It is very difficult for me to adequately express how much I enjoyed my fist solo trip. It was a life altering experience for me, and a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I remember being stressed out about such little things, like eating dinner by myself in restaurants, or being worried that I would get lonely. But all those worries and irrational fears washed away as soon as I landed!
Here is a quick breakdown of my trip:
Trip Duration: 14 days
Countries Visited: Italy, France, Netherlands, Monaco
Transportation: Train (my favorite), Uber, Taxi, Scooter, Bike, Airplane
Museums: Van Gogh Museum, Louvre Museum, Rijksmuseum, Vatican Museum
Favorite place: ALL
Least favorite place: NONE
Best Food: Italy
Best memory: Paris on Bastille day
Again, this was my first solo trip, it was a learning lesson, and the things that I learned on this trip I incorporated into my second solo trip. As a result, I spent a lot less money on my second solo trip and I look forward to sharing those stories with all of you very soon!
I arrived in Amsterdam on a cloudy afternoon and the first thing I noticed about the city was the energy. Everyone seemed to be having a good time (myself included) and I was eager to check out the museums that my good friend had told me so much about.
My friend had actually give me a list of all the must see places in Amsterdam, and I promised her that I was going to see them all (and I did). The list was extremely helpful, and in fact, it may even be the reason why I started LazyTourists in the first place. She had written down all the places (in order of importance) and even had a comment section on the spreadsheet she created, telling me why I would enjoy each thing.
I had already seen the Vatican Museum and Louvre museum earlier in my trip, and both were extremely crowded (waiting 20 minutes to take a picture of the surprisingly small Mona Lisa painting while being shoved in every direction). Which is why I was so pleasantly surprised by the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmusuem! I highly recommend the audio tours (5-7 euros), as they give you some much needed context to each painting, and therefore allowing you to appreciate the art even more. An important lesson was learned at these museums, photography was not permitted. I was very disappointed, but I still took photos of everything I wanted, i’m not proud of it, and I was even yelled at by security at each floor for doing so.
FYI, Weed and magic mushrooms are legal in Amsterdam, and they made the museum experience even better!
I met some cool people at the hotel I was staying at and we decided to go out to one of the many bars in the red light district. The Heineken beer (my favorite) are served extra cold and everyone was very friendly and just looking to have a good time. Afterwards, we went to one of the many fast food FEBO locations ( a must try). In fact, I was only in Amsterdam for three days but I visited two FEBO locations so often in that short time that I became known by the employees (not proud but so good!).
Prior to this trip, I had never really appreciated architecture (probably because I live in California where everything looks the same). But the gothic architecture combined with the canals in the city, made Amsterdam truly breathtaking, I felt like I was walking in a dream. I think Amsterdam is the most unique city that I have ever visited, and even today, I still think about the city often.
Once in Amsterdam, you will notice just how many people ride bicycles, but I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. The locals are all familiar with the roads, and they have little patience for tourists going slow. It was intimidating but I had promised my friend that I would try. I decided to visit Vondelpark (a must see) and rented a bike to explore the huge park. It was a fun experience and I am very glad I did it!
Overall, Amsterdam was truly spectacular, and although it may not be the ideal family trip, I would recommend that everyone visits it at least once.
LazyTourists was created to help travelers obtain custom itineraries before they go on a trip. We want to understand your wants and needs, so that we are able to provide you with the best research we can.
I have done quite a bit of solo-traveling, and on these trips I have learned important tips and recommendations that will make your life much easier. I love to travel, and I genuinely enjoy helping people. I have worked in the entertainment industry for years doing market research, and I believe that I posses a unique skill set that will help out travelers no matter where they want to go.
I know planning a trip can be difficult, and unless you spend thousands of dollars on tours, it is almost impossible to find a travel agency or service that will listen to you 1 on 1 and create an itinerary (best locations to stay, best hotels for your budget (and why), food recommendations, family activities, tourist attractions, and transportation logistics) all for a very reasonable fee. My goal isn’t to become rich off of you, I just really want to take the annoying part of traveling out of the way, so that you can just enjoy your trip, leave the planning to me, I won’t let you down.
