3 Week Backpacking Trip Alone- Thoughts
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Jul 27, 2012 11:31 PM Last Post By: gawkabout
Jul 26, 2012 10:57 PM
3 Week Backpacking Trip Alone- ThoughtsI will be traveling through France,Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands in late September for three weeks. This will be the first time I will be traveling outside the States alone. I'll be staying in hostels and feel that I am social enough to make friends and enjoy myself; however I am slightly worried about my drunken safety during Oktoberfest in Munich and late nights in Amsterdam, etc. Any thoughts? Also, any general tips for a solo traveler?
Jul 26, 2012 11:19 PM
1I would just use common sense honestly. Know your drunken limits. It is so incredibly easy to overdo it while traveling (in particular Oktoberfest!!!!), you meet such nice new people and the beer is flowing and next thing you know you are alone and don't know how you got there. Just try to pace yourself and you will still have a great time. I try to learn a few common phrases in the language such as "where is" and things like that....Also know (maybe carry it written somewhere or saved in a phone?) the address of your hostel and if its near any major thing such as a train station/monument/etc. Always save a little bit of money tucked away in a secret pocket for cab fare at the end of the night in case....a great way to meet people is through couchsurfing!
Jul 27, 2012 12:09 AM
2Munich is a very safe town for travellers. Even during Oktoberfest there are really not that many bad incidents taking into account that over 6 Million people are visiting and half of them get pissed ;-). So as said above: Common Sense - Know your own limits - and have the adress for your hostel at hand and some safety money stashed away for a taxi if you are lost.
Jul 27, 2012 12:48 AM
3I am slightly worried about my drunken safety during Oktoberfest in Munich and late nights in Amsterdam
Simple solution: try to keep your alcohol intake within reasonable limits and don't carry around all your valuables when you go out at night. Chances of being mugged are remote - in general European city centers are much safer than their American counterparts, and there are far fewer guns around - so the main danger is being pickpocketed. Keep in mind that you make an easier target when walking around completely drunk.
Oh, and if you feel the urge to smoke marihuana when in Amsterdam (many foreigners seem to think that gives them insight in Dutch culture): do not combine alcohol and marihuana, unless you want an experience that's memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Jul 27, 2012 12:50 AM
Jul 27, 2012 1:09 AM
Jul 27, 2012 4:39 AM
6There are no late nights in Amsterdam, it´s always early (though after 07:00 it's pretty late...
Jul 27, 2012 8:04 AM
7Get your address in those towns, written on a card, so taxi can help you find home.
Lots of travellers try to remember their hotel name. There are many of them with similar names. Brother, you don't know what lost is yet.
My Rick Steves money belt has served me for ten years. Washable. Morre comfortable than it looks.
Its saved all including passport 3 times that I know of.
You only need your passport handy to change plains and hotels. Carry a photocopy.
Jul 27, 2012 10:01 AM
You guys have been more than helpful. After reading these posts and talking to other friends that have traveled in Europe I am planning on only covering two countries (maybe 3) while overseas; your basic quality over quantity strategy. While stateside I have had no problem with alcohol intake and am very well versed in that arena, however I've been known to turn it up a notch if the moment calls for it. With this being a solo and very first trip to Europe I thought it'd be best to hear some great advice from people that have lived it. Again, thank you all very much, your ideas will most likely be put into action.
p.s. If anybody's in Munich 9/27-9/30 this year I'll make sure to "sie kaufen ein bier."
Jul 27, 2012 10:52 AM
9You're welcome, glad to hear our replies were useful.
One more word of advice (again speaking from my own experience): one of the greatest things to do in Amsterdam is to sample some local and Belgian brews in one of its beer cafés. Be careful though - those 7-10% doubles, triples, quadruples and what have you taste great, but can easily knock you off your feet.
If anybody's in Munich 9/27-9/30 this year I'll make sure to "sie kaufen ein bier"
WTF? If I'm in Munich you'll force me to buy one beer? ;-)
(Sie kaufen ein Bier = you buy a/one beer)
Jul 27, 2012 10:57 AM
10So I guess I have to sharpen my verb usage skills before the trip, or making friends is going to be very difficult.
Thanks again, and I'll have to try out some of those beers in Amsterdam.
Jul 27, 2012 11:31 PM
11Any festival drives local prices, of most things up. Its the get it while you can theory.
Europe is so much safer than stateside. Biggest danger is pickpockets.
They don't get violent unless you do.
By the way, you can get shitfaced anywhere.
Drunks are such a pain in the aine.
As a retired alcoholic (21 years with AA) I now realize that alcohol makes us do such stupid things. Emotions out of control and horse sense on back burner.
Go take advantage of your time in that cauldrin of history.
MONEY BELT!!!!!!! Scammers and snatchers have endless ways of invisibly separating us from our stuff. They could teach the CIA a thing or two.
Talk at length with people of other cultures. Your own nationality can teach you nothing. Its all just white noise.
Europeans have said to this Texan expat,"Americans. Nice people and all, but WheW! They're afraid of everything. But won't listen to the explanation."
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