Am I too old to travel solo? I'm just a few months shy of fifty....

by Kathy
(New Zealand)

I have been alone for more than four years after leaving an abusive marriage of 13 years. I was an at home mother and only worked part-time most of my marriage life. I came out of divorce with not much due to a pre-nup. I retrained and currently in the Travel Industry.

My kids are all grown-up. I don't own anything but my car. I'm saying that I don't owe a single cent, no mortgage or hire purchase that could tie me back. I am no longer happy with my job and I'm getting old! I have spent the last three years visiting places I could not while I was married. I wanted to see the rest of the world; he wouldn't let me travel without him.

I can travel now but all my travels are quite limited due to being restricted with annual leave. I would like to be able to go away for a considerable length of time. It's a dream that has stayed dormant in my heart all my life!

Before I start using a walking stick to get me from A to B, I thought I should just give up my job, pack my bag and go! I have a little bit of money but I would prefer to earn enough to finance my trip while I am away. I would rather keep my savings to fall back on when I return. I am not a degree holder but I know a few trades, I was a hairdresser and did some training as massage therapist. I thought about Travel Writing (I have signed in with your 7 day lessons by the way) but English is not my Mother Tongue. Besides I have not written anything before. Is there any hope for me?

My second greatest concern is my age. Am I too old to go solo on the road? Are there options available for women my age? I would be most grateful if you can help me.

Answer: Old at less than fifty? I don't think so...

I did exactly what you're describing at the age of 43. A bit younger than you, perhaps, but not much. As I traveled, I met plenty of women who were far older than I was, and many of them were traveling solo - they were on their own, kids grown up... Many of them were younger in spirit that the 20-year-olds in the same hostel! And if you're a bit nervous about tackling the world on your own, you could try to find a travel buddy for at least part of your trip (I recently answered a question about travel buddies here).

Money is definitely a concern. When I decided to quit everything and leave, I spent an entire year downsizing and counting every penny. Even so, I left with very little and was on a tight budget as I traveled, especially the first year.

I'm glad you've decided to try my free travel writing course - I think you will benefit. English may not be your mother tongue but you write it better than many people who were brought up speaking it! You'd be surprised at the number of writers who become saleable yet had never written before... it's hard work and it's not for everyone - but it is definitely worth a try, and I think you'll have fun learning.

As for being too old... well... I think I made my point of view clear at the start of this answer: in my opinion, NO, you are not too old... and you won't be until you can't board a plane or walk down the street.

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Nov 06, 2010
Much appreciated...
by: Kathy

I did not expect to get a reply this soon. There are so many websites that promises to do just that but no one ever replied.

Thank you so much and I feel quite inspired now. Still a bit scared by my heart is yearning towards going now. I have a trip to YVR with my girls early next year. Judging with the way I feel now, it looks like I will be coming back to sell my little possessions and investing on a RTW ticket. For now I will give my best on your free travel writing course. Thank you for your kind heart.

Again, much appreciated.

Nov 10, 2010
Solo travel - 50 is just a number!
by: Anonymous

Kathy, if you are fit enough, backpacking is the way to go. I have hiked many 1000s of km on well supported, designated hikers paths, many pilgrimage trails through Europe, staying at youth hostels and gités, pilgrim shelters, monasteries and such.

It is a wonderful way for a single person - male or female - to meet other people, both locals and from other countries.

You go girl!! 50 is just a number. Hugs, Sil

Nov 10, 2010
Hi Sil
by: Kathy

Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts
and for the inspiration....


Nov 10, 2010
You're just a whippersnapper!

First of all, congratulations on having the courage and tenacity to create a new life for yourself! I'm a career transition coach as well as a women's retreat provider and writer so I know very well just what it takes to begin life anew at any age. And, while I wasn't in an abusive relationship, I've just left my 30 year marriage as I approach 63 and am discovering the joys and challenges of living solo first hand.

