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

(63 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)

henetha Mon 03-Jul-23 09:48:42

I've travelled alone quite a lot since my relationship ended and
have found two particular things. One is the kindness of strangers which is quite amazing, and how easy it is to make friends on holiday.

Lathyrus Mon 03-Jul-23 10:30:04

I did loads of solo travelling when I was widowed. I wanted to see the world! Organised companies like Saga or OneTraveller are good if you’re hesitant to begin with.

Then I met OH and we saw some more of the world together.

I’ve always travelled in the UK by myself though as he would rather stay at home then. I like a change of scene and really there’s nothing to be nervous about in Britain. Same language, same money and you drive on the left! What’s not to like😬

Enjoy your break bikergran😁

AGAA4 Mon 03-Jul-23 11:00:22

I always seem to find an excuse not to go on holiday on my own. I would like to but apart from an odd night away on my own I have never had a full holiday alone.

bikergran Mon 03-Jul-23 23:14:48

Lathyrus thankyou I will do my very best smile

Hetty58 Mon 03-Jul-23 23:48:57

bikergran, your assumptions seem quite strange to me. You ask if we've 'taken the plunge' - but I've always gone here, there and everywhere on my own - regularly. I've been married twice but wasn't glued to either of them.

I've enjoyed trips, flights, meals out and days out alone - as I can do what I want, when I want, without having to consider others. The only time I felt my confidence dip was after several years in the company of small children - returning to the adult world!

Saggi Tue 04-Jul-23 11:33:31

I don’t drive but have travelled over Europe in trains ….. France…Spain….Portugal…italy…. Austria….Germany…Netherlands ….belgium….most people have a smattering of English and I speak un poco Spanish !
You can’t get lost on trains …I love them.

Alex52 Tue 04-Jul-23 11:34:06

I've never been away on my own since my husband died as would find it hard. I like company, and going places and having a laugh. Maybe we should all get together for a weekend away,?

Saggi Tue 04-Jul-23 11:34:24

Oh….and in britain of course ….just pack your big girl pants and go for it!

Susieq62 Tue 04-Jul-23 11:36:38

Currently on a train to Brighton to my old home town on my own ! Liberating travelling alone! Just been to Singapore, Australia and NZ alone to visit family and friends! Had a great time !! Partner only wants sun and lager so I just go it alone
Be brave

SueEH Tue 04-Jul-23 12:00:52

I travel abroad and uk on my own several times a year. Sometimes before a big trip that involves lots of organisation/tickets etc I do wonder what I’m doing but I can guarantee that on every trip at least once - usually somewhere hot, by the sea and with a glass of something cold in my hand - I think “ this is blooming marvellous”. I love not having to plan/fit in with or, even worse, organise other people.

Eddieslass Tue 04-Jul-23 12:10:18

Thankfully I still have my husband and so we travel together. A widowed friend plucked up courage to go with a local coach firm on holiday but was surprised (and somewhat amused) by the fact that several of the wives on the coach kept a close hold on their hubbies on the trips out. My friend said she felt like announcing that she wasn't on the lookout for a replacement husband! Other couples though were very friendly.

Has any other sole traveller been made to feel they were predators?

Bijou Tue 04-Jul-23 12:14:35

My husband died whilst we were touring Europe by caravan. The bungalow in U.K.was let. I didn’t drive. My son towed me back to U.K.
I put the van in the Caravan Club storage site and rented a van on mobile home site in Spain for the winter. I travelled there by Eurolines coach. Quite an experience. Spent a lot of time visiting people we had met on various camp sites.i

Foxygloves Tue 04-Jul-23 12:15:17

Hetty58 and others, I understand where OP is coming from!
My DH was unable to travel for the last couple of years of his life , apart from me driving him to family events . Being very independent I went to many things on my own, including a trip to Gotland just 6 months before he died- his sister coming to look after him while I was away.
There is an enormous difference between doing things alone when one’s other half is still in the background, as it were, and the new unwelcome status of widowhood. I can’t exactly explain it, but it is very much there.
For the first year or so after his death, if I went anywhere on my own, I felt guilty that a) I was able to be a free agent , and b) that I was enjoying myself.
I have had one great holiday alone since he died but then the pandemic shut us all down and now I scarcely feel the urge. I don’t count visits or travelling with family of course but while I fail to understand my current reluctance - it is indeed a”plunge” for many of us.

Nannipocci1 Tue 04-Jul-23 12:15:52

Go for it. At 60 I went to India for 3 weeks on a solo trip. Now 78 still travelling but not so far. Gave me the confidence to travel alone ! Go for it ! Still miss my hubby after 20 years

Glorianny Tue 04-Jul-23 12:19:24

I have travelled on my own for many years, but since covid and getting older I got a bit nervous about doing everything solo. So this year I've done a coach trip to Scotland with Lochs and Glens (no single supplement and you can book early or wait until last minute when they open up for singles again) and a trip to Italy with Great Rail Discoveries (the name is misleading, we flew and only had one train journey!) Both lovely holidays and there were a few single women on both. We met up in the evenings sometimes for drinks before dinner but also kept our independence during the day. I would recommend both companies if you are trying solo for the first time.

grannyro Tue 04-Jul-23 12:21:01

I have always been single so can not identify with having lost a partner or anything but I do often travel alone (as well as with my family and friends). Please do it! It is so much better on your own, you can do exactly what you are interested in, eat whatever you want and don't have to share a room with anyone. It is very liberating!

