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    #16


    Oh ... how I'd love a solo vacation. Incidentally, does anyone want to take care of two toddlers for a few weeks?


    I would suggest Croatia or, for a place with world class beer, architecture and women,I'd cast my vote for Prague, Czech Republic as well. Portugal would also provide pretty much everything you are looking for and has the added bonus of being cheap. The Euro is in the toilet, great time to go there (or by Meermin shoes.)


    You'll often find the best airfares to the EU by flying into a "secondary" destinations on an airline of that nationality. In Canada, best deals I've found to Europe are Swiss from Montreal to Zurich.


    I'm not sure about the current rules around Americans traveling to Cuba, but Havana is spectacular as well.


    I guess domestic travel is not a big deal if you reside in the US, but I'm of the opinion Charleston, South Carolina might just be the greatest small city in the world.

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      #17


      Thanks for tall the suggestions guys, I think @greg_s put it best - "it's all about the adventure"


      I've been wanting to go to Buenos Aires and Australia/New Zealand for a while now, but eastern Europe has always intrigued me. For anybody here that is hesitant to try solo travel, I say go for it. I'll admit, I've had more fun with friends, but I've done a few shorter domestic trips by myself and I seem to get better at it each time. It's hard if you're not naturally extroverted, but it does force you to be more outgoing (and if you embarrass yourself, who cares, you don't live there, right?)


      Also, I'm loving this site: http://www.kayak.com/explore/

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        #18


        @thegameisarap1 - go to Mexico. I've gone to Cabo by myself with no problems. It's a beach, things are cheap, and there are tons of tourists (so it shouldn't be hard to find people your own age to hang out with). Cabo is a great place too. Highly recommend a sunset cruise around the Baja peninsula.

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          #19


          Solo travel provides a great opportunity to learn a lot more about yourself. Take yourself entirely out of your context, and then see what you like, what makes you excited and happy, what makes you nervous and shy without anybody you know to hold you back, judge you, or pressure you to act "like yourself." There's no doubt that you will learn some pretty interesting things about yourself that you would never have known otherwise. It can be a great way to hit the reset button on some of your habits and personality traits that you think are just a part of who you are. I just spent a couple of weeks by myself (for my work, but lots of time alone) in the Netherlands and Belgium, and it was illuminating.


          I have also travelled solo in Austria and Slovakia for a week (again for my work, but I had plenty of time to travel on my own). Eastern Europe is great, but for your first time in Europe you might be able to relax more in a place that is fairly easy to negotiate in terms of language and travel infrastructure. You can live very cheaply in all parts of Europe, so long as you're ok eating doener kebabs or pizza and sleeping in a room and sharing a bathroom with strangers. It's a fun experience. Just be sure to research hostels thoroughly. You don't want bed bugs or rough alleyways to contend with.

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            #20


            @Kittiwake30 - It is still illegal for American tourists to travel to Cuba.


            I'm jealous of all you guys who have been to Europe. The farthest I have traveled is the Caribbean. My mom was born in Sicily and I want to go there bad. With a toddler now, that will have to wait.

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              #21


              If you're set on Central Europe, I would suggest doing a multi-city train trip specifically Budapest, Vienna, Prague or at least two out of the three. You don't want to fly that far and only see one city/country.

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                #22


                "You don't want to fly that far and only see one city/country."


                I'd see it the other way. I wouldn't want to fly that far and just scratch the surface.


                I think one of the biggest travel mistakes is to plan to see and do too much. When traveling with a girlfriend, it always seems too frantic, and too superficial, not enough time to really enjoy a place. When I'm alone, I move at my own pace, and take the time to really explore a city, and get to know some of its people.

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                  #23


                  I think multi-city is a good idea. Skip around to a few cities (Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan in Italy, for example) or if you are in London, maybe stop in some villages out in the countryside, maybe hit Dublin or something too.


                  Much easier to travel through a region when you are already in the region rather than going to one spot each time you head out.

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                    #24


                    I'm in Cause Moe's camp: if you're traveling for a week or less, pick a single city and really get to know it. It'll be a bit more of a challenge if you're not used to traveling alone and/or keeping yourself entertained, but it'll allow you to discover aspects of the city beyond the more obvious touristy destinations, which, while sometimes great, are often way less interesting than other parts of the city.

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                      #25


                      +1 for Cause Moe. Additionally, I would structure your itinerary such that you have 2-3 days with activities followed by a down or rest day. While it would be great to not miss anything I feel full of energy by allowing for a rest day. Chatting up strangers in a cafe over coffee or a beer gives great insight to places and activities recommended by locals. You can even make this a shopping day for souvenirs for the folks back home.

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                        #26


                        I'm thinking about doing the same thing myself. Here are a few of my thoughts based on my past travel experiences:


                        1. Pick a place where language won't be a terrible barrier. Most of the world can handle English which is awesome for us, but some are better than others.


                        2. Consider using CouchSurfing for weekly meetups. I've never stayed at someone's place, but it's a great way to meet new people in a city and give you good local advice.


                        3. Use your smartphone wisely. My iPhone has been critical in my travel - using the myMaps app and google maps for navigating. If you don't have one, consider getting a cheap iPod touch for this same purpose. (you can just use them in offline mode and sync at your hostel).


                        For solo travel, I'd say that you want to find an area that's easy to get around, can hit up multiple cities, and has some good nightlife. I'd also avoid islandy/beachy/etc type places that would be better suited for couples.


                        I just did Spain last year, and it's still pretty good at this time of year (September through October). It was just starting to get cool as we got there. September would probably be ideal if you can hurry. I also did eastern europe ( krakov, budapest, prague, berlin) around late october last year, and it was a bit cool but do-able.


                        South America is good during Q4 - I'm currently considering doing Brazil in Oct/Nov which is spring. Another interesting trip if you like the outdoors could be doing Peru. Lima -> Cusco (Macchu Pichu) -> wherever else you want. Argentina (Buenos Aires) would be a very european like location in SA as well.

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                          #27


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                            #28


                            So for those of you that have had good solo trips, any tips for how to not spend the trip actually being solo? I generally suck at being extroverted so this has always been hard for me. My hostel experiences have generally been good, but those can still be a mixed bag.

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                              #29


                              @trash: see my notes above. Couchsurfing + hostels is all you need. If you are a member of any other online communities, that's a decent outlet as well (I've met poker player friends abroad)

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                                #30


                                Hey zero, I used to be a part-time online poker pro. Luckily, for school/work reasons, I cashed out most of my roll the semester before Black Friday. Still waiting on a bit of FT money, though, which may lead to a shopping spree if/when it finally arrives...

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