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Solo Travel

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:09 pm
by gosimeon
Hey hey all.

I was looking at going to New York with a friend this summer but he can't go now, he's totally broke now; long story!

Anyway, I was thinking that was my plans gone down the drain as I don't think any of my other mates would be too interested. Then I was thinking maybe going it alone could be fun. I'm young and a student so I could stay in student hostel and meet people doing the same thing; see things I want to see etc. It would be a life experience I guess.

What do you think? Anybody into solo travel, or hate it?

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:13 pm
by plateman
I did Europe this past summer. Went Amsterdam, Stockholm, Rome, Venice, Munich and Geneva all alone. My friends could not afford it and since I was in London, I wanted to explore.

It was fine. I had a good budget so stayed in nice hotels near the main attractions. I really enjoyed the experience. It was nice to work on my own schedule and make my own trip. I would say go for it!

If you have any questions about NY (my home), please ask!

Brian

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:17 pm
by Alias1024
I love it. You can see what you want, when you want, and not have to worry about doing what others want to do but you find incredibly boring. If you are young, then I highly recommend staying in a hostel for those trips. You meet a lot of other interesting people from around the world, and can make some good friendships from it. It also will save you a lot of money compared to hotels in New York City.

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:19 pm
by Toast


Quoting Gosimeon (Thread starter):
Anybody into solo travel

The only way to travel.  yes 

One or two guy friends can be OK; girlfriends are often a pain in the ass; family members, out of the question.

Go for it! Have fun!

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:23 pm
by gosimeon


Quoting PlateMan (Reply 1):
If you have any questions about NY (my home), please ask!

Thanks! Was there on a short trip with my parents in the winter, fell in love with the place but couldn't do alot of things I would have liked to do. NY is actually a pretty easy city to get around once you get used to it. It has a magical way of making your money disappear too though eh!

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 2):
If you are young, then I highly recommend staying in a hostel for those trips. You meet a lot of other interesting people from around the world

Yupp that's what I was hoping to hear. There is a hostel called the Big Apple Hostel right beside Time Square. Costs so little, especially for me with the Euro being so strong right now. It's the meeting new people that kind of has me convinced. If you go somewhere with a few friends you will stick together. If I go alone I will be way more open to meeting new people.

Thanks for the advice guys.  bigthumbsup 

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:24 pm
by TWFirst
It will be a great adventure and you will have NO problem meeting and having fun with New Yorkers (we're a friendly bunch) as well as other young European tourists such as yourself (actually, tourists from all over the world)...

Stay at the Chelsea International Hostel on West 20th St.... I live a block away and I always see dozens of young European tourists on the sidewalk outside (arriving, departing, getting ready to go wander, Manhattan etc).

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:32 pm
by BMIFlyer
Done lots of Solo Travels in my time, my first ever solo trip was to New York in 2000  Smile

You can do what you want, when you want when you go alone Big grin

Other trips I have done alone include....
6 Days, 8 Flights & 16000 Miles On UA (Long/Pics) (by BMIFlyer Oct 13 2005 in Trip Reports)
Asian Delight, LHR-SIN-BKK-SIN-LHR On SQ With Pics (by BMIFlyer Feb 22 2006 in Trip Reports)
Amazing Trip Across The Atlantic By A319 (Pics) (by BMIFlyer May 25 2007 in Trip Reports)


Lee

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:34 pm
by ANCFlyer
I prefer solo travel. I can go where I want, when I want and do what I want . . .

Of course, those days are over now  cry  but I digress.

I thoroughly enjoyed traveling by myself.

I have a good time - generally - no matter whether I'm traveling alone or not, I just preferred it solo . . .

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:35 pm
by Newark777
I'm not a fan of solo travel myself, unless it's something like a day trip, but if you're going to do it, New York's a great place to go.

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:55 pm
by xpat
Solo travel is fun. Like many before have mentioned, you create your own itinerary, do what you want to do without putting everything up for discussion. The only problem I have (and not so much anymore) is eating at a sit-down restaurant by myself; however, if you have a savvy server, they will immediately make you feel comfortable and not so self-conscious.

NY is a great place to visit and definitely easy to get around.

