Travelling Solo to Europe
While, traveling with your best buddies or with your partner has its individual package of fun and craziness, solo travel to your favorite destination has its own box of memories. Right from finding yourself to adding friends from every corner, there are a number of reasons why you should take off to a solo vacation at least once in your lifetime. And now that you have decided to travel alone, the real fun begins when you decide where to go. Though there are endless solo travel ideas, if you want to browse some of the unique and safe places to your trip, then Europe can turn out to be a loyal partner on your solo jaunt.
Europe is one of the fascinating places to add to your bucket list. As it doesn’t take much time to reach there, it also enfolds the excellent tourist infrastructure and the cordial Europeans (that is the bonus). Travelling alone has its own pros and cons but one thing it does is that it allows you to know yourself more.
Following are the benefits you will reap in if you plan to travel Solo:
Freedom to make your own choice
Sometimes selfishness is not at all a bad thing. Travelling in a group means you have to plan for the places, tick for the budget restaurants, and it becomes more challenging when each one has different choices. Travelling alone means you can do eat wherever you want, go anywhere, you can simply appreciate the freedom.
Get to Know Yourself Better
Once you reach the place, you will get to know how to overcome your fears and discover the real you. Travelling solo exposes you to many experiences and sometimes failure where you get to know who you are. Once you are alone you will listen to your dreams and follow your heart. The best part of travelling alone is that you discover the importance of yourself.
Confidence Level: Supreme
Planning a path on your own company and making an approach to unknown destinations can do wonders for your morale and self-determination. The obstacles on your solo travel can turn you into a stronger person and assist you in growing as a confident human being.
There are 'n' number of benefits of travelling solo: you can discover yourself more as it completely depends on how you are handling yourself.
Let’s move on to know "How to Manage" in a new city when you are travelling alone:
Heading out alone is really a great decision to experience Europe. It can offer you different surprising challenges that you have hardly planned when travelling in a group. And one of the substantial challenges is that it can be a little bit pricey. The rental car for four is absolutely fine but you will have to eat the whole cake when you are alone. The rented room for a single visitor necessarily don’t need many bargains, and you will miss those fun chats at the dinner time when you share some best dishes in a group.
Besides all these, a solo travel offers you some incredible benefits, which is unfortunately not available when you travel with others. And if your solo excursion goes well, you will probably come back with a thrilling storyline, marvelous photos and maybe with some new Facebook friends.
So, Here is how you can Manage while you are alone all the way:
Almost always stay in Hostels rather than Hotels:
Hostels are a great and budget-friendly option for solo travellers. In hostels, rooms are dormitory-style with all the facilities shared. The bigger the room, the lesser the cost because you have to share a room with more people and if you are on a budget, it is your best way to save money. Hostels are perfectly clean and offer a chance to meet with a lot of different nationality people, be friends, go on a pub crawl, party, understanding the differences and that may bring a change in the way you live your life. You can even find people with whom you can sightsee the places and learn their understanding of those places. Hostels are safe, secure, and within budget. Hotels even if are present at the same location as hostel can be beyond reasonably costlier and more so you could miss out on the all the advantages the hostels have to offer.
We, at Tour de Guide, make sure that we provide you with the best Hostels, who can offer you almost all the amazing facilities needed to make your stay memorable. You can read more about Hostels vs Hotels in our Accommodation article or read about the hostels we will book for you here
Try to Opt for Hostel/Hotel That Includes Breakfast too:
With the rise of Hostels in Europe, almost all the hostels were providing the travellers with breakfast but off lately, they are moving away from the breakfast concept maybe because of price competitiveness. But still, a good number of hostels do provide breakfast. Hotels on the other hand almost always provide breakfast but then to a budget traveller, the price of a hotel is always expensive.
We, at Tour de Guide, would do our best to provide you with the hostels that do provide you with the breakfast.
Walk or Use Local Transport to Sightseeing Places:
Most of the sightseeing places in all the cities of Europe are situated near or around the center of the city and if you happen to stay in the center, you might not have to use the local transport at all. Europe is all about walking and you should use local transport only if necessary. You can buy a ticket pass or just buy a one-way ticket to go to the other end of the city in case you think that you can’t walk anymore or that the place is too far to walk down. Ticket pass for a day can range from around 7-10 Euros whereas a one-way ticket can be for around 2 Euros. Staying in the center can help you save money on transport.
We, at Tour de Guide, try our level best to book hostels/hotels which are situated in the city center or with amazing sightseeing nearby.