I arrived in Rome on a hot sunny day and was at the airport looking for a ride to my hotel. I had heard about drivers trying to scam tourists so I had my guard up ( or at least I thought I did). This friendly Italian guy offered to drive me and I made the grave mistake of not asking how much the ride would cost.
During the trip, the driver started pointing out random locations and I am polite by nature, so I acted interested and appreciative. Upon arrival to my hotel, he said my total would be $150 because of the “tour” that he had provided. I told him I only had 40 euro on me (a lie), and he was angry for a few minutes but eventually he asked for the 40 euro and let me out. Remember, if someone is trying to scam you, be calm and cool but also stand your ground.
Rome is beautiful and has been on my list of places to see since I was a child. I saw all the tourist attractions ( Trevi fountain, Spanish steps, Colosseum, and the Vatican Museum). Seeing the Sistine Chapel in person is a magical experience and I was just standing in awe of the beauty of the chapel.
After 3 days in Rome, I was ready to visit the Amalfi Coast. I took a train from Rome to Naples (90 minutes), and took a ferry to Sorrento. I only had one night in Sorrento and although I explored pretty much everywhere it had to offer, I didn’t want to leave. The next morning I took a ferry to Positano and was blown away by the picturesque town. It is the most beautiful place that I have visited and I stayed at this Hostel that felt like I was at a 5 star hotel. I met a lot of cool travelers at the hostel, and this was my first experience in a hostel. I also visited a night club that was built inside of a cave!
I had to continue my journey, so I took a ferry back to Naples and when I arrived at the airport, it was chaos. The airline workers had gone on strike! I had to think quickly, my itinerary didn’t allow much room for error and I (along with everyone else) flooded the train stations. A thunderstorm had just started and the trains were delayed for hours, I jumped in the last train that was leaving (without even knowing the destination) and arrived in Florence. I had wanted to see Florence, but it wasn’t in my itinerary, and although the chaos at the airport at the time was overwhelming, I’m happy it happened. Unplanned things will happen on your trip, but sometimes they can result in something good.
I arrived in Florence and was hoping to see the statue of David at the Accademia Gallery, but the museum was closed that day. A lesson was learned, museums are not always open seven days a week, so I suggest you check the hours. I still had a great time exploring the city, and eating the best sandwich I have ever had. After finding a hotel for the night, I was ready to take a flight (the strike only lasted a day) to my final stop of my first solo trip.
My solo travels started with France. I had never traveled on my own, in fact, even the thought of traveling alone gave me anxiety. But I decided to book everything online (months before), so that I had no choice but to go through with it.
I landed in Paris and the anxiety instantly washed away and was replaced with excitement. Although France was just a 12 hour plane ride away, in my mind it seemed like it was unreachable and just a pipe dream.
I didn’t really know where to begin, nor did I really care, I was in PARIS!
The first lesson I learned was the importance of transportation. I had never really thought of the distance between my airbnb and the airport. I guess I just figured that they were both in Paris, so it wasn’t really a big deal. But cabs are expensive and now when I plan a trip I look for cheaper transportation options.
I arrived at my airbnb, it was small, my luggage barely fit up the stairs (no elevators). Another lesson was learned, make sure that the place you are booking has elevators or is at least on the ground floor and not the 8th floor!!
I wanted to explore everywhere and everything! I got fortunate to learn that I had arrived just days before Bastille day (huge celebration in Paris). Another lesson for you guys! check the holidays and events in the country that you are visiting before you buy your ticket.
I had purchased my train tickets prior to even entering the country ( I don’t recommend this method) but I wanted everything booked and I was proud of myself for not missing a single train, although, I mistakenly sat in the wrong trail until someone said I was sitting in the wrong seat, and realized the train I was on was going to a different country!
After 3 days in Paris, I ended up visiting Lyon (amazing food), Cannes, and Nice all via train. I would have loved to stay longer, but I still had much to explore, so I packed my backpack, went to the airport and was ready to start my adventures in Italy.