Category Archives: Travel Tips

What to Expect on Your First Trip to Antarctica- A First Time Visitor’s Guide

There was no trip that I anticipated more than our first trip to Antarctica. Almost two years in the making, I didn’t know what to expect from our journey to the White Continent, but was prepared for it to be a life changing adventure. And it certainly was! What to Expect on Your First Trip…

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What to Expect on Your First Trip to Paris- A First Time Visitor’s Guide

I’ll always remember my first trip to Paris. I was in the eleventh grade, on a school trip to experience the French culture I’d been learning about and romanticizing in my mind for so long. In many ways, my first trip to Paris was exactly what I expected. There were grand buildings, manicured gardens and…

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What to Expect on Your First Trip to Switzerland- A First Time Visitor’s Guide

My first trip to Switzerland was a long time coming- it was a place I’d dreamed about visiting for many years before I finally went. I’d spent hours admiring photos, building Switzerland up in my mind so much that I arrived expecting near perfection. Luckily, it was even better than I’d imagined and all the…

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  • Eric - Switzerland (Geneva) was my first non-Ireland/England trip to Europe. I was very naive and terrified that nobody would speak English, I would get lost, or ever worse robbed. Boy was I wrong and boy did I love the few days we spent exploring around the city. October 17, 2018 – 4:12 amReplyCancel

What to Expect on Your First Trip to Ireland- A First Time Visitor’s Guide

As I was leaving for my first trip to Ireland, I felt more relaxed than I usually do before visiting a new country. The excited anxiety that I normally experience was replaced by confident anticipation. Since I was going to be travelling solo for my first trip to Ireland, I made sure to do plenty…

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  • Alouise - I’ve been living in Ireland for a year and a half now, and I agree it’s a great place for solo travel. I was surprised when I got here that there weren’t any paid toilets like you see elsewhere in Europe. I think I saw one at a beach outside Dublin, but that was it. Usually if you’re by a pub (and in Ireland you probably are) you can pop in to use the toilet if you need it.January 8, 2018 – 2:00 pmReplyCancel

  • Joel - ireland is always my most favourite one destination to visit as travelling point of view. I really like to see its most fabulous adventuress places which attracts the visitors towards it each year. I had a great time there but I will love to make a tour there for again and againMay 10, 2018 – 3:42 amReplyCancel

  • Eric - I say this as somebody who’s been traveling to Ireland for 20 yrs. Ireland is the best “starter” country for people looking to visit Europe. For many of the same points you make Ireland let’s the first time traveler, especially Americans, experience the European way of doing things without having to understand a different language. August 12, 2018 – 4:59 amReplyCancel

  • Tracey Jones - Thanks for sharing this informative blog. I am planning to visit Dublin and whole of Ireland next month. This blog would helpMay 22, 2019 – 7:37 amReplyCancel

Solo Travel in Ireland- 7 Reasons Ireland is a Great Place to Travel Alone

When I decided to do a solo trip to Ireland it had been 11 years since I last travelled alone. I was itching to do it again! I hadn’t done much research about travelling alone in Ireland, but instinctually felt that Ireland would be the perfect place for a solo trip. For one, I’d never…

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  • Valarie - At thiis time I am going away to do my breakfast, after having my breakfast coming over again to read
    other news.November 27, 2017 – 2:47 pmReplyCancel

  • Michele James - I too prefer hotels to B&B’s, and especially to hostels. Every other article I’ve read on solo travel says hostels are a must. I was beginning to think solo travel wasn’t for me, as hostels are just not my thing. Thanks for your refreshingly honest take on this point. Ireland is my dream trip. And you’ve helped me take one more step toward a solo trip! Thanks!December 17, 2019 – 7:48 pmReplyCancel

What to Expect on Your First Trip to Bolivia- A First Time Visitor’s Guide

Of the three countries we visited during our 3 week trip to South America, I was most nervous about visiting Bolivia. People either seemed to love it or hate it, so we had no idea what to expect on our first trip to Bolivia. We spent 5 days in Bolivia visiting La Paz, Sucre and…

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  • stephanie - Great article! I hope I am lucky enough to visit Bolivia someday. Sounds like a fine country.
    xJanuary 13, 2017 – 8:19 amReplyCancel

  • Scott - What a practical and enticing guide not only have you wet my appetite to go explore Bolivia but put it on the radar. Thanks.February 12, 2020 – 12:12 amReplyCancel

Travel Reviews- Which to Trust, Which to Ignore?

Going a trip can be a big expense. For the majority of us, a vacation is a major purchase and like any other major purchase, decisions should be made carefully. This often means people scour the internet for travel reviews and suggestions. A lot of people even ask their friends and family for advice. It’s…

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  • Frank - Pertinent post. I don’t trust blogs for specific travel reviews (like hotels, restaurants) because I honestly don’t trust that they haven’t gotten a freebie. I honestly ignore those kinds of posts, I think they’re the scurge of travel blogging. And they’ll always say “we were given free lodging but opinions are entirely our own…”. Yeah, right.

    I do consult reviews on, Trip Advisor, and Airbnb because I do believe in numbers, or the average agglomerate of all those numbers. Of course you have to check most recent reviews, but if a place consistently ranks high I usually take confidence in that.

    And also totally agree with you about friend’s reviews. So dependent on how you travel.

    Frank (bbqboy)January 8, 2016 – 10:13 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - I never read hotel reviews on blogs because I don’t really trust them. Plus I don’t find them interesting. I do like to read reviews because only verified customers can leave a comment about a hotel they stayed at.January 13, 2016 – 5:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Josh - Good pointers for weeding out the useless reviews. Like you, I rarely read blog posts about hotels unless it’s a really unique hotel. I also agree with people writing about places they haven’t been. What good is someones account of something they’ve never experienced?? hahaJanuary 18, 2016 – 5:39 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thanks so much, Josh. I’m amazed at how opinionated people can be about places they’ve never been to. Cuba is one that always comes up in that way!January 24, 2016 – 10:40 amReplyCancel

  • Sara - Have really enjoyed reading about you 5 week trip to Europe that you did by train. Can you tell me how this all worked? Did you buy euro rail pass for a certain number of days during the 5 weeks or did you book local trains that can be very reasonable. I went to Italy in May 2015 with my elderly mother, 19 year old daughter and her friend. We fell into Venice took atranitslia over to Milan then up the Stresa for a week, over to lake Como for a week,then back to Milan and flew out of Milan back to Toronto. We also did a couple odd at trips to Switzerland. I really enjoyed the trains, very comfortable, on time and very reasonable by booking the local trains ahead of time. I plan my intinery like you. Down to last sight I want to see and on what day. Would like to plan a Europe trip much like yours and think train would be a way to see all the major sights. Am very curious as to how you booked yours. Thanks for any help you can give. Your pictures are amazing.January 18, 2016 – 5:43 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Sara! Yes, we did buy a Eurail pass for 15 days (we had two months to take 15 trips). It was the most convenient and economical option for the trains we took. We bought our pass in advance and it was mailed to us before we left home. I also booked reservations in advance for the trains that required them. Before we left home, I looked through the train schedules and wrote down the trains that I wanted to take so that we could make the most of our time. I didn’t want to be trying to figure out what train to take while we were there! Overall, the process was very easy and enjoyable. I loved travelling by train in Europe! Hope this helps!January 24, 2016 – 10:48 amReplyCancel

What to Expect on Your First Trip to Japan- A First Time Visitor’s Guide

It’s hard not to love Japan. Beautiful and evocative, Japan awakens your imagination and captures your heart. Japan is a nation that’s not afraid of innovation and progress, yet is passionately protective and proud of its culture. Temples, shrines, peaceful gardens and traditional customs, co-exist with towering skyscrapers, futuristic architecture, speeding bullet trains and a…

