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First time solo travelling 22 year old male

London, United...
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First time solo travelling 22 year old male

Hi everyone,

I'm a 21 (soon to be 22) year old male from London who's looking to travel solo! I am sick of depending on my friends to go travelling. They don't want to, but I do!

So I'd like to go travelling for maybe about 7-8 days soon. I was thinking of trying something easy since it will be my first solo trip, so an english speaking country perhaps. What do you guys think?

I was thinking America maybe? I've never been and I thought it'd be cool to go there.

My budget is about £700-1000. I was thinking because I will be on my own, there is no point of having a beach holiday. So maybe sightseeing would be cool. I love all kinds of stuff, architecture, scenery, history. I love taking pictures so picture-esque places would be cool.

Please give me some suggestions, doesn't have to be the United States!

And please ask if you want to know more to help me. Thanks!!

kent
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for Kent, Solo Travel
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1. Re: First time solo travelling 22 year old male

Reg... does your stated budget include airfares, or is this just your spending budget? If your 1K is for everything, then I'd suggest going to Europe rather than the states because the airfare alone will take up most of your budget.

You can do Europe for a week on your budget, and still see lots of history, architecture and scenery. Not being able to speak a European language isn't a total barrier either, as generally English is widely spoken, espcially by young people and particularly in northern European countries...

For a week, I'd suggest using Megabus for cheap coach travel and staying in hostels. Some of the larger European universities also rent out their halls of residence during the long summer break, and this can be exceptionally good value for money.

You could easily do Paris and Amsterdam in a week... or a cheap flight to Barcelona, Lisbon or Istanbul. All wonderful cities that have more than enough going on to keep you busy for a week, and can be done well within your budget.

London, United...
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2. Re: First time solo travelling 22 year old male

Thanks for you reply! Well my budget isn't really set, I could spend more if I really wanted to. But I thought I'd give that as a starting point.

So how much do you reckon it would cost to fly to an american city and stay there for about 8-9 days. I don't mind staying at a hostel and I'm not planning on travelling to other cities if I do go to the states.

I know Paris has some nice things to see, but I didn't think the other places have stuff to offer really. I thought of them as more a place to go for sun and sand, with a group of friends rather than solo.

England, United...
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3. Re: First time solo travelling 22 year old male

Barcelona has wonderful opportunities for your interests and there are some great evening music festivals of all sorts. Easy to travel round and has a beach if you want a break from the city.

What about concentrating on one aspect of the USA like architecture or the wild or maybe music. It would give you a starting point and narrow things down a bit. Lots of info on the web to begin costing your adventure to see if it will work.

Maybe staying and walking the trails in one of the Naitonal Parks like Yellowstone and using your photography.

There is some classic architecture to discover, New Orleans for the Jazz and photography.

kent
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4. Re: First time solo travelling 22 year old male

Reg..for flight prices and comparison costs, I'd suggest using a website like skyscanner. You don't have to book via them, but they do provide links to the booking engines. Depending on when you want to travel, the route and which destination in the USA, the prices for economy return flights from the UK can be anything between £450 to £700. And.. you will need to get your USA visa before you fly.

Athens, Greece
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5. Re: First time solo travelling 22 year old male

Hi Mac. Good look with travels. I have about 15 years solo travel experience, so can share a bit of advice. My list of tips is below - but really just keep your wits about u and u'l be fine.

#1. Email yourself a scan of your passport in case your lose it.

#2. Also text yourself your passport number, expiry date & place of issue. It makes it SO much easier to check-in at a hotel than scrabbling around for ur passport.

#3. Make a simple list of currency conversions FROM local currency BACK TO your currency. Put it in your wallet for easy access (e.g. 100 Rials = 1.32 dollars **NOT** 1 dollar = 0.174 Rials, etc). Also stick another copy into back of your Lonely Planet for even easier access.

#4. Memorise 5 key phrases in the local language "Excuse me", "Hello", "Goodbye", "Thanks", "Thank you very much". That's all you'll really need.

#5. Carry your valuables in a simple plastic bag or cotton bag. No one ever thinks anything in a plastic bag is valuable. Don't carry a day backpack. Yes, they are comfy but they SHOUT "I am a tourist!".

