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Solo travel in the US

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
55 posts
147 reviews
Solo travel in the US

I have traveled solo in the past: New York City, DC, and Cape Cod.

I enjoyed New York and DC very much. As cities, they offered a lot and the solo vacationer hardly gets much attention, likely because so many business people also travel solo. Cape Cod, while relaxing, has much less to do than any city, and since most do not travel alone you do stick out somewhat. Granted, compared to some places, I feel as though it could have been much worse, but I would probably only go back to Cape Cod not-solo in the future.

That said, any suggestions for a future trip? I have very loose plans to take a trip in early February, but right now I do not know where to go. I'd like to stay in the States, preferably somewhere warmer than the Northeast. That said, I need somewhere that won't break the bank. I looked at the cost of hotels in Key West and they average $400/night around that time!

If you have seen me on other threads, I am knee deep in planning a large family vacation for Fall 2016. This trip, in February, will be just me.

kent
Destination Expert
for Kent, Solo Travel
Level Contributor
14,663 posts
141 reviews
1. Re: Solo travel in the US

If you just want to fly and flop on a beach then the Dominican Republic could be an option.

If you want to add some history, culture and diving, then Cancun or Playa Del Carmen on the Yucatan peninsular would be a bit more interesting.

AI's are the main source of accommodation in both Dom Rep and Cancun/PDC, and prices will be cheaper than the US, but it's still peak season, so not at their lowest. The AI's that cater solely for adults may be more expensive, but will generally have a good mix of ages and couples/singles.

The individual destination forums can advise on hotels that are adult only, or have a specific adult only sections ( beach, club house etc). Be prepared for the dreaded single supplement though.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
1,615 posts
112 reviews
2. Re: Solo travel in the US

Solo traveling in the USA in February. Warm weather.

From what you said about the cost of hotels in Key West, it sounds like early February is already high season in Florida. It sounds a little early for spring breakers to me, but I guess not. So, venturing beyond Florida, one deciding factor is how long are you planning on going. If you are thinking about an extended weekend, New Orleans is a great option. But that's it. Three to four days, though, is about right for New Orleans. Longer would get boring fast.

If you are thinking about a week, Southern California. If you want big city, Los Angeles has lots of things to do (but I would rent a car). If you want a more relaxing pace, there is Palm Springs. Or split your time between L.A. (or maybe Orange County) and Palm Springs. The weather definitely will be warmer (and drier) than the Northeast.

If you are willing to venture beyond the USA, what about Mexico? Puerto Vallarta is a beach town, but it does have more to do than just lie on a beach. Cancun is basically South Florida Spring Break transported to the Mexican Caribbean coast, which is positive for some, negative for others. But it is a great base fropm which you can explore the Yucatan and places such as Chichen Itza. Beyond Mexico, there is the optionj of Costa Rica. I've never been, but everyone I know who goes there loves loves loves it. I was also thinking about recommending Colombia, but that's the rainy season in the cities and sites in the Andes mountains, so try a different time of year.

Edited: 15 September 2015, 00:18
Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
55 posts
147 reviews
3. Re: Solo travel in the US

This is going to sound silly, but would visiting a national park solo be fun? I have never been to a national park, but maybe a Sunday to Friday trip would work? I'd do it so long as I could stay at a nice hotel, I really dislike camping.

I wander the world
Level Contributor
4,747 posts
25 reviews
4. Re: Solo travel in the US

Your enjoying it or not is all about you... I don't see how we could answer such a question. People who feel uncomfortable in some situations..it is all about them, it is doubtful anyone even takes notice and those that do..who cares?

I travel solo because I enjoy the freedom of it and don't give a rats behind what anyone thinks..if I wish to do a thing I go do the thing. easy peasy.

So...if you want to go to a national park solo...then go. I do not understand the hesitation if that is what you wish to do. Have a look at the hotel options in National Parks... see if any of it appeals.

Ages ago I was on the east coast of America, I figured if I was that close to Orlando, I wanted to see Disney. Yes, I went to the happiest place on earth solo. I do not once remember anyone saying or looking at me funny. I did have a fair number of people say "Alone? Really" But I get that on all my holidays so it was not big deal. I take it all as a compliment.