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  • Alouise - These are some great tips. Japan looks like a fantastic and interesting country to visit, and right now there’s a great flight deal on from Edmonton to Osaka so it’s pretty tempting to book a trip.May 12, 2015 – 12:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Laura - This is such a comprehensive guide! I’ve only traveled to Japan on business, which adds a whole new layer of cultural issues to get used to, but it’s such a rewarding place to visit. Next time I’d really like to go to an onsen!May 12, 2015 – 3:56 pmReplyCancel

  • Tracey - Life Changing Year - What great information about Japan. I can’t wait to visit next year. I think being prepared is the key to enjoying a place like this. Thanks so much for such in depth info.May 15, 2015 – 7:37 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Glad you found this post helpful. I agree that being prepared is key, since there are a lot of things about Japan that can be a bit confusing. Where in Japan are you planning on visiting? I’m sure you’ll love it!May 15, 2015 – 9:40 amReplyCancel

  • Tracey - Kyoto and Tokyo are on our list. My son’s list has the following items he can’t leave without experiencing:
    The Bullet Trains
    Real Sushi
    Cherry Blossoms
    Japanese Vending Machines
    Buy Cute Souvenirs
    I guess that about covers a 13 year old’s wishes!May 16, 2015 – 11:24 pmReplyCancel

  • Jackie - What a comprehensive first-timers guide! So much helpful information that just cannot be found in your basic guidebook. Japan looks fantastic and I definitely will be bookmarking this post to come back to when I start planning my trip! Thanks for sharing!May 18, 2015 – 9:05 amReplyCancel

  • Frank - Well research and lots of handy info! Glad about the tip on the Japanese squat toilet. We’re in Croatia right now and I had to go bad yesterday while doing a hike – found myself face to face with a Turkish style squatter and have to thank my Thai experiences for getting the job done. Maybe too much detail :)
    Anyway, Spanky has always had a fascination for Japan we will eventually get there.
    Great post.
    Frank (bbqboy)May 18, 2015 – 11:59 amReplyCancel

  • Ada Wilkinson - Love this post and your photos WOW! And yes, only 7-11 can accept International Bank cards. If ever you find yourself stuck in a place without 7-11, the next option would be Japan Post Office. ;-)May 22, 2015 – 4:37 amReplyCancel

  • All Graduates - This is a great blog to help first time travelers know what to expect during their first travel in Japan. You really need to take the time to learn their language as most of the locals in Japan don’t know how to speak English. You may get some help in tourists centers, but that’s about the most common place you could go to to have a comfortable conversation in English. Subway survival is also essential as it the main public transportation in Japan that a traveler on a budget should learn to love. Wonderful tips, thanks for sharing.May 24, 2015 – 8:25 pmReplyCancel

  • Wayne Seto - Thanks for this! Great information. I hope to perhaps visit Japan at some point this year, so this post will be a good reference. Thanks for the post. Cheers!May 26, 2015 – 9:05 amReplyCancel

  • Lera - What a comprehensive article! Just a quick note: the five yen coin does have the value written on it; it’s just in kanji instead of numbers. I lived in Japan a couple of years ago and this would have been so helpful before I left.July 6, 2015 – 10:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Haylee Hodgkinson Gunnerson - Great post! We are planning a trip to Japan and I really appreciate your tips! Thanks!February 21, 2016 – 5:22 pmReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Vallon - Thank you. I’ve been feeling nervous about our upcoming trip, and now I think my preparation will possibly be enough. Your pictures are fabulous.March 22, 2016 – 8:05 pmReplyCancel

  • Marta Leal - great article guys! thanks for sharingMay 21, 2016 – 2:50 amReplyCancel

  • Kim Eng - I’m glad I found your site. I’m going to Japan next week and my nerves are starting to get the better of me. Thanks for the tips!May 22, 2016 – 9:33 pmReplyCancel

  • Vanessa Newton - Thank you, great information.June 1, 2016 – 1:14 amReplyCancel

  • Kailin Hu - Thank you for this amazingly thorough post! Loved all your tips and it is doing wonders to keep my nerves calm about my upcoming trip to Japan. Arigato!July 17, 2016 – 10:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Umme - Loved this! Very well researched and exactly what I was lookin for. Now I just hope I actually get to go to Japan soon.July 29, 2016 – 3:16 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - I hope you get to Japan soon too! I just got back from my second visit and am still madly in love with the country!August 20, 2016 – 7:23 pmReplyCancel

  • Aminta Walker - This is extremely helpful. I have been wanting to go to Japan for a while now and wanted to see if there was any info out there from someone that has been there on a trip. Reading this really put my mind at ease. Thank you so much for sharing.August 2, 2016 – 3:53 amReplyCancel

  • L - I’ve done extensive research and regularly check Japan travel forums and still got a bunch of useful tips I’d never seen before. I would’ve totally snacked on the go so I’m glad I saw this lol ありがとうございます!September 29, 2016 – 3:42 pmReplyCancel

  • Eunice - Hi!

    Thank you for this guide. Can you share your experience in immigration and customs?

    Thank you.December 19, 2016 – 1:24 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Eunice. Going through customs was easy. They just checked my passport, asked how long I was staying for and put the tourist visa stamp in my passport.December 24, 2016 – 10:05 amReplyCancel

  • Ana Da Silva - Wow, thank you for this great insight. I’m heading to Niseko for my first trip to Japan in March. I suffer terrible anxiety and I do fear travelling (this is my first overseas trip in 5 years!) though after reading this post, I feel a lot more at ease about going to Japan. Especially hearing that Japanese locals are friendly and helpful. I’m looking forward to my trip now. Thank you!January 4, 2018 – 7:13 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - I’m so glad this post helped ease some of your worries about travelling to Japan for the first time. It’s a great country and I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic trip!January 9, 2018 – 4:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Anna - okay interesting that you brought the sunglasses up for this seems still to be a controversy…I have red lots about this already, in earlier days (like 60s-90s) Japanese wouldn’t wear them because only Yakuza mafia members did, but in newer comments from couple of years ago to present people say it has changed and especially fashion-conscious youth does wear them nowadays…lol I’m glad we’re gaijins so we can wear them hehe April 25, 2018 – 5:58 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - That’s really interesting. Thanks for sharing. I’ve wondered what the reason was!April 30, 2018 – 9:10 amReplyCancel

  • KIM - This was a really nice read! thanks for writing it up!June 14, 2018 – 9:27 pmReplyCancel

  • Harold - I am really curious to go to Japan. It would be a very exciting first abroad trip for me. what can you recommend, especially for newbie like me. I would not like to stay for too long, so how would like to spend a 5-day trip if you were to be on my shoes?December 3, 2018 – 11:59 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - There’s so many wonderful places that it’s hard to choose where to go on your first trip to Japan. With only 5 days, it would be easy to see Tokyo and Kyoto. They are the most popular destinations to visit in Japan and would allow you to experience both the modern and traditional sides of the country. I would spent 3 days in Kyoto and 2 in Tokyo.January 7, 2019 – 2:53 pmReplyCancel

What to Expect on Your First Trip to Cuba- A First Time Visitor’s Guide

Cuba is a fascinating and unique country, with enough diversity to please all types of travellers. History buffs will feel as though time has stood still in Cuba’s charming colonial towns, rich with colour and culture. Nature lovers and adventure seekers will enjoy hiking among the jungle covered mountains and lush valleys. Those looking for…

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  • Jenn - Great tips, guys! There doesn’t seem to be a ton of travel info out there yet about Cuba so I’m sure a lot of people will really appreciate this. Interesting about the health insurance requirements and of course the scam info is always good.July 2, 2014 – 10:39 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thank you! Yes, the health insurance is an important one to be aware of. We had to make some calls to make sure our insurance wasn’t provided by an American company, but luckily it wasn’t. The reason we know about those scams is because they all happened to us! At least now we can give other people a heads up!July 2, 2014 – 4:45 pmReplyCancel

  • Carmen - What a wonderful post about Cuba. As a Cuban-American it’s so unfortunate that Americans are not allowed to visit Cuba, unless they are traveling with an organization/group from the U.S. Americans can use their credit cards in Cuba either, which can be challenging. You have to carry cash everywhere you go. In my recent visit we ran out of toilet paper and had to travel to three towns until we finally found some. It’s very sad how some of the people live, and how the little things we leave behind go a long way.July 2, 2014 – 12:17 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Travelling to Cuba was definitely humbling for us. It was very sad to see people going without certain freedoms and things we consider basic necessities. They were very much appreciative of the small items we left for them.July 2, 2014 – 4:38 pmReplyCancel

  • shabrina - wow! this is very interesting. thanks for the awesome info! guess its time to save up to go to CubaJuly 2, 2014 – 9:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Tam Gamble - We loved Cuba – It was our honeymoon destination! Whilst we were there they tried the ‘Milk Scam’ on us as well but they were not threatening when we declined to join in.