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:20 pm
by Superfly
Gosimeon is the only way I travel.
You will make friends very quick in New York.
Go when you want and not consult with your 'mate' when you want to go somewhere or do something fun.

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:29 am
by Sabena332


Quoting Toast (Reply 3):
The only way to travel.

I don't agree!

Somehow I need someone "beside me" when I travel.

Quoting Toast (Reply 3):
One or two guy friends can be OK; girlfriends are often a pain in the ass;

I agree!

I like to travel with my best friend (and nobody else beside), together we had lots of very enjoyable trips all over the world!

And yes, eventually I fed up to travel with my ex-girlfriend, I begun to hate her shopping sprees which became more and more ridiculous from trip to trip (those in DXB and HKG were memorable  grumpy  ).

P.

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:03 am
by N1120A


Quoting Gosimeon (Thread starter):
Anybody into solo travel, or hate it?

The vast majority of my travel has been solo and I whole heartedly recommend it. Unless you have a travel partner who is really into the same type of traveling you are, which is possible, or you have a girl/boyfriend who is pretty much a mandatory travel partner, I think it is the best way to get the most out of your travels. That said, I also recommend maintaining a network of friends around the globe and meeting them in each city you go to.

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:21 am
by Rara


Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 11):


Somehow I need someone "beside me" when I travel.

Yes, me too. I've never actually travelled alone. Sometimes I thought about it, but I never really did.... I somehow feel very self-conscious when on the road alone, I constantly observe myself and think about what I'm doing instead of just enjoying what's around me.

One time I was headed somewhere for a visit and missed several train connections, so I couldn't make it to my destination that night. The city of Mainz (I believe) was how far I'd got, and Deutsche Bahn put me in a hotel near the station. I asked the reception whether they could recommend a simple restaurant, then went out to the Italian place they mentioned, had some noodles and a glass of wine. As you do, right? Weirdest f*cking thing in my life!! Creeped me out!

Thus I travel with family or the dreaded

Quoting Toast (Reply 3):
girlfriend

who really is my favourite travel companion. I must say, though, that she's very easy on me... never complains, regardless how tough it gets, always thinks ahead, and she's interested in the same things (culture, food, nature), so that makes it nice.

But, Gosimeon, I'd say give it a try! From what I hear, solo travellers often pair up and break off again when convinient, so it could really be interesting.

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:26 am
by falstaff


Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 7):
I prefer solo travel. I can go where I want, when I want and do what I want . . .

I do too. I am headed to FRA and LEJ next week by myself. I have been lots of places alone. I like it because I always meet great people and I can do what ever I want. If (when) I get all beered up and sleep late the next day there is nobody bitching that I am wasting my time.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 12):
I also recommend maintaining a network of friends around the globe and meeting them in each city you go to.

I always meet up with people I know. Even if I know them only from online. It is good to have buddies all over.

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:34 am
by Rara


Quoting Falstaff (Reply 14):

I always meet up with people I know. Even if I know them only from online. It is good to have buddies all over.

If you ever make it to Maastricht, be sure to visit the pub you share your username with!  Smile

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:48 am
by pwm2txlhopper
I backpacked around Europe four times, and have gone over another 10 times on top of that, all solo. All I can say is this is the only way to go! However, hostels in the U.S. aren't always as nice as hostels in other parts of the world. Most young American's have never even heard of a hostel. They can be kind of seedy places here, with some shady characters staying in them..Especially in the big cities like New York! Even the safe, clean ones are usually pretty bare bones and basic. It's hard to find modern, decent, clean hostels in the USA. It's not like in Europe.

[Edited 2008-03-13 19:51:06]

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:51 am
by N1120A


Quoting PWM2TXLHopper (Reply 16):
They can be kind of seedy places here, with some shady characters staying there... Especially in the big cities like New York! It's hard to find modern, decent, clean, hostels in the USA. It's not like in Europe.

Actually, L.A. and Boston are both pretty good places to find Hostels. There is a famous one smack in the middle of Hollywood that is perfectly safe, as far as hostels go. In Boston, the North End is home to at least one as well.

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:16 am
by Toast


Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 11):
I like to travel with my best friend

I did it a couple of times and it was fine, but my best friend is too chicken to enter a ghetto, souk or anyplace even remotely seedy or vaguely dangerous. I'd take him to Barcelona anytime but not to Tangiers.

