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  #1  
Old 08-23-2009, 03:52 AM
Crowbar of Irony +3 Crowbar of Irony +3 is offline
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How do you go on a vacation alone?

I'm single, not much of a family person (or don't have much of a family) and I find that I need a break. Let's say that I'm unable to find anyone to go on a vacation with, what's an ideal program for a 'one-person vacation', and for those who have done it, how is it different from just staying at home?
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  #2  
Old 08-23-2009, 04:01 AM
Bearflag70 Bearflag70 is offline
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I spent months on a solo road trip around the US. Granted, I knew people along the way here and there, but not everywhere. I knew nobody in the East, so I did New Orleans, DC, Philadelphia, NYC, and Boston very much on my own. I spent only a few days in each place. I picked a few things I wasted to see and went and saw them. I didn't mind being solo and I met some interesting people along the way. I also tried to pick restaurants with bars so I could chat with people at the bar. I also stayed in Youth Hostels sometimes and met some people that way.

Last edited by Bearflag70; 08-23-2009 at 04:02 AM..
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:02 AM
mecaenas mecaenas is offline
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Depends what kind of person you are. I went solo backpacking in Europe for a month (at 25), and the best advice I could give is to stay in hostels and make an effort to chat to everyone you meet. You'll meet all sorts of interesting people. Other travellers can tell you what to see and do, as well as what not to see and do (i.e. over hyped attractions), plus you might make some good friends and have someone to hang out with for day trips along your way.

Having said all of that, there were a few moments of loneliness for me when a particular stop along the way was boring, the hostel had less people or the people weren't as friendly. But by and large it can be a good experience.

Ultimately you have to be comfortable spending time by yourself and meeting strangers.
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:16 AM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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I have a friend who loves cruises ... her BF get seasick and hates vacations [he would rather take time off and hang out at home watching tv and drinking beer]

She goes on a 1 week long cruise alone every year. She gets the smallest balcony stateroom, and takes a stack of books. She sits on the balcony, reads and goes through pitchers of iced tea.

She loves it. She can enjoy the sea air and view, read her books and not be bothered by people trying to pick her up or hassle her about what she is reading, and she doesnt have to cook or clean. She will go shopping for tourist crap for christmas presents and hit a beach now and then but her main desire is to be left alone to read trashy novels

Sounds pretty damned good to me.
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  #5  
Old 08-23-2009, 07:19 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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I use single vacations to do what I want to the level I like. You always have to compromise on joint vacations and restrict doing what your interested in. I experimented with different video speeds on waterfalls one vacation for a hour. I've sketched and logged in plants on on a 8 hour hike. I've walked a whole day joining spots I like together across unmarked areas, and found some places that hadn't seen people for a number of years. I don't know anybody I would have vacationed with that would have stayed with me and not complained if they did. This is how it is for cities you go to also. You can go to new places and immerse in the happenings which you can't always do if somebody else is along.
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:22 AM
Crowbar of Irony +3 Crowbar of Irony +3 is offline
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Oh yes, I have forgotten to mention I am somewhat of an introvert. I don't think I would go solo back-packing...
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:53 AM
glee glee is offline
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I've gone on solo holidays to pursue my interests (e.g. chess tournament / roleplaying convention).

You could go to a Dopefest!
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  #8  
Old 08-23-2009, 07:56 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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I'm pretty asocial and a morning person.

Being on a vacation with me, myself and I means I get to pick which town to visit, how to reach it, where to stay, what places to see, what time to go where, where to eat and what.

Being on one with my mother means I won't be able to see anything unless she also wants to see it (this is the same whether there's other people along or not), we eat at her hours, have bathroom breaks at her hours, etc.

Being on one with reasonable people means we have to agree on where to go and when, and we actually do it without one person imposing his will on everybody else.
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:08 AM
Crowbar of Irony +3 Crowbar of Irony +3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glee View Post
I've gone on solo holidays to pursue my interests (e.g. chess tournament / roleplaying convention).

