Travel Forum

Our Travel Forum was created to provide you with the opportunity to connect with other travelers who share your passion for travel. Sign into "My Account" and you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. Not yet registered? It’s simple to create an account, membership is free, and it only takes a moment to join. Once you do, you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. If you have a specific customer service or quality assurance question, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814. We value the contributions of our travelers. Please familiarize yourself with the guidelines for participation before you begin.

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 272
GCT Trips Taken: 0
OAT Trips Taken: 0

March 22, 2010

What is the most important thing to remember when traveling solo?

Author: khwmby53

Joined: 3/25/2010
Posts: 5
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

Have visited England, Ireland, Scandinavia, Holland, Switzerland, Germany

Traveler Since: 2007

March 25, 2010

I think that the most important thing  is to be aware, keep alert.  Of course this is if you are really traveling solo as I have done a few times in England.  When with GCT I have always found  with the  open seating policy that I make friends and can always find one or two people who are wanting to see some of the same sights that I want to  during  our free time and are willing to let me tag along. I have taken 4 trips with GCT so far and am booked on two more for this  year and have always found that everyone is so friendly - fellow passengers, cruise directors and crew members.  Keep up the good work.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 541
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

March 27, 2010

I answered this question on the OAT discussion board and will try to remember what I wrote.

I think the most important thing to know is that when traveling solo with OAT or GCT is that you won't be traveling alone. There likely will be other solo travelers and, of course, couples and women traveling together.

You'll get to know others within a couple of days and will find like-minded, well-traveled people. Keep an open mind and learn from their experiences --  both from the singles and the couples. I've kept in touch with both after some of my trips.

I like the opportunity for free time with OAT and GCT so that I can visit museums or wander through towns. I don't like tours that have every minute scheduled -- OAT and GCT's itineraries with optional tours suit me.

I enjoy striking out on my own when traveling but know that I  can count on the program directors for information and directions that I need when I want to visit a site that isn't on the  itinerary. Since I often get a bit lost, it's an opportunity to ask directions using the local language or a form of sign language. If you are the type to do this, be sure to get a card from the hotel desk to show when asking directions or use to take a taxi back to the hotel.

In Sidney I chatted with a woman on a bus and she told me how to ring the bell and when my stop was coming up. In Buenos Aires, I left the hotel without my map so went into another hotel and the desk clerk gave me a map and marked my route back. In Santiago, I turned onto the wrong street and  asked a man where my street was. He put up two fingers and pointed north -- two streets over.

I also like to relax in a park or on a bench along a waterfront and observe people or write in my journal. In Izmir I sat with two Turkish women; one asked in Turkish where I was from and when I said "America" she smiled and told the other woman.

So, for solos, it's the best of both worlds -- there will be people from the group if you want  company and time to explore a bit on your own if you want.

 

Author: bcardella

Joined: 7/2/2010
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Countries Visited:

Great Trains of Europe Christmastime along the Rhone River + Provence Amalfi Coast + Venice Discover Thailand Australia, New Zealand & Fiji - this August

Traveler Since: 2001

July 02, 2010

When traveling solo with OAT or GCT, flexibility and respect are the two key words to success.  I have been on 4 trips and winding up for another within the next month.  I have traveled with family, as a solo, and matched with another woman.  I have been so happy with the people on all my trips, solos, couples, and families alike make an effort to watch out for the solo woman traveler.  The expert guides also give advice about this notorious bus or that train station, so listen to what they say.  They also keep an eye on the solo traveler.  Never have I felt shut out of a group.  As long as you stay flexible and respectful of those around you, life is your oyster Baby.  Go for it!

Author: funnybunny

Joined: 7/21/2010
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2005

July 20, 2010

I hope I will be able to get a window seat on the plane,  looking foward to meeting new friends.

Author: funnybunny

Joined: 7/21/2010
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2005

July 20, 2010

I hope I will be able to get a window seat on the plane,  looking foward to meeting new friends.

Author: kaytravels

Joined: 3/21/2010
Posts: 6
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

July 22, 2010

Message for funnybunny:  The best way to insure a specific  airline seat  is to use the airline website for the date you are traveling.  Register for airline miles and then you can see available seats and select.  You will need GCT confirmation number somewhere in the p.rocess  .This has always worked for me and I do this when I first book the trip.

Author: ewilks

Joined: 7/30/2010
Posts: 1

July 30, 2010

would love to be in touch with others to discuss and plan trips. would go often if had companion  even if preference for own room please contact ewilks0@gmail.com

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 972
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

July 31, 2010

I will be traveling Solo to Russia in two weeks.  This will be my first time in many years not having a traveling companion.  Based on what I have observed on previous GCT trips, solo travelers are welcomed in whatever groups they find themselves.  I'm really looking forward to this.

Author: walnutrij

Joined: 8/5/2010
Posts: 3
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2006

September 12, 2010

Best advice is to relax.  You can be as alone or as "companionable" as you like on these trips.  I love the instant friends I make, but I truly NEED my alone time.  Map in hand (and my hotel business card or brochure in pocket)  my favorite thing to do is wander until I'm so tired that I feel justified sitting for an hour or so at a sidewalk cafe with a local libation.  I watch people pass by,  sometimes talk to the people at the next table, and just enjoy life.  You don't truly EXPERIENCE a country aboard a tour bus; you have to have your boots on the ground.  So use your leisure hour to taste local foods, sample local beer or tea, gawk at the architecture, smell the strange flowers.  I always do my reading homework before I leave home, so often I'm seeking out some historical corner or opportunity to hear music.  I always enjoy seeing wedding parties and hearing local band concerts in the squares.  I even like exploring a grocery store or market so see what's different and interesting. 

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 541
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

September 12, 2010

Wow, a kindred spirit. I need alone time too and love setting off on my own in a new city. I often get a bit lost and have had some interesting experiences asking natives for directions. Sometimes it was two people with limited language skills and involved hand signals -- four fingers for four blocks, then one pointing left for a turn. Other times it was a bit of conversation and I always found that people were happy to help -- and relieved when they realized that I understood. I've had long conversations with waiters and waitresses while sitting alone in a cafe. I think people are more likely to talk to women traveling alone and feel more comfortable asking questions.

I also visit grocery stores and often buy local goodies to bring back to my family (and myself),

Author: overcash1

Joined: 7/25/2010
Posts: 1
GCT Trips Taken: 2
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Countries Visited:

Australia, New Zealand, South American countries, Europe etc.China & the Yangtze River, Canada, Mexico

Traveler Since: 2010

May 11, 2011

 

My first solo trip was last October, China/Yangtze River Cruise.  It was fabulous in every way.Mingled with the other three solos as well as the very "inclusive" couples. Looking forward to my Aug. 11-25 Dubrovnik & Beyond and would love to chat with anyone going.

You cannot Post or Reply, please sign in

Rules of Use:
Be Relevant

Please stick to the topic of travel when posting in our Forum. Stay on the relevant topic and do not disrupt a discussion in progress. If you have a specific customer service question or issue, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814.

Be Respectful

Use of any inappropriate language, personal attacks, and hate speech are not permitted. Respect others’ opinions and suggestions.

Be Mindful of Privacy Issues

Please do not post the personal information of other members (full names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc).

Help us help you

Please click on the ‘Report Abuse’ button if you see an inappropriate posting.