Travel by Buses or Trains at Night:
One of the best ways to save some Euros is by travelling at night to the next destination. Once or twice in your trip, you will encounter a journey which will be of around 8 hours or more. We would highly recommend that you travel that journey at night. Almost all the hostels and most of the Hotels in Europe have a luggage room and a common bathroom area. You can keep your luggage on the day of Check-out in the morning and pick them up while leaving at night or evening. The luggage rooms mostly have CCTV’s installed and so robbery shouldn’t be your concern, though, it is highly recommended to keep anything precious with you all the time. When you reach your next destination the next day, even though you might not be able to check-in, you can keep your luggage in the Luggage room, refresh yourself a bit and leave to explore the city. If you are lucky enough, the management may allow you to enjoy the free breakfast too. In our collaboration with hostels/hotels, we always ask to allow our guests to enjoy the morning breakfast on the day of arrival even when the check-in is late but the request is not accepted all the time.
At Tourdeguide, all our Solo/Friends Itineraries will have Overnight Trips, wherever possible. The same doesn't apply for Couples and Families.
Travel to Inter-city in Buses and not Trains or by Flights:
The cities are very close to each other in Europe and the infrastructure is one to be dreamt of. 100 km/hr is usually a norm for Buses. There are various types of Trains with High speed and Luxury trains seeming unaffordable to the budget traveller. The train and flight tickets costs are huge. Low carrier flights might seem cheap but they do not allow any check-in bags and with check-in bags the ticket might seem costlier than hat you budgeted for. Also, you can’t reach to any airport in Europe without paying exclusively to reach there. The airports are not covered by the metro or local transport tickets and so you will have to shell out more than required. Trains are uncertain for they might charge reservation fee which will make you believe that the buses were a better option. Buses provide you with good comfortable chairs, enough legroom, and 2 free luggage check-in bags. Buses have an inbuilt toilet so that the user can travel without any emergency stop in an 8-10 hours journey. The buses also keep water bottles and food snacks in case any passenger might require something. The Bus stations are conveniently located and are easily reachable.
Enjoy a Solo Picnic:
Eat locally. If you are all alone on your trip you can hang out at your own risks. You can even experience your dinner or lunch all on the road. While grabbing the street food, you can visit the local markets and buy up something from the locals can give you the better experience and a bunch of memories than to have a dinner at some expensive restaurant. What you can search is a park bench to relish the food.
Learn the Basic Language:
Though most of the Europeans speak English in most of the tourist destinations, you cannot expect the shop holder and bus driver at odd locations to detail you in English and more so, why should they? So it’s better to learn basic words of that particular country’s language to help you throughout your journey. It also shows the respect you have for their local traditions.
Get Accompanied with the Guided Tour, Paid or Free:
A guided tour can turn out to be an adventurous experience on your trip. Via tour bus or Audio Guided Canal Cruises or walking tours, you can have a deeper understanding of European traditions, cultures, it also offers you an opportunity to meet new people on your solo trip.
You can also choose to do the free guided tours. In almost every city, there are free guided tours which help you understand the city in a more better way. Though they are free, it is always better to Tip the guide at the end. The tip can be around 5 Euros or 10 Euros or whatever you wish to tip the guide. One of the best websites for Free guided tours is Freetour.com but you can find another specific better Free guided tours if you google for that particular city. You will just have to register with them. They don’t take many people at once and so it is always better to place the register before a week at least, that said, if there is space, they might accommodate you half an hour before as well.
Buy Sim Cards:
You can buy sim cards before leaving India or buy after reaching there. For every country, you will get Sim cards which will seem very cheap when you realize that you are not able to contact anyone once you cross that country’s border, which will be more often than you think. Sim cards can help you contact back to India, contact the service providers in Europe who provide you with free Data usage, some free SMS per day for a period of 7-14-28 days. We, at Tour de Guide, provide the best of best Sim cards for your usage. Though one disadvantage of using sim cards from India is that you won’t be able to contact the Standard Emergency number. We, therefore, will be providing you with all the emergency telephone numbers of each city you will be visiting.
How to Not Get Lost While Traveling Alone in the New City:
You must have read out the inspirational quotes on how about getting lost in the other country is a cheerful experience and quite necessary to explore yourself. But wandering through the unfamiliar streets with no planned routes and realizing that you are missing the way to your hostel/hotel is completely a different story of getting LOST.
Just imagine it’s getting dark, and you don’t know the language of the city and there you find a street which is so creepy!! It can put you into an unsafe location and especially when you are bad with directions.
You should know that there is a major difference between exploring and getting the dispirit feeling when you actually don’t know how to get back to your destination. Getting lost in a random city is quite common and it can happen with you too, so here’s how you can be brave even if you lost in this new city.
Search for the Famous Places or Monuments: Search for the monuments nearby you that can be easily visible from every corner, maybe the popular Eiffel Tower or CN Tower. Find the places relative to it, this will guide you in the right direction to your hotel.
Use Technology, GPS – Download Offline Maps: Over the years the technology has literally altered the way of using any simple devices. Some people consider taking the map on the trip as the oldest way, but it is one of the useful things on the trip and especially when you are going to some unknown places. GPS on a smartphone is the best traveller friend that help you in tracking your locations. If you don’t have GPS, it will be wise to download offline Maps which might help you know where you are located and which direction you have to take.
