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Where are single travelers treated badly?

Hanoi, Vietnam
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Where are single travelers treated badly?

Personally, I dislike travel in the USA because I'm pushed aside for family groups and couples all the time.

New York City, New...
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for Yucatan Peninsula
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1. Re: Where are single travelers treated badly?

Ive never had that experience, except on airplanes when you're expected to give up your exit row aisle seat so some couple can sit together. sorry! I didnt schlep to the airline ticket office in the rain at lunch so that I could give up the seat!

Many solo travelers in the US are business travelers. As a frequent one paying top dollar for last minute bookings, I wouldnt allow anyone to treat me badly!

I think a lot of it might be your perception....

Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: Where are single travelers treated badly?

I honestly have not had that experience either. The only time I can remember being treated differently when traveling solo was when going on a ride and the attendant was jockeying people around so that groups could ride together. Similar to what evening points out. When traveling with a group, I appreciate someone trying to keep us together so we can share the experience.

I've been to many cities all over the Western US as a solo traveler and can't remember a time I was made to feel bad because I was traveling alone. I think at least once it worked to my advantage because I was on a city tour of San Francisco by myself. All the other passengers were couples. The tour guide and I got to be friends and after he did his 'group spiel' for everyone, instead of going off with a party of two, I hung around him and got a local's perspective of whatever site we were at. He didn't seem to mind chatting with someone 'off script,' and I probably learned more on that tour than others.

However, I do think Solo travel does present other challenges. For example, while waiting at the airport or wherever, one person can't watch the bags and the other go explore the shops (or visit the restroom!). When on a walking tour, one person can't stay behind a minute to take pictures and get caught up on what I missed when away from the group. Sometimes it is more convenient to have your party represented at two different places at one time (you see how long a cab will be while I check the bus schedule) and that just isn't possible when traveling by myself.

I do tend to chat up employees and the like when I am traveling solo. So maybe I have been treated differently, but for the better.

-Noah

San Diego
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3. Re: Where are single travelers treated badly?

daawgon, Could you explain what you mean a bit more?

"Pushed aside for family groups" where, in what situations?

I have traveled in NYC,SanFrancisco,Paris, and Italy alone. My only prob was that in a small restaurant in Venice they wouldn't take a res for one, a few days before. They wanted me to wait until the evening when I wanted to eat and come in to see IF they had a table free.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Where are single travelers treated badly?

and I was thinking of the example of when I was able to walk into Cal Pep at 1pm in Barcelona ahead of a line of about 50 people because there was 1 seat at the tapas bar and they were all couples on line ahead of me!

Pjk
New Jersey
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5. Re: Where are single travelers treated badly?

This can be a bonus of solo traveling. I, too, have bypassed people waiting for a table for two or more because I was alone. I also don't mind eating at the bar which can sometimes be quicker than waiting for a table. Groups of three or more will generally not want to eat at a bar.

Pjk

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Where are single travelers treated badly?

I just had an amazing solo trip to Guatemala... People were really nice to me everywhere I went - men would call me beautiful in Spanish when they passed me on the street (I was never such a magnet for Latino men before in multiple trips to the region!). Unlike other places I've been in Central America, I didnt get looks or comments from waiters for eating alone.

One evening hanging out by Lake Atitlan, I kept trying to leave, but would be chatted up by 1 group of local people after another. The fact that I was a tourist in their country seemed to amaze a lot of people. There are lots of dreadlocked backpackers and older Europeans on bus tours, but very few independent travelers I guess. I didnt realize this until the flight back to Atlanta when the flight attendant assumed I was a missionary! She's a regular on that route and said she never sees tourists, just missionaries. Maybe that's why I was treated so well - I was there to shop and explore the local culture - not preach?

San Diego
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7. Re: Where are single travelers treated badly?

evening,Guatemala sounds great! I did some research last year on Buenos Aires solo but haven't gone yet.

It also sounds like a fun place. Right now I am still stuck on Italy.

New York City
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8. Re: Where are single travelers treated badly?

To answer the original question of why single travelers are treated badly: I would just have to say that it is because most people still think it is odd, weird, and strange in this country for someone who is not a business or convention traveler, but just a solo tourist traveler, to travel, explore, and vacation by themselves! I still get asked by people "Why are you visiting our city/town/area?" and not in a nice way! They would never ask that question in that sort of patronizing way if I had a wife and kids beside me and I was wearing a golf outfit! Are we thought of as strange and weird drifters in certain parts of the country? Yes. We are. But as a proud strange and weird and different solo traveler, my tourist dollars have power! Yes, they do. And I like to spend them only where I'm made feel welcome, like Austin, Portland, Seattle and other destinations. I like to think of myself as an oddball with cash in pocket. To spend where I want to. No excuses.

San Diego
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9. Re: Where are single travelers treated badly?

lonelyplanetboy, It sounds like there may be a difference between male and female solo travelers and how they are treated?

I am not sure though because my son has traveled extensively here in the USA and Europe and Asia and some of the middle East and has had no trouble except in Morocco where he made the mistake of traveling with a young woman ,not his wife, who spoke Arabic.

10. Re: Where are single travelers treated badly?

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Removed on: 17 December 2008, 18:10