You could go to a Dopefest!
I wouldn't mind that, but I'm in Singapore. In fact I've been wandering to just go over and see the sights and sounds of other countries, but it does mean I have to save up. Always wanted to see what DragonCon is like too...

Now you gave me an idea! The air-fare from here to there isn't cheap though.
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  #10  
Old 08-23-2009, 08:08 AM
kenner116 kenner116 is offline
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I tend to just walk around cities all day with no particular destination in mind. I like to stumble across interesting neighborhoods and walk as far away from my starting location as possible, then take a subway or bus back. You get to see much more going solo than you would if you had other people to wait for and make compromises with.

I'll be doing Moscow and St. Petersburg in a couple of weeks and don't have any schedule planned except for what days I will be in each city. For lodging, hostels are a good deal and for food it is inexpensive restaurants or grocery stores.
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  #11  
Old 08-23-2009, 09:14 AM
Maastricht Maastricht is offline
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An organized trip for singles?

An volunteer camp?

Couch-surfing?

Placing an ad for a travelcompanion in about the same situation as you are?
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  #12  
Old 08-23-2009, 10:01 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyChop View Post
. . . how is it different from just staying at home?
I'm trying to figure out what on earth you mean by this.

How is a trip to Paris different from just staying at home?
How is rafting down the Colorado different from just staying at home?
How is climbing an active volcano different from just staying at home?

I have done these things, and much much more, alone. In fact, as much as I love my partner, I much prefer traveling alone. I'm a photographer, and when I'm taking pictures it's almost like my camera is my partner, and adding another person to the experience is almost like infidelity.

This summer, we went on a 3-week trip to France, mostly 11 towns in Provence and the Riviera. This was an exception to the rule, since I usually travel alone. Yes, I have wonderful memories of my partner and me sharing intimate moments, but I have equal memories captured in my pictures.
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:09 AM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
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There are many tour agencies out there that cater to singles, just do a google search.

A friend of mine went solo backpacking in Scotland a couple of years ago and loved it. She loved that she could do whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted.

I would do the same thing too, but my husband and I travel similarly and have similar interests, so it's all good.
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  #14  
Old 08-23-2009, 10:12 AM
janeslogin janeslogin is offline
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I was single, no family, rather introverted and I vacationed a lot in the National Parks off season. Zion in winter is rather like it was designed for being alone. Try it during the year end holidays.
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  #15  
Old 08-23-2009, 10:16 AM
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My husband and I often travel together, but we also travel separately in order to enjoy things that the other half doesn't. For example, I like to spend several days near a beach and do absolutely nothing. He would be bored silly after the first day. Several years ago, he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. No thanks, not for me.

When planning for my solo travels one of the first things I do is go over my Amazon wish list and order sufficient books for the trip. When the package arrives, I don't open it, lest I read them all and have nothing left for the trip. I like being able to do what I want when I want to without having to be concerned about another person's convenience or preferences.

Just decide what you like to do and then do it.
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  #16  
Old 08-23-2009, 11:00 AM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
I use single vacations to do what I want to the level I like. You always have to compromise on joint vacations and restrict doing what your interested in. I experimented with different video speeds on waterfalls one vacation for a hour. I've sketched and logged in plants on on a 8 hour hike. I've walked a whole day joining spots I like together across unmarked areas, and found some places that hadn't seen people for a number of years. I don't know anybody I would have vacationed with that would have stayed with me and not complained if they did. This is how it is for cities you go to also. You can go to new places and immerse in the happenings which you can't always do if somebody else is along.
actually if i could still walk I would ... I tend to take along a selection of books in my PDA, and bottled water and snacks so if I didnt feel like kibbitzing about the waterfall I would simply relax and enjoy reading in a nice spot until you got done, and I used to be an SCA herbalist and had quite a pressed herb collection at one time, so browsing plant life is very familiar to me as well =) and I dont mind nonprepared camp sites. have biodegradable soap, toilet paper and shelter half and will travel =)
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  #17  
Old 08-23-2009, 11:02 AM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyChop View Post
Oh yes, I have forgotten to mention I am somewhat of an introvert. I don't think I would go solo back-packing...
but solo and introvert go well together ... you can ignore everybody by traveling and hiking where they are not.

