Travel Solo in Europe

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Travel agents are indispensable resources for planning complicated trips, finding out the ins and outs of a destination, saving time, preventing travel headaches and getting the best value. However, each agent is different. Be sure that your travel agent is a good match for you by asking these questions.

1. What is the agent’s specialty?
An agent who narrowly specializes in a destination or certain products, such as cruises, can provide solid advice that will be crucial to booking a rewarding, problem-free trip.

Does the agent specialize in adventure tours or culinary trips? Does he or she frequently book groups? Is the agent a cruise expert? You wouldn’t go to a podiatrist to treat a toothache. The same concept goes for travel agents. If you’re traveling to Europe, work with a European travel specialist.

2. Has the agent traveled to your destination?
There’s no substitute for first-hand knowledge. An agent who has actually traveled to the place where you want to go will know first-hand about the activities in which you plan to participate and the hotels in which you plan to stay. An agent who has been to the destination can make informed recommendations to steer you in the right direction.

3. What are the agent’s fees?
Agents may charge a fee for each service, such as a flight, charge a flat rate, or earn a commission. Expect to compensate the agent for his or her time, advice, planning expertise and work. Still, it is a good idea to find out the fees and deposits up front so there are no surprises.

4. Does the agent have special relationships with travel suppliers?
Travel agents can often get you perks that are not available to the general public or published on the Internet. Hotels, car rental agencies and tour companies often make perks such as upgrades, discounted parking, and express check-in available only to agents who have negotiated them or to agents who have elite status. Find out if your agent is one of them.

5. What happens if something goes wrong?
Inconveniences are sometimes unavoidable. A flight may be canceled; the weather may be uncooperative. Find out how your agent responds to problems when they occur and what his or her policies are. It is also helpful to pay attention to how the agent interacts with you. Is he or she easy to reach? Does the agent get back to you promptly when you call or email? An agent should be there for you even after the trip is booked.

6. What questions does the agent have for you?
Make sure that your travel agent has the right information about you to make the best recommendations. Also, choose an agent who is receptive to your priorities.

Even if you request something as simple as a four-day trip to Rome, you should be asked a number of questions from whether you prefer fine dining establishments or street vendors to what type of hotels you like best. In the end, you will be offered a trip that is the best match for you.

If you want to travel across Europe and meet exciting men, be sure to consult The Single Girl’s Guide to Meeting European Men by Katherine Chloé Cahoon. Below are six tips on how to find that special guy when overseas (and she has more tips and strategies featured on :

1.European Men Like To Make The First Move European men want to be the initiators in striking up relationships with the opposite sex. Do you think their machismo would have it any other way? Overbearing barracudas – gals who follow in guys’ footsteps, hang around when not invited, or speak in grandstanding voices – are never appealing to them. Just be friendly and give them a little encouragement. Then they will make their moves. I know some women who are very independent and go-getters. Those qualities are absolutely wonderful in many arenas, but not when trying to date the desirable single males in Europe. They want to do the work of asking a woman out, and I don’t know about you, but I in no way object.

2.Don’t Hide Out When In Europe! Never give up if you find it slow-going. Even the savviest socialites find themselves trapped in towns suffering from masculine droughts. Then they typically quit trying to meet European men and miss out on the best part of the trip when they could easily change the scenery instead. Just as some land is more fertile than others, some male hunting grounds are more fertile than others. Keep traveling until you find the right guy!

3.Don’t Cling To Men From Your Own Country Travelers seem to have a tendency to stick with those from their own country. The way they interact with foreigners is kind of like the way boys and girls interacted when we had dances in middle school. The boys gathered on one side of the room and the girls on the other. Friends, we’re no longer in middle school! It’s time to mingle. Quit hanging out in your comfort zone next to the guys from home. A European wonder usually won’t risk going through your gatekeepers to show you a fabulous time. Muster the courage to venture into the native-male territory. You will like what you find.

4.You’re Never A Loser When You’re Alone Have you ever wanted to go out but your BFFs were being boring – aka just wanted to sit on their butts, eat potato chips, and star at the TV? This may seem unlikely when they are visiting Europe, but it happens. Not just once but several times when I was traveling, my girlfriends and I had exciting plans. Then at the last minute they got mesmerized by the tube and never made it off the couch. Refuse to let duddy travel companions ruin your fun. Realize that part of their problem is fear. It is much easier for them to live vicariously through someone else’s experiences on a TV show than to create their own excitement. Don’t let them drag you into this trap! Go it alone if you must – that is, during the day when it is safe to fly solo. Snack at a charming coffee shop, visit the hippest shopping center, or relax at a beautiful beach.

5.Use Getting Lost To Your Advantage Do you suffer from directional dyslexia? If so, turn this weakness into a man-meeting strength. When you are lost in Europe don’t ask the kind elderly lady or police officer for help – that is unless the latter is single and has a great personality. Instead, approach the most appealing male native. European gentleman, are usually happy to help a damsel in distress. Getting lost is a great excuse to grab their attention. And if your case of directional dyslexia is as severe as mine, you will get top opportunities practically every day.

6. Let Go of Bad Boyfriends Before Boarding the Plane “If you’re going to Europe be prepared to break-up with your boyfriend if he is less than prime,” says Katherine. “Of course, I don’t advise breaking up with a guy from home if he is truly Prince Charming; however, if a girl knows her boyfriend isn’t right, she should fearlessly take a hiatus from the relationship before traveling abroad. Europe is most definitely the single girl’s paradise. And if you go through a break-up, don’t go for psychiatrists, meds, or manicures – book a trip to Europe!”