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23 replies
Help? Alone in Europe?
MissStacy
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I have recently spoke with some friends whom have been in Europe.  They told me that for males, traveling alone is much more “ok” than for females and that I should have a right to be concerned about my travels.
 
I was happy-go-lucky about this until now.  I will be alone in Rome, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; Bordeaux, France; and Paris, France for approximately 2 weeks.  Are there things I should be concerned about in doing this?  I’ve heard about the Roman men, but what else should I be worried of?
 
Any tips????  Thanks!!!!

oldlady
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Quote:
I have recently spoke with some friends whom have been in Europe.  They told me that for males, traveling alone is much more “ok” than for females and that I should have a right to be concerned about my travels.
  Ignore your friends.  There are thousands and thousands of females who have traveled through Europe alone.  I’ve run into at least as many solo female travelers as solo male travelers and, oddly, I sometimes feel “gee, he must be lonely” about the solo males and “wow, she’s something” about the solo females.

You need not worry about your personal safety.  You do need to worry about the safety of your belongings.  I think solo travelers, of either gender, need to be more careful as you don’t have somebody to be “alert and aware” while you’re looking at the map or taking a picture and you have less backup if something gets stolen.  Use a money belt.  Look confident and like you know where you’re going.  Duck into a shop or stop at a cafe to read a map or read the guidebook.

You may get some unwanted attention from males, but it’s usually not a big deal. Sun glasses help avoid eye contact that may be mis-interpreted.  If you get unwanted attention, ignore it.  If it continues say “no” “go away” or whatever direct but non-offensive things come to mind.  Be firm.  If it’s still a problem raise enough fuss that you attract attention from others.

Cil
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Good advice from Oldlady. The sunglasses are an excellent idea.

jkfaust
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Agreed, I Europe is generally safer than the US, so just use common sense and you should be fine.

doc_quincy
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I am traveling to Helsinki, Athens and Amsterdam alone.  Though I have some friends in Athens. Thank you for the advice.

hothuytu
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I was fine planning my trip to europe for 3 weeks traveling alone as a woman until i see clips of the hostels movies. I understand that it’s just a movie but i got a bit scared traveling alone now. My friends say I’d be robbed and such… Is it that unsafe??

heavydrinker
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paypal me some ca$h & I’ll accompany on your trip, keep you safe & throw you the rod once in a while []
 
It IS that unsafe

hurr111
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: hothuytu

I was fine planning my trip to europe for 3 weeks traveling alone as a woman until i see clips of the hostels movies. I understand that it’s just a movie but i got a bit scared traveling alone now. My friends say I’d be robbed and such… Is it that unsafe??


Read what oldlady wrote above.

Or send heavydrinker some cash…either option will keep you safe.

hothuytu
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well, thanks!! that sounds helpful
[:’(]

kenzie1040
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i’m worried my friend is going to bail out on me for my trip this upcoming summer. i know you say go for it for the other girls, but i’m only 18. Do you still think I’ll be alright? my parents are completely adamant of the idea of me even going, my own money, they aren’t stopping me, but i know if i went by myself they probably would physically force me to stayFrown

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
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oldlady
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Okay, for you…..

1. Tell your parents you’ll e-mail them every other day.
2. Get a cell phone “for emergencies.”
3. Print out some of the old threads here for your folks to read.
4. GO!

Now, as a parent, I have some questions for an 18 year old. Have you ever gone anywhere by yourself? Do you voluntarily go to events and places where you won’t know anybody, or would you only do that kind of thing if you had to? Have you flown other than with your family or an organized group like a school trip? Have you taken public transit and navigated a big city? Can you read a map? Have you held a job? Have you held a job where you had some responsibility? Do you get up by yourself and get yourself to school and work on time without any parental intervention? What would you do if you sprained your ankle in Paris? What’s the best way to call home from Amsterdam? How (how long does it take, what’s the best way, what’s the schedule for the train or bus) are you getting to the airport for your flight home from Europe?

If this summer is going to be your “only chance” for several years then I’d try to go. If it’s a this summer or next summer decision, I’d wait a year. I think it’s better to go after you’ve lived at least “kinda/sorta” on your own (at least in a college dorm) for a year before you go soloing around Europe.

kenzie1040
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wow you sound exactly like my mom! for some of those questions, the answer is yes, but others no and more on the no. This is something i’ve been dreaming about doing since I was like 12. Now i’m pretty positive that she is going to bail out, i’ve spent so many hours gathering research, picking hostels, trying to understand the eurail system and so many more hours and countless sites learning every piece of information i can, every tip that may become helpful for me. we had a budget set at the beginning and she was more than okay with it. i’ve worked out seriously every dollar, for every day. Wow, i’m ranting.

