I'm a sophmore in highschool and am looking into doing some traveling after highschool. Here are my two questions, Should I go alone? None of my friends want to go with me, they're all scared. Is it still worth it to go? My second questions is what is a reasonable (and when I say reasonable, I mean cheap) cost to spend a thrifty month in Italy and France? That is where I plan on going after highschool and want to start saving now so I have the money to go after I graduate.
I would go with or without friends. Screw them. You will having an amazing if not life changing experience. If they are too scared then leave them behind. I will admit that I have not been to Italy or France so costs I can't tell you. Either way go on this trip. The sooner you start saving the better. It will allow you to spend as much time abroad as you can and allow you to enjoy your experience more, when money is not a major concern.
Go for it! If they dont really want to go and you just persuade them they'll just change the whole experience for you. Go on your own - you'll be fine.
Italy and France are two beautiful countries to travel around, though not cheap. For a month, with food, travel and accommodation you will need several hundred euro (at a conservative estimate).
Once you visit these places you'll find that there are a LOT of tourist sites, particularly in Italy, that you will want to see and they will usually have an entry fee or tour guide cost.
You will probably find France more expensive than Italy for most things. It;s a good idea to start doing a bit of research on the web to see what an avergae night's accomm would be, etc.
If you are serious about going, i'd also recommned buying a guide book like Lonely Planet or Rough Guide and these will really help to answer your questions
If you can afford it, definitely go, with or without your friends. I didn't start traveling seriously until I was about 26 and I really wish I had started earlier.
You'll probably be a bit nervous if you go it alone, but within hours of being on the ground you'll find your way and things will fall into place. You'll make wonderful new friends and see things that your friends back home will not be able to comprehend.
Cautionary note: if you don't want to this to open your mind to the rest of the world and perhaps create an addiction to see more, then do, stay home.
Crap, I really did just sound like a drug dealer there, didn't I?
Just to second something John said:
I really wish I'd gone travelling on my own much earlier also.
Ive met so many younger travellers around 18 or so who are incredibly intrepid travellers, and I look at them and think "Why wasnt I doing that when I was that age!"
Viva la revolution!! I say hit the road sans friends - if they really are scared of travelling, you'll have a more fulfilling trip without them, plus you can go where you want, when you want! I have travelled mostly solo and being alone actually spurs you into meeting other travellers or locals - plus, I've had some really good friends who travelled together and it pretty much killed the friendship.
As for budget, I reckon you'd get by on around 50 Euros a day, if you slept in hostels, made most of your meals from supermarket/market purchases and street vendors, and didn't go to0 overboard on attractions. So you're looking at about E1500 for the month, or USD2000. That's not including city-city travel (cheaper if you buy individual tickets than a rail pass) or your airfare/insurance.
Good luck with your remaining studies - you're so close to the end!
Just do it man! Europe is the easiest place to travel on your own. I did the same thing after high school and worried about going it alone, but I made it and had a total "life experience." It's always possible to find people who speak English, and most likely you'll end up surrounded by Australians anyway! lol
You'll make so many new friends staying in hostels, etc, you won't even notice you are travelling alone. Personally, I think going on your own is the only way to travel. Travelling with others, you always have to compromise and alone is total freedom! You'll have an amazing time! Good luck!
[ Edit: Edited on Mar 8, 2007, at 7:48 PM by gypsy_girl ]
I've had some of the best times of my life while travelling alone. It brings an incredible level of freedom and independence. You can experience the world while going wherever you want and doing whatever you want, without anybody you know knowing exactly where you are. It also opens up more opportunities for meeting people. Like John said above, the experience is addicting.
The other dillema I've reached is going to school. After I graduate High School, my family is encouraging me to go to University, they don't care if I travel in the summer, but I want to to do more than that. I will probably try to study abroad in school, but before that, should I take a year off and travel? Or should I just go for a summer?
i am doing exactly what you want to do. im 18 and i graduated last may from highschool. i am 7.5 months into my trip and would encourage anyone no matter age(of course not to young) to jsut go for it. i am still going to school in august but i jsut deffered a year. the way me and my folks think about it... i have probobly gotten a better education than my friends ever will stitting in class at school and hey i still get to do that!! just go for it man and make sure to keep a blog!!