In about 6 months I will be making my first trip overseas (solo, no less!), but I'm having some trouble deciding where I should go. Part of the problem is that I pretty much want to go everywhere and see everything. The other part, though, is that, as much as this trip is about growing and experiencing new things, I don't want to become so completely overwhelmed that I end up having a miserable time. Basically, I'm asking for advice: What do you think are some first-timer-friendly places to travel, particularly in Europe?
Try not to make plans for EVERY day that you are on vacation, that usually is too much to handle. I'll try to think of some more..............
hey . . think u need to start with .. desire...where you always wanted to go . . then how much time and money you have . . that would help you decide where to go.
Had been to a bit of Italy (Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice, Milan) & Spain (Barca & Madrid) last year, was really good.
You might want to start with Italy & Spain but as I said its what you have always desired to visit.
Anyways where ever you go, i'm sure you will have a good time.
I would say: do not plan at all! It never turns out as you planned it any way and you might end up disappointed.
Snatterand is right (as usual ;-))
First: Don't plan too much; except, I would advice to invest in a EUrail ticket for railroad transportation. I've heard it's awfully expensive, but it's definitely worth it, as continental flying is NOT an environmentally responsable thing to do, and bus services are generally quite poor in Europe.
Second: limit your area of interest, that will also save you room packing. Don't do Scandinavia AND mediterranean Europe; instead combine Scan with Eastern Europe and Germany, for instance. But for a newby, I'd recommend going to France, Italy, Spain and maybe Germany, since those countries are likely to offer most of what you don't find at home. Nature is no longer Europe's prime attraction :-(
Third: make lots of european friends here! Will save you money on hostels :-)
Fourth: for major Euro cities, book your hostel in advance, since in high season it is sometimes quite hard to find a spot. ESPECIALLY in Amsterdam
Fifth: depending on the length of your stay, consider taking a language course somewhere
Sixth: make sure to bring an international student ID for LOTS of discounts
Seventh: don't hitchhike. It's generally not considered a safe thing to do for solo travellers, especially in remote areas
have tons of fun, keep us posted,
I'm going to have to agree with zachary. You should perhaps plan a "general outline" of your day, but don't cram every hour full of sightseeing. Not only will you feel rushed, but you won't be able to relax and get the feel of the city.
I'm traveling solo for the first time this summer, too. I have a sort of plan for my trip to Paris - I'm spending the first part of the day sightseeing, but I'm also setting aside several hours just to wander and see where my feet take me. Maybe that will work for you.