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Solo travel decision making for September

West Babylon
Level Contributor
9 posts
5 reviews
Solo travel decision making for September

I am a 24 year old female from NY who is planning to travel solo in September. I have travelled solo a couple of times to destinations in the U.S.like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and have had a great time. I have solo trips planned to Oahu in June and to Palm Springs in November. I have a week of vacation in mid September and I am still trying to narrow down where I should travel. I have not travelled outside of the U.S. by myself yet but I really would like to.

The destinations that are on my mind are Orlando, FL (mainly because I have never been to Disney or Epcot or universal or anywhere in Florida) Key west, Tulum, Mexico, Lisbon,Portugal and ubud, Bali.

Budget for hotel: absolute maximum would be $300 per night. Most likely staying for 5-6nights.

I want to be able to relax but also have some activities to do at my choice of stay.

It's not necessary for me to be on the beach as long as where I'm located has some good scenery.

I enjoy walking,hiking, visiting art museums and places of history. I'm not a big party goer but I would go to a bar occasionally.

Where would you go if you had my options?

I'm trying to figure out where I'm going by the end of this month so I can book flights and hotels and stop stressing out about my lack of decision making skills.

r c
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
9,486 posts
1 review
1. Re: Solo travel decision making for September

i dont care to travel in the USA/Canada/Mexico since its more or less in my "backyard". I will eventually, but for now its on the back burner.

I prefer to travel outside of the USA. Note that if you do, you will loose 1 day doing so, so your 7 day of vacation will be 6. In my opinion, for you to travel outside for 6 days is almost a waste of time & $$$. You can do it and i have, but again, its almost a waste. Also, i had the worse jet lag doing the 1 week trip since you just about get acclimated and then youre going back home - again.

just about everyplace can offer you something and what you seek, but in the end it will depend on what you really want.

I like the beach as much as anyone, but i dont travel across the world to do so. I dont do it since i know i will plant myself on the beach and never leave it. Ive done so on Kauai a couple times already. I find that everyplace is unique and can offer someone alot. Its just that are you open to it?.

Relaxing is a personal choice and its something you have control over. If you choose to not be still and to "stop and enjoy the roses" its your choice. Same for the type A where they have to have 12 things going to be happy. Its your choice if you relax or not. I plan and choose where i go, what to do and when i do those things. If i have 4+ more things to do on my list for that day, but i feel like I'm not up to it or i just dont want to do so, i wont do it. I can plan for my things to do and see and i can also plan for my down time. Sometimes i have to move things around or make something more of a priority, but its my trip and i can do as i please.

it appears you are focused on Florida. So i would say go for it.

Procrastination is something thats in everyone. Its also something you can work around. Im also a procrastinator. but what gets me off my A$$ is planning for my next trip. Ive been doing so for 5 years. Im also traveling in September - to South America. My first time i wont be traveling to Europe. I expect to spend 1 more trip after this to S. America and maybe a few more time. just because I'm going to SA doesn't mean i wont go back to Europe since i havent seen all i want to see. I will also go back to the places i have been since i havent seen all i wanted to on my first or second time there. I will also plan on going to other new places too. Wanting to go back, gets me off my A$$ and planning to go and i will start the process over again once i get back.

i have several 3" 3 ring binders full of printed pages of places to visit. I just sort them via continents/countries and go from there. I use them as ideas on where to go and see things. Its not complete since I'm always adding to them.

If you've done solo travel in the USA, its not that much different outside of the USA. The first and hardest step is to figure out WHERE you want to go and it appears you have this issue. Its like being a kid in a candy store - where you do start first. The answer is anywhere! You have a list of where you want to go so i say, start with one and work your way down the list. Remember that list is not set in stone and the rankings/priorities can change with your mood. That list can also grow and shrink at will too. Its a living thing where it will change with you.

one last comment. There is no wrong way to do it. when it comes to travel that is. The only wrong thing is not doing it.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
68,212 posts
72 reviews
2. Re: Solo travel decision making for September


I have done some short trips to Europe solo but I will tell you that Bali needs to be off your radar until you have more time. It will take 2 days to just get there!

If you truly want to relax and only have 5 days total I'd stay closer to home.

I understand the point about wanting to go far away and not just in your own backyard but you have to decide if the travel time(a whole day lost going to Europe)is what you really want for this September trip.

The whole Yucatan peninsula is a great spot so not just Tulum.

I really love Isla de la Mujeres , an island just off Cancun but wherever you end up do go to that local forum to get more specific advice about that place.

Let us know where you end up and how it all turns out.