    We also filled our cases with things like pencils etc for the children and soap. These were small items but were so well received by locals.

    As with every holiday we go on I tend to leave behind cheap t-shirts that we have picked up for a couple of pound before travelling. on this particular trip, the housekeepers asked if we would be offended if they took the articles which of course we weren’t but we have to let the hotel know – if it had appeared that they had just taken them they would have lost their jobs.

    I recommend Cuba to everyone I speak to.November 14, 2014 – 9:30 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - We also love Cuba and recommend it to others. More specifically, I tell people to venture away from Varadero- Cuba is so much more than just beautiful beaches!

      That’s a good idea to bring some t-shirts. We did have a lady working in a museum ask us for some clothes, but all we brought with us were small hygiene items, like toothpaste. Constantly being asked for things in Havana, and the milk scam, got tiresome after a while, but not once did we ever feel unsafe in Cuba.November 14, 2014 – 5:14 pmReplyCancel

  • Uptourist - I am loving all your first time guides. I think this is a must for all of us travelers who need guidance when we visit a new place. Cuba is definitely on my list for its colorful surroundings.March 25, 2015 – 11:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Robin - We are visiting Cuba in January for 6 nights. I’m wondering where we should stay? What’s the best place if we want some beach and some culture?August 23, 2015 – 10:54 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - If you stay in Varadero you’ll have great beaches and the resorts will offer day trips to Havana. We also did an overnight trip to Trinidad and Guanayara National Park (offered by the resort) which was excellent! With the side trips we got to experience the best of both worlds- beaches and culture!August 25, 2015 – 9:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Laurie F. - Thank you for all the tips for First Timers! We’ve barely been out of Canada, and are looking forward to our first trip abroad in Sep. 2016. We had thought about Europe, but with the Canadian dollar declining so much, we thought perhaps a trip to a Central American country might be wiser. More bang for our buck!! Can’t wait to learn more about CUBA. Si!!August 24, 2015 – 8:39 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Glad you found this post helpful. Cuba is a very interesting country and definitely cheaper than Europe. But no matter what you choose, I’m sure you’ll have a great time!August 25, 2015 – 9:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Frank - Very accurate and informative – we’ve been to Cuba quite a fe times and had encounters with almost everything mentioned: scams (often of the foreign currency variety), bad internet (yikes), food (you’re right, not that bad, just in resorts), and giving people clothes and toiletries. But so many great things about Cuba as well that I’m not even going to start listing.
    Frank (bbqboy)November 10, 2015 – 1:19 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Yes, even though there are all these challenges to visiting Cuba, we still very much enjoyed our visit and would return again!November 14, 2015 – 10:28 amReplyCancel

  • Brygida Gołębiewska - Good guide guys :) But there are 2 things that I wouldn’t agree with.
    There is not much trouble in receiving change in CUP. When you have it, you can buy things cheaper, therefore save money :) you could also spent it in a shop where in dual curency price.
    Exit tax doesn’t exist anymore. Tax is included in you flight ticket now.April 10, 2016 – 8:25 pmReplyCancel

What to Expect on Your First Trip to Europe- A First Time Visitor’s Guide

Ever since my first trip to Europe as a teenager in 1998, it’s been one of my favourite places to travel to. There are a lot of reasons why I love Europe- the history, the architecture, the way of life- but mostly, I love it because I find travelling there quite easy. Europe is a…

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  • Veronika - Nice one! I’m sure this post is very useful to many Americans that come to Europe for the first time. As a European myself, I had to smile while reading some points (e.g. no face towel:)) as it all seems natural :) Anyway, good job!June 13, 2014 – 3:48 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thank you! I hope people find it helpful. I really did struggle with the lack of face cloths though! I thought I should give people a heads up, since it’s one of those things I think people would just assume is the same as in North America.June 13, 2014 – 5:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Alouise - Great tips Rhonda. I do remember finding the paid washrooms in Europe a bit strange, but like you said if it keeps things clean then I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I just had to remember not to get rid of all of my change in case I needed to use the washroom.June 14, 2014 – 4:29 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thanks Alouise. I guess the washrooms are a good way to get rid of your extra change. Still, I hope this system is never adopted in Canada!June 16, 2014 – 2:10 pmReplyCancel

  • Anna Lamma - All these are very good points. Especially the electricity – it’s a very sly one to forget about. As a European, I’ve never thought of face towels as being a “thing”. I suppose we just call them flannels and use them when having showers/baths! But it’s really useful to understand this need. Thumbs up.June 15, 2014 – 1:59 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Flannels? I’ve never heard that before in reference to a washcloth. When I hear “flannels”, I think of warm pyjamas. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing. I always find it amusing how different countries use different words for the same thing!June 16, 2014 – 2:20 pmReplyCancel

  • Amy - Great tips! Despite all of the time I have spent in Europe, I still haven’t figured out the bed thing either. It’s always a surprise when I walk in the room!June 18, 2014 – 7:26 amReplyCancel

  • frankaboutcroatia - Excellent post, Rhonda, and very helpful Love the tip regarding a use of hotel’s or bar’s toilets – just pretend to belong there :). I do this all the time! Thanks for sharing!September 12, 2014 – 1:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Uptourist - Hotels are more laid back in Europe. Also, you can pretty much travel by train and then walk around. You get to places faster if you do that.March 25, 2015 – 11:33 pmReplyCancel

  • Nick - Some interesting points here – I’m going to try and reverse engineer them for my first trip to North America later this year! :)

    Ive found that the hotel bed situation that you mentions isn’t very common in 5/ 4 star hotels and I’ve found that it’s usually only the case when the hotels has “twin or double” as one room option.April 24, 2015 – 11:35 amReplyCancel

  • Anju - Can’t wait for my first Europe trip! Very useful tips . Great pictures and blog!June 28, 2015 – 2:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Laurie F. - We still haven’t decided whether it will be Europe, Cuba or Mexico for our first trip abroad. We’re not leaving until Sep. 2016, so we have a bit of time to decide. I’m the one doing the research, and I must admit that your FIRST TIMER tips are very useful. Have your been to Mexico? Need to see if you have some tips for that place too! Thanks so much for all your help! :-)August 24, 2015 – 8:53 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Yes, I’ve been to Mexico but only had the resort experience so I don’t have many tips! We did a day trip to Coba and Chichen Itza, which really was the only thing I really liked about our trip. If I ever go back I’d like to see more of the towns and archaeological sites and spend less time at a resort.August 25, 2015 – 9:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Nancy Amato - Very useful planning my first Europe trip ..January 10, 2016 – 11:45 amReplyCancel

  • Christina's Cucina - Just had a reader ask for tips for a first time traveler to Europe. Your post is perfect! Beautiful photos, too! Thank you!April 9, 2016 – 2:35 amReplyCancel

  • Marion Marema - Well i am european and i had my joy reading this really. Its interesting how detailed you talked about the toilent situation And why would you need a towel for your face???? Ah i love culture exchangeMay 5, 2016 – 8:16 amReplyCancel

  • Purushothaman Thirupathy - are the local people in paris helpful if tourist enquire directions?August 4, 2016 – 12:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Purushothaman Thirupathy - Im making a trip to tour europe- Paris, Amsterdam, Lucerne, venice and rome.This is going to be my first time there. Wonder the people are friend and helpful if I were enquire directions?August 4, 2016 – 12:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Sandee - Thanks for sharing . I am very excited about seeing Europe for the first time .November 21, 2017 – 10:14 pmReplyCancel

  • natalia -  I am planning a trip on March of the next year, your tips are excellent and well received.  Thank you :)May 8, 2018 – 2:14 pmReplyCancel

Train Travel- 5 Reasons Why We Love It!

