Traveling solo through Europe - your thoughts

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Hi, I am thinking of doing a solo trip to Europe, starting off in Munich as I know people there, but then travelling solo for a couple of weeks. Is it a safe thing to do? Are there others that do this too that I may be able to connect with on my journeys? Has anyone had any experience doing this sort of thing? I am open to all kinds of advice please. I am in my 40's, so not a youngster ;)

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Of course it's safe (although you need to take normal precautions, as you should anywhere); girls of 20 have been doing this for decades!

 

Most places in Europe are safer (at night, for example) than some urban areas in Australia.

 

If you want to connect with other travellers, stay at hostels (not necessarily youth hostsls; if you don't like roughing it by sleeping in dorms, there are plenty of higher class hostels where you can book a single room, but which still have common areas for guests to sit, make themselves something to eat, etc..)

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Wikitravel describes safety pretty accurately. For example, Germany:

 

 

Germany is a very safe country. Crimes rates are low and the rule of law is strictly enforced.

 

Violent crimes (homicide, robberies, rape, assault) are very rare compared to most African and American countries. For instance, 2010 homicide rates were, with 0.86 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, significantly lower than in the UK (1.17), Australia (1.20), France (1.31), Canada (1.81) and the US (5.0) - and they continue to decline. Pickpockets may sometimes be an issue in large cities or at events with large crowds. Begging is not uncommon in some larger cities, but not to a greater extent than in most other major cities and you will rarely experience aggressive beggars.

 

If you stay in Berlin or Hamburg (Schanzenviertel) around the first of May, Tag der Arbeit, expect demonstrations that frequently evolve into clashes between the police and a minority of the demonstrators.

 

Take the usual precautions (such as not walking in parks alone in the early hours, not leaving your camera unattended or bicycle unlocked, and not flashing around a big fat wallet) and you will most likely not encounter any crime at all while staying in Germany.

 

http://wikitravel.org/en/Germany

 

Just read similar sections about countries you want to visit and that is enough.

 

Also, stay away from football stadiums during matches. You will notice a lot of fans and lot of police in full equipment and with dogs. That doesn't mean that this is dangerous, usually fans are peaceful but better stay away from that areas. Don't board trains with fans. This applies to all European countries.

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Hi, I am thinking of doing a solo trip to Europe, starting off in Munich as I know people there, but then travelling solo for a couple of weeks. Is it a safe thing to do? Are there others that do this too that I may be able to connect with on my journeys? Has anyone had any experience doing this sort of thing? I am open to all kinds of advice please. I am in my 40's, so not a youngster

 

Wow Deja Vu

 

after years slaving, scrimping and saving to realize my dream of touring EU/Germany finally came true in 2006.

originally planned to travel with a friend who flaked out at the last minute. I was early 40's then but not too worried about traveling alone.

 

In my case, I landed in Amsterdam, toured Holland, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany and ended up in Salzburg where I met the love of my life.

 

Like others here already advised, it is best to avoid problem areas and just try to blend in especially in public areas like train, bus stations etc.

Do a search here on TT, your sure to find some great tips and sound advice to help plan your trip.

 

Good Luck!

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I haven't done a complete Europe trip, but I've been to some parts of Europe alone. It's quite safe as long one takes the usual precautions. Hostels are cheap and a great place to meet interesting people of all ages. Just make sure the reviews are reasonable. I was also at a football match in Barcelona. I would definitely recommend it- the atmosphere is great! :)

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travelling alone is great, the only problem is you quickly find others to travel with. I once did a latin america trip where I spent the first night alone in a hotel and the rest of the tour (6 + months) in various groups, never alone. Tons of fun.

 

Some necessary gear:

 

ear plugs for hostels (super important if you are a dorm and actually like sleeping, the inevitable 5am early train risers who have everything in crunchy plastic bags is a universal constant).

 

10 words in each language where you will visit (hello, thanks, cuppa, sprechen Sie Englisch, vino, por favor,...) minimum.