Dog backpacking is fun once your dog is conditioned up for the walking. If you need a hook up, I have a buddy who has a company that makes custom working dog gear [and caving gear, and rescue gear. He makes some killer custom backpack work too]
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  #18  
Old 08-23-2009, 11:08 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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Originally Posted by CrazyChop View Post
In fact I've been wandering to just go over and see the sights and sounds of other countries, but it does mean I have to save up.
Join Hostelling International. You'll get ideas of where to go, lower-cost accommodations, and meet people from a bunch of countries. I went hostelling in Europe, and it was a lot of fun. (There's a hostel a couple miles away from my house. I've been thinking of spending a weekend there 'just because'.)
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  #19  
Old 08-23-2009, 11:38 AM
Llama Llogophile Llama Llogophile is offline
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Originally Posted by MLS View Post
Several years ago, he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Monty Python hijack:

Did he climb both peaks, or just one?

My singles vacations are the best. I pick something associated with a hobby, go to a destination where there's something to see and/or do, and usually have a great time.

I've always been a space buff, so I once did a trip to DC with nothing planned other than a visit to the Air & Space Museum. This fall I'm planning a similar trip to the Kansas Cosmosphere.
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  #20  
Old 08-23-2009, 12:13 PM
SpoilerVirgin SpoilerVirgin is online now
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The key to enjoying a vacation alone is to find some activity that you really want to do. I'm a history buff, so I like to plan my vacations around visiting historic sites. You might enjoy backpacking, lying on the beach, visiting art museums, or something entirely different.

I have twice been on a vacation with others and ended up abandoning them and continuing on my own. Once was on a bus tour of Scotland. I jumped ship (bus?) in Edinburgh and ended up traveling the Highlands by train. I still remember it as one of the greatest vacations of my life.

The other time I was on a cross-country drive with a friend. She was anxious to get home to D.C., while I still had things I wanted to see. I had her put me and my duffle by the side of the road in Atlanta, and got to make my way through the Southeast at a leisurely pace.

The thing about going on your own is that you can keep your own schedule. As others have mentioned, on this type of vacation I think it works best to have a general outline of where you're going and what you're doing, but not to schedule yourself down to the minute. That way you can spend as much or as little time as you like in an activity, or switch plans if something interesting comes up. After all, you don't have to worry about what anyone else wants to do. That's my kind of vacation.
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  #21  
Old 08-23-2009, 12:36 PM
chowder chowder is offline
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Since my wife died some years ago I've,with 2 exceptions, always gone on holiday alone.

I'm a fairly outgoing sort of bloke, I'll talk to and make friends with most anyone and have never had problems finding someone in a similar situation as myself to pal up with it.

I've made friends with families from the USA,Germany,Belgium and Holland and some of those people have invited me to go stay with them, in the case of the USA I took up the offer and had a great time in Rhode Island.

It's really all a matter of how you approach it, you're on holiday so whatever happens just enjoy yourself, meet people, be nice and you'll find that generally people will be nice back.

As an aside, my last holiday in Guernsey last year with a 'pal' was an unmitigated disaster.

In small doses he's ok, to spend a few weeks with he's a pain in the arse
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  #22  
Old 08-23-2009, 01:07 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Some places or more apt for singles. Like San Francisco or New York City or DC. Plenty of museums and attractions you can do alone. I used to go to NYC by myself a lot and there are always tours you can go on. The only issue I had was asking people to take my picture by an object. But now with digital cameras and self timers even that isn't an issue
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  #23  
Old 08-23-2009, 01:23 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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I am always surprised at threads like this that wonder about "eating alone at a restaurant" or "going alone to a movie" or in your case, "going on vacation alone"...it really depends on the person.