When I was a kid, my family took a trip to Jasper, a small town in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. We’d been to Jasper many times, but this time was special. This time we took the train. The scenery we got to see was different than what we saw from the highway and I felt…

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  • Frank - Good post and totally agree – we love train travel in Europe for all the reasons you state. The only thing I don’t like is fighting with ticket machines…sometimes you can’t get a real person.
    Frank (bbqboy)February 15, 2014 – 10:10 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - We had a rail pass so luckily we didn’t have to worry about that.February 15, 2014 – 10:27 amReplyCancel

  • Iain - A brilliant article.

    I couldn’t have said it any better. So I didn’t.

    I’ve linked to this article from the home page of – I hope that you don’t mind.March 2, 2014 – 1:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Becky Padmore - You’ve convinced me! Look at those views! March 3, 2014 – 9:08 amReplyCancel

  • Bridget - I agree- I’ve always loved trains! Its a great way to travel, especially in Europe where the system is so developed. Thanks for sharing!March 4, 2014 – 5:59 pmReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - I do think you got very lucky to not encounter any strikes. I’ve lived in Europe for five years now and strikes are far too common. I’ve been late because of delayed trains or gotten stuck and not been able to get home at all due to the lovely strikes, which can happen at any time without notice.March 19, 2014 – 5:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Bryanna Plog - 5 for 5! Love train travel as well, perhaps also because it is still a novelty for us in the U.S. and does seem nostalgic. The mere sound of the click-clack is something that makes me want to explore far more than any other form of transport. Hoping I can do a cross-country trip across the U.S. this year and sometime want to do the same across Australia!March 25, 2014 – 7:03 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - I think a cross country train trip would be amazing, both in the US and Canada. If I could travel everywhere by train, I probably would never fly again! Trains are way more comfortable!March 25, 2014 – 7:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa Cheek Temple - I haven’t had the pleasure of traveling by train in Europe, and train travel is severely limited in the southern U.S. where I live. However, I have taken several long distance train trips in the U.S. (Birmingham to Boston, B’ham to Chicago, B’ham to New York) and I’m hooked! Well done on the article. You are singing to the choir!May 9, 2014 – 3:28 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - I really wish the train networks were more extensive (and affordable) in Canada as well. It’s such a relaxing way to travel! Thanks for reading!May 9, 2014 – 11:41 amReplyCancel

  • Jeff Titelius - One of my most cherished European memories is when we hopped onboard on the Artesia Train for an overnight adventure from Florence to Paris! It was such a fantastic journey, we had our cabin and our butler made our dinner reservations! I LOVED LOVED LOVED watching out the windows as we tunneled through the Alps and emerged on stunning vistas of lakes and villages!! I will never forget that journey, so romantic, so relaxing, truly an unexpected adventure that I hope to relive one day soon!June 16, 2014 – 5:28 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - That sounds like a wonderful trip- especially the part about the butler! Must have been a fancy train! I’ve yet to try an overnight train, since I worry that I wouldn’t sleep well.June 16, 2014 – 5:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Iain - “The other great thing about trains, is that they take you right into the heart of the city.”

    This is one fact that is often overlooked when people are comparing air/rail travel.

    And it’s not just the cost in money terms.

    I’m always being told that air travel is just so much quicker. Yes, in many cases, getting from runway to runway is indeed faster.

    Added to this is usually pre and post flight time spent at the airports.

    What is often overlooked, though, is the time and hassle of travelling between airports and city centres.

    Give me a train any day. Stroll up to the train, sit down, read a book, walk around, eat, drink, snooze. In a word: RELAX!!!!

    Travel should be fun and enjoyable.

    Coming from Europe (Scotland), I realise that I’m very spoiled when it comes to rail network coverage. Trains go just about everywhere. I don’t, for one minute, take this for granted.

    Jeff. Did you write/blog about the Artesia?

    Rhonda. There’s been a bit of a redesign here, and I’ve just realised that the link to this article has “gone”. Will think of a way to permanently include it somehow.June 17, 2014 – 12:29 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Train travel is far more convenient and comfortable than plane travel. I also find that people are much more pleasant and friendly on trains than on airplanes because they’re not crammed into such a tiny space and made to abide by so many rules and restrictions. If I could travel everywhere by train I would, but unfortunately the ocean gets in the way!

      I was so happy that your site linked to this post and it would be great if you could include it in the new design. I hope to convince more people to discover the joys of train travel!

      We’re taking a train in Alaska this summer from Denali National Park to Anchorage and I can’t wait!June 17, 2014 – 10:37 amReplyCancel

  • Iain - Rhonda. I wouldn’t worry about not being able to sleep on a night train.
    There’s just something about the rocking movement that makes sleep so comfortable (probably a subconscious reminder of babyhood).

    And if you have remembered your corkscrew, sleep won’t be hard to come by. :0)June 17, 2014 – 12:36 amReplyCancel

  • Iain - Amen to that Rhonda. I think that deep down most people are quite sociable. They are just too rushed/stressed to talk to strangers most of the time. Put the same people on a train, with all the time in the world, and the smiles will soon reappear.

    Plus. The grass is always greener…

    June 17, 2014 – 3:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Julie - Rhonda – Your photos are exquisite!! I am planning a Spring break 12 day trip to Austria with my almost 17 year old grandson. Austria was his choice and since I have not been, that is where we decided to go. We will visit Vienna, Graz and Salzburg traveling by train between cities. I ran across your blog and I thank you for it. Your hits and misses were informative – loved that part. We are each taking one suitcase and one carry on each from Los Angeles. Looking forward to a wonderful adventure!!! Can’t wait.February 28, 2015 – 2:34 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thanks so much, Julie! Austria is so beautiful and you’ll get to see a lot of great scenery from the train. I’m sure you both will have a wonderful trip. Enjoy!March 1, 2015 – 1:58 pmReplyCancel

  • CultureTripper - All so true! I’ve got great memories of traveliing around Europe by train. And in North America. Can I add another reason to love trains? The relaxing rhythm/sound of the train compared to that nerve-shearing ambient noise inside aircraft. European trains may not compare costwise with low-cost carriers like Ryanair but sometimes travel really is about the journey, not the destination. I’d love to ride the Ghan across Australia. No train trip is too long for this rail lover!April 8, 2015 – 11:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Mark Warrick - Couldn’t agree more. I live in the UK so European train travel is my norm: I seldom fly and I drive as little as I can get away with. Switzerland and Britain have the densest rail networks and France the fastest.November 29, 2015 – 9:54 pmReplyCancel

  • Danial - Your last point hits it right on the spot. Train travel gives you the space & time to just clear your mind and zone out. The panorama helps compared to the tin can nature of airplanes.January 29, 2016 – 5:03 amReplyCancel

  • Fateme - Yesterday I had an exam and the writing part is about traveling. Your post is really helpful for me. I wanna say thank you for sharing your feeling in your  lovely trip. I like traveling by train too.
    With best wishes?from Iran.September 9, 2018 – 10:01 pmReplyCancel

Making Travel Dreams Reality- 7 Steps to Stop Dreaming and Start Packing

When I created this blog, my goal was to inspire others to travel, encourage people to live out their travel dreams. It was my hope, that by sharing my experiences and photos that people would be intrigued, excited and set out to visit these places for themselves. I get many comments from readers saying how…

