|Subject: Re: Single Travelers: supplements and tips|
Hi Diana and fellow solo travellers,
I've done most of my travelling solo now and there are advantages and disadvantages.
Disadvantages: - Most tour groups do charge a single supplement and it can be significant - I've paid it before because the end justifies the means :) but I was pleased with the way the Rick Steves tour worked out too - no single supplement because they group you with a fellow same-sex single traveller. - I miss having a person to reminisce with about my various trip anecdotes and memories after I return, and I miss having the companionship when I need a jolt of enthusiasm or courage to tackle my next activity or destination if I am tiring. - It is hard to get photos of yourself with remote sights or scenery if there is no one around to take your photo (that's when being on a tour can help!) - In places like the UK in colder seasons when it's already dark by 5pm I struggle for things to do that I feel safe doing at night to keep me out of my hotel room. - I miss out on some destinations as I won't drive O.S. solo and there are activities that aren't sensible for solos. I would have loved to go for a hike in the Lakes District in the drizzle but I clearly misunderstood the first few directions so walking off by myself would be silly.
That being said, there are wonderful walks you can sign up for in many of the cities, organised night drives to tourist attractions, even taxis to movies. Better yet as another Ziner suggested, make yourself a local at a pub or even the hotel bar. And there are many wonderful little hotels and B& Bs close to public transport that provide a wonderful cost-effective alternative for singles and I've enjoyed them the world over.
Advantages: - I'm the boss :) If I want an unscheduled rest day, hot chocolate break, or stop-and-smell-the-roses-time-out it happens! - B& Bs and many restaurants and even hotels take special care of singles. Once at a restaurant in Victoria, BC for dinner, I was seated at a little table near the waiter bay. Many diners would find it nasty and noisy, but each staff member stopped by to say Hi or chat each time they passed by and it made the meal special and fun. - Most locals and other travellers are SO friendly and accommodating of singles - friendly chats on public transport, kind assistance when disoriented, and they're less intimidated when you approach them with a question.
It looks like more cons than pros but they're weighted differently :)
As for solo travel in France - as another poster mentioned, being solo in Paris is not a problem. I loved my 5 days there! :) Megan Brisbane, Australia