Some travelers, especially those first time abroad travelers, do not fully take into consideration their personal lifestyle, physical attributes and tastes when planning to travel. A seasoned traveler has learned all too well what plan for when it comes to their personal likes.
Everyone has developed a daily lifestyle and a certain routine or habits, that one becomes accustom too. When traveling so far from home those activities will most likely change and for some this can be very uncomfortable. Things like the foods you eat and when, the time you awake in the morning and go to sleep at night, the form of transportation and even the weather for some.
Then there is the physical ability for some individuals to do certain activities or not. How far one can walk, the climbing of stairs and will one require periods of rest. These should all dictated the levels of physical activity one can perform. Some also may need accessible services for special needs whether physical or medical.
Then there is everyone’s personal likes and dislikes. While one person can find walking through the Louvre Museum exhilarating, another may be bored to death. Everyone has their personal passions and things they have long desired to do. Those are what one needs to move to the top of the bucket list. How private should accommodations be, shared or private bathrooms or sleeping areas. What level of amenities, luxury or budget. The same is for food, love Italian but, not french. Again the point is, like one of the old proverbs ” One’ Man’s Fish is another Man’s Poison”.
WHAT INTERESTS AMERICANS MOST WHEN TRAVELING.
- Art Galleries / Museums
- Experience Fine Dining
- Guided Tours
- Historical Locations
- Sightseeing / Famous Landmarks
- Small Towns / Countryside
- Amusement / Theme Parks
- Concert / Plays / Musical
- Casino / Gamble
- Nightclub / Dancing
- Sporting Events
- Camping / Hiking
- Environmental / Eco Excursions
- Golf / Tennis
- Hunting / Fishing
- National Parks / Monuments
- Water or Snow Sports
All these can dictate what activity is more ideal for you to do than others. Whatever category you fall into, here are a few tips. Take a personal inventory of yourself and plan your trip accordingly. Traveling with a group may present more of a challenge but, if everyone understands each other’s likes, a trip can be coordinated. Where some go to the museum others can take a boat ride.
What’s Your Traveling Style?
We can not stress how important it is for the traveler to know themselves first, so they can plan and do things to achieve a comfortable, interesting and exciting trip.
When confronted with so many travel options it’s always hard to choose the right ones. Answering the questions below will help you make the right decisions so you can have memorable and worry free trip.
WHAT ACTIVITIES DO YOU WANT TO DO?
- Amusement / Theme Parks (Zoos, Aquariums)
- Art Galleries / Museums (Archeological, Ethnographic, History, Natural History, Scientific, Industrial and Libraries.
- Camping / Hiking
- Casino / Gambling
- Cultural ( Festivals, Events, Historical Commemorations )
- Performing Arts (Concerts, Opera, Ballet, Plays, Theater, Musicals, Art Exhibitions )
- Environmental / Eco Excursions (Caves, Forests, Glaciers, Marshes, Mountains, Wildlife)
- Experience Fine Dining (Cultural Cuisine)
- Guided Tours (Cruises, Historical, Movie Locations, Pub Crawls, Religious, Walking)
- Historical Locations (Ancient Ruins, Castles, Palaces, Château’s, Churches, Cathedrals, Monasteries, Battlefields, Memorials, Homes, Mansions and Buildings.
- Hunting / Fishing
- National Parks / Monuments (Nature Preserves )
- Nightclubbing / Dancing (Pubs, Discos, Cabarets)
- Shopping (Artisan Souvenirs, Designer Fashions)
- Sightseeing (City Neighborhoods, Famous Landmarks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites)
- Small Towns / Countryside (Medieval & Old-World Villages, Cultural & Historical Events)
- Snow Sports (Skiing, Snowboarding, Ice Skating, Agra Tourism)
- Sporting Events (Football, Basketball, Cycling, Cricket, Golf, Hockey and Tennis)
- Sports (Golf, Tennis, Hangliding )
- Water Sports (Swimming, Sunbathing, Surfing, Rafting, Boating and Sailing )
- Other (Bicycling, Hot Air Balloon, Equestrian Riding, Botanical Gardens, Cinema, Spas & Wellness)
You will find discounts for children at many attractions and for transportation. While the young ones may not want to view the paintings at a gallery or Greek pottery in museum there are plenty of things to make them happy. Euro Disney is just outside of Paris and there are other amusement parks across Europe as well as most major cities have zoos & aquariums. Remember Europeans have children too and they need to keep them entertained as well so you will have a vacation more like them.