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  • Laura - I really like the recommendation of traveling close to home. I’m surprised by how many people tell me the just don’t know where to start with planning a trip. Traveling close to home is a great way to get experience with travel planning and make mistakes when you’re not at risk of messing up your dream vacation!December 27, 2013 – 12:35 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - I couldn’t agree more!December 27, 2013 – 12:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - You’ve hit the nail on the head here, Rhonda! If you don’t make travel a priority, you’ll never travel. Truer words were never spoken. The only thing holding people back from traveling more is themselves. Time, money, and every other excuse is just that…an excuse.February 3, 2014 – 3:18 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Exactly! I am always amazed at how often my friends tell me they don’t have “time” to travel. I always say, if you really, truly wanted to travel, you would have no trouble making time for it.February 3, 2014 – 3:47 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephen - Great points. #3 I think is a huge way for people to realize their travel ambitions, but I’m always so surprised when I talk to long-term travelers who still haven’t gotten started with these programs!March 14, 2014 – 12:59 amReplyCancel

  • NZ Muse - Travel isn’t everyone’s top priority but if it genuinely is, there’s a way to make it happen. My ‘aha’ moment was when I learned about volunteering abroad!March 17, 2014 – 4:02 pmReplyCancel

  • RUSS - You and I are alike with how we see traveling. It gives me this awesome kind of high that I don’t get from material things. Traveling is bliss!April 20, 2014 – 10:16 pmReplyCancel

What’s Your Travel Style?- How to Choose a Trip That’s Right for You

There are so many different options available when it comes to travel- cruises, coach tours, all-inclusive vacations and independent travel. You may not know what your travel style is until you get out there and try and few different options. What you find out about yourself may surprise you. How I Discovered My Travel Style…

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  • Jennifer - We felt the same way about cruising. Definitely not our travel style! We prefer to travel independently.July 14, 2013 – 3:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Agung John Suyono - As Tourist Guide I love to Travel even to Indonesia Archipelagoes which is contain of more then 13.000 Islands spreading around 5000 km from the west to the east border snd such alike from the north to the southJune 29, 2016 – 7:21 pmReplyCancel

How Athens Taught Me to Travel Differently

Plopping down onto the bed in my Athens hotel room, I burst into tears and announced that I wanted to turn right around and head back home. “I hate Athens!” I pouted like a tantruming child. “I’m phoning my mom and telling her I’m coming home!” Was Athens was really that bad? So bad that…

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  • Liz smith - Great read. I agree, I’ve had some of those moments myself. The first I visited Venice I was immediately impressed – but after a day, I fell in love and discovered the real city. Been back 3 times since. Things aren’t always what we expect, but sometimes it’s a good thing.June 18, 2013 – 7:33 pmReplyCancel

  • Edsel Sismar - Oh my god! Just look at that beautiful and amazing photos of Athens, I really wanted to visit Athens so bad! But I just couldn’t I don’t have the opportunity. Oh well just watching these beautiful and wonderful places in Athens makes me feel I visited the place without stepping foot. Great post by the way.December 3, 2013 – 4:14 pmReplyCancel

  • Meg - I was disappointed in Amsterdam, initially. Your article totally rang true for me – the crying in the hotel room bit. But you’re right, you’ve got to get out there, give it time, and at least see the things you went there to see. Otherwise, you’re just shooting yourself in the foot – maybe I won’t ever be back to Amsterdam in my lifetime, but at least I saw the Rembrandts, the tulips, the Delft china, the pancakes, etc.November 14, 2014 – 1:57 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Oh good, I’m glad I’m not the only one! I think most places are worth visiting at least once. Even if it’s not what you expected, you still need to make the best of it. As soon as I let go of my preconceived notions, and just accepted Athens for what it was, I had a much better time!November 14, 2014 – 5:07 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah Jayne Keck - Thank you so much for an honest review. I’ve found this feeling in a few places, Cusco Peru, Krakow Poland. It wasn’t until I learnt to realise I was somewhere different and to not even compare it to the other cities in the same country. Enjoy what you’re experiencing at that time. I liked this post, it’s forewarned me of what to expect in Athens. Cheers, Sarah.September 17, 2018 – 7:49 pmReplyCancel

  • Jonathan - My first trip to Paris had a flight from hell and lost luggage oh and it was in the immediate aftermath of the ‘05 riots so the burned out metro station I saw leaving CDG had me questioning my sanity. However when I emerged into the Place St Georges it was pure magic from there. England I hated the trains my first time there. And Cairo (another even worse flight from hell experience) was a massive disappointment that never really redeemed itself in my eyes. But the rest of Egypt and Jordan will stay with me always. March 9, 2019 – 7:35 pmReplyCancel

The Joys of Solo Travel

My upcoming wedding has me mourning my days as a solo traveller. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that I will have a consistent travel companion from now on.  Solo travel can get lonely at times and, in all honesty, there were moments I wished I had someone special to share those incredible places…

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  • SuzieD - I think the important thing for a solo traveller is not where u go, but what options are available.

    I *really* recommend going on a trip with Exodus or Explore or one of those adventure companies. They are excellent and a great way to meet other people. I have been on several – the Atlas Descent Bike Trip in Morocco, Lake Garda Mountain Biking, Sea Kayaking in Greece, Multi-Activity in Turkey. Honestly, they are wonderful and – no – I do not work for them.

    However, I have also gone *full-solo*, so to speak. If u decide to do that, my main tip would be go to Eastern Europe (for great value and things to do) and then…

    1. Stay in hostels, they are THE BEST place to meet other travelers.

    2. If there are no hostels, go on 1 or 2 day activity outings, e.g. diving, climbing, canyoning, etc. They are another great way to meet people.

    3. Carry your smartphone with you and join websites like Wandermates or AirBnB to help meet other people. None of them are perfect, but they are useful.

    4. Go on a backpacker-type bus tour. They are brilliant also and a great way to hook w people :)June 11, 2013 – 7:21 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Great tips, Suzie. Just because you travel alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. There are a lot of great ways to meet people while travelling, some of which you have mentioned.June 11, 2013 – 9:21 amReplyCancel

  • Vania - I am loving your blog! Came across it when Travel Yukon posted a link to the Klondike Hwy post (one of the most beautiful drives I have been so far, aiming to brave the Dempster Hwy next year!).
    I cannot agree more about solo travel! Yes, it is awesome having company to share memories with, but the freedom of exploring what you enjoy, ah…. that is priceless! And Suzie’s tip about hostels is absolutely right! I explored San Diego by myself hiking Torrey Pines and strolling around Old Town, but when I hit Gaslamp Quarter at night, half of the fun I gotta thank people I met at the hostel! Keep exploring, safe travels!November 6, 2014 – 7:32 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Vania. I am so glad you found my blog and are enjoying my posts! Yes, solo travel can be a lot of fun, but I mostly appreciate the freedom to do as I wish. If I want to sit around and wait for the perfect photo, nobody will be annoyed by that! Happy travels and keep in touch!November 6, 2014 – 9:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Shivya Nath - Love this post! Like you, I started traveling solo because life is too short to wait for company. But after all these years, I crave ‘me travel time’ once in a while for all the reasons you’ve mentioned.