Some people, like myself, have never found it a problem. I take a book or magazine when eating alone and enjoy it very much. See a film by myself? Big deal - I don't want to talk to anyone while I see the film anyway - and afterward, I can always find someone who has seen the film to discuss it a day or two later.

I went to Europe on my own when I was 22 and had a great time! Hung out with some people, but had no trouble going off on my own when we had different ideas of where to go and what to do. Met lots of people, but also had time to myself without having to explain anything to anyone.

Currently, my SO and I have been together for over 28 years and we do everything together - but sometimes he will go off and do something I am not particularly interested in doing and I do the same.

In other words, if you are happy and content living alone, why shouldn't you be happy and content traveling, or doing anything else? Travel is a great adventure - with or without someone tagging along. Go! Enjoy! Write back!
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  #24  
Old 08-23-2009, 03:15 PM
vivalostwages vivalostwages is offline
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I went to San Diego several times on my own and enjoyed it very much. I took the train, then used the trolley or cabs or walking to get around.
I don't mind going out to eat or to movies by myself either.
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:52 PM
Critical Mass Critical Mass is offline
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I've done a couple of motorcycle trips by myself.

Both times I had a loose agenda to follow with people to visit along the way, but the focus of the vacation was the journey.

Next summer I'm planning another motorcycle trip. But intentionally, there will be no route planned or itinerary.

What I want to do instead is photograph abandoned and rustic farm buildings spotted from the road. This is something I've wanted to do for a number of years.

So no route planned, no specific destination at the end of the day. I'll travel anywhere from 200 to 500 miles per day, grabbing a hotel room where ever I happen to decide to stop for the evening. I'll plan on returning home after about 10 days.

Depending on where I am and what I feel like, I may spend the evening touring town or editing pictures or maybe maintaining a blog. If I find people to talk to along the way, fine. If not that's ok too.

The one thing I won't do is do any of the trip with anyone else. Too much organization and compromise required. When I want to stop for whatever reason, I don't want someone else's expectations or agenda to consider. I've done motorcycle trips with others before, and I don't mind doing it, but there's much more thinking and organizing that goes along with planning for more than just me.
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  #26  
Old 08-23-2009, 08:11 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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Oshkosh. I'm surrounded by people with the same hobby.
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:30 PM
Locrian Locrian is offline
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I'm always interested in very out-there subjects. Usually, I do vacation alone. I prefer it that way, since I'm single.

My dream vacation is Oak Island, just because I think it would be really cool to talk to the locals about the history of The Money Pit.

Now who in their right mind would really want to join me on THAT expedition?
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  #28  
Old 08-23-2009, 08:53 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
The only issue I had was asking people to take my picture by an object.
I've never understood why people do this. Is it to prove that you were actually there? On our recent trip to France, I took 3,317 pictures, and maybe 20 are of my partner. And they are just of him, not something famous that he's standing in front of.
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  #29  
Old 08-23-2009, 10:32 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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I went by myself to Barcelona and Mallorca... Awesome trip. Plan ahead, stay in hostels. It was awesome to chart your own adventures each day....

Similar, I've been "alone" to Brasil twice. I say "alone" because I've spent time with my friends who live there, but one time I went to other cities, stayed in hostels, and only stayed at my friend's as a "home base", and in the other I just walked around the city while my hostess worked.

Awesome... I like it. Similarly, I've been to NYC because I have friends there, and I stayed there. So I visited them...

I've been to a convention by myself, 3 years ago... Didn't know anybody when I got there, ended up rooming with another student... Good times, awesome rest... Saw the Grand Canyon from the window of the airplane.

