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Traveling Alone or Family Travel Whether you want to travel alone, or travel with the kids, parents, or granny, this forum is for you!

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Old 01-07-2006, 04:17 PM   #1
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Hi guys! I came across Tpunk while searching hostels and info on Eurail passes and the like. I'm 24, Canadian, wanting to embark on a trip to at least Scotland, UK, France, Italy, and Greece. Lots of fencesitter friends who say they want to go but are still not committing, and time's running out for cheap tickets. I'm planning to go mid-April until late May, just to sort of avoid high season, would it still be easy to meet other backpackers during this time? I know most people travel June-August. Should I wait until at least June to do this?

Also regarding hostels - I've stayed in a few in the states and here, and some of them are so disgusting - pubic hair stuck in the drain and stuff like that. I heard Euro hostels are much nicer in terms of cleanliness, is that true? I'm ok with having to share things but def. not body fluids on tubs and toilets.

Oh yeah, anyone planning to go around the same time, let me know!

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Old 01-07-2006, 04:22 PM   #2
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Also, I'm a little wary about travelling alone due to being female, on the short side, and being approached by a bunch of older men trying to speak Japanese or Chinese to me just because I'm Asian. When I was on a school trip in Sweden this guy followed me around for 3 blocks saying "Konichiwa" over and over. Any tips?!? I'm also going mostly to draw stuff, 'cause that what I love to do.
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Old 01-07-2006, 05:25 PM   #3
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You'll see there are lots of topics regarding your same questions here on tpunk...to answer your question in brief...

You'll be fine traveling alone. Just use common sense and take necessary precautions.

Hostels are typically nicer in Europe then in the US, not to say there are not bad ones there too.

There are ALWAYS other backpackers to meet, especially while staying in hostels - it is simply a matter of taking initive.

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Old 01-07-2006, 10:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by poodlebee+Jan 8 2006, 10:17 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(poodlebee @ Jan 8 2006, 10:17 AM)</div>
Quote:
I'm planning to go mid-April until late May, just to sort of avoid high season, would it still be easy to meet other backpackers during this time?* I know most people travel June-August.* Should I wait until at least June to do this?

Also regarding hostels - I've stayed in a few in the states and here, and some of them are so disgusting - pubic hair stuck in the drain and stuff like that.* I heard Euro hostels are much nicer in terms of cleanliness, is that true?* I'm ok with having to share things but def. not body fluids on tubs and toilets.

Oh yeah, anyone planning to go around the same time, let me know!
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i wouldnt wait untill june, there backackers all year round from wat i understand, im goin at the end of feb till july/august
dunno bout the hostel rooms you could just look into the reccomended ones through this website or in travel guides

<!--QuoteBegin-poodlebee
@Jan 8 2006, 10:22 AM
Also, I'm a little wary about travelling alone due to being female, on the short side, and being approached by a bunch of older men trying to speak Japanese or Chinese to me just because I'm Asian.* When I was on a school trip in Sweden this guy followed me around for 3 blocks saying "Konichiwa" over and over.* Any tips?!?* I'm also going mostly to draw stuff, 'cause that what I love to do.
[snapback]97265[/snapback]
there a lots of other femal backpackers that travel alone and have no problems.. as for people followinf you around sayin "konichiwa" turn around and say "im canadian "and if the continue say "fuck off you idiots"


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Old 01-08-2006, 12:27 AM   #5
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Thanks tonnes, guys - I've been reading through a lot of the articles here, they're reassuring! Another q for you - I'm planning to hit these places:

Arrive London, then Paris, Barcelona (maybe Madrid), Nice, Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome - I'd like to visit Athens but that's a 15+ hr ferry trip! And I have 36 days to travel. Would it be worth taking the long trip? I can't figure out if it's covered by Eurail or not - too many conflicting statements on different sites. I'm planning to buy the Eurail Flexi 10 days but should I upgrade to 15 days in case 10 is cutting it pretty close for how many places I want to hit? Thanks a million again, guys. :kisscheek: :cheers:
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Old 01-09-2006, 02:32 PM   #6
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I took that 15 hour ferry trip to Greece last summer. You still need to take another 3 hour train to get to Athens. The ferry ride was covered in our Eurail pass. We had a four country one with Greece included. We didn't actually see anything in Athens because we were short on time, so we got straight on another ferry to Santorini for a couple days. We spent 2 and a half days travelling to get from Rome to Santorini. I'd say it was worth it though. It was really beautiful and fun there. PLUS Greece is a lot cheaper than Italy (don't pay more than 10euro a night for a bed).

I didn't travel alone last summer but a lot of people did like to shout random phrases in Japanese to me and my friend (we're (somewhat) little Asian girls too). I'm headed back to the UK soon and I'm a little nervous about being alone also!
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Old 01-24-2006, 06:39 PM   #7
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Hi, this is my first time on this site. I'm planning my butt off for a Euro trip May 6-29. I do plan to go to Italy and then the 8 hour ferry from Bari, Italy to Corfu and stay at the Pink Palace. This is an overnight ferry, so you don't really lose a day. I'm buying the Eurail pass but also struggling with number of day. I figured to be safe rather than sorry and buy the 21 day.
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Old 01-26-2006, 12:51 AM   #8
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For Athens, maybe you can see about hopping on a cheap flight from somewhere else you're going to be, rather than spend the time on the ferry. We spent two days in Athens last Easter, we learned to take the metro rather than walk, because there's a whole lot of ugly city in between the pretty historical bits. We spent most of our week there in Nafplio, the former capital on the Peloponnese (sp, I know!) and for drama, it's a winner! There's a huge fortress on the hill, and the cliffs drop off almost straight into the sea, with just a little bit of Venetian style old town clinging to one side. We were there in March, while the wildflowers were in bloom, it was quite magnificent.

Travelling in the early spring will be fine, although in some small places some of the hostels may not be open. We chose Nafplio because it was one of the only pensions we could find that was open in March! (Pension Marianna, by the way - a little more expensive, but wonderful. - "The friendly Zoros brothers" are all that.)

Did my first trip as a solo 22/23 year old woman (small but not Asian), and the only time I really felt unsafe was in Amsterdam - and I travelled to the USSR (it still was) and back by train. I really don't think you'll have a problem, in the UK being Asian won't be at all unusual. Just walk with your head up, ignore the whistles, unwelcome comments etc of passersby, and you'll be fine. Same street smarts as any city in Canada, basically.

Also, it'll be nicer to draw in the spring - better light, wildflowers, and fewer crowds. Have a great trip!
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Old 03-20-2006, 04:53 AM   #9
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Hi!!! im 19, from canada too!! Ive been in amsterdam for the last 2 months as an au pair but ive stayed in hostels here and around. Its super easy to meet people. When i stay somewhere alone, which is not scary at all - and im a girl!, I meet someone within 2 hours, and no im not going out and looking for people to meet!! hahah well the hostels are clean, if you stay in a hostel international then they give you sheets and i thought were pretty clean, you can also get a discount card for these hostels and free breakfast (its also one of the cheapest ones in amsterdam!) but ya have fun, youll love it! Im heading out myself to go backpacking at the beginning of May!! beleive me, youll have the time of your life and dont miss out on amsterdam!
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