Bijou Tue 04-Jul-23 12:25:11

P.S. this was in 1987. Things have changed in Spain since then. Not for the better.
I returned to my bungalow in 1989 and took coach holidays and visited friends and relatives at home and abroad alone until I was 82 when I had to give up because of walking difficulties.

GrannySomerset Tue 04-Jul-23 12:35:48

My late DH was always the travel planner and got enormous pleasure from finding the right place, means of getting there and planning what to do when we got there. We couldn’t go anywhere for the last three years o his life and I have absolutely no urge to organise something now. I don’t want to intrude on my children’s limited holiday time despite their hints, and for now am fine staying at home. Of course if I could have DH in his prime back …….

Fae1 Tue 04-Jul-23 12:39:54

Just go for it ! It's not exactly a trek through the Amazon jungle ! What is there to fear ? Have your mobile phone with you and you're good to go. I've been all over the world on my own and still travelling at 75. Although not as mobile as I've been, I would not hesitate travelling in the UK.

Dcba Tue 04-Jul-23 12:52:47

I’m past 80…..enjoy travelling on my own, my husband won’t venture more than 20 miles from home and I like to see different places, meet different people …..so I’m always planning single travel. Italy’s a big favourite of mine….the beauty of small towns and villages, the friendly people, the food….but these past few years I have been travelling with tour companies or on coach tours where someone else does the worrying about hotels, flights etc., and I just turn up and enjoy!

BlueSapphire Tue 04-Jul-23 14:11:10

I have travelled on my own several times since DH died in 2018. Love it and like the freedom of deciding how I want each day to go rather than have to take a travelling companion into consideration.

I have been on a Danube cruise, and two ocean cruises, another one coming up in a couple of weeks, and one already booked in April next year. In March this year I went to South Africa, a group holiday, a mix of singles and couples. It was fantastic; we all got on despite only meeting up on arrival in Cape Town

I think you need to bite the bullet and go for it!

pinkjj27 Tue 04-Jul-23 14:19:48

I have posted this before but not in so much detail.
I, was brought up in the USA, my dad’s job took me all around the word expect The UK . When I first got married to an abusive man, holidays where out of the question as he withheld money and kept me and the kids in poverty. Then I was a single mum and there was not the money for holidays. I tried my best with my girls to do day trips or the odd night away in a very blue moon. I longed to see the UK.
When I met my 2nd husband, he would say let us go here, let’s go there but we never went. I used to say “when are we going there, he would say on my next birthday (mine is Christmas day so out of the question) He would say “we will eat fish and chips in Whitby” where he was born. It never happened. When he was dying, we went and stayed in a caravan in Weymouth which was organised by the cancer trust. I was just a carer by then and could not relax.
When he died my family and friends kept saying yes, they would come away but again that never happened either. In Jan of this year, I had a cancer scare, then I was rushed in for emergency eye surgery, I had a flood in my home knocked of my bike and lots of other things happened. I saw an advert for a coach holiday, no not to everyone’s taste, I know but a safe way to travel alone. I have booked to go to Yorkshire Including Whitby, on my husband birthday ( I am going to eat fish and chips ) . It was cheep and I paid for it in a couple of moths since then I have booked two more for next year and am paying of monthly including ten days to Scotland.
I am apprehensive and terrified of getting lost but it is time to live and not wait for others.

bikergran Tue 04-Jul-23 14:44:47

Hetty58 I really don't think my "assumptions" are strange at all. I was merely starting a new topic that I thought others may like to chip in.

But then maybe I am! strange ehhh Each to their own.

grandtanteJE65 Tue 04-Jul-23 15:01:47

OP Have a lovely trip to Scarborough!

I think one of the drawbacks of marriage is that we tend to stop doing certain things on our own, or stop them entirely, handing them over to our spouses.

Due to DH's poor health I am having to deal with a great many of the things we formerly did together, or that he did, and like you others, I am not particularly enjoying this, or always very confident about doing them.

It is hard to give yourself a mental shake, pull up your socks and get on with it, isn't it?

But if you do, I have found confidence gradually returns. So take it slowly to start with, and try to enjoy these things.

BUT I am not sure that any amount of Nanny-like admonitions will get me up a ladder to clean the gutters, any time soon.

bikergran Tue 04-Jul-23 15:06:30

pinkjj27 I can smell the Whitby fish and chips as I type lol.

My dd and myself went to the "Fisherman's Wife" Restaurant down the windy slope from the Whalebone's Arch.

Had a delicious fish pie.