If I can, you can.
Other than family trips and a couple of Florida Spring breaks, I didn’t really start traveling until I was in my 40s, Once I did, I was hooked. Visiting new places, meeting new people, and experiencing other cultures have changed me, and I don’t intend to stop.
People often ask about my trips. I’ve traveled to many places, often solo. That’s what most surprises them. What’s funny is that I don’t really think much about it. I’m not one for tours or groups. A long time ago, I decided it was either go solo or not go. Now and then, I do go with a friend or meet a friend where I’m traveling, but I’m still just fine by myself.
And, this what I know. If I can do it, you can, too! You can do your own research, make your own itinerary and reservations, and go!
You’re not really alone.
I find that there are more of us these days. If you want company, you can usually find good company when you’re sightseeing and dining. Although I’m not a big tour person, I will do smaller group tours and activities. Recently, I did a cooking class in Italy. It was a blast, and I met many people.
What kind of traveler are you?
You need to do a self-inventory. Do you like big cities or smaller towns? Do you prefer hotels or rustic country inns? Monuments and museums or nature and physical activity? Make a list of how you like to travel and what you want to do once you get there.
Once you nail this down, it’s a matter of planning and organization. Years ago, I used to scour through travel guides. Now, I rely mostly on the internet. My personal preference is small towns and villages. But, if you have never been to a place, you should see the top sites first.
This is easy. It just takes a little time. You already know that booking in advance gives you better options and prices. How far in advance and which days to book is debatable. Once I know where I’m going, then I decide on when. For international travel, I book three to six months out. For domestic, at least three weeks in advance.
When to go?
Off-season is best. Better options and prices for everything. With fewer tourists, everyone wants your business. I prefer to travel in the Spring and the Fall. Although, there are places like New England that have insane prices during leaf-peeping season.
Check back for tips, recommendations, and stories. I’ll be posting more soon.
Sheri Beam, World Traveler