Where to travel outside the U.S., on short notice for a couple weeks?
July 13, 2007 3:56 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking to travel very soon (leaving in the next couple weeks) to somewhere outside of the U.S. and stay for two weeks. Where should I, as a solo traveler, go?

I have a couple weeks of free time coming up really soon, and want to either travel to Europe, or South America, or wherever. I have about two weeks that I can spend out of the country, and budget isn't much of an issue. Nobody I know has the time to really travel with me, so if there's a way to find a travel partner, that would be cool too. Any suggestions on places to see in the summer? My first thoughts were Austria, Germany, or Italy, but I'm pretty open to other places if there's cool stuff to do or see.

I've been to Dublin, London, Amsterdam, and Prague in the past, so I'd like to avoid duplication if possible.
posted by stovenator to Travel & Transportation (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
don't forget to consider weather--remember it's winter in the southern hemisphere!

i have heard that scandinavia is really cool and pretty. if you want more sun and surf, croatia is probably the least crowded of the mediterranean vacation spots (besides albania, of course).

vietnam is supposed to be reliably amazing.
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:09 PM on July 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

Flights to Mexico are very cheap right now. Anywhere in Europe is going to cost you well over $1500. Unless you are wealthy enough where cost does not matter then you might want to check to see where the cheapest flights go to.
posted by JJ86 at 4:22 PM on July 13, 2007

This is uber-general. What are you into? Beaches, museums, nature? Also: the euro and the pound are murdering the dollar right now. Murdering it. Go to eastern Europe if you want value for money over there. A few ideas:

New Zealand: rain forests, skiing/snow stuff, off-season (cheaper?), glaciers, really really far away

Mexico City + el Bajío: historical, gorgeous, no jet lag

Montenegro: on the Adriatic, newly independent

Morocco: hot, way different from Austin, exotic

My favorite place ever is Krakow, Poland, where I lived for a month while doing a course, but I went in December so it was pretty laid-back and friendly. The cities of the Baltic states might be a nice alternative.

Here's a map of the cheapest airfares from Austin by region.
posted by mdonley at 4:32 PM on July 13, 2007

If you're not too conerned about where to go, and want to find out how much money can get you to various parts of the world, check this thread.

Nobody I know has the time to really travel with me, so if there's a way to find a travel partner, that would be cool too.

You'll want to stay in budget accommodations where other solo travelers tend to gravitate. Hostels, dorms, whatever. It's impossible to not meet fellow travelers here. While most hostel-going, solo travelers are young, don't let that fact dissuade you if you think you're too old for it. With enough research, clean, friendly hostels with a laid back atmosphere (not party central 24/7) can be found in every corner of the globe. Here are some websites to read reviews on hostels, and even book rooms in advance: HostwlWorld.com, Hostels.com, Bootsnall.com.

Alternatively, you can make a post on the Bootsnall forum once you've found your destination. Often times there are other solo travelers looking to meet up with other people and check out the attractions. In fact, they have a dedicated sub-forum specifically for this purpose.

Have fun!
posted by nitsuj at 4:41 PM on July 13, 2007

Tokyo, and some cheap-if-not-tube hotels, is an experience not to miss. I have seen some ridiculously cheap flights lately.

Alone is no problem, since the city is very safe and you'll be crushed with a beautiful sense of loneliness and loss no matter how many people you're with, anyway. (That's an endorsement.)

Mexico City, contra above, is an over-industrialized hellhole that will leave you choking on gasoline fumes and cement dust. But anywhere in lower Baja (southwest coast) or Quintana Roo (Caribbean side, northeast Mexico) is nice and cheap.

Be sure to tell us where you go!
posted by rokusan at 5:33 PM on July 13, 2007

Laos! Laos! Laos!
posted by zia at 5:35 PM on July 13, 2007

Indo! Indo! Indo!
posted by kanemano at 5:39 PM on July 13, 2007

As a second, Vietnam is really, really cool. Once you get there, it's quite inexpensive.
posted by gnutron at 5:57 PM on July 13, 2007

I vote for Costa Rica. A little rainy this time of year, but not too expensive and easy to get around alone.
posted by sweetkid at 6:14 PM on July 13, 2007

Um, rokusan, to each his own, yeah? I loved every minute of Mexico City. :)
posted by mdonley at 6:59 PM on July 13, 2007

What a ridiculously open-ended question. There are millions of fascinating places on this planet and you've given no information on what kind of vacation you'd enjoy. What do you mean by "cool stuff"? My idea of cool stuff differs from the package tourist. Cool stuff also varies by age and inclination. Adventure or Luxury? Urban or Nature? Museums or Nightclubs? Tourist infrastructure or Unexplored? Ancient or Modern? Hot or Cold? Etc...

You can try perusing The New York Times Travel section and see if anything excites you. I love Portugal (great food and culture and an old-world European feel) and Hong Kong (density to submerge yourself in) and Croatia (gorgeous little islands) but I dont know if you would.
posted by vacapinta at 8:07 PM on July 13, 2007

Anywhere in Europe is going to cost you well over $1500.

Not just the flight, it won't. If you're on the East Coast plan on spending $600-700, from the West Coast $800-$1000
posted by fshgrl at 8:50 PM on July 13, 2007

Poland or Croatia(Dubrovnik).
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:03 PM on July 13, 2007

Seeing your in Texas, south or central America could be fairly easy to get to. Friends had a great time in Costa Rica a few years back, and said it was very inexpensive once they got there.

Or go somewhere different like Iceland (if you can get a cheap enough price). Iceland is supposed to be a bit expensive place, but Reykjavik is supposed to have decent night life and the country side is beautiful.

Or purchase a Eurorail pass and get the cheapest flight you can to anywhere in Europe and go railing for a couple of weeks and wing it! :)
posted by zaphod at 10:01 PM on July 13, 2007

Belize or The Gambia.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:30 AM on July 14, 2007

Holy wow...I'm in Austin, just decided to take some time off and have all of July & August free. I don't have a passport though, but if you want to hop over to Mexico, the Caribbean, or Canada, I'm game for traveling. (Or if someone can figure out how to travel overseas and get back into the US without a passport, just the proof of application, I'm up for overseas travel.)

Email's in my profile.
posted by lychee at 2:04 AM on July 14, 2007

mdonley and brother caine just covered the two places I was going to suggest.

Krakow, Poland or Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Moscow is also pretty special.
posted by knapah at 4:01 AM on July 14, 2007

You can just buy an earth globe with a spinning stand and some darts.
posted by lucia__is__dada at 5:30 AM on July 14, 2007

When I was in your shoes I went to Japan.
posted by amber_dale at 6:22 AM on July 14, 2007

Here are some websites to read reviews on hostels, and even book rooms in advance: HostwlWorld.com, Hostels.com, Bootsnall.com

Hostels.com was bought by Hostelworld.com years ago - same site, different interface. Boots n' All uses the Hostelworld or HostelsClub booking engine for reservations, depending on the property.

Try booking directly with the property; sometimes prices on the aforementioned sites are marked up to cover the deposit-cum-commission-fee.
posted by romakimmy at 8:03 AM on July 14, 2007

Stovenator where did you go?
posted by zaphod at 9:56 PM on October 1, 2007

« Older Fun stuff to do with kids in Vegas?   |   Adding powders to liquid when cooking Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.