Travelling around Europe solo

Image from Flickr

When you travel around Europe alone, you embrace a whole new experience and have complete freedom as to all that you want to see or do. You don’t have to worry about fitting in with a group of others but can personalise your holiday so that it meets your needs.

There are some considerations you need to make, however, to ensure that your dream doesn’t turn into a nightmare.

Safety

It is important to consider safety factors when travelling on the continent as you are at risk to pick pockets. Try to blend in and avoid wearing attention-grabbing clothes or expensive jewellery. Plan your daily route before you leave your accommodation, avoiding checking maps or using guide books, as this makes it all too obvious that you are a tourist. If you have to ask for help, always give the impression that you are meeting someone.

Planning

It pays to have an itinerary in place and to calculate the costs of getting around, as well as schedules for public transport. Always research additional trains or buses, just in case you miss one. If booking a hotel, make sure there is a 24-hour front desk so that you still have your room even if arriving late and always have identification with you. No-one can guarantee perfect health when travelling, so always take your European Health Insurance Card to give you peace of mind.

Trust your instincts

If something feels wrong, then listen to your gut feeling. Check out any potentially dubious areas and avoid where possible. When you meet new people, enjoy the opportunity to bond with other travellers or to meet locals and to embrace a new culture, but always be aware that there are con-artists out there.

Avoid single supplements

When travelling solo, you are likely to be hit by the single supplement charge and this can be expensive. If you don’t mind sharing with a stranger, there are organisations that can match you up with a suitable roommate.

Eating alone

Some people hate going to restaurants or bars alone, but it’s all part of the solo travelling experience. If you feel self-conscious, take a book or a notebook with you and try to relax. You will not be the first solo diner people have ever seen. If you feel very self-conscious, there’s always room service!

Photo: Osprey Talon 33 by Nick Bramhall licensed under Creative commons 2

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