Nothing to Fear When Traveling Alone to Europe

January 23, 2011

You see it all the time. From magazines and advertising, trips to Europe seem to be only for couples, for families or for groups of friends - A romantic vacation for two in Venice. A family adventure in London. A girlfriend getaway to Paris.

Still, if you've ever wanted to venture out on your own, but feel afraid, you're not alone.

What do solo travelers fear?

There are plenty of reasons some people feel nervous about traveling alone to Europe.

  • Losing a wallet or passport or having the wrong travel documents with no one there to help.
  • Getting lost or having to navigate an unfamiliar place on your own.
  • Getting harrassed or threatened because people know you're traveling alone.
  • Not speaking the language.
  • Feeling embarassed at restaurants, thinking that the waiter and other diners are looking at you sympathetically.
  • Seeing or experiencing something beautiful but not being able to share it with anyone.
  • Feeling lonely or bored and running out of things to do.

These fears are understandable. But, often the benefits of seeing the Roman forum for the first time as the sun sets behind it or sipping wine at a Tuscan winery nestled in the hills far outweight the risks of traveling alone.

There are things you can do to mitigate your fears. Take the news, for example. It's filled with stories of danger lurking on every street corner. Admittedly, cities do pose certain risks, but they often require only the same vigilance you would use in your home city. While it's a good idea to stay abreast of what's happening in your destination, there's rarely a reason for it to stop you.

Also, consider planning your itinerary in advance, scheduling group tours to join and classes on subjects you're interested in. Group tours and classes are a great way to meet people like yourself who may also be traveling alone.

The romantic, candlelit restaurants may not be your best bet when traveling alone. However, many family-run restaurants and cafes in Europe are accustomed to seeing solo diners. Always, have book in hand.

A majority of hotels and tour guides in Europe speak some English. So, you rarely have to worry about the language barrier.

Finally, if it still all seems too overwhelming, you can turn to a travel planner to help. You can get help planning your trip by an expert who has traveled many times to your destination and has personal relationships with hotels and tour providers. The planner can even make arrangements on your behalf and be your go-to person should you run into any problems on your trip, ensuring you have a wonderful time.

If you're dreaming of a trip to Europe, get help planning and arranging your trip with our Custom Europe Trip Planning Service.

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