If your experience seemed incomplete on the first visit then something is calling you back. I have felt like that several times over places I have visited. So I would urge you to go ahead or you may regret it later.

Ive travelled alone for as long as I can remember. Whenever Ive travelled with a companion something has gone wrong.

In my early 20s I travelled out to visit friends in Morocco long before it became a routine tourist destination. They were out working during the day so I wandered around Casablanca on my own. I became an academic and got used to travelling all over Europe and the USA to various conferences and amusing myself in my off duty hours. I was given a chance to work at a US university for a year and learned what it was to live and work in another country. After that I travelled all over the Middle East independently to places like Syria, Iraq and Iran which its difficult to visit nowadays.

The main drawback of travelling alone is that an evening meal is sometimes lonely and it would be pleasant to have a companion. However if you tire yourself out during the day then you probably just want to eat in your hotel and have an early night.

My last trip was to Venice (5 years ago) and I did get cold feet a few days before because of mobility issues. My nephew urged me to go ahead and Im glad I did. However I decided that would be my last trip - mainly because of the crowds and queues at airports.

I stopped travelling because of mobility issues but have seen some wonderful places and have some great memories to look back on.

FarNorth Sun 02-Jul-23 11:17:28

I've always done a lot of travelling on my own but every time, as the date approaches, I wish I wasn't bothering.
What helps me is to write my itinerary well beforehand with all my travel times & places & if it's train, ferry etc, and where I'm to stay and how to get in (keybox or phone someone or whatever).
Also a list of everything to take - I keep the basic list on my computer and print it each time with any particular things added.
I include everything, no matter how obvious, eg sox & nix.

Have a great trip bikergran.

biglouis Sun 02-Jul-23 11:18:44

@Scribbles. To my horror, I realised that my confidence in my own abilities had completely gone

I now feel like this and I guess we lose our confidence as we grow older, especially if we have to rely on others for physical help. I 100% feel the same as you about airports. I hate crowds and queues. I have to renew my passport this year but only as a means of iD since I dont drive.

eazybee Sun 02-Jul-23 12:24:34

I have travelled alone for work and pleasure, in this country and in France for many years and would have had a very restricted life if I hadn't.

Chardy Sun 02-Jul-23 12:31:42

Yes, I make the effort to do things on my own like going to the theatre alone. Travelling alone is just an extension, holidaying alone a further extension.
Decades ago, my mother would long-haul fly alone, and would go on cruises alone. She would never have described herself as an independent woman, but needs must, so she did it.

MerylStreep Sun 02-Jul-23 12:40:45

I love travelling on my own. The only time I was a bit twitchy was the morning of the Icelandic volcano eruption.
OH was dropping me off at an airport in Germany and was driving on to Bulgaria.
I got a call from my daughter asking me if I’d seen the news, no.
We just found the nearest train station ( I have no German)
Then I somehow had to get to the channel tunnel.
In my experience people are lovely when you’re travelling, they really want to help.
Some years ago I got seriously lost on the underground in Romania ( it nearly got to the crying stage)
A lovely young girl saw that I was very confused and spend ages getting me to where I needed to be.

Westcoaster Sun 02-Jul-23 12:42:12

I’ve recently booked my first holiday since my husband died. I thought about it for ages and decided that if didn’t at least try I would be staying at home forever.
It’s not until September so I have plenty time to mull it over, and also to pull out.

We enjoyed many lovely holidays so I’m hoping I can still enjoy feeling the sand in my toes and not feel too lonely.

bikergran Sun 02-Jul-23 17:23:35

I think anyone that takes the plunge and travels solo after being married/partner. It is ! a confidence thing and for those that have managed to do such a thing "well done to you all" I take my hat off to those who have managed they airports solo as they can be so mind boggling (I'm sure if I went I would end up on a plane to nowhere lol)

For those who have not yet ventured out, I hope that manage a little trip out, maybe a days coach or coach holiday where there are people around and you can choose if to interact with them.

My budget doesn't really allow me to be too adventurous and I am quite happy to visit coastal towns.

I would love to go Northumberland way and next year hoping to travel to Seaham to the Glass beach with one of my dds , but I would happily go on my own if need be.

ronib ohh yes the fish n chips, if you don't like fish n chips then your a bit stumped in Whitby, we had them on the first night, then the second night had this mouth watering fish pie ,not in a crust pie this was on a bed of home made mash with swirly bit of cheese, haddock, prawns ,cod etc in a creamy creamy sauce (deff lashings of double cream in it)

I do intend to spread my wings at some time, but at the moment I still work part time(in order to pay for my little breaks) but also look after my dad 2 days a week so my time is curtailed.

Good luck to all those that have conquered the solo travel and for those yet to do it, small steps, planning and having a plan B just in case. Have fun every one.

One thing I must say, I do remember a relative taking me to their house up north towards Yorkshire to stay with them for a week, it was only 6 weeks after my dh had died 9they thought they were doing good) but by the second night I just wanted to come home and travelled home the next day on the train. It was too much too soon.

Kim19 Sun 02-Jul-23 18:00:38

Yes I ventured on holiday alone once my husband died. Not easy but totally doable. I'm now into my own comfort zone and happily venture wherever I fancy. Never total joy on my own but absolutely enjoyable most of the time. Of course a lot depends on whether you have lots of interests and hobbies and if you are an outgoing person. I've pushed myself a bit because the thought of being only at home (beautiful though it is) forever is an absolute no no whilst I'm still able.

TwiceAsNice Sun 02-Jul-23 20:19:26

I have moved to Surrey from South Wales and travel back to stay in an Airbnb so I can see friends and travel around where I used to live, but scary staying alone the first time but it was fine.