But much more importantly, I encourage you to travel solo. I do and thoroughly enjoy it. I know women in their 70's who still travel on their own. And while she doesn't travel, one of my favourite women is Catherine, who is now 95 and was teaching Tai Chi when she was 94!! She is definitely my inspiration for the future.

If you haven't traveled much and if you haven't traveled solo before, you may want to start small and build your travel 'muscles'. By that I mean perhaps taking some short weekend trips by yourself to nearby towns or events. Given that I think you are still quite young, you may want to take a year to try out different things before making a major commitment. You may even want to take a 2 week trip by yourself before you head off for an extended trip all alone.

Not that I think anything awful awaits you. But there are times when plans don't work out and it can be very lonely returning to a hotel room all by yourself. Learning how to bounce back from those experiences, I think, can be easier when you know home is only another night or two away.

You'll also discover just what kind of pace and rhythm of travel experience really works best for you. Are you someone who likes to be up and out walking around at the crack of dawn? Do you like to be around other people or by yourself? Are you a 'grab a sandwich for lunch' kinda girl or do you like to luxuriate in a cafe as you watch the world go by? This discovery process is delightful and it can help you make really good decisions about the places and types of experiences you want to invest your hard earned money into on longer trips.

My big travel joy at the moment, in addition to regular trips to Portugal, is to camp by myself. I bought I little pop-up tent trailer this fall and have begun spending nights under the stars. My friends think I'm crazy, but I can't tell you how much pleasure I get from making my own little campfire in the evening, sitting under the stars and sipping a glass of wine while I contemplate all the great adventures I'm going to create for myself.

So young whippersnapper, travel away is my advice. Enjoy.

Gwen McCauley

Nov 15, 2010
Point Noted...
by: Gwen

The knowledge that comes with experience is a precious gift. If I was told I was a whippersnapper ten years ago I'll probably feel offended. But now I take it as a compliment. Thanks a lot for taking the time to convey your thoughts, much appreciated. I can see your point.

I have traveled a little bit Gwen. I have seen my country (NZ) from top to bottom. Probably more than most Kiwis have. And yes I have been away on my own on short trips. I've been to more than ten countries but you are quite right, I have not traveled alone outside NZ except for a few occasions when I go back to my home country.

I've traveled with my ex husband on organized tours. But since I have been on my own, I organize my own trips. I've organized a few trips for small groups. I'm a "no frills travel girl". I don't mind the odd nice dinner but the norm is "flexibility". I can get up as early as I need to even if I go to bed very late, so no problems there.

What I really want to experience is find myself in a situation where I've not been before. I can't swim but one day I decided to go swim with the whale sharks. I've never felt so scared in my whole life before. Jumping into the deep water, all I expected was a watery grave for me but still I jumped in. Facing my fear and coming out okAy was very liberating. I felt the same when I bungee jumped. I am scared of heights and I know I will always be unless I learn to face my fear.

I think I'm not too bad really. I don't have the knowledge and experience that you get and learn from being out there on the road and I never will unless I go and find out.

Again thank you so much. It's awesome to have this chance to hear from experienced, inspiring and knowledgeable women like you.

Nov 18, 2010
Still on the road at 73

Fifty is absolutely NOT too late to start traveling on your own! I began traveling by myself once again at age 50 (also after a divorce). Went back-packing on Mt. Ranier. Since then, I've lived abroad for four years in three different countries and traveled all over Europe and Asia on my own.

You'll need to get into shape if you travel on your own, though, and you need to be safety-conscious.

I've started a blog that will include travel journals, photos and tips at
Check it out.

Dec 29, 2010
upstate New York
by: Karina

I used to think travel was for young people but I don't think so anymore. I was backpacking for 6mos and I was in a guest house in Cape Town and met this wonderful lady from Canada, she looked 90 but was probably 80 anyway she was a great-grandmother and had all the pics to prove it!!! She was sleeping in a quad with everyone else and even stayed up to party a couple of times!! The most awesome bit is she came overland from London on her own, not with Kontiki or a tour bus or anything. She just figured it out! She said she always wanted to travel faraway but she had kids and then grandkids and a husband and anyway she had these responsibilities but when her husband died she decided this was IT and others could be responsible and she was going to see the world. From Cape Town I think she was going to Madagascar or something and then to India where she wanted to stay at an ashram. Awesome!

