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Solo Travel for 8 weeks but don't know where to gpo

Parkland, Florida
Level Contributor
19 posts
1 review
Solo Travel for 8 weeks but don't know where to gpo

I have just come on to the other side of 3 years of several family members passing and the end of my 26 year marriage. I have sold my home and have not decided on where I'm moving. In the interim I am putting my belongings into storage and taking a couple of months to travel. I was thinking Bali and sometimes I think Croatia or perhaps Iceland. I am in my 50s and will be traveling alone. Does anyone have any suggestions on where to go? This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and I'm taking it. I can go to several places during that time, I'm just not sure where. Open to hear your suggestions. It will probably be in September and October, if that matters. Thanks for the help.

Edited: 30 June 2018, 21:42
44 replies to this topic
Parkland, Florida
Level Contributor
19 posts
1 review
1. Re: Solo Travel for 8 weeks but don't know where to gpo

I meant go. Not gpo. :)

Level Contributor
9,252 posts
2. Re: Solo Travel for 8 weeks but don't know where to gpo

What are you looking for? Interests? Likes/dislikes?

Europe lets you do a few countries in that period. But it really depends on your interests

Sheffield, United...
Destination Expert
for Nepal
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15,249 posts
56 reviews
3. Re: Solo Travel for 8 weeks but don't know where to gpo

Given you have mentioned Bali, how about elsewhere in the region? Travelling around SEA is generally easy and cheap.

Much depends on your interests of course...

Wherever you go, I hope you have great time


Parkland, Florida
Level Contributor
19 posts
1 review
4. Re: Solo Travel for 8 weeks but don't know where to gpo

I enjoy everything from hiking to yoga to just chilling at the beach.

Parkland, Florida
Level Contributor
19 posts
1 review
5. Re: Solo Travel for 8 weeks but don't know where to gpo

I'm looking at Iceland to see the Northern Lights and maybe do some hiking around that area. That's a start perhaps. Croatia is also so beautiful. I am healthy and my interests are in seeing the world. I just don't want to do a cruise. That doesn't interest me.

England, United...
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for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
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6. Re: Solo Travel for 8 weeks but don't know where to gpo

Amy that's a really rough and life changing time you've been through. Time to think of yourself.

If you really want to see the Northern Lights why not go to a location that combines dog sleding or some experience that is really special and then on to somewhere to enjoy some good weather and relaxation time.

Sept - Oct is a good time to go out of the heaving tourist season and with some decent weather in Europe.

I haven't been to Croatia but there's a coastline and local food that is less well known. Italy is full of stuff to do with different areas ie Tuscany and Campania where you can see sights or walk up Vesuvius or in the hills, Capri and it's still a warm sea

Very easy to travel solo and once there the local food and transport is cheap

Edited: 30 June 2018, 22:32
Parkland, Florida
Level Contributor
19 posts
1 review
7. Re: Solo Travel for 8 weeks but don't know where to gpo

I love the idea of dog sledding and the Northern Lights. I heard Norway is great, maybe I can do that and combine them. I'm also going to look into the coast of Italy. I figure i can do a few weeks in each of these places. Thanks for the ideas. I have joined a couple of FB groups on solo travel. This is so scary but so exciting.

Ottawa, Canada
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12,315 posts
155 reviews
8. Re: Solo Travel for 8 weeks but don't know where to gpo

Congrats on making it through a rough time and good for you for wanting to have some adventures. Been there, so know that one may still have limited energy, but in case you arenup formit. I am going to suggest something novel to consider. Why not all of your original 3 as a trip around the world? This doesn't have to be elaborate, but around the world tickets aren't always expensive, in fact often cheaper than buying from here to there to there and home. Also, Bali is roughly half a world away and Iceland (or Norway) and Croatia are in between.

I haven't been, but a quick check shows weather in Bali in September is lovely. Start there and have some pampering. They are such hospitable gentle people, and prices are low so you can affordably splurge out with a house with pool and a cook, daily massages and a private driver (hmm, maybe I am typing my own dream trip), then on to Croatia before it gets too chilly and finish in the north. However, don't set your heart on dogsledding weather in October.

Do research where the lights are seen well in October. I also want to suggest a Northern Lights cruise of the Nkrway coast by Hurtigruten cruise lines. November would be better, but late October runs a good chance, especially on a 12 day cruise.

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52,097 posts
22 reviews
9. Re: Solo Travel for 8 weeks but don't know where to gpo

I'm sorry for the losses and changes you have been thru. You mention 3 places you want to see. You have 8 weeks. That's enough time to make a trip to all of them. Although to me it would make sense to bundle them by region/geographically. Like do Bali and another place or two somewhat closer to there. Then Iceland & Croatia the next time. Or between those two pick which part of the world most calls to you right now.