More scary driving down to Hampshire where I’d never been to see my friend after she moved house. Got totally lost because it was a new house and the Sat nav didn’t recognise the post code.

I have to force myself to go by train as it causes me anxiety especially now we have all the strikes prefer to drive usually or love a coach journey .

Iam64 Sun 02-Jul-23 20:59:50

biker, I’m another one who loves Whitby. We had our honeymoon there 40 years ago and many happy times there with our children.
My husband died last year, just after we returned from our favourite Greek village. I’ve felt a pull like the one you describe about unfinished things and your mum,
I went back to the village recently, on my own, for a week. It was an important part of my grief
I hope your trip helps you x

bikergran Sun 02-Jul-23 21:06:00

Iam64 oh that's good you went to the village, did you climb the steps I wonder lol.

Maybe you will visit again.

It was only 3 weeks ago I was in Whitby, but I have felt low since coming back, I just have! to go back if only for a night.

Then who knows!! where to next.

Just been watching programme about the "Isle of wight" whew my mum and dad also went twice with Robinsons coaches.

Not sure if I will make it to there just yet but maybe in the future.

Keep stepping forward everyone.

ronib Sun 02-Jul-23 21:53:45

Robin Hood’s Bay is very exciting too … Yorkshire is pretty special come to think of it.

bikergran Sun 02-Jul-23 23:06:44

Oh yes Robin Hood bay, not been there for many many years.

Kim19 Mon 03-Jul-23 03:10:42

I do Isle of Wight regularly. I stop off in London for a couple of shows and then a train to the ferry only takes an hour and a half. Very pleasant.

Cabbie21 Mon 03-Jul-23 06:52:40

Topical thread for me as I am currently away from home for the first time since DH died, though I am not alone, I am with my daughter. It was a last minute offer, not planned. It is lovely to just get away from all the hard work of admin and clearing, even just for a couple of nights.

I have got another trip booked in a fortnight’s time, a singing weekend, staying in an Airbnb. My DH was going to come too, so that will be poignant, but the singing is for me only. Now I am going to have to drive because there is a train strike the day I travel. It is an easy journey, but it will be the furthest I have driven on my own.
I also plan to get out and about more, on day trips or a night or two. I need to push myself to do this. I hate eating out in the evening on my own, so it will need to be a hotel or self catering. Not many B & Bs offer an evening meal. As said earlier, I will need to plan carefully. I am not someone who can just set off and go with the flow.
I also fancy a steam train trip in Scotland. My passport has expired, and I am not keen on airports. I would do Eurostar but glad not to be going to France just now.

Ashcombe Mon 03-Jul-23 07:11:27

Although I still have my DH, he lives in France so we’re not always together. For those who dislike airports, ferries to various parts of Europe could be an option or cruises from British ports. Some companies (eg Fred Olsen) cater for singles on their cruises so you’d always have the option of company for meals, if that’s what you prefer.

Regarding France, the riots are generally centred on the big cities, especially Paris and Marseilles. Elsewhere appears to be unaffected. DH was in the centre of Le Mans on Friday where there were no signs of trouble.

Good luck to the solo travellers and well done for braving that first trip alone.

RosesandLilac Mon 03-Jul-23 07:29:57

Since DH announced he isn’t going on holiday with me anymore more 🙄 I’m planning solo trips.
It is very daunting and I don’t enjoy driving so I’m looking at rail holidays, coach trips etc.
I’m definitely going to plan one to Ireland and I’ve found a lovely one by rail to Scotland and the Western Isles.
It is very daunting but the alternative of just staying at home isn’t an option,
I will also look at taking the dog to the coast too, off season and self-catering.
Lots to learn and see!

karmalady Mon 03-Jul-23 07:51:11

It is also the sheer cost, I took a solo saga cruise a few months after I was widowed and at that time my mindset was `whatever the cost` and it cost me an arm and a leg. I would not do that now

I did b and b solo and got the `look` as in saying they would rather have a couple to spend more money. I did the airport thing, a uk flight somerset to Glasgow. No transport to the airport so car it was, horrible fast roads and very expensive parking

Trains are impossible, no trains here but possible if I get two buses to a station. It would take half a day and then what about getting back home? Will the trains be running and will I be in time to get a bus?

I have not discounted travelling alone and may explore coach holidays or trips in the sw by car to an air BnB. In all honesty, I love where I live, my own bed, the scenery,the cycling I can do from my house and my passport will run out in a few months. I won`t be renewing

I blame lockdown for this confidence blip and also the sheer increase in number of cars

Mizuna Mon 03-Jul-23 08:06:50

I love travelling on my own (I'm no longer married) anywhere, any mode of transport. I use Youth Hostels where there are usually similar lone types to chat to over cooking supper, which is enough company for me. When I'm free from crutches, Jan '24 all being well, I want to travel around France by train. My daughter and I are planning a trip to America and one of my sons wants to go back to Jerusalem with me, and I will enjoy their company of course, but generally I like my own company.

bikergran Mon 03-Jul-23 09:16:24

Cabbie21 I am sure your singing weekend will hopefully lift your spirits at the time, good for you and yes we just have to push ourselves that little bit more. It is so easy to say "ohh I just can't be bothered for what ever reason" travel arrangements, eating alone, driving or what ever we can think of many excuses.

This night away I booked yesterday morning, I am already thinking, ohh why should I bother, but we have to try and step forward a little. What is the alternative? sit at home looking at the walls ,doing yet more housework, decorating etc etc.

Also I think when you have managed to conquer going away solo, it gives you more knowledge and then maybe you/we can encourage others to follow.