I find that my solo travel style has changed over the past few years. I do not travel on tours, with 30 other couples traveling 2 by 2, like Noah's ark. After a few day trips where the other travelers continued to stare or ask "are you traveling alone?", I would rather take my adventure solo even if it has it's limitations.
How do Mature Solos Travel?
|Il Duomo, Florence, Italy|
The biggest change as a Mature Solo Traveler is that I am no longer willing to sleep on the 10 hr train to avoid a hotel room, or get up at 5 am to catch the first train to the next town. Perhaps this is a result of having far more time to travel now. Instead of the 10 day trip I could manage from a "career" that never let me leave town, to the 6 weeks or even longer trips I now give myself. My trips now are an "experience", an adventure of being an "Italian", even if it is only for a short time.
Long term travel comes with other concerns: expense management,
So where do Solo Mature travelers find the best hotels, restaurants or towns to visit? Which towns are easy to navigate on a solo trip? Restaurant alternatives that solo diners who fear eating alone, can utilize?
The past two years, I started researching towns that offer me a "comfort zone" A comfort zone, for me, is a location with many restaurants that a solo diner can feel comfortable in. Cities or towns that do not require the formal tour to experience. Short term apartment rentals in towns offer a great opportunity to live with the locals, shop daily and eat some of my meals on a balcony with a city view or even the of the sea.
On a fall trip Home To Italy last year, I found staying in towns outside cities can offer 4 star hotels at prices comparable to much lower quality hotels in the city! In very small towns on holidays or Sunday nights a hotel with an in house restaurant can be a life saver. Fewer guests, allow staff to offer great personal services.
The local tourist offices often have tour guides who will show you a town/city from a locals perspective.
(see my future post on Bologna)
Tell me what towns you have found that are great for Solo Mature Travelers. where is your favorite Comfort zones?