Quoting Rara (Reply 13):
she's very easy on me... never complains, regardless how tough it gets, always thinks ahead, and she's interested in the same things

Wow. Hang on to her - what most guys usually get is

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 11):
shopping sprees which became more and more ridiculous from trip to trip

Drives me absolutely nuts.

Quoting Rara (Reply 13):
I somehow feel very self-conscious when on the road alone

Maybe because people are staring at those socks 'n' sandals?  duck 

I forgot to mention that youth hostels are awesome places. I've never felt the urge to go upmarket and get a regular hotel room. You'll find the weirdest and funniest people on the road. And hot Aussie women, too.

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:19 am
by ScarletHarlot
For years I have travelled solo for work, and have taken some side trips on my own for pleasure. I like travelling alone. As most of the posters above have said, you get to do what you want, when you want. I do enjoy travelling with Mr. Harlot and that is my preference but I have no objection to travelling alone. In some ways it is less stressful because everything happens just when and how I want it to.

Totally go for it!

Quoting Rara (Reply 13):
Weirdest f*cking thing in my life!! Creeped me out!

I go to restaurants on my own quite a bit. In fact, I did so two weeks ago. I went to New Jersey for work and went out for dinner myself the first night I was in town. I brought a magazine and ordered myself a drink and a nice dinner. The waiter was really nice and we had a pleasant chat.

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:31 am
by Lufthansa411
I highly recommend it.

A year ago, I was in the exact same situation as you, but travelling the opposite way across the pond. I met some of the most interesting people while travelling alone, and really felt like I could get the cultural vibe so much better than with friends. I find when I am with friends in other countries, I tend to only speak English and miss the cultural immersion, which is what I really enjoy.

Lufthansa411

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:06 am
by Toast


Quoting Lufthansa411 (Reply 20):
the cultural immersion, which is what I really enjoy.

I forgot to add that. When you're with people you know, you're far less responsive to your environment. That's why I also never, ever take my mp3 player when I travel. Soaking up a unique cocktail of sounds - traffic, muezzins, animals, the local language - is far more interesting than listening to stuff you've already heard a million times.

I like full-contact travel. No music, no acquaintances, no book other than a travel guide or dictionary, no telephone, not a single superfluous object. Walk around in random directions; get lost; ask people for directions; choose a place to eat where you're the only foreigner; sit on some wall and watch people go past. Shrug off beggars, dodge touts and pimps, take pictures where it isn't allowed, drink exotic booze, rent a car, get in and out of trouble. Enjoy to the full the very best company there is - yourself.

There's no feeling comparable to being hundreds or thousands of miles from home when nobody knows where you are (I usually don't tell anyone where I'm going). Call me weird, but I love that Robinson Crusoe feeling, that almost complete isolation from everything that's familiar and at the same time being, for once, in complete control.

Come to think of it, I wonder if there have been any psychological studies to explain why some people feel this visceral need to travel?...

Navigare necesse est, I dunno why, but it is.

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:17 am
by scrubbsywg
i prefer to travel alone. I can do what i want, eat where i want, spend money where i want(like if i want a nice dinner), etc. I also think it is liberating to go it alone while exploring somewhere foreign. As was mentioned, you should stay in hostels and you will undoubtedly meet people. That is one of the best parts of traveling! I have met people in hostels in europe and the US that i still converse with. The interesting thing is there are almost an infinite number of people in the same boat as you. They are traveling alone, and that is the impetus to meeting people. I am on the shy side, but when i was traveling it wasnt very often when i didnt end up going for drinks with someone i jsut met hours earlier. It is awesome. You can swap stories, and often have a good time.

I did new york city on my own for a short little trip last spring. I stayed in a hostel on the upper west side(i think it was the hostelling international one) and it wasnt bad.

In short. DO IT. its that simple. Life changing, yes. fun? yes. i now tell everyone young person i meet that they should spend time traveling. Waiting around for friends to make up their mind if they want to go somewhere on a trip is not worth it. Just book your ticket and if someone wants to come along they can. again, you should definitely do it.

and as far as hostels in boston, i stayed in one that was close to fenway park. It was a hostelling international one, and it was also right smack in the middle of the berklee college of music. It was a couple blocks from a subway station, and not too far from newbury street. I would say it was a pretty good hostel.