Call the Hostel people or the Indian Embassy or the Police Emergency number or Tour de Guide: If ever you feel so lost that you think there’s no option left, do give a call to the police, if the police are not able to help out, give a call to the Indian Embassy or the Hostel, where you are staying. If you are unable to reach anyone because of not having their number or any other reason, do give us a call and we will try our level best to help you out in every possible manner.
Keep the Hotel Business Card in Your Wallet: As soon as you enter your hotel, make sure that you grab the business card. Even if you get lost in the city, the business card will make you easy in tracing the location of your hotel. You can ask the locals, taxi drivers for the address. Don’t feel shy or afraid in asking someone for help.
Remember the Landmarks you Pass: While you explore the places, observe carefully your surroundings, just make a note of the places you cross them. This is a good practice, it will guide you to be aware of your nearby locations. You can note down the names of the bank, shop or any grocery stores so that you can recollect these signs later to reach your hotel.
Tour de Guide to Rescue: We share your trip with the Indian Embassies and let them know about the Indians visiting that particular city. We also take every day’s information from the hostel and if you have not reached the hostel on time, we will know about it and can inform the police to help find you.
Stay Cool and Stay Lost: You are new in the city! You are a traveller! How can you feel so lost? Just enjoy the serendipity and hang around those unknown places, relax and celebrate the positive vibes of the new place. Undeniably, one of the ideal thing about being a wanderlust is enclasping the unexpected views, and seriously being lost is sometimes good for nothing.
Tips While Travelling Solo:
What to Do In case of Emergency?
You can never forecast what’s going to happen the next moment. Stepping out at the unknown place is what makes your solo trip more thrilling. Each day brings countless chances and possibility is both for best and worst moments. You may end up catching up some exotic and striking views or you may get robbed in this new city, you may end up tasting some flavorful dishes or you may suffer from botulism at some random place. But if you know what to do in case of emergency, you will not end up facing worst situations. We have written a whole article on this and it would be beneficial if you can go through it.
You would be surprised to know that many Globetrotters don’t carry the flashlight, which is one of the most important thing on a trip to Europe. Walking at night, the flashlight comes quite handy. Power cut, though, is quite uncommon in most of the European places, but still, this tiny flashlight can do many wonders in case of emergency.
Keep Some Cash Safe for Emergency:
While you can find an ATM at every corner of the street, you never know how a little cash in hand can help you out in an emergency. You may end up reaching an airport with failed ATM machines and find yourself stuck in the center without money. Therefore, keep some Euros for emergency situations. This little amount will help you if you get robbed or accidentally lose your wallet.
Keeping extra copies of your documents including passport and driver's license in a travelling kit is just a good habit in case if you lose your originals. If you get robbed or somehow lose your documents the copies of the same will help you out in police report plus it serves as the identity proof for the Indian Embassy.
Have Travel Insurance:
The travel insurance serves as a blessing when you rush to the hospital in an unknown city because of an accident or feeling nauseated or having fever beyond the tablets can cure. The hospital bill might come as shock to you but because of your insurance, you might not have to pay or just pay just a small amount. You need to get a compulsory insurance while travelling to Europe and we, at Tour de Guide, provide you with one of the Best insurance policies ever at the best premium prices.
What to do when You Lose Your Passport:
Losing your passport in the new city can be a nightmare. If you find your passport missing…
- File a police report for your stolen or lost passport.
- Head to the nearest embassy, to get your new passport
- Take along with you:
- Your new passport photograph
- Identification card such as driver’s license
- Evidence of Indian citizenship (birth certificate or copy of your missing passport)
- A statement regarding your stolen or lost passport
- Pay the fee. If you are a victim of the robbery or just misplaced your passport you will be expected to pay the passport fee for the replacement of your old passport. If you are unable to pay the fee, you can name someone who you know can pay the fee.
Usually, it takes 2-4 weeks to get the replacement done, but if you are having a flight tomorrow back to India, you will issue an emergency passport within 24 hours. You will get the full validity passport later when you reach India.
Note - Embassy doesn’t issue any kind of passports on holidays and weekends. Only life and death emergencies are exceptional, for this, you can get in touch with after-hour duty officers to replace or issue a passport.
Use of Tour De Guide:
Now that you have finally decided to go on a short trip to Europe, choosing the cities and places to explore in the limited period (14 days or less) is quite tough if you are new to the city. Whether you have planned to go solo, or with friends or as a couple Tour de guide takes care of your precious time and provides you the best itinerary with return air tickets, Hostels booking, Inter-city transfers, Visa, Insurance and many other services. You can find out more about our services, here.
Don’t worry if your favorite places are not added to the itinerary, you are always free to create your customised itinerary, email us your queries at firstname.lastname@example.org and our experts will help you go through different plans to make your trip more special and eternal.