While you may not be able to do more adult things in Europe, your children will be exposed to a different culture which could be an enormous life experience for them. Open air cultural museums will let them experience how people live in other countries and how it is different from where they live. Some museums have interactive exhibits that will allow them to participate in many of the local customs. You know your child best and if this is something they will enjoy, if you are there to tell them what they are seeing, it could be an eye-opening adventure. They will learn early in life that there is another whole world out there. Helpful web sites for family traveling.
What type of traveling is going to make you feel more comfortable? In a group, alone, with a spouse or partner? Make sure you provide time for resting, if it’s a tour make sure they provide down time for rest. Pack and ware comfortable clothing in favor of stylish ware. This is an experience and you do not need the extra stress, so chose what traveling environment best suits you best. There are tours designed just for traveling seniors and you amy find some of those at our tour page.
While there is a lot of walking, seniors that are still very mobile should have no problem. Yes there are buildings and structures with no elevators, just steps. Everyone will need to decide how much one can do, you must know your physical limitations. The number of steps to get to the top are usually posted so you know how much it will take to get there. Some old hotels have no elevators, but someone can always assist you. Many streets are cobblestoned so wheeling those suitcases over them can be a bit bumpy. Make things easier by trying to stay at accommodations near public transportation so you do not have to far too walked with luggage. Taxis are always available in the larger cities.
There are many pharmacies, and anyone should be able to fulfill prescriptions for any medication as they do in the US. Europe had good medical and health facilities and you should have no problem finding one if necessary.
Many of todays solo travelers are young and the best reason for traveling in your youth is you have your youth. Physically you are at your pinnacle when you are young and you obviously can do many things you may not be able to when you are older. Some young people work hard to build a career, foresee marriage and having a family on the near horizon and worry about affording to go to Europe when they are young, putting it off until later. Unfortunately for some, situations later in life make it even harder to go and a wonderful opportunity is lost. We encourage everyone to look hard at the opportunity to go when you are young. You will meet young people from other countries and immerse yourself in different cultures only to walk away with a greater understanding about the world we live. These experiences will help shape your life for the better and leave you with memories that will last forever.
Europe has always been a great place for the young with little money and a lot of energy. Backpacking has been big with the young in Europe for decades. Hostels are plentiful and hitchhiking is legal and safe in many countries. Camping out is another way to save money on hotels. If one can rough it a little, one can travel very cheaply. Guides like Rough Guides are written with the young and active traveler in mind. Time Out is read by young travelers because it focuses on information for events and city life activity.
However, not every all solo travelers are young. Some individuals just want the freedom to do what they want to do when they want to do it. Obviously an organize tour will not allow you that type of freedom. Other solo travelers may not have friends or companions that want to travel or have the same interest as the solo traveler.
Accessible Travel for the Physically Challenged…
For sometime now the US has taken a leading position in the world for accessibility for the physically challenged. While things are improving, Europe is behind the curve when it comes to providing accessibility to attractions, hotels, etc.. Even leading up to the 2012 Olympics, London had not made all tube stations completely accessible as you still need to use steps before you get to an escalator or lift. There are limited curb ramps, lifts, inaccessible train platforms, transportation assistance and designated parking.
There will always be limited access to some areas because of the age of structures in Europe. Some of these are centuries old and altering them structurally in any way could physically damage them and comprise their integrity. Many of the transit web sites listed on our » Public Transit page, will indicate which stations have lifts and escalators. Remember to also inquire first before booking at a hotel if they have lifts, easy access to facilities and accessible rooms. Even if you are not physically challenge, remember you will be carrying luggage from time to time in and out of airports, train stations and other facilities so look for ways to make that a little easier.
It is important that LGBTQ travelers visit countries where you are not discriminated against, are safe and welcomed. In 2001 the Netherlands was the 1st country to recognize and legalize gay marriage in the world. Currently 12 European have legalized gay marriage and also have other types of legal partnerships. Not only is the recognition of same-sex marriage important but, countries that have passed laws that against discrimination and hate crimes.
However, several countries not only do not recognize gay marriage, civil unions and partnerships have even passed laws banning these them. Some have even gone so far as ban any expression of freedom with the LGBTQ lifestyle. This means you have no protection under the law should a crime be committed against you.
Visiting countries that have open door policies is highly recommended. Their country’s social recognition is highly important from The Netherlands high 92% approval rate. However, Russia’s low 25% approval makes it a country to avoid traveling to for LGBTQ travelers.