    I hope you’ll find the time to go solo once in a way after the big day too ;)February 6, 2015 – 10:16 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thanks, Shivya! I’m still craving some ‘me travel time’ as well, so I should probably make that happen!February 7, 2015 – 12:45 pmReplyCancel

  • tika - I’m planning solo travel in Rome , this summer and your post helps me. Thank you!June 9, 2015 – 4:44 amReplyCancel

  • Carol Huxley - I’m 74, lived and worked in Europe for ten years in the ’60’s and 70’s.then travelled to Europe and Asia regularly – I was lucky to have available double-time Long Service Leave . I was almost always a solo traveller for the same reasons given here. I always had a wonderful time and now I’m writing ‘tales’ about these trips. So Solo Travelling has had two very good effects – the travel itself and now remembering it all (a struggle) and writing about it.July 10, 2015 – 12:03 amReplyCancel

  • Marlo Basco - Its so inspiring to learn the benefits of solo travels.Im now planning to go to italy and visit milan,florence,venice & a side trip to paris france.
    This will be my 2nd trip as solo traveller but first time in Europe. I did solo in the US and had a great time.
    Is September ok to travel in Italy..i want to visit milan expo before it ends by october? Im from the Philippines i hope its not too cold this Sept.Im tempted to join a package tour but i find their itirenary lacking and short..I decided to do it on my own since my friends cnt join me too. Im excited but nervous…Tnx a lotJuly 11, 2015 – 6:50 pmReplyCancel

Alone in Rome- Lessons Learned From My First Solo Trip

Everyone tried to talk me out of it. “Won’t you be scared? Lonely? What if you get robbed? What if you get lost?” What if, what if, what if…. Well, everyone was right. I was scared. I did get lonely. I didn’t get robbed, but that’s only because I didn’t have any money in my…

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  • Jihan Estrella - I will be doing my first solo trip next month. London-Paris-Rome. Your blog is very helpful to me. Im ecstatic and at the same time nervous.September 10, 2013 – 3:59 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Good for you for travelling solo! It’s a great adventure & I am glad you find my blog helpful. All three cities you’ve chosen are very easy for solo travellers to visit. Have fun!September 19, 2013 – 12:08 amReplyCancel

  • Mara - I am traveling solo in March 2014. I will be going to Spain to for a week of riding Andalusian horses and then I am planning on going to Rome for a week. I am very nervous about being in Rome all alone, although your own experience does sooth my concerns a little. I am wondering how to get from the airport to my hotel. Taking a train or bus seems unsettling as I will have my suitcase with me. I am tempted to take a taxi, but I hear it can be expensive. Any advice or suggestions is greatly appreciated.October 20, 2013 – 1:40 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - From the airport, I took the Leonardo Express train to Termini Station, which is cheaper than a cab (probably faster too) and takes you pretty much to the main part of the city. From Termini, I just walked because my hostel was close by. You can also take the metro as both lines intersect at Termini Station. We just got back from Europe and took the metro to our hotel as much as we could to save money on cabs. It was a bit challenging sometimes having to go up and down stairs with all our luggage though.

      There is a taxi stand at Termini Station. Official taxis are white or yellow and have the letters SPQR on them. As always, ask for an approximate price before you get in the cab and make sure they have the meter on. Another thing I do before hand is study my map and follow along on my phone (CityMaps2Go is an app you might find useful) to make sure the driver is taking me a direct route. If you feel cheated, make sure you get a receipt and write down the company and drivers’ licence number (I believe it’s written on one of the doors).

      I only took the cab once in Rome and never had any problems at all! Hope this helps! Rome is an amazing city and you will have a great time :)October 20, 2013 – 10:06 amReplyCancel

  • Mara - I hope you don’t mind that I continue to ask you questions. How easy was it for you to converse with the locals? While I will work on mastering a few phrases before my trip, I really do not speak Italian.

    I do not want to stand out as a tourist, so I am concerned about walking with my luggage down the street trying to reach my hotel. I guess that is why I am thinking about taking a cab to avoid drawing any attention to myself. Obviously I have no concept of how things will be while I am in Rome.

    As always, I appreciate you sharing your experience and any advise you have to offer.October 20, 2013 – 11:40 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - No worries! Ask away!

      I don’t speak Italian either, just studied a few phrases in my guidebook on the flight over. I made an effort to use Italian for words like hello, goodbye, please and thank you and had to ask “where is…?” a few times. I didn’t have any trouble as most people were able/willing to speak some English once they saw me struggling.

      If you are worried about standing out as a tourist, or unsure of where to go to find your hotel, then a cab is probably money well spent, even if it is a little expensive. You want to make sure you feel comfortable. Our most recent trip we get lost trying to find our hotel and walked around for quite a while with our luggage, and I’m sure everyone who saw us knew we were lost.

      When I need to check a map, I usually walk into a shop to check it to avoid drawing attention to myself. That’s another reason why I liked that app I mentioned earlier- it just looks like you are checking your phone not reading a map. But when in doubt, ALWAYS look confident (even if you have to fake it!)

      I was worried too when I went to Rome by myself and honestly couldn’t believe I did something like that. It was pretty adventurous for me at the time. But things turned out great and even though some things didn’t go smoothly, it still is my most cherished experience. You’ll do great! I’d love to hear about your trip when you return :)October 20, 2013 – 5:14 pmReplyCancel

  • Mara - Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me and all your encouragement. I really appreciate you in ways you simply can’t imagine. :) I will definitely share my experience(s) with you when I return.October 20, 2013 – 10:07 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - You are so very much welcome! And thank you very much for your kind comment. I am thrilled that my blog has been able to help others with their travels…it’s what I set out to do when I started it. Have a fantastic time on your trip and I look forward to hearing all about it!October 21, 2013 – 9:23 amReplyCancel

  • Diana Xie - I stumbled across your post and absolutely love it!! I’m also from Edmonton and I am going to Rome by myself next Tuesday! It was great reading a fellow Edmontonian travel to Italy alone blog, it gives me courage! May 8, 2014 – 8:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Jack Odom - I am going to Italy alone for 15 days in June. I have 3 nights booked when I arrive in Florence, 2 booked in Rome before I depart. 9 or 10 days to float with around with no certainty of shelter, or location. Reading about your experiences and general mental approach to traveling alone was very confirming of what I already believe: that this will be an incredible journey, enriched by being alone. I am excited, nervous, and feel fortunate to taste such youthful freedom again. My last trip to Europe was with a friend, but my favorite memories there were mostly made alone. It’s just you inside your head, absorbing every nuance without any distractions. I have a great feeling that everything will be just fine, if not amazing. Thanks for sharing your story, it was comforting. ~ JackMay 10, 2014 – 3:55 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - That’s really great, Jack! A lot of people are hesitant to travel alone, for various reasons, but I truly believe that solo travel experiences are the most rewarding ones. It’s normal to feel nervous, but you are right, it will be an incredible experience, even if there are a few bumps in the road. Although I am married now, I still crave solo travel. I’ve actually been contemplating going back to Italy and spending a few weeks there, just me and my camera. We’ll see, but I hope I can make it happen one day.

      All the best during your trip! I’d love to hear about it when you return!May 10, 2014 – 12:10 pmReplyCancel

  • Jack Odom - I am going to Italy alone for 15 days in June. I have 3 nights booked when I arrive in Florence, 2 booked in Rome before I depart. 9 or 10 days to float with around with no certainty of shelter, or location. Reading about your experiences and general mental approach to traveling alone was very confirming of what I already believe: that this will be an incredible journey, enriched by being alone. I am excited, nervous, and feel fortunate to taste such youthful freedom again. My last trip to Europe was with a friend, but my favorite memories there were mostly made alone. It’s just you inside your head, absorbing every nuance without any distractions. I have a great feeling that everything will be just fine, if not amazing. Thanks for sharing your story, it was comforting. ~ JackMay 10, 2014 – 9:52 amReplyCancel

  • Katy Nikolaou - Ha! Very well drafted : ) I love “Fontana di Trevi” I was there many moons ago, cannot wait to go again (this time with the kids) :P

    KatyJune 19, 2014 – 9:09 amReplyCancel

  • Lakshmi - Thanks for sharing your experience. I am travelling alone for the first time to Rome this September and I am really nervous. All my friends are scaring me off that it wouldn’t be safe for me to go alone. I am still going to do it. Life is too short not to take chances. Could you please let me know where you stayed in Rome and how you got around the city.June 23, 2014 – 2:21 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - It’s absolutely normal to feel nervous, but good for you going anyways! My solo trip to Rome was the best experience of my life, one that I still cherish 8 years later.

