First Time Alone traveller impulse decision?
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Jan 14, 2012 1:23 PM Last Post By: putriduyung
Jan 13, 2012 5:19 AM
First Time Alone traveller impulse decision?Hey guys,
this is my first time on this website but I just wanted to see if anyone had any advice.
Ive basically saved for the whole year to go on a exchange program, but my application got rejected, so now i want to get out of Australia and go somewhere, preferably America. Ive been to the flight centre, and I can get cheap flights to LA for a 12 day contiki tour around the west coast. My only issue is that I would have to leave in 4 days!
Its the only tour available. So its basically this or nothing. Im not sure whether to bite the bullet and go, or wait and maybe go somewhere else i.e thailand or something.
Ive never been on a contiki tour, and ive never travelled alone. Any advice? Should i take it or not?
Jan 13, 2012 5:41 AM
Jan 13, 2012 5:56 AM
2Hey, why not go for it? A cheap tour is a great way to scope out a country and get ideas. And you will have instant friends to share the experience with. Sometimes nothing is worse than just being plopped down in a country where you don't know anybody.
If you're new to traveling, you'll get a lot of confidence and realize how easy it is to travel.
Jan 13, 2012 6:03 AM
The visa cannot be obtained in 4 days.
I see no reason why you have to stick to an organized tour, nor why you are making the trip and "all or nothing" affair (an age thing?). But if that's what you want. then what #2 said.
Jan 13, 2012 7:54 AM
4I agree with #2. My first trip out of the US (other than a couple of border towns in Mexico), was an organized tour in Europe. It did indeed give me an idea of what travel was like, and yes, there were others my age to pal around with. After that, I never looked back.
One thing about choosing the US is that you won't have a language barrier (barring a few accent and slang issues). I chose a European tour to countries where people spoke English and/or German (languages I spoke). Not having to worry about reading signs and communicating with local people reduced a my stress.
Go here immediately and apply for ESTA pre-clearance You will not be allowed to board the p[lane without it Most people get clearance within minutes. Don't give the tour company or pay for a plane ticket money until you know you are cleared. Carry a print out of the clearance with you, just in case something went wrong & the airline didn't get it electronically.
ESTA is a pre clearance that verifies that you are eligible to enter under the Vis aWaiver Program and that you aren't on a list of people that the US doesn't want. What can delay clearance is if your name and other factors match one of those ne'er-do-wells.
Jan 13, 2012 10:43 AM
5The more you lean towards being an extroverted night owl who likes to party the more you will love Contiki. If you are very introverted you will probably find the tour (and the people on it) annoying.
If you are doing "LA to the Bay (Winter)" you will have some long bus rides, but it beats doing all that driving by yourself. (Also, you can catch up on sleep while on the bus.) You must be at least 21 to drink and gamble legally, but hopefully Contiki can provide alternative forms of amusement if you're on the young side.
Jan 13, 2012 11:43 AM
6I will take a different position. Why not Thailand? It is a much easier flight for you. 10-12 days is a nice amount of time for Thailand and a lone traveller is not such an oddity in Thailand - in fact if you stay in hostels or guesthouses which are all over and listed in Lonely Planet guidebook, you will meet lots of people and have a lot of fun. Thailand is fairly easy to get around via mini buses, trains, and domestic flights, cheaper than USA for sure, exotic and has a decent tourist infrastructure compared to other parts of southeast asia. Lots of young people from all over the world go to Thailand. You can easily go to southern beaches, Bangkok and northern areas of Thailand in 12 days.
The USA is sooooo big and there is so much to see and do and it is a heck of a flight from Australia. Why not save it for another time when you have more time to plan and spend in the states.
Jan 13, 2012 4:30 PM
Jan 14, 2012 5:14 AM
8If you want the best possible experience for your hard-saved funds, wait until USA spring/summer/fall for the visit. The weather at this time of year severely limits what you can see & do, and as you've found there aren't as many tours available.
Jan 14, 2012 5:56 AM
Jan 14, 2012 1:23 PM
1) go for it, you will probably have an interesting trip, meet new people and gain confidence.
2) Wait until you don't have to fly out in a huge hurry, save more money for a longer trip, work on finding a friend to travel with you. (being alone in the middle of a group of strangers on a bus can feel worse than travelling completely alone btw)
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