Level Contributor
249 posts
3. Re: Solo travel decision making for September

I have never been to Tulum or Bali: but when I read your post I instantly "agreed" to Lisbon.

However the comments / advices from r c and Riff M are surely valid - all depends on your priorities ;)

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
Level Contributor
74,222 posts
478 reviews
4. Re: Solo travel decision making for September

I love Lisbon. That would be my choice. I've been there a couple of times for brief visits but I;ve only really scraped the surface of the city and the surrounding area.

Orlando and Key West don't really interest me, so I'd strike them off the list. I think Bali would be too far for a week's trip.

Ultimately, though, it isn't what I like or what I would do that's important. I'm happy to share my opinions but you need to decide what you would enjoy!

Amritsar, India
Level Contributor
56 posts
5. Re: Solo travel decision making for September


Have you ever been to India?

World largest democracy and lots of hustle bustle?You will love its people and atmosphere.

Try Dhramsala in India, its a place where his holiness Dalai lama lives


Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
16,943 posts
6. Re: Solo travel decision making for September

Lisbon would be perfect for your purposes. A lovely city with cheap and tasty food and friendly people and lots of history and beautiful places to visit, including many parks and hills. In the evening some bars in Bairro Alto (and other areas surely) play louder music and people start dancing so it's easy to 'go out' without doing the full 'clubbing' thing. And of course experience a fado performance is a must. You can also do trips to other places nearby.

If you open the Lisbon forum on a computer (not a phone) you will see a list of very useful 'Top Questions' at the top right of the page: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g18915…

But I'm more of an oldskool guidebook person myself, I like to have paper maps and tourist info laid out in a booklet... sights, cafes, transport etc. And I write any additional info from the internet in my booklet.

If you can't decide which destination... there are a few methods to help you. Imagine you are asking your mom or best friend to make the choice for you. Or put little papers into a bowl and pick blindly. You're giving it out of your own control... now pay close attention to what your gut feeling tells you... Which destination do you HOPE most that your mom's answer will be, or that you will pick blindly from the bowl? And which answer would you be kind of disappointed about? That tells you what you should choose: the answer you hoped for most.

And remember, this is not the only trip you will ever make in your life, hopefully. You can always visit the other destinations sometime in future. And for example as Riff said for Bali: leave it for when you have more time.

Oh - climate may also be a factor.

Good luck deciding. It's so much fun and exciting to actually book a ticket. So go ahead and do it! From then on you can start reading up about the destination and having your pre-trip planning fun, to whatever degree you enjoy that.


Edited: 22 May 2016, 17:27
San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
68,212 posts
72 reviews
7. Re: Solo travel decision making for September

I planned a trip to Lisbon twice but have not made it there yet!

I did it because I just loved Barcelona and the folks there said that I'd love Lisbon too!!

IF you truly have a week then you can do it and it would probably be a fantastic experience!

Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
16,943 posts
8. Re: Solo travel decision making for September

@Riff you should really go one day. And Porto is also lovely.


San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
68,212 posts
72 reviews
9. Re: Solo travel decision making for September

@Cecilia, Yes I know I know I would love it!

Right now I am exploring Japan---totally different but also quite interesting!

Flights from here to Japan(California) are not expensive and shorter with less jet lag than ones to Europe.

I'll be back to Europe one day but not this year.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
1,637 posts
111 reviews
10. Re: Solo travel decision making for September

Florida is your simplest option. Personally, I don't think DisneyWorld is great solo travel destination, but there are a huge number of people who would disagree with that. Disney really caters to the female traveler and it seems a much better choice for solo female than solo male travel. There apparently lots of Disney messageboards out there where solo female travelers arrange to meet up with other solo female travelers to make the whole experience a little more communal. And if you are going to Disney, I would recommend staying on property. The Disney people really do make the whole stay a comprehensive experience and staying on property adds to the experience.

As far as Key West, unless you fish, I really don't see this as sustaining a five-day vacation.

Another Florida option is Tampa/St Petersburg. Plenty to do. It is by the water, unlike Orlando, but is less intense than Miami.

Keep in mind that September is hurricane season in Florida. Chances are very remote you will encounter a hurricane or even a tropical storm, especially in Orlando, but if you do opt for Florida, and you have to prepay for your lodging (which you would have to do if go Disney in Orlando), then look into purchasing trip insurance.

I'll skip over Mexico and Bali, and move next to Europe. Given that your home base is New York, it's probably just as easy to fly to Western Europe as it is to the West Coast USA. I'm sure you can get from New York to Lisbon on a non-stop, which means more time vacationing and less time in transit. This is a very viable option.