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary
oldlady
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All of your time and research will be as helpful next year as this year. As I said before, I think it’s better to have some experience living on your own before you go traveling on your own.

kenzie1040
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i know i sound like veruca wanted her golden egg but i realllllly want to go now. before i have responsibilities. i’m playing a sport in college so i don’t know how much time i’ll have to save up money for the following year, this year while still in hs i can get a job

this is what my mom is saying now, please don’t take offense anyone.

“If you go to Europe you’re going to be kidnapped by some arab and be sold into white slavery.”

does that really happen?

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary
oldlady
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Quote:
you’re going to be kidnapped by some arab and be sold into white slavery.”

does that really happen?

Yes, I guess there must be at least a few documented cases of this kind of thing. However, it’s much more likely to happen in your home town than in the parts of Europe you’re planning to visit. If you use your head and follow some basic common sense rules, it won’t happen to you. The information packer posted in your “I don’t understand the Eurail system” thread and the stuff in this thread is what you need to know.

However, I don’t quite get your money situation…. If you have the money now, why won’t you have it a year from now? If you’ll need it for the school year, then how is it available for travel this summer? If your parents will be financing your school year because you spent your money on vacation they have a vote in this election. Wanting to travel “before I have responsibilities” would not get my vote.

kenzie1040
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i don’t have the money yet, i was going to work a lot until the trip and if i didn’t have three thousand i was going to use the rest from my graduation money. they aren’t financing any of this trip which i don’t know why mom thinks she has a say. and responsibilities mean college next year, college is going to be way harder than highschool and i’m not going to have as much time to work and such.

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary
oldlady
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But, unless you spend it, you will have all the money you saved this summer and from graduation available next summer. If your mother is providing money toward your education then she’s actually financing your trip.

I’ve help finance travel for my son and I’ve intervened on behalf of a dozen nieces, nephews, cousins and friends to talk their parents into letting them go to Europe and/or letting them go solo. However, responsibility is the key for me. I think it’s much better to travel after you’ve had the responsibility of at least doing your own laundry by living away from home for a year. Your reasons why you don’t want to wait strike me as naive and immature.

kenzie1040
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she isn’t paying any of it, i have a scholariship. i’ve worked my butt off in highschool so i could get the scholarship. i may not of had a job or anything, but even though i haven’t had to work hard in that aspect of life, i’ve worked equally if not a more in a different part. some people may diss sports but they really do teach someone responsibility, leadership and hard work. In my opinion, those three things can take you anywhere in life.

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary
kenzie1040
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haha but in this case it may not be europe! Frown

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary
oldlady
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So wait until next year and I’ll call your mother and tell her why she shouldn’t try to stop you.

kenzie1040
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haha she would probably get mad at me for being on this site. she’s sometimes very overprotective. there is still a long while till my trip, i’ll wait and see maybe talk her into it.

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
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platinum_n7
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hehe.. sounds familiar. im 19 and getting ready for this summer in europe.

I went last year alone (i was 18 then… Wink and it cost me an arm and a leg to convince my parents, regardless of the fact that i spent most of the time with friends and even family, only 2 weeks on my own!! while its true 18 is young, you seem very responsible, you`ve done your homework research wise and you seem prepared. in my experience the big tourist cities are pretty safe. pickpockets are probably your worst fear, like everyone said a little common sense goes a long way.. .lol travelling in europe isnt that different from travelling anywhere else. its just further from home! i dunno why parents get so worked up!!

To ease my parents` mind i booked tours for the two weeks i was on my own. i showed them my reservations for tours in some of the cities I visited so they`d feel better that i`ll be in a large group of ppl. also at the hostels you inevitably meet ppl visiting the same places as you, so might as well go together Wink send them pictures and call/email regularly and they will eventually ease off.

GOOD LUCK!! and i hope you convince them.. and if this year goes well, the next time you want to go it will be much easier!!!

I am leaving from Toronto with $3000 for 107 days
Paris, Blois, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Granada, Seville, Madrid, Biarritz, Irun, Pamplona, Biarritz, Nîmes, Avignon, Briançon, Lyon, Bayonne, Pau, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Biarritz, Luc-sur-Mer, Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Luz-Saint-Sauveur, Paris, Versailles
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I am leaving from Toronto with $8000 for 103 days
Dublin, Manchester, London, Amsterdam, Hanover, Berlin, Paris, Toulouse, Madrid, Lisbon, Barcelona, Marseilles, Saint-Tropez, Milan, Venice, Munich, Vienna, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Budapest, Dubrovnik, Bucharest, Kiev, Saint-Petersburg, Moscow
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KeeliKaye
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These tips are great – I’ve had the same concerns. But for the most part, common sense and basic precautions should suffice.
Try not to walk down any lonely dark roads Smile

I have budgeted $4000 for 45 days
Rome, Florence, Amsterdam, Paris
aoiringo
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Oh, your advice is really helpful. Thanks so much ! Smile

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Prague, Vienna, Venice, Paris
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