#6. Triple check every time your get on a bus/train that it is going to your destination. First ask the driver, then ask a fellow passenger, then ask another passenger.

#7. Carry your smartphone with you and join websites like Travlbuddy, Wandermates.com and VivTrav to help meet other people (like me www.wandermates.com/profileview.php… :) None of them are perfect, but they are useful.

#8. Stay in hostels, they are THE BEST place to meet other travelers.

#9. If there are no hostels, go on 1 or 2 day activity outings, e.g. diving, climbing, canyoning, etc. They are another great way to meet people.

#10. Go on a backpacker bus, e.g. Paddywagon or Backpacker tours. They are brilliant also and a great way to hook w the ladies :)

London, United...
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6. Re: First time solo travelling 22 year old male

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I am still not closer to knowing where I want to go. A friend of mine suggested Rome the other day which adds another city I have to pick from now!

Just another thing, is there any good sites people book their hotels and/or flights from? Or is it safest to book the flights from the airlines directly, if so, how about the hotels/hostels?

London, England
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7. Re: First time solo travelling 22 year old male

How soon can you go?

http://www.nojazzfest.com/

The New Orleans jazz and Heritage Festival is not just Jazz, is incredibly cheap for the tickets and New Orleans is an amazing city.

Rome is also fantastic and Florence is only 1/2 hours away by train, so doing both in a week is very possible.

Italy would not stretch your budget nearly as much as the US (and the flights are much shorter).

Easy Jet is a good way to fly within Europe, with less hassle and airports closer to the actual destination than Ryan Air.

The Easy Jet website gives you fares on a range of dates around the one you want to fly on. Sometimes moving your trip by a day can reduce the airfare significantly. Easy Jet is one of the few airlines that lets you see that.

It is always safest to book directly with the airline although Expedia can be useful. There are lots of scam sites and sites that offer one fare and give you another. If something goes wrong, booking with a web-site other than the airline can mean neither company accepts responsibility.

I sometimes book hotels through booking.com, although sometimes there have been problems. Looking at reviews on Trip Advisor and booking directly with the hotel is probably best.

kent
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8. Re: First time solo travelling 22 year old male

Reg.... I prefer to book flights directly with an airline for a number of reasons.

The price an airline sells tickets at is the same as via a third party website. You can also give the airline your contact numbers, so if there is a delay they contact you directly. If anything goes wrong ( cancellation of a linked flight etc), as a customer of the airline rather than a customer of a third party agent, the airline has a responcibiliy to make alternate flight arrangements for you.

You can earn loyalty points, which for multiple or long haul flights can be quite valuable. If you join a loyalty scheme, the airline will also send you sale alerts.

Some major airlines have formed "alliance" arrangements, so you can use or earn loyalty points on other carriers.

Sometimes airlines will sell flights and accommodation together as a set holiday.I've found that these combination tickets very good value for money, as the overall cost has been much cheaper than trying to book the flight and hotel seperately.

Non legacy carriers, like Ryanair, do not sell their tickets via third party agents, and in their T & C's can refuse you boarding if they discover that the ticket has been sold via an agent. Also the non legacy carriers tend to have more restrictive luggage allowances.

As for accommodation... sometimes it is cheaper to book directly with the hotel, but not always! Very confusing I know. My only advice is to do a comparison price check using the webagents and contacting then contacting the hotel directly.

If you have an idea which city you want to visit, then you could go to the destination forum here on trip adviser, click on the hotel/holiday rentals ( in the green band at the top of the page) and read the reviews. There is a link in the hotel reviews, which in turn produces a pop up. If you put your dates in the pop up, this will take you to the search engines of the various webagents, and you can see the prices they charge.

Hope this helps.

Edited: 21 April 2013, 12:01
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9. Re: First time solo travelling 22 year old male

I must say hostelbookers.com is fantastic. I've used it many times and I can't fault it. As for flights though, look for the best price on comparison websites but always actually book the tickets direct from the airline.

London, England
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10. Re: First time solo travelling 22 year old male

Sorry, I missed a 1. Rome is 1 1/2 hours by train from Florence.