By the by ~ I have been through the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone twice and Glacier all solo. I have a thing for road trips.

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
1,533 posts
45 reviews
5. Re: Solo travel in the US

I'm off to arches and canyonlands solo later in the fall, so I think its fun. In February obviously winter will be a factor and limit your choices. As to lodging, you'll have to research specific parks; generally a motel is ok for me, but some parks have grand old hotels that you might like.

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
55 posts
147 reviews
6. Re: Solo travel in the US

Disney- currently embroiled in a large family saga which may or may not end up in us traveling to Disney, otherwise I would actually consider this. I'm curious, did you stay in the park solo or did you stay outside?

When I mentioned national park, I was thinking of Grand Canyon and Olympic national parks. Both spurred out of ideas that I could see a city (Las Vegas or Seattle) and from there could then see a national park.

Also open to suggestions if anyone has any.

Santiago, Chile
Destination Expert
for Scottsdale
Level Contributor
1,216 posts
1,296 reviews
7. Re: Solo travel in the US

Ah I love Key West! If you are able to get down there for a vacation for any sort amount of time, do it. You will not regret it. Beaches, warm, sun, bars, and great people.

I wander the world
Level Contributor
4,747 posts
25 reviews
8. Re: Solo travel in the US

LOL I found Olympic national park on one of the random road trips, I had no idea it was there but I had it in my head I had to follow the road I picked up north of Glacier to the west coast, two days later... poof Olympic National Park. It is a beautiful place with snow on the mountains, sea shore, whales, seals, creeks, rain-forest, green, green and more green. I have no idea what the recent fires in the area have done.

The Grand Canyon is amazing with it's own bit of wonder but I prefer the green of Washington.

I know very little about Seattle, not much more about Vegas though I have stopped in, stayed a night or two and seen a show or three.

As far as Disney, I was there in my 20s with little or no cash, I stayed at a Motel 6 in Kissimmiee and drove into the park. It was the only way I was going to be able to afford a park pass. I was so excited the 1st day, I lost my car. I had to wait for most of the people to leave to locate it, then as luck would have it, dead car. Not to worry, Disney has a guy running about the parking lot with a huge battery to jump silly people who left their lights on. That was not my problem, my alternator was shot. The guy who fixed it took me out for dinner. All in all not a bad visit to Orlando.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
1,615 posts
112 reviews
9. Re: Solo travel in the US

National parks are great to visit solo ... if you are into peace, serenity and achieving an overwhelming feeling of calm. But that's not everybody's scene.

Your national park options are very limited in February. The heavily-visited South Rim of the Grand Canyon will be completely open, but it will cold and wintry. The rarely-visited North Rim is closed until April or May because of snow. Zion in Southern Utah will be completely accessible, but Bryce Canyon, just up the road, will be in deep winter. Arches is awesome, probably my favorite desert park, but if you are going there solo, carry PLENTY of water with you. More than you think you need. Sequoia and Kings Canyon in California are inaccessible, I believe.

Olympic in Washington is a strange one. You can't drive through it. You can only poke the outskirts of it by car. So to get from one place to another by car, you have to backtrack to the main road around the Olympic peninsula and travel to the entry-point of the next place you want to see. It's beautiful, but it didn't knock my socks off.

Now, just north of Washington's Olympic peninsula is Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Vancouver the City is on the mainland. It's nice. But Vancouver Island is even better, That is an incredibly beautiful place that did knock my socks off, figuratively. It is literally breath-takingly beautiful, in that you will see sights (usually a pristine mountain lake) when go around the curve in the road (talking about the drive from Nanaimo/Parksville to Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park), you will actually gasp. Not sure about February, but I did it in December several years ago and enjoyed myself. It would be what I would call "late fall" weather, rather than winter weather.

Now, if you want an interesting national park option out in the absolute middle of nowhere, which is visitable in February: Big Bend National Park in West Texas. No cell phone reception. And so close to the weird and eerie Marfa Lights!

Edited: 15 September 2015, 09:30
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
1,533 posts
45 reviews
10. Re: Solo travel in the US

Retro, thanks for mentioning Big Bend. I have always wanted to go there but never got around to it. Now you've reminded me!

OP, if you end up in Vegas, Death Valley is one of my favorites.