I am 24 (female and single) and after promising myself I'd travel for I want to do it next year, hopefully in the May-July for Europe.
I want to do a tour because I am going by myself (after 4 false starts with friends pulling out over the years).
I'm not feeling brave enough yet to do my own trip but am hoping to see as much as possible. I have booked tours before with topdeck and contiki but have always had it cancelled when my friends pulled out.
I am not looking to party every night but still want to enjoy myself. The idea of drunken 18year olds isnt my idea of fun. Does anyone have and idea/advice/suggestions?
[ Edit: Edited on 02-Nov-2009, at 05:12 by tully123 ]
First of all i really appreciate your dicesion of traveling alone .its really a brave move being a girl one need lot of courage to do that .You are 24 years old and mature enough to take care of your self .
coming to best holiday destinations In Europe there are lot of place to travel but one of my best is North Cyprus its really beautiful place to travel and people over here are very friendly and helpful ,i am sure you will definitely love this place .
Firstly, I admire your courage to step out on your own. It's frustrating when friends back out at the last minute. You can definately do this. It is not too difficult to pull off.
As far as package vacations/tours go, maybe you could look into Insight Vacations. Though I have never taken a tour with them, I think they attract a slightly older crowd, so you wouldn't spend all of your time holding some eighteen-year-old's hair back while she pukes into a trash can Contiki does attract some 20-somethings, as well (I nearly went on one at the age of 25), but if you don't feel comfortable . . .
Alternatively, you can go on your own, independantly. Europe isn't a difficult continent to travel on. There is a sophisticated network of trains at your disposal and a network of backpackers in hostels everywhere waiting to meet you. You would be surprised how easy it is to make friends and find new travel partners in hostels in Europe. Before long, you will be having the time of your life
Planning a trip to Europe isn't very difficult, either. There is the great and wonderful internet that you have at your disposal. You found this site, so you must have some skill. You can ask more questions on this forum; this site has a wiki full of information compiled by experienced travellers and locals combined; and a great accomodation listing on which you can book directly on the site. It includes hostels, hotels, b&bs, inns, whatever. Buy a guidebook, use the internet, and talk to people who have already been there. You will find that the planning is half the fun
Well, whatever you decide, I hope that I have been of some help! And welcome to TP!
From reading your post I wonder whether the busabout network might not be ideal for you.
You want to book a tour now, yet you are considering to do it on your own later in life.
Busabout is not a traditional tour, it is a private transportation network. The buses take you around Europe on set routes that connect the important sights. They stop right in front of a hostel and you can easily reserve hostel beds and onward transport through the busabout network.
I haven't used busabout myself, but I have stayed at a few hostels that busabout uses and have seen it in operation. From what I can tell it is idiot-proof and great for somebody like you. It mixes the independence and flexibility of a do-it-yourself trip with the safety of an organised trip.
For me one of the biggest downturns of a traditional tour with contiki or topdeck is that you are with the same people for the whole trip - which can make or break it for you. You never know what you are going to get, drunken 18-year olds or a 20+ plus crowd interested in roughly the same things you are. It all depends on who books at the same time.
Busabout is more flexible, if you want to get rid of the freak who has been trying to chat you up for 5 hours straight on the bus it is easy to change company - talk to the attendant on the bus and book yourself into the hostel at the next stop and let the bus with the freak roll on. Similar if you meet somebody on the bus or in the hostel that you like - easy to notify the attendent and change the travel plans to suit the initiary of your new buddy.
There is so much to see in Europe that it would take you a few years to see much of it. You have to decide what you like so want to see. Don't try to do too much or you are going to spend all your time travelling. May - July is a good time as things don't start getting crowded till into July.
Start from the south (Spain, Greece, Italy) where it will be nice and warm without being too hot in May and start working your way north. Distances are such that you may find it easier to use one of the many cheap airlines in places rather than waste a day on a bus or train or even to cross the English Channel. There are lots of cyber cafes about. If you want a hostel, use a destination with hostelworld and they'll often turn up something reasonably good and cheap.
Take as number of credit cards, even if you have no plans to use them. Also a colour copy of the info page in your passport. Do be careful of pickpockets. They tend to congregate where tourists are, around tourist sites, etc. Do get insurance in case something goes wrong.
I was in East Europe last year. It's cheap there. And there are a lot of good places there. I'm planning to go there next month with my family. Does somebody is interested in?
Not all of Europe is cheap. Places like Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Switzerland, Luxembourg and London can clear you out in very little time unless you plan ahead and get genuine tips from travellers that have lived the experiences.
Eastern Europe is still generally cheap unless you hit the spots like Prague and Budapest. Even then they can still be cheap if you cut out the tourist bars and eateries.
Cheapest places are Bulgaria and Ukraine. Close seconds are Albania, Serbia, Macedonia and Romania.
Not sure what your departure point is but once you get to Europe, whichever country you arrive in, there are several budget airlines that fly within the continent and do extremely cheap one ways. Check out the likes of Easjet, Ryanair and Wizzair. They all have excellent websites and you can build your own itinery much cheaper than any package. Taxis will take you to 1* hotels for just a bit of back pocket loose cash and if you don't like the hotel after the 1st night, then you've all day to look around for something else.
My feeling is, for the single traveller the package holiday is becoming a thing of the past rapidly.