Jan 05, 2011
A rolling stone needs no Botox
by: Dianne Sharma Winter

Hello Kiwi lady! I loved reading the answers to your query. I have lived On The Road between NZ and India and SE Asia since my husband died 12 years ago with no signs of slowing down at all.

You will find that there are lots of women our age out there traveling solo, sometimes it feels to me as if women between the ages of 40 and 80 must be the biggest group of solo travelers. We are everywhere and happy to meet other soul mates along the way so don't be shy! (You can find Dianne's blog at

Oct 21, 2013
Solo travel to celebrate 50
by: Kathy

To celebrate turning fifty I took a five week, solo journey through Europe: yes it was scary but even more rewarding. I now know I can do what ever I dream for as long as I continue to dream.. I hope to do it again at sixty! You can check out my journal at my web site blue antler studio, in the menus under travel. Go for it!

Jun 01, 2014
Never too old!
by: Sandy

I went to Paris totally alone for my 70th birthday gift to myself. I only knew a few phrases of French, but found people are very helpful and kind. I stayed in a fairly nice small hotel in the 7th arrondissement in the rue cler area near the Eiffel Tower. Stayed 9 days...had a ball! Took buses everywhere, cuz I don't like the idea of the underground...was so exciting!! GO!!

Aug 20, 2014
Go for it
by: Elaine

I started travelling on my own abroad at the age of 26 now twenty years on I am still travelling solo and love it been to some great places. Now I want to see Cape Town and go on safari. Just enjoy yourself and do look back.

Oct 31, 2014
by: Bodil

I am now 76 and has travelled alone since I was 65. I mean alone.... no tours or other people involved. I have been to Australia twice...1/1/2 to 2 months at the time. Thailand. Vietnam twice. Laos, Cambodia and I absolutely loved it. There has been no trouble whatsoever. People are very helpful and friendly. In Australia I lived in hostels and got along well with the young people. I look up where I want to go on the web and go for it. I don't have much money either,so I am very careful.

Good Luck !!!!! I am not finished yet. Actually I would love a job taking seniors under my wing while travelling with them :-)

Feb 22, 2015
Not to old
by: Shirl

I'm 61female & made the decision this is what I really want to. Don't be afraid of something that add something wonderful to you life. Just take natural precautions as you woul anywhere. Set your soul to enjoy the journey! I know I an!! Best to you!

Mar 02, 2015
If I had money...
by: Sunny Sky

Most of the comments on here are from women that have money to travel any wheres. I am traveling the USA in a small pop up camper on $500 a month. I pick up my Sun Lite camper today, 3/2/2015. So, I am a frugal traveler. I am female, 66 years old and in great shape and can use any advise for my adventure. I am currently living in Arizona and cannot wait to hit the road!

Mar 05, 2015
Over 60
by: Shelisa burke

I started traveling with plenty of money I sold my house and took off for S.america at 60 now I'm in Dubai no money left I'm 62 I'm going to go to the Maldives with a guy I met in India and then do the camino and Lourdes and see what's next I'm a hairstylist and know life is short and I want to see the world and write about it. Hope we all live our dreams now no matter how much money we have the universe will provide!!

Mar 10, 2015
To old to travel at 50
by: Anonymous

I went to Japan when I was 60 as my husband didn't want to go, Of course you are not too old, you would be surprised how many 60 plus women are out there.

Apr 24, 2015
Too old ??? I don't think so.
by: Dorothy

I left a loveless marriage three years ago after 32 years of being together. I wanted to travel & to a large degree we did as a couple but it was always to the same places & never abroad which was my desire for many years. Since I've been on my own I've been to France, Italy, Spain, Gibraltar & Morroco. The last three listed were this year. I had a fabulous time &can't wait for my next trip