After many years of frequently traveling solo to Italy, there are now hundreds of articles, blogs and travel companies for Solo Travelers. However, no one addresses or offers advise on the best way to travel SOLO for Mature travelers.
I find that my solo travel style has changed over the past few years. I do not travel on tours, with 30 other couples traveling 2 by 2, like Noah’s ark. After a few day trips where the other travelers continued to stare or ask “are you traveling alone?”, I would rather take my adventure solo even if it has it’s limitations.
How do Mature Solos Travel?
|Il Duomo, Florence, Italy|
Although still interested in visiting historic sites, museums, markets and festivals I find my interests now include learning something new on each trip, meeting as many locals as I can and trying to understand what it is like to be Italian.
The biggest change as a Mature Solo Traveler is that I am no longer willing to sleep on the 10 hr train to avoid a hotel room, or get up at 5 am to catch the first train to the next town. Perhaps this is a result of having far more time to travel now. Instead of the 10 day trip I could manage from a “career” that never let me leave town, to the 6 weeks or even longer trips I now give myself. My trips now are an “experience”, an adventure of being an “Italian”, even if it is only for a short time.
Long term travel comes with other concerns: expense management,
So where do Solo Mature travelers find the best hotels, restaurants or towns to visit? Which towns are easy to navigate on a solo trip? Restaurant alternatives that solo diners who fear eating alone, can utilize?
The past two years, I started researching towns that offer me a “comfort zone” A comfort zone, for me, is a location with many restaurants that a solo diner can feel comfortable in. Cities or towns that do not require the formal tour to experience. Short term apartment rentals in towns offer a great opportunity to live with the locals, shop daily and eat some of my meals on a balcony with a city view or even the of the sea.
On a fall trip Home To Italy last year, I found staying in towns outside cities can offer 4 star hotels at prices comparable to much lower quality hotels in the city! In very small towns on holidays or Sunday nights a hotel with an in house restaurant can be a life saver. Fewer guests, allow staff to offer great personal services.
The local tourist offices often have tour guides who will show you a town/city from a locals perspective.
(see my future post on Bologna)
Tell me what towns you have found that are great for Solo Mature Travelers. where is your favorite Comfort zones?