I'm a 21 year old female, thinking of traveling alone, but it seems pretty daunting. I was thinking about joining one of the Rick Steves European tour groups, and I was wondering if anyone would recommend this. I don't really want to travel alone, but I can't get anyone to come with me. I think the guided tours sound great, and I'd like any feedback from anyone who has taken these tours before.
Here is a thread you might want to read from the helpline: http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm/rurl/topic/45/solo-travel-on-a-rick-steves-ettbd-tour.html
I haven't done one of the guide tours but from all I've read they sound good. I'd book one if you don't really want to go alone. It also sounds like it may be a first trip for you and if so then you won't have to worry about anything as all the bookings etc will be done for you. If you find it daunting now you won't enjoy yourself when you get there if you go alone. I travel alone and really like it but I have been to Europe several times and 'know my way around'. Once you've done a group tour you'll know how things work and then you can decide to go back alone or not. You are sure to meet up with someone on the tour you get on with. Don't be daunted about being a single.
There was this other article in the "plan your trip" section that I thought you'd find interesting: http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/298solo.htm
Thank you all for feedback! It was helpful and put my mind at ease, especially after reading the other posted threads. I'm so excited to be going!
My husband and I just came back from a 7 day Rome tour with Rick's group and I think this may be a good way for you to get an introduction to Europe.
There were 3 singles on our tour- 2 of them in their 20's.
A nice bunch of people and great guides. I'd recommend it.
I'm more or less in the same boat. I'm 24 and determined to go to Rome for my 25th birthday, but couldn't get anyone to go with and wasn't comfortable tackling it on my own.
I spent a lot of time reading this website, especially the tour feedback (which is almost all positive) and it really eased my mind. They will also mail you a free tour DVD that's about 45 minutes long and follows a tour group doing the multi-country 'Best of Europe' tour. It really helped me see what the tour experience would be like, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. I think there's a link to request the DVD from the 'free publications' page.
Now that I've booked the 7-day Rome tour for the first week of December, I feel free to research all the neat things I'm going to see/do, without worrying about lodging, loneliness, and getting lost! Who knows? Maybe I'll see you there.:-)
I took a RS tour of Italy (17 days) as a single. Best trip of my life, really! I was 35 at the time and there were several others around my age, but also many older, up to 70. I can honestly say everyone, from tour guide to tour mate, was a decent, thoughtful, caring human being and didn't once bring up the "age" issue. The format of the trip was perfect for me - structured time with the group, but plenty of free time to do your own thing. Also, someone always on the lookout for you so you won't get left behind. There was one other single on the trip, so we shared a room. Although our vacation ideals were totally different (she: relaxation, me: get out there and go), we got along fine. Other tourmates adopted me if we had common destinations in mind, several even treating me to dinner (one couple told me they were spending their kids' inheritance on me, but they thought I was worth it!)
So go for it. There are other posts on the Graffiti wall about this topic too, so surf around.
I taken a few of Ricks Tours before and I would certainly recommend them if you don't want to travel alone. I've run into the same problem you have, finding people to travel with. After a while I gave up and decided on a tour instead.
Ricks tours are small enough (24 - 28 people or so) that you get to know everyone fairly quickly and I felt like we all got along very well. If your concerned (or just curious) about the couples to singles ratio on a tour, you can contact Ricks office and they should be able to provide this information as well (they did for me).
Hi Sarah, I too was nervous about traveling alone to Europe, but I did it last year. I was 20 at the time and loved every second! I did mostly stay in hostels so it was great to meet people. I didn't think I would like hostels but I did my research, looked up reviews and book some really nice places. I found it pretty easy to meet people along the way. I would start in an easy english speaking city like London and then make your way to Italy. I spent 5 weeks and traveled mostly to Italy, but also Paris, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, ect. I think you will know if you can do it yourself or not, I have talked to other solo travelers who don't want to travel any other way, and I also know others who could never do it alone. It's all about your comfort level maybe try doing things like yourself first like going to a movie alone and see how you feel. Let me know if you want me to share more of my experiences. I love traveling solo but I also do a ton of research, so I feel more comfortable.