If I had 8 weeks off I'd either head to Mexico (where I travel frequently) or do some cities in Europe (Paris, Venice, Barcelona come to mind). But that's me... not you ;-)

~suerte, suze

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10. Re: Solo Travel for 8 weeks but don't know where to gpo

Once you get bitten by the travel bug, you'll always be planning your next trip, so please don't think of this as a once in a lifetime opportunity! .

Round the World flights.... a very good idea, but you can only travel in one direction, east to west, or the other way round. You can add extra regional flights between hub airports, so can still fly north/south. Just be aware of T & C's for luggage & carry on restrictions.

So, from the east coast of the USA, starting in September, you could fly into a European international hub airport, and have 49 countries available to you.

The weather in September to October will still be very good, and once the cruise season ends, the crowds will thin out considerably. Sea temperatures are actually higher in Sept/Oct than in the spring and early summer, & as many European cities are on coasts, you could combine a beach and city break in one.

Some European destinations are best reached by train, other by short flights with low cost carriers. For train travel all over the world, please see the very user train website at www.seat61.com or indeed the train travel forum here in trip advisor

As Europe has so many choices, you may want to just bite off a loop or combine some cluster destinations. Italy top to toe, the loop of Vienna, Budapest and Prague, Nice and the Cote d'Azure, Ireland & the UK ( and on to Paris/Amsterdam by the Eurostar) Split to Dubrovnik and island hopping along the coast, Athens & the Greek Islands, ...the choice is vast. But, I'd caution you to not try & pack in too much. Otherwise you may end up with travel fatigue. .

Once you've had your fill of Europe, you can carry on flying eastwards to SEA and Bali. The main international hub airports from Europe fly to a wide range of SEA destinations, and can be included in a RTW flight plan. You could break the very long flight to SEA with a stop over en route, perhaps to Dubai, UAE or Doha. Possible SEA destinations... Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, & Indonesia (for Bali) .

SEA has excellent international hub airports offering further connecting (& very cheap) connecting flights within the region.So it's entirely possible to make SEA and Bali a second loop of your travels. The distance between some SEA destinations can be vast, so additional connecting flights make for faster routing, but train travel is also a feature of some destinations, and is a very comfortable & scenic option.

Bali of course is an island..so you'd have to fly! It's a stunning island and well worth taking your time to explore and enjoy. It's also an extremely popular destination for Australians and Europeans, so I'd check on the Bali forum for Australian school periods.

From Bali and flying east...well, that's up to you. Get a map and look at where you'd like to go next! But if you follow the RTW flight options, you'll eventually wind up on the west coast of N America. Perhaps you could stop in Hawaii or Vancouver or the somewhere along the Baja coast?

The Northern Lights.... this can be fitted into an into an east to west flight route, but there are practical reasons for not doing so in September/October. Although the Scandinavian countries, Scotland & Iceland are the main options for seeing the aurora borealis, autumn generally isn't the best time to see them. There's no guarantee the atmospheric conditions will be at their best, and it's still a bit too early for snow.

These are also some of the most expensive destinations within Europe, & although it won't be freezing cold, you'd still have to pack layers & additional clothing on top of your summer/tropical clothes.

As you are on the east coast of the USA, you have the easier option of relatively short flights (about 8 hours) directly to Iceland & Scandinavia, which can be taken later in the year. For a RTW route flying west, it may not be possible to add these destinations into a route.

Resources: Tripadvosor is a fantastic site for research, as there are destination forums for just about every country, region, city etc... but I personally wouldn't use it to actually book flights, accommodation or even tours.

TA has grown into an advertising platform for other 3rd party websites, who in turn don't (in my opinion) provide a guarantee of reliability, price or quality. For flights, I'd suggest you speak to a reputable travel agent , who may be far better at tailoring a RTW flight route. And join an airlines "loyalty" programme.. so you don't miss out on valuable points/airmiles... which can be used for your next trip!

TA also has several "non destination" forums, including Air Travel, the Bargain forum (excellent range of "Know How to...info items). Train Travel & the solo forum of course. It's well worth reading posts & in particular the info items in the respective "Top Questions" boxes, for all forums, as they contain valuable info and often address the huge range of standard travel questions.

But...you'll need a pc/laptop/tablet as the very limited TA phone app can't support the full website content.

In the Solo forum (TQ box) you'll find trip reports from other solo travellers, as well as info items including one called "Top 100 Tips for planning a Solo Trip" A long read I grant you, but very comprehensive.

Lastly.... guide books. There are some very comprehensive guides that you may want to beg, borrow or steal..or get from your local library. Lonely Planet have Europe/SEA on a Shoe String guides which are particularly useful for planning multi destination trips. But Rough Guides and the Brandt series are also very good. Although guide books aren't good for prices, they are better in some ways as maps, seasonal weather conditions, historic & cultural info don't change.

Hope this helps, and please let un know how you get on. Your fellow solo travellers come from and travel all over the globe & would be happy help with any further questions.

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