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Old 08-14-2011, 12:28 AM
 
Location: Dublin, CA
3,813 posts, read 3,655,959 times
Reputation: 3967

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For the "I hate tours crowd." Taking a tour, especially for your first time in Europe, isn't all that bad. Most of your logistics are taking care of along with, usually, a very good guide, who can explain things to you and point out good places to go (yes, there are exceptions, with kickbacks, etc).

I've only taken one fully guided tour in my life. That was too Egypt and, I'll say it was well worth the price and then some. The guide was awesome and so was the overall trip. Yeah, there were a few obvious "buy here" hypes; however, I never bought there and nothing was ever said of it.

You are single traveller, so I gather. Google: solo single female traveller. You will find ALOT of info, and websites for single females, traveling alone.

Me? I could care less, if I weren't married, I go with or without someone. There is a whole, huge, gigantic world out there to see, before I die. If I were to wait for someone to come along, I might be dead.

Go for it now. Someday, may never come...
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Old 08-14-2011, 12:48 AM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,854 posts, read 20,157,720 times
Reputation: 35901
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil306 View Post
For the "I hate tours crowd." Taking a tour, especially for your first time in Europe, isn't all that bad. Most of your logistics are taking care of along with, usually, a very good guide, who can explain things to you and point out good places to go (yes, there are exceptions, with kickbacks, etc).

I've only taken one fully guided tour in my life. That was too Egypt and, I'll say it was well worth the price and then some. The guide was awesome and so was the overall trip. Yeah, there were a few obvious "buy here" hypes; however, I never bought there and nothing was ever said of it.

You are single traveller, so I gather. Google: solo single female traveller. You will find ALOT of info, and websites for single females, traveling alone.

Me? I could care less, if I weren't married, I go with or without someone. There is a whole, huge, gigantic world out there to see, before I die. If I were to wait for someone to come along, I might be dead.

Go for it now. Someday, may never come...
That's what I've been doing these past years by traveling solo domestically and in Canada ... I've gotten tired of waiting around for others to travel with me and just had to bite the bullet to go on my dream vacations. Now that I've seen the two cities that I've always wanted to see (Orlando and NYC) now I can start looking at other trips. Coming from a family of homebodies, this is a whole new world for me and I do have my reservations about going overseas but I'm considering the idea of doing a tour for my first visit as I'm not comfortable planning/coordinating this trip on my own. I don't know when I'll actually get the time and money that I need to do the European trip but I'm definitely planning to do so before my passport expires (next 5 years).
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:30 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
37,962 posts, read 55,708,171 times
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You can travel solo overseas, but let your travel agent arrange everything to the smallest detail: flights, plane changes, airports info, hotel, transportation info, what to see, where to eat and where to go. The rest you can research over the Internet. In this forum many people would help you with any info you need.
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:45 AM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,854 posts, read 20,157,720 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
You can travel solo overseas, but let your travel agent arrange everything to the smallest detail: flights, plane changes, airports info, hotel, transportation info, what to see, where to eat and where to go. The rest you can research over the Internet. In this forum many people would help you with any info you need.
I like the idea of working with a travel agent as opposed to doing a group tour as the trip can be tailored around my specific needs/wishes. My concern is roaming around Europe solo and becoming victim of scam artists. During my recent trip to NYC, I was able to blend in due to my research, etc but in Europe, I can research itineraries and customs to death but my American accent and lack of fluency in another language would be a dead giveaway that I'm a tourist. I just feel safer with a group versus solo ... at least for my very first trip.
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:12 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,571,346 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miaiam View Post
Chateress, if I may, I suggest you do not cram many countries in one trip. This is the kind of trip in which one sees everything through a bus window, gets off the bus 15 mins for pictures, and back on the bus again.
I see tourists doing that all the time, and do believe cramming that much in such a short time "see Europe!! 10 countries/10 days!!" style, is actually one of the the biggest travel mistakes one can make, and couldn't be farther from a "best bang for the buck" experience.

Such a disappointment not to be able to appreciate at least a bit of so many beautiful places and things to do/see in minimal depth...it will be much more enjoyable - I believe - if you see few places, but really appreciate them. If I were you, I would choose absolutely no more than 2 countries a week, or something like 10 days/3 countries.