 

map(s) and general idea of what you want to see.

 

research on good train deals in the countries you are visiting (ie, germany, Schöneswochenende tickets, Ländertickets, etc) if you want to save on transport.

 

Know the best museum days for various sites you will visit (München, Sunday, many museums 1€)

 

condoms (of course that depends on what kind of trip you are on, you are only 40 after all).

 

good shoes.

 

travelling alone in Europe is absolutely no problem (normal precautions apply).

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Try out Couchsurfing.com...great way to meet other travelers and locals as well.

I've used it all over Europe and have only had great experiences. :)

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Absolutely go for it!

 

By the way, Wikivoyage is the way to go now. Everything from Wikitravel was migrated there (I'm not sure why, but I think it's because Wikitravel became a for-profit scheme or something - don't remember). Wikivoyage is now updated more often, AFAIK.

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yeah i don't think it's so hard to find a host as a 40-something, even for a man. But that point is less relevant since the OP is a woman.

 

If you want to couchsurf, and I do highly recommend that method, sign up asap and try to host some surfers, or attend some local cs events to get some references under your belt. This is pretty important as you can imagine: many people don't want to take a chance on someone that has no track record at all. If you want any otehr info or tips on couch surfing in general, PM me and we can discuss.

 

I have travelled alone through various places in europe as a 40-something woman and never had any problems nor regrets. It's great!

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As a female in her 20s, I'd say that overall, I've never been in a dangerous situation in Germany. Of course, whenever I've traveled alone, I've always been smart about the usual things (watching my drink, being careful about sketchy streets, not walking home/back to hostel/Couchsurfing host's place alone, etc.). If you're smart and take the usual precautions, you should be fine. Honestly, the worst places that I've run into some bad people are around main train stations, but it's more random yelling and catcalling, however, random drunks walking around is a common thing too. I've found that most people, at least in Stuttgart, ignore others when in public, and as long as you're not looking for a fight, you won't get into one.

 

I traveled alone through Switzerland and Couchsurfed my way from Geneva to Bern and then to Zurich. I didn't have a bad experience, but I made sure that all of my hosts had hosted before, and I read every single comment, especially from women, about my hosts. When I first moved to Stuttgart, I also Couchsurfed with four different hosts, and I'm really glad I did because I learned a lot about daily life and gained new friends. Not to dissuade you from visiting Wroclaw (Breslau) in Poland, but that has been the only city where I felt a little uncomfortable. Luckily, I was traveling with a friend, so it was fine, but had I been alone, I would have returned to the hostel a lot earlier than I did. That being said, I loved Poland, and if you have the time, I would highly recommend it! It's an interesting country with friendly people!

 

Like all cities and countries, there are going to be some sketchy parts, but with your instincts, you'll be fine. :) Let me/us at TT know if you want any suggestions about German/European places to visit!

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"although you can buy good shoes in Germany"

 

You can buy good condoms in D'land, too! <_<

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ok maybe this is TMI but in my experience american condoms don't work so well for German dudes. Maybe I just got lucky ;)

 

no idea about australian condoms though.

 

I think guys should provide the condoms in any case. I mean, they are the ones who have to wear them, (eta) hence they should know which ones they prefer, oder?

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Thanks so much for all the positive info everyone!

 

Just to clarify though... do Aussie condoms work in Germany?? :D

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either you learn the word for condom in a bunch of new languages (boy won't the mates be impressed) or you bring your own.

 

Should the man bring the condom? That is a bit antiquitated, oder? Of course he should and so should she (or he), discreetly. Sucks not to have one or that he or she did not think to have one.

 

(Hint to the ladies, if the man forgets and you happen to have one and the timing is appropriate, he will definitely not think less of you. In fact, he might be rather impressed. He will definitely be most thankful.)

 

But I think they are pretty much universal. As is forgetting them at the wrong (or perhaps right) moment.

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