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General Travel Tips and Advice Have you traveled before?- Please share your tips and advice with fellow Tpunks!

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Old 02-07-2004, 07:34 PM   #1
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I've haven't travelled out of North America (except the Carribean but that doesn't count). I'm planning on going to Europe this summer, after plans with various people fell through, I'm thinking of just going myself. Any opinions or suggestions for a 21 year old Canadian female traveling herself through Europe? safety, more fun, good experiences yourself or with friends? A friend has told me it's the best way to do it, so just wondering? I want to have the complete Europe experience.
I'm also thinking of working in England or Ireland next year through SWAP, any thoughts on that?
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Old 02-07-2004, 07:38 PM   #2
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I've haven't travelled out of North America (except the Carribean but that doesn't count). I'm planning on going to Europe this summer, after plans with various people fell through, I'm thinking of just going myself. Any opinions or suggestions for a 21 year old Canadian female traveling herself through Europe? safety, more fun, good experiences yourself or with friends? A friend has told me it's the best way to do it, so just wondering? I want to have the complete Europe experience.
I'm also thinking of working in England or Ireland next year through SWAP, any thoughts on that?
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Old 02-07-2004, 08:28 PM   #3
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My personal opinion is that traveling alone is the way to go. But that's my philosophy on life in general at this point, so I might be a bit biased.

In terms of safety, if you've got any street smarts at all, you should be fine. Don't walk down dark alleys, or into shady neighborhoods, and you should be alright. (Don't walk into major drug busts like yours truly) If you stick to the major cities, there are plenty of folks that are used to having to hand-hold tourists so you should be all set.

As for fun, it all depends on what you like to do. Clubbing, drinking, and otherwise frolicking about doesn't lend itself well to solo travel. On the other hand, if you like to explore and experience the atmosphere of the city, going alone is a great way to avoid distraction.

I'm more of the latter, but after a while I did want to get into a party of some kind, and I was usually able to meet up with enough people at the hostels or on the streets to have a good time with company. Being outgoing to the point of obnoxiousness helps in this regard

So in short, traveling alone can be great depending on your personality, and in general, you're safe as long as you're smart.

Welcome to the boards and good luck in your adventure!
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Old 02-07-2004, 09:32 PM   #4
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hi!

I went travelling solo thru europe as a freshly turned 19 year old. I had no problems at all. Your friend is right. It's amazing how you turn up alone, but that only really lasts for a day. After that you meet people and suddenly have a new group of friends. Hostels are a great place to meet people. Most hostels have a common room and you can chat with other backpackers. Everyone is in the same boat. Half the people I met were travelling alone, so everyone is really open and friendly. As for safety as long as you got your street smarts you'll be fine. Be aware at all times. Ask around and make sure you know which areas of town to avoid. Usually the front desk workers at the hostel are full of great info. The hardest part of going solo will probably be the first day and after that you;ll wonder how you can ever travel with other ppl again.

have fun!

ps. I haven't done swap. I'm going to oz in a couple of months, but choose not to do swap because I think it would be cheaper to do everything on my own. However, it does seem to be nice to have a support group..I believe they help you find a job, so that seems nice. And i'm sure it will be a built in social circle. i'm sure your aware travelcuts.com has a forum board with lots of info on swap.
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Old 02-08-2004, 08:32 PM   #5
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Hey faith, welcome to the family...

Travel'n solo for me has been the best part of my adventures..when you go with someone you run the risk of clashing interests, which can lead to bad times, been there done that.

Saftey wise, I think you'll be fine, just be aware of whats going on around you, don't take drinks from strangers in bars/clubs, don't be hanging about at night in places that you don't know where you are...all common sence stuff.

Check this past thread on Canadian Goverment International Work Programs.
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Old 02-09-2004, 07:18 AM   #6
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Hi,

At least a good half or more of my trips are solo. I enjoy the freedom of being able to change plans in midstream...if I decide to spend more time somewhere, I can. If I'm not enjoying a place, I can cut it short. If you're going with another person, you always have to be worried that you're cutting the thing they were most looking forward to, and so on.

So, I encourage you to head off solo. It is better than pairing up with someone who your interests may not mesh well, with. If you DO find someone who seems right on the same wavelength, then by all means, take a trip with them. However, don't let going alone be a reason NOT to do something...

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