      I stayed at Pop Inn Hostel, which was right across from Termini station. I didn’t have any issues with it and loved that it was so close to the train station and public transport. It’s been many years since I stayed there, so I can’t speak to what the hostel is like today. As for getting around Rome, I walked A LOT! My legs ached so much at the end of every day, but it was worth it because I got to see so much of the city. I also used the metro quite often and the bus a few times. Metros are pretty straight forward and easy to use, but I never did get the hang of taking the bus!

      I didn’t have any safety concerns in Rome. The key is to project confidence and use common sense. Don’t go off with strangers, keep your valuables close and concealed, and always be alert and aware of your surroundings. If you ever feel uncomfortable or need to check your map, just pop into a nearby store or cafe.

      I’m sure you’ll have a great trip. Rome is amazing! Have fun!June 24, 2014 – 11:25 amReplyCancel

  • cris - Hi! I totally could relate to everything you wrote!
    I had the same dilemma about travelling that I cannot convince any of my friends to travel. Then I got this chance to travel to georgia with 2 couple friends.. but i got the cheaper flight one day earlier than theirs, so i just told them that ill just wait for them and just include me in their booked tour trips. To cut the story short, i ended up solo travelling. I definitely agree on all the lessons you mentioned. And yes, it was a blessing in disguise that i finally knew to myself that i was capable of solo travelling. This October im planning to travel italy and will try to remember all the lessons i learned.. hehe i so much agree with the project confidence thing! :) anyways, im reading your post about italy for more help! Thanks alot and always have a safe trip everyone! :)August 14, 2014 – 11:19 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - That’s a great way to look at it- “a blessing in disguise”. That was true for me as well. I’m glad you had a good experience in Georgia and I’m sure your time in Italy will be amazing as well! I would love to go back to Italy on another solo trip.August 14, 2014 – 11:34 amReplyCancel

  • Fiona - Hello!! I’m so glad you posted this it was exactly what I was looking for. I was thinking about going to Rome leaving Saturday morning and leaving Sunday pm. I was also planing on booking a tour bus for the weekend (City tours) so I could see as much as I could. Do you think this is enough time? Don’t have any holidays left to take :) lol.October 29, 2014 – 4:10 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Fiona! A weekend in Rome is definitely not enough- there is so much to see and do! But…two days is better than none at all!October 30, 2014 – 9:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Daisy - Hi Rhonda…I completely agree about how frustrating it is to try and convince family & friends about a trip. People just don’t seem interested. I have visited a fair amount of Europe (including Italy) with my husband & he is a fantastic travel companion. But over time he too lost interest in traveling…he’s constantly whining about the cost factor in travel which is of course true. Therefore, now I am garnering courage to take the 1st steps into solo travel as I have no other option. I am 5o years old & absolutely want to see as much as Europe as possibly before it becomes physically challenging to do so. Blogs like yours are so inspiring and help people like me who have to go solo to take the plunge. And yes the 1st city I want to get back to is Rome as I love visiting churches.January 14, 2015 – 12:08 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Daisy! Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you enjoy my blog! I think if you want to see as much of Europe as you can, you should absolutely do it, even if that means travelling solo. I’ve found most places in Europe to be quite safe and really easy to get around. I think it’s the perfect place to try solo travelling. My husband sometimes can’t travel as much as I want because of work, but he encourages me to go on my own. I’d like to do another solo trip in the future and I would probably do it in Europe, because the trains make it so easy to get around. Hope you get to see Rome again!January 17, 2015 – 10:49 amReplyCancel

  • Katie Morris Fox - I am planning my first solo trip – as a 33 year old. I’ve traveled all over the world with groups and my husband, but something was telling me to give “alone” a try. I was ecstatically excited for a few weeks, and now am almost talking myself out of it. I’m nervous I won’t have as much fun on my own, that I’ll miss something just being by myself. Not sure where those fears are coming from, but any advice to not talk myself out of it? (PS – I read your line above about not letting anyone talk you out of it, and thought, what if it’s *me* doing the talking?). Glad to have stumbled on your post.January 20, 2015 – 4:55 pmReplyCancel

  • Lerato Seutloali - Ayah my….found this Just in I time….I’m from South Africa…doing Europe solo….the only thing I hate about it is …trying to get strangers to take a pic of me…besides that I loooove every moment…in Rome right now…and this page just reiterated my thoughts when I got here….lol…’don’t look like a tourist,you will be an easy target’….been telling myself that the whole day…..January 24, 2015 – 9:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Thank you. Great info. Here is my question. Would like to book solo trip for myself. Ultimately spend 5 days, flying into Rome. Would rather not deal with the whole planned tour deal. So, do the major hotels offer casual day tours that I could take part in each day?February 17, 2015 – 5:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Cal Hixy Higson - I’m off to rome the first of march, was a planned trip with a partner who we have now broken up, So nervous about going incase I spend the whole time thinking I wish she was here!February 18, 2015 – 5:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Meiling Chang - Thank you for the info! It’s very helpful and encouraging!February 26, 2015 – 9:00 pmReplyCancel

  • Tiburcio San Miguel - Thanks for your post, very helpful. I’m doing a solo travel to Italy this August. Im excited and nervous at the same time. I’ll keep your Lessons in mind. Do you think 2 days is enough for Rome and Vatican? I’m stretching my 8 days with Rome/Vatican > Tuscany/Florence > Venice > Rome. Thank you!March 1, 2015 – 3:14 pmReplyCancel

  • damian r - Hi rhonda,

    I am 17 year old year old boy from the netherlands and i am going to toscane in italy with my parents. I want to push my boundaries (if thats correct english) and i want to travel on my own in the future so i decided to travel on my own from toscane to rome for one day. Its not a crazy adventure but it is a start. I really want to have a great experience that day so do you got any advice for me where i definitely should go? Thanks alot!

    DamianMay 21, 2015 – 4:43 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Damian,

      That’s great that you want to do a solo adventure, even if it is just for one day! There are so many amazing places in Rome! With such a short amount of time, I’d recommend seeing the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum. You can buy a combined ticket for all these sights online. Buying in advance will save you time waiting in line. If you still have time to spare, then check out Trevi Fountain. Of course, there’s so much more to see, but I’d say those are the “must visits”.

      I walked to most places, but you might want to take the subway so you can get around faster. Plus, your feet won’t get so sore!

      I hope you have a great trip! Italy is wonderful and I’m sure you’ll love it!

      RhondaMay 22, 2015 – 9:17 amReplyCancel

  • Michole Enjoli Washington - I am in Europe for the first time ever for the summer (9 weeks I am in my 4th week) studying math in Budapest, Hungary. A friend of mine from my home institution is studying abroad in France and we a month ago we planned to spend the Fourth of July weekend together in Rome. Yesterday we find out that his flight got cancelled and there are no available flights for the weekend or any reasonably priced trains. It was also too late for me to change my ticket. So now I am going to Rome alone! I’ve been a little overwhelmed with the idea, but your post definitely made me feel like I still need to go even if I am alone. Italy has always been my dream country to visit and if I don’t go now I won’t have another opportunity all summer before I return to America. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I too have a blog documenting my time abroad ( I’m sure this solo trip will be a great read for my followers. Thank you again!July 3, 2015 – 3:29 amReplyCancel

  • Cindy Cheah - I really liked your article. I will be going over to Europe solo within a month for 6 weeks. It was meant to have been two of us, but my partner and I unfortunately have just parted ways. I have decided I will still go ahead and make plans for myself. I just booked my return flights today. I am sad, I am nervous, I am excited – so many mixed emotions. I have never travelled extensively by myself before but reading your article has helped ease my anxiety momentarily. So, thank you and wish me luck.July 19, 2015 – 5:43 amReplyCancel

