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1st time traveller.

any recommendations where safe to travel and that i can explore on my own?

Posted by
9363 posts

Not sure what your concerns are, but I travel alone a lot and have never felt unsafe anywhere - Ireland, England, Scotland, Spain. You just have to take the same common sense precautions that you would if you were traveling alone here. Do you have specific questions we can help with?

Posted by
5295 posts

With the right attitude, you can travel and explore anywhere. Don't approach travel with fear and trepidation.

Posted by
31568 posts

pretty much anywhere.... certainly in Europe and the UK.

Posted by
4378 posts

As a general rule, I feel much safer in European cities than U.S. Cities. Of course every city has an area or two that should be avoided, but as long as you exercise good old common sense you'll have nothing to worry about when it comes to violent crime. Pickpockets are the biggest concern, but they can be pretty much thwarted just by taking a few precautions. Go and have a good time. TC

Posted by
6915 posts

Since you're on this website I assume you're asking about Europe. Most everywhere in Europe is safe to travel (even for a solo female traveler) as long as you take proper precautions regarding normal safety anywhere. I'm a senior woman who travels alone most of the time and I have always felt perfectly safe. I do avoid questionable areas especially at night but otherwise don't worry.

If there is a specific place you are interested in you can ask questions about that place and people here would be happy to give you advice about locations to stay in and possible places to avoid.

Posted by
2560 posts

I discovered the joy of solo travel 4 years ago and so far have visited London, Tallinn, Vienna and Budapest (and Victoria, BC) and felt perfectly comfortable and safe going about in these cities and surrounding areas. Definitely feel much safer in Europe than I do in the US and I grew up near San Francisco so I'm not afraid of a big city at all, just feel safer in general overseas. My personal suggestion is to start with a visit to one big city (if that's your inclination, I know not everyone enjoys them the same as more rural areas) for a week or so--somewhere that's full of enough to keep you busy and let you feel comfortable, with a good transit system-- perhaps London, Paris, Vienna, etc. The more you do it the easier it gets.

Posted by
1353 posts

Cathy, I would say since it's your first time traveling over seas and you will be on your own start with England! They speak your language and I have felt extremely safe traveling on my own there. Another option would be to take a RS tour. Have also done that on my own and had great fun!

Posted by
484 posts

English - speaking countries may ease you into European travel. Cities in Scotland are much smaller and easier to navigate on foot or by public transit than most American cities. italy is good for travelers as well. If you take a few simple precautions, you can enjoy yourself anywhere. Another tip is get an Inn/hotel/B&B in a good location. That way, you can stroll near your hotel in the evening and easily return if you feel uneasy or just tired. For the most part, I sightsee during the day and return to the hotel around 9 pm or so, sometimes earlier. Small towns - you may feel more comfortable staying out later at night. Just go with the flow and don't push yourself too much. You may want to join a half day or single day tour with a sightseeing company. You can do this! The RS forum will gladly help you as you plan your expedition.

Posted by
11613 posts

I have been traveling solo for half my life, feel perfectly safe in Europe.

Look at the RS videos to help you decide where you want to go. Or just stick a pin in a map, it's all good.

I would suggest Belgium as a point of entry, it's got charm and great sights, food and culture, most people speak enough English for what you will likely need.

Come back for more specific info.

Posted by
32110 posts


As the others have mentioned, Europe is generally very safe for travel, although there are issues with pickpocketing and other petty crime in some locations. If you familiarize yourself with the usual scams and wear a money belt, you shouldn't have any problems.

As this is your first trip to Europe, I'd highly recommend reading Europe Through The Back Door prior to your trip. That has a lot of good information on "how" to travel well in Europe, and includes a chapter on solo travel. After you've narrowed down which cities you'll be touring, use the country or city-specific guidebooks for information on hotels, restaurants, sightseeing and local transportation.

It would help to have more information on which cities you're most interested in, how long the trip is, where you're flying from, and what kind of sights you're most interested in.

Posted by
2081 posts


not sure where you want to go/do see and get into trouble.

im also a male so i see and think differently than you.

but I've been traveling for 3+ years into Europe solo and havent had any issues. If you look at my profile, you will see where i have been, so far.

If you want to get into trouble, there are people here and there that will accommodate you. If you use some common sense and dont put on your "stupid" hat, you should be good and safe. Again, if you want to find trouble its out there.

since you dont say where you reside, have you tried doing some solo trips in your neck of the woods? Then maybe next year break out of your box and head on over to some adjacent county/county/village/mud hole and see how you do.

theres nothing wrong with taking baby steps.

one comment. If you care to, get a copy of "Rick Steves - Europe Through the back door". It may not be where you are planning to travel to, but you will get some ideas on whats out there - good and bad.

happy trails.

Posted by
1501 posts

I travel with my "senior" girlfriends to Europe frequently. As a general rule, I avoid hotel rooms near the train stations. Because, as a General Rule, this is where I feel the least comfortable. My rule, no one else's!

I've been to Spain (all over), Paris -- took the 11 year old grand daughter, Italy - Rome, Florence, Venice, Sicily, all trips with Senior Females. Never had an issue. I've been to Switzerland, London, and Austria with my husband, no issues.

DO buy the RS Europe book, and decide where you most want to go. He's very thorough with logistics, like arrivals via air, train, etc., and that's really important -- to know where the 'real taxi stand' is, etc. So read the overview, decide where you want to go, and then really scrutinize the logistics.