Now, how can it be hard to imagine all of those experiences are in any way, shape, or form similar to staying at home, posting at the Dope?
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  #30  
Old 08-24-2009, 08:14 AM
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Keep in mind, when traveling alone, that most buses and trains have seating that comes in pairs.

That means you, will inadvertently find yourself seated beside another lone traveler. Conversation will ensue, you may find yourself sharing a cab to a hostel/hotel the other has heard of, and so it goes.

Whenever I have traveled alone this is always how it begins. Check into the same hotel, go out together to get a bite to eat. It's how people are and it's universal, just relax and enjoy it.

It's like all adventurous travel, the first step is a little scary but, once past it, you can't imagine why you ever hesitated.
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  #31  
Old 08-24-2009, 08:21 AM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is online now
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Originally Posted by Critical Mass View Post
I've done a couple of motorcycle trips by myself.
+1. Look for scenic twisty backroads instead of interstate highways. Visit parks with scenic overlooks.

For a smile, visit www.roadsideamerica.com and visit all of the listed oddities along the way.

My last couple of big trips (one to Utah in '07, and one to New Hampshire a couple of weeks ago) there was a group event at the destination, but my travel to/from was solo. Enjoy the scenery, stop when/where you want, visit parks and take short hikes, or longer ones, if you prefer that. Read the historical markers at highway rest areas and in city parks.

You can do much the same in a car. If camping isn't your thing, most national parks have hotels clustered just outside their entrances, and some (e.g. Grand Canyon, Yosemite) have hotels within their borders.

Bring your camera, and if you're not a hard-core shutterbug, pick up an UltraPod; this is a great little tripod that packs up tiny, but lets you set the camera on oddly shaped objects, or strap it to a branch/signpost for a better-height perspective. Perfect for motorcycle travel, great for hiking/backpacking too.
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  #32  
Old 08-24-2009, 08:22 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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I, too, don't understand the question. Before I took up with Pepper Mill I generally went on vacations alone. And going somewhere else and experiencing new thoings is nothing like staying home. How can you even compare them?

I've

gone on a cross-country month-long bus tour

Visited London

Visited Seattle and Hiked Mt. Rainier

Gone to Arches National Park

And Zion

And Grand Tetons

And Dinosaur National Park

And gone to various skiing spots.


...among other things. Not like staying home alone at all. Met fascinating people and didn't live like a recluse while on the road.
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  #33  
Old 08-24-2009, 09:56 AM
TruCelt TruCelt is offline
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Originally Posted by Locrian View Post
Oak Island, just because I think it would be really cool to talk to the locals about the history of The Money Pit.

Now who in their right mind would really want to join me on THAT expedition?

Ooh, ooh, pick meeeeeee! ! ! Actually, my theory is it was an early attempt to engineer a freshwater spring from seawater. . .



But I also prefer to vacation alone. It'll be about 18 years before I get to again, but that's also OK - in the meantime there's a lot I want to show the Celtling.

She's fairly adaptable, like me. The trouble is she has a tendency to sleep soundly while I get us there, and be raring to go just when I'm ready to pass out.

My Family can't travel without at least a 4-star hotel rating. Me, if there's a clean spot to sleep in,a nd a clean place to shower, I'm fine.

Last edited by TruCelt; 08-24-2009 at 09:58 AM..
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  #34  
Old 08-24-2009, 11:00 AM
blondebear blondebear is offline
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I'll echo the sentiments of other solo vacationers here. A seriously compatible traveling partner is hard to find. Putting up with each other for long streches on the road can lead to some heated discussions and really detract from your hard-won time away from work.

On my last trip, I took a 50 mile detour to see the Nutcracker Museum in Leavenworth, WA. When I got there, it turned out a major bicycle ride was finising up in town. The place was a zoo; blocked streets, bumper to bumper traffic, no parking to be found. I bailed on the museum and headed out of town without even stopping. That decision might not have gone over too well if someone else had been along for the ride.