I have found that the hostels in the USA are somewhat less personable than european hostels. I think a lot of the time in the US they are seen more as cheap accomodations vs. in europe as a gathering place for young travelers.

[Edited 2008-03-13 21:23:12]

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:34 am
by Asturias


Quoting Gosimeon (Thread starter):
What do you think? Anybody into solo travel, or hate it?

I've travelled a lot solo.. It has benefits and drawbacks and in the end it's a question of whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

-- I'll just give you the bottom line in my experience:

More will go into it than you'll get out of it. Unless you're just going to see how it is to be solo.

asturias

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:25 am
by PlymSpotter
Most of the time I have to travel alone, because of the completely random and convoluted routings which I take, nobody else wants to go with me  Sad

Nothing wrong with solo travel though, I backpacked around the Philippines last summer for a couple of weeks and along the way met some really great people. In fact one of them was almost too coincidental to be true - chatting with a guy in a little beach bar in Boracay - some 7000 miles from home, who'd taken a year off work to go travelling, as often happens the topic arose of where we came from... none other than Devon - and did I know where that was? Yes - where abouts? Plymouth - good God! Ironically he had attended my former college's arch 'rivals' in the sport and academic fields, so we had a good laugh about that, and the utter randomness of meeting so far from home when we live literally seven miles apart!


Dan  Smile

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:27 am
by falstaff


Quoting Toast (Reply 21):
Soaking up a unique cocktail of sounds

I especially like the unique cocktails...

Quoting Rara (Reply 15):
If you ever make it to Maastricht, be sure to visit the pub you share your username with!

That would be cool. I have a picture of me at a place called Falstaff in San Francisco.

Quoting Toast (Reply 18):
Quoting Rara (Reply 13):
she's very easy on me... never complains, regardless how tough it gets, always thinks ahead, and she's interested in the same things

Wow. Hang on to her - what most guys usually get is

That is amazing... Don't let her get away.

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:34 am
by LHStarAlliance


Quoting PlateMan (Reply 1):
If you have any questions about NY (my home), please ask!

Hey Brian ! I almost got all the Money I need for NY and DC ... I hope to see you there !

BTW: Whats cheaper fly from NY to DC or by train ?


Constantin

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:48 am
by stlgph


Quoting Gosimeon (Thread starter):

new york is a *great* place to go by yourself. i've done it ten times. it was faboo.

you don't even have to stay in hostels, even, if you play your cards right and know where to look ... you can snag a good mid town or times square-area hotel for a pretty reasonable dollar.

take your student i.d. with you and hit up the box offices directly, instead of the tkts line if you want to see any broadway-type shows.

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:27 pm
by gosimeon
Hi thanks for the advice everybody. I think I will go for it, might as well give it a shot.

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:19 am
by KL642
I've stayed at the Vanderbuilt YMCA on the eastside by the UN. It was clean with cable tv and full of beautiful european girls! I always enjoyed traveling solo and last fall was solo in YUL for 5 days. It was great, no wife, no kids just lots of beautiful Montreal strippers!

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:54 am
by Maverick623


Quoting Toast (Reply 21):
I like full-contact travel. No music, no acquaintances, no book other than a travel guide or dictionary, no telephone, not a single superfluous object. Walk around in random directions; get lost; ask people for directions; choose a place to eat where you're the only foreigner; sit on some wall and watch people go past. Shrug off beggars, dodge touts and pimps, take pictures where it isn't allowed, drink exotic booze, rent a car, get in and out of trouble. Enjoy to the full the very best company there is - yourself.

Couldn't have summed it up better.

Quoting Toast (Reply 21):
Come to think of it, I wonder if there have been any psychological studies to explain why some people feel this visceral need to travel?...

Well, we were nomads at one point in time.... evolutionary holdover?

RE: Solo Travel

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:16 am
by scrubbsywg


Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 30):
Well, we were nomads at one point in time.... evolutionary holdover?

its kind of weird sometimes. it almost seems like it is recessive. i know for the first 24 years of my life i dodnt really feel the need to travel. then i went on an exchange to france, and ever since then, the only thing i want to do is travel