(As the Italian saying goes, "poco ma buono").
Agreed to an extent...

My husband and I are doing four countries in 16 days next year. Yes, we're cramming a lot in, although part of the plan is "fact finding" to see which places we'd like to return to for a longer stretch on a subsequent trip.

While I agree 10 in 10 is foolish, I don't think that staying for only a few days in any given country is if you're scouting places you'd like to return to in the future.
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:50 AM
 
Location: England
24,774 posts, read 6,163,509 times
Reputation: 30389
The English travel all over Europe all the time because it's so near to us. I can understand
American reservations as I suppose to many it all seems so, well, foreign!! Also much of the
travel we do is not cultural, just to have a good time which usually involves a lot of drinking.
The trouble is, where the real culture is, tends to be in capital cities which are always
expensive. The exchange rate for the euro is'nt as good as it was for us either. But, I agree
with others, not to try to see too much in a short time. I've been to Athens in Greece, and
I saw some beautiful ruins and museums, but the place itself is very busy, and very hot in the
summer. Even in tourist area like Salou on the Coasta Dorada, which are quite cheap for hotels and eating, have beautiful churches to see, and a great and cheap train service to
places like Barcelona, which has great churches and museums to see. Plus it's very safe and
full of English people so no language problems. There is still the cost of the flight, but when
you get there, it is quite cheap.
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Central Florida
973 posts, read 1,489,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gudra View Post
as the man owns the apt. and will take me to the police to check in (which is a totally archaic law in Serbia that needs to go!) BUT, if I were to be staying longer, then I would make other arrangements as it would be too expensive.

It is inconvenient but that law has its uses. In Germany and Austria, one needs to have the property owner or hotel to register you with the police with you presenting yourself at the district police station -for a stay that's three days or above . They traced some of the September 11 terrorists in Hamburg through the Meldezettel .
Really?? I didn't know this as I thought only some of the Eastern Block was like this. BUT to be honest, how many do you think actually do register?
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Fairfax
2,880 posts, read 6,166,282 times
Reputation: 1230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatteress View Post
I like the idea of working with a travel agent as opposed to doing a group tour as the trip can be tailored around my specific needs/wishes. My concern is roaming around Europe solo and becoming victim of scam artists. During my recent trip to NYC, I was able to blend in due to my research, etc but in Europe, I can research itineraries and customs to death but my American accent and lack of fluency in another language would be a dead giveaway that I'm a tourist. I just feel safer with a group versus solo ... at least for my very first trip.
I could sit here and type paragraphs about how to watch out for scam artists, how to not look like an easy target, and why if you carry little cash the worst they can do is not much.....but if you feel unsafe traveling alone then by all means go do it in a tour if you can afford it! People can be travel snobs about this sort of thing but if you want to experience Europe and then do so in an acceptable way for you that's all that matters.

Thankfully, in Europe the scam artists aren't nearly as prevalent as in SE Asia and China. The scam artists in those parts will target foreigners no matter if they're wearing rolexes or if they're backpackers on a dirt-cheap round the world trip.

Whatever you do, DON'T carry a lot of cash! I let my guard down on my last day of my Eurotrip and was pick-pocketed. I realized it 5 seconds later and yelled at the criminal who then amazingly tossed my wallet back to me. Inside I had only 5 Euros in cash. I have no doubt that if it had been 500 Euros he would have been long gone.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Fairfax
2,880 posts, read 6,166,282 times
Reputation: 1230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Americanwoman54 View Post
Really?? I didn't know this as I thought only some of the Eastern Block was like this. BUT to be honest, how many do you think actually do register?
I visited Bulgaria back in 2005 and had to register with the police department upon arrival also (and I was only 17). Maybe this has changed since joining the EU but I doubt it...
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:34 PM
 
Location: SoCal
6,063 posts, read 9,522,564 times
Reputation: 5789
Get some of the travel guide books that are aimed at students. They'll tell you where the lower-cost but still safe places are, and the less-expensive places to get food.
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