Last edited by blondebear; 08-24-2009 at 11:01 AM..
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  #35  
Old 08-24-2009, 11:13 AM
Brandus Brandus is offline
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To the OP: If you enjoy your own company you can do anything by yourself. I don't really see the need to latch on to someone else to travel with you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGrenze View Post
I went by myself to Barcelona and Mallorca... Awesome trip. Plan ahead, stay in hostels. It was awesome to chart your own adventures each day....
I am doing a solo trip to Barcelona in a week, got any advice for that city?
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  #36  
Old 08-24-2009, 11:28 AM
unclviny unclviny is offline
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I'm leaving later today on a "single vacation", I vacation alone several times a year. I prefer it because you get to do EXACTLY what you want to, this trip it's:

Drive from Houston, Texas to Bemidji, Minnesota and attend the Ojibwe Forests rally (a rally-car race). Drive to Davenport, Iowa to go to the Antique Motorcycle Club of America rally.

Unclviny
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Old 08-24-2009, 02:40 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Originally Posted by Brandus View Post


I am doing a solo trip to Barcelona in a week, got any advice for that city?
That was 5 (!!!) years ago... Graduation and 21st year present.

Walk around... My hostel was in the gothic part of the city, close to the metro. It was also within walking distance to Rambla, the aquarium, the piers, and Museu Picasso. Also, I think I walked to some other places... Like the music palace, and some of the Gaudí buildings. Go to Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell... I love Joan Miró, so of course I went to his museum. I also went to the Museu de arte de catalunya... And my year (2004) was the Dalí year, so they had a number of exhibitions going around.

But mainly, just walk around. It may be just me, but I loooooove walking around, mixing with the locals, enjoying the scenery... Just walking around the open street without a care in the world, and sure of myself.

I think I really enjoyed Parc Guell, Gaudí in general, and Miró.
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  #38  
Old 08-24-2009, 02:55 PM
MPB in Salt Lake MPB in Salt Lake is offline
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Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
I've never understood why people do this. Is it to prove that you were actually there? On our recent trip to France, I took 3,317 pictures, and maybe 20 are of my partner. And they are just of him, not something famous that he's standing in front of.
Maybe its something they enjoy, like, oh I dont know, say going on a trip to France and then feeling the need to post about it around 874 times on a message board when you get home, just in case there is one person in the entire history of the SDMB that was unaware of your amazing journey...............

Last edited by MPB in Salt Lake; 08-24-2009 at 02:56 PM..
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  #39  
Old 08-24-2009, 03:43 PM
ElectricZ ElectricZ is offline
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I just got back from a weekend vacation taken by myself. I'd been putting in the hours at work and last Monday knew that the upcoming weekend was going to be work-free. So I arranged to have Friday off with my boss, and when I got that secured I knew I didn't want to just sit around the house for an extra day. I wanted to get away from it all.

So I started looking at last minute deals. I like to scuba dive so I figured I might head to Sarasota, Florida, but arranging a dive trip plus having a 24 hour delay after diving before flying would mean I'd basically only get in a couple dives made it not worth it.

Then I started about thinking about places I wanted to see. Devils Tower, Wyoming sprang to mind. (Yes, it was because of That Movie. ) I've wanted to go there since I was nine. So I punched that in to Google maps and looked to see where I'd have to fly into, which turned out to be Rapid City, SD.

Some more quick googling and and I saw there was all kinds of things to see and do around Rapid City if you're into the national park scene. It became a case of too much to do, not enough time. That little voice in my head was telling me it was a waste to go that far for so little time. But then I figured why the hell not? I've been on trips where I planned a week and was ready to leave by day 4.

I did some more google-mapping and plugged a bunch of attractions into my Garmin, which I planned to take with me. I would basically have all day Sat and half of Sunday to make my itinerary work, and again thanks to Google Maps I planned it all out. I found a weekender package on Priceline, DFW to Rapid City + hotel for $356. (!) Alamo had a weekend rental rate, unlimited miles for $20 a day. I booked it that night, and flew out 4 days later.

