“Where you go, go with all your heart.” — Confucius
St. Andrews Cathedral Ruins, St. Andrews, Scotland, UK. copyright.-tch-9-2016
Taking My Top Number #1 Bucket List Trip: Top 10 Travel Tips for Women Traveling Alone!
Do you have a top trip on your bucket list? Have you gone yet? If not, why not?
This month (September), I am celebrating my first Anniversary of having done my Number #1 Bucket trip —I did it — and alone! Everyone that shared my passion for Ireland and Scotland had already been or was planning on going with their families. But like everyone else, each of us only get one life to live. Besides I wanted to not end up saying I always wanted to but… you get the picture.
So I made up my mind, that I was just going to go for it! I found a tour company that I trusted and booked my trip to Ireland and Scotland. The tour I signed up for also had the bonus of also getting to go to Northern Ireland, which I didn’t realize had such rich history and also a few off the beaten road places that I was surprised ended up as some of my favorite parts of the trip. Our tour director was a local to all three countries, though he claimed United Kingdom citizenship, and he threw in such great surprises that made our trip even more memorable! The major tourist destinations were all included of course, even though I wasn’t really sure what the big deal was about going to the Irish Stud Farm. However, it was very interesting and had a really nice Japanese garden. Who knew? Of course, I absolutely found the scenery amazing and the local people (and those I was with) open for music and a party anytime, even if starting at 10:30 in the morning in the middle of nowhere. More off beat tourist attractions that were surprises were the bridge at Brigadoon (yes, it is a real place), drinking Guinness with black current juice (suggested by the taxi driver for this non-beer drinker), the Titanic Museum in Belfast, and an unexpected stop at one of the locations of the standing stones used in Outlander*. Yes, I did the Outlander dance through all of the standing stones and tried to cross through to the other side to meet Jaime, my other husband in 1743! Well, maybe someday I’ll get another try. Anyway, my new found travel companions were very amused and also very encouraging!
I was amazed that in the Castle of Edinburgh that I could actually stand inside the bedchamber and birthing room of Queen Mary. Not everything is roped off as expected! I was sure to add additional days to my tour both before meeting my tour group beginning in Dublin and at the end in Edinburgh after the tour group departed. This can usually be done with the only major additional cost being lodging. It was on these days, that I truly was on my own alone, but I was able to see other attractions that I felt I needed to see to make my trip complete. The taxi driver that I had met one day, actually ended taking me on another day to the Boyne Valley, where Newgrange is a world UNESCO Heritage site and he even ended up walking the Hill of Tara with me. I was thrilled since these were two of my top destinations!
It was on my additional days in Edinburgh that I got to see Rosslyn Chapel and the other end of the Rose Line, another have to goal! You may remember these from The Da Vinci Code*. If you like to travel, don’t give up on plotting and planning for how you will finally get to do “your” Top Bucket List trip! I have listed some tips for traveling alone that you may find beneficial. Please share with me — where is your top trip? Have you already done your trip or are planning on doing it? I look forward to hearing from you— Happy Traveling!
Top 10 Tips for Women Traveling (Alone)
Keep all travel documents, itinerary, valuables, and currency secure.
Make copies of travel documents. If paper, keep in separate, secure area.
Keeping photos on your cell phone also works. Be sure to password your phone. This can help expedite the process if you need assistance from the embassy incase of lost passport. Program important phone numbers such as hotels, tour director cell phone, and embassy in your phone prior to leaving. Leave itinerary with family or close friend.
Booking your trip through a trusted travel agency is a great way to travel. It is
true, there is safety in numbers. Plus it is a good way to meet other people.
Stay at lodgings with indoor corridor entry into your room.
Be aware of your surroundings, especially when walking. Plan for transportation, especially after dark.
Dress appropriately for the culture you are visiting. Dress down and blend in. Don’t make yourself a target by wearing flashy or expensive jewelry, or carrying standout expensive items such as purses or cameras. Covering camera brand names with same color tape can help.
Be flexible and allow time in your day for unexpected journey treats or finds that you might find out from locals.
If outside of your home country, changing out the subscriber identification module card (is called a SIM card for short) in your cell phone can be very helpful. A SIM card is fairly inexpensive and enables you to be able to make and receive local calls within a particular country. Good numbers to have are tour director, airport, taxi, hotels, or emergency. Be sure to keep your original SIM card so you can make calls when you return. (I bought a SIM card for about $20.00 U.S dollars and they even installed it for me for free at a neighborhood grocery-deli shop).
It is a good idea to notify your charge card company if you will be overseas and
this is not a country they would be expecting to see charges from. They may also have some other helpful information for you such as transaction charges and currency rates. If you buy something large or fragile, shipping may be a very good option to getting it home and keep you from having to carry it or worry about breaking it.
If traveling with a tour group, be flexible, and arrive early for group departures. This is only good travel etiquette and shows you are considerate. (10 minutes early works well). Plus, you do not want to be left behind.
Most of all, have fun! Be willing to try new things (even the Haggis), see places you have been dreaming of become part of your reality, and make new friends!
Don’t forget to share in the “Comments” where your top bucket trip is going to be! Thank you for visiting with me today at Terre’s Blog – Women of All Seasons ~
Brown, Dan (2004). The Da Vinci Code. Doubleday, New York, NY. USA.
Gabaldon, Diana (1991). Outlander. Random House, New York, NY. USA.