  • Sally - I came across your blog when I typed in “solo travel to Rome” and loved reading your story. I am planning my first solo travel experience to Rome and like you have got to the point that everyone I have asked was not interested, so if I want to see Rome I have to go myself. I am a little nervous – okay a lot nervous, but reading things like this help give me that extra little bit of motivation.July 30, 2015 – 6:25 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Sally! I’m glad you found my story helpful. Good for you for deciding to go to still go to Rome! It would be a shame to miss out on this wonderful city just because none of your friends are interested in visiting. I’m sure you’ll have a great time!July 31, 2015 – 1:47 pmReplyCancel

  • Marcy Todd - Hi Rhonda, I was so happy to read of your experiences in solo travel. I’m in the very early stages of planning a trip to Italy. I’ve never traveled more than 6 hours away by myself so this will be a huge step for me. I just turned 40 a few months ago and recently divorced. I’ve always wanted to travel, and while I think it would be fun for a friend to come along, I feel like I will benefit most going solo… do exactly what I want when I want, and gaining a wealth of independence. I’m so happy to see you had such a wonderful experience! Right now I’m researching tuscany and Florence. I want to make sure I know the language fairly well before going for peace of mind. Although it was nice to see you met people who knew English. I’m sure I’ll have lots of questions in the near future! Thanks so much for your post!August 7, 2015 – 3:50 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Marcy! I think it’s great that you’ve chosen to take the leap and do something you’ve always wanted to do. It will be such a memorable and rewarding experience for you and it sounds like you’ll be prepared with some language skills. It’s always important to at least know some greetings and simple phrases. Good luck on your trip and I’d love to hear how it went!August 8, 2015 – 9:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Nimisha - Hi Rhonda,
    You’ve got a great blog, so well written and very inspiring as well! :)
    I am looking at travelling to Rome from Christmas to New Years. Considering the winters and that it is not particularly touristy season, would it be difficult as my first solo trip? Would Paris be better?
    It’ll be great if you can help me out with this.
    Thanks for your fantastic blog!September 22, 2015 – 11:10 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Nimisha. I’ve never been to Rome or Paris in the winter, but I just read that it’s the coldest time of the year to visit both places. Both cities are easy to get around, but Paris has an especially extensive subway system. The only thing, other than the weather, that might affect your trip is holiday hours/closing dates of museums and other attractions. But I love to travel in off season because there are less crowds to deal with. I think either city would be a great choice for Christmas! Have fun!September 26, 2015 – 9:02 amReplyCancel

  • Laurens Rulkens - Thank you for your articcle going solo to Rome this week!October 1, 2015 – 9:50 pmReplyCancel

  • Chany Addoun - Hi Is there anyone going from Rome with a stop in Brussel?October 24, 2015 – 7:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Katie Nichole - Hello there,
    Is it safe for a female to walk the 7 minute walk from Termini to a hostel at midnight on a sunday?? Flight gets in late, contemplating optionsFebruary 9, 2016 – 5:21 amReplyCancel

  • Jack Archie Doyle - I’m going to Rome alone in April for 7 days and I can’t waitFebruary 21, 2016 – 12:39 amReplyCancel

  • Aimee Marie - Hi Rhonda, I am glad I found your blog when searching for “solo traveller to Rome”. I will be going on a 3-week solo travel in a week’s time in Italy and the U.K. 5 days in Rome, 4 days in Florence, 4 days in Venice and the rest in the UK to attend a friend’s wedding. I was and still am very excited for this first solo tour but as it gets nearer I’m getting anxious. I’ve read all the comments here and it’s comforting to know this was how everyone felt. I’ved booked some tours in Florence and Venice but has not really booked any for Rome. Is it better that I book tours or should I just plan as I’m there? Can you suggest sample itinerary for a 5-Day stay in Rome? I will be there during the Holy Week so not sure how busy the place will be. Thanks a lot and looking forward to hear from you.March 12, 2016 – 4:30 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Aimee. Sounds like you have a great trip planned! I never went on any tours in Rome, apart from the Colosseum and Palatine Hill tour. I just joined a tour on the spot, but I believe you can also book on-line in advance. This might be a good idea if you think it will be a busy time in Rome.

      There are so many great things to see in Rome that you’ll have no trouble finding things to do for 5 days. If you like historic/archaeological sites, don’t miss Caracalla Baths and Ostia Antica ( They are a little bit off the typical tourist trail, but very much worth the visit. The Roman Forum is also an interesting place to see.

      And don’t worry about feeling anxious. That’s totally normal and I get that feeling every time I visit a new country, whether I’m travelling solo or not. I’m sure you’ll have a great trip full of wonderful memories!March 13, 2016 – 11:43 amReplyCancel

  • Porva - Hi,
    Your post on the solo trip to Rome has given me some good amount of encouragement to start planning for my first ever solo vacation to a absolutely new part of the world – Italy. I have traveled several times alone to a new country due to my work, Seen places & discovered new cultures. However, those travels were, I would say, guarded travels as my company booked my hotel stay, which were of course the best in class, I could rent taxis from hotel to the place I wanted to go which would be reimbursed. Things are different now.
    When I start to plan for Italy, I am trying to look for cheaper accommodations, would probably use, train or bus more.. & then don’t know what I would say to people if they ask me what brings me to Italy!!
    My personal vacations have been only 3-4 days max along with my husband.I did have fun but I never had to worry much on the safety part.However, I would have to say, our tastes are different ( I like archaeological structures & he likes the beach !) & many a times have compromised on my liking…
    I look forward to this trip minus all the baggage of relationship, for the first time ever. Needs courage..wish me luck.
    Best regards
    PoorvaApril 3, 2016 – 2:00 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Poorva! Thank you for your comment. I’m glad my post helped encourage you to start planning your own solo trip to Italy. It’s a lovely country with a lot of the archaeological sites you like. You and your husband sound like my husband and I, as far as interests go! We also like to do some different things when we travel. Instead of one person having to compromise all the time, we will sometimes spend the day apart doing what we each like to do. Then when we meet up again we have a lot of new stuff to talk about.

      I have so many fond memories from my solo trip to Italy. It was challenging at times, but I never regretted going alone. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time on your trip! Good luck!April 5, 2016 – 5:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Lynn - Hi, I will be traveling to Rome this summer solo and I am nervous about going through the airport and getting to the Leonardo Express Train. I was wondering what exactly it was like locating the train and purchasing tickets. I don’t speak any Italian and I’m nervous I won’t be able to navigate on my own. Any advise? 
    -Lynn May 21, 2018 – 9:09 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Lynn. I was worried too, but there are signs pointing the way to the airport’s railroad station once you get out of baggage claim. You can buy tickets from the ticket machine, ticket counter, and perhaps also at news stands in the airport. I can’t remember for sure, but you’ll probably have to validate your ticket in a machine near the platform. Have a great trip!May 29, 2018 – 1:56 pmReplyCancel

  • Collin - I am a guy but to tell you the truth am petrified of travelling alone. Haven’t been outside of my home country ever which makes it more terrifying.That coupled with not knowing the language plus the fear of getting pickpocketed. Taking solace from the fact that someone has done it before. thanks for sharing.August 31, 2018 – 7:12 amReplyCancel

  • Victoria - OK I feel really late to the party (LOL) did you ever get lonely or anxious? I’m married, but my husband is active duty army making any travel together outside of his duty station very difficult. I’m a history major and thinking of taking the plunge and living in Rome for a week, but I’m anxious I’ll get bored and lonely! TIAFebruary 2, 2020 – 12:52 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Victoria. I was anxious when I first arrived but those feeling went away as I got to know the city. Yes, there were a few times I felt lonely but that just taught me to be comfortable being alone. I saw it as a good opportunity to get to know myself! If you do get really lonely, joining a walking tour or other group tour can help.March 4, 2020 – 9:49 amReplyCancel

  • Antonio Leonardo - Your blog is really worth to visit. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Love it!February 10, 2020 – 8:07 amReplyCancel


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