This weekend I logged 600+ miles. On Saturday, I hit the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site 90 miles east of Rapid, took a leisurely drive along the Badlands Scenic Route on the way back, drove through the Black Hills all before 4pm before heading out to Devils Tower. I spent 3-4 hours there until sundown where I got to do 2 of the 3 hikes available.

The next day, I drive around Custer state park and toured Wind Cave as well as visiting Crazy Horse Memorial and Mt. Rushmore. It was a fantastic weekend. I got to see some of the best sites in the US without spending a ton of money or time and the fact of the matter is I would not have been able to do this if I did not go alone.

Two things I took away from this experience:

1) I stuck with my original goal of seeing Devils Tower. Anything else I reasoned would be a bonus. I didn't let myself get hung up on it being wasted time if I didn't stop and spend a day in each location. Sure, I would have liked to have spent time hiking the Badlands or the Black Hills, but the drive was fantastic and I had a wonderful, relaxing time listening to music and seeing the sites and still had plenty of time to see what I really wanted to see, and that gave me a nice feeling of accomplishment.

2) There is no way I could have done this with anyone else tagging along. It was super short notice for one, but really having gone on trips with close friends you have to coordinate travel plans but most importantly you have to agree on what you want to see and do. Had I gone with friends, we might have spent the entire time at one location, wasting time deciding to see this or that, trying to figure out where to eat, shopping for gifts... I was able to plan my trip from east to west, seeing exactly what I wanted to see, eating where I wanted to eat, meaning I saw and did more in a day and a half than I might have done in a week had I gone with other people. Plus, having all that time to myself in the car with the windows down and music blaring was just perfect for relaxing. That would not have been possible with other people in the car.

The moral of this story: sometimes it's more fun with friends, but traveling by yourself can be a great experience. The next time I know I have a 3 day weekend coming up you can bet I'm going to find another landmark that I can get to cheap and make another run for it. It was no foolin' one of the best vacations I ever had.

My advice -- take a vacation by yourself. If you're worried about being lonely, pack so much into it that you're never standing still for long, and use that freedom to see everything you want to see, how you want to see it. You'll have a blast!
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  #40  
Old 08-24-2009, 03:51 PM
tdn tdn is offline
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My philosophy is that when I go on vacation with a girlfriend, I'm there with my girlfriend. When I go alone, I'm there with everyone else. This last time I just made new friends wherever I went. It was anything but lonely.

The other advantage to going alone is that I can spend exactly zero time looking in the windows of jewelry and shoe stores.
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:37 PM
Freddy the Pig Freddy the Pig is offline
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Originally Posted by CrazyChop View Post
I'm single, not much of a family person (or don't have much of a family) and I find that I need a break. Let's say that I'm unable to find anyone to go on a vacation with, what's an ideal program for a 'one-person vacation' . . .
That's impossible to answer. Everybody's travel preferences are unique. In this thread alone, we've had everything from chess tournaments to photography to sitting in a chair reading books.

The first question is, do you want to travel alone? If not, there are oodles of group activities and singles tours and god knows what else in which to partake. So even if you're unattached, you don't have to travel alone if you don't want to.

If you do want to travel alone, then go for it! It's the easiest thing in the world--just do whatever you want to do! (And can afford, of course.)
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  #42  
Old 08-24-2009, 06:55 PM
amarinth amarinth is online now
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It's way easier than traveling with a group. I don't like the music? I leave. I'm getting tired and cranky? I go to my hotel (or park or whatever I want to do to sit down and rest) and don't worry about whether everyone else is ready for a break. I'm having the time of my life and want to listen to or see or do more? I keep going.

No checking around or taking temperatures or compromising (or feeling guilty because you apparently starved someone who failed to say "I'm hungry" when you didn't stop for lunch as originally suggested earlier that morning when you apparently also rushed her through breakfast.)

The ideal is asking yourself "what do I want to do?" and then doing it.

Oh, if you're alone, people will offer to take photos of you. Whenever I've been standing around with a camera in front of some landmark or monument or something, some one else in the same area has asked if I wanted for them to take a picture of me. People are remarkably friendly when you're solo traveling (and in general).
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:32 PM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
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Are you male or female? If I were single I'd find the prospect of trying to pick up a cute foreign chick while I was on vacation pretty exciting. Especially if I was vacationing in say, Japan.
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  #44  
Old 08-24-2009, 11:55 PM
Crowbar of Irony +3 Crowbar of Irony +3 is offline
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Originally Posted by Rigamarole View Post
Are you male or female? If I were single I'd find the prospect of trying to pick up a cute foreign chick while I was on vacation pretty exciting. Especially if I was vacationing in say, Japan.
Male here. Well, the idea of knowing someone from a solo-trip is quite tempting.

Perhaps one of the problem is that while I am introverted, I don't really like to be alone and have anxiety problems (so back-packing solo sounds scary! Oops, I guess I forgot to mention that, but I do enjoy reading the responses here).

I do like 'familiar company', but extremely uncomfortable about strangers. I'm always the "So where you're going? Okay, I'll follow you". But now I do have an idea or two in mind, such as going down to Australia to catch a particular concert
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  #45  
Old 08-25-2009, 01:43 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Originally Posted by MPB in Salt Lake View Post
. . . post about it around 874 times on a message board . . .
Actually about 5 times. Have you taken your medication today?
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  #46  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:02 AM
Hanna Hanna is offline
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I've done some camping trips alone - mostly in national parks. I tend to talk to more strangers when I'm alone.

The only bad things about camping alone, is at night it can get lonely. And hiking alone is generally discouraged (especially if you're like me - female with a bum ankle). If you do hike, let a ranger know where you are going and when you'll be back. Or do what I did and stick to the more popular trails. On popular trails I'd usually never go more than 10 minutes without seeing others.
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  #47  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:20 AM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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Hell, my SO and I get along incredibly well and I still go places alone. Not so much vacations but day trips, definitely. I went to Mass MoCa last year by myself and was able to spend just as long as I liked on each art piece. I go to Shakespeare shows by myself and just revel in the atmosphere. I go to faires and sit and watch the plays for two hours on a hard bench with nary a complaint because I love that and he doesn't.
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:26 AM
tdn tdn is offline
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Originally Posted by amarinth View Post
It's way easier than traveling with a group. I don't like the music? I leave. I'm getting tired and cranky? I go to my hotel (or park or whatever I want to do to sit down and rest) and don't worry about whether everyone else is ready for a break. I'm having the time of my life and want to listen to or see or do more? I keep going.
Decision making alone or in small groups is easier too.

A few years ago, I was travelling with a group of 13 to, among other places, Key West. Two of us split off in the morning and did our own thing. We found a cute place for breakfast. I ordered eggs benedict with crab cakes and key lime hollandaise sauce. Then we checked out a couple of museums, then found a fantastic beach. For lunch we found a place that had conch fritters, apparently an island specialty. Then we went to another place for key lime pie.

The other 11 people in the group? They argued for hours about where to have lunch. They finally settled on pizza.
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:26 AM
Swallowed My Cellphone Swallowed My Cellphone is offline
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I've gone on solor road trips and kayaking jaunts. My fiancee still goes solo camping once in a while (well, the dog goes too). It's fun! You get to do whatever you want and cater to your every whim without needing a consensus.
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  #50  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:34 AM
kayaker kayaker is online now
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Location: Western Pennsylvania
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I've done many solo vacations, mostly to different islands in the Caribbean. They were some very good times. The only downer would be begging off joining folks who, thinking I must be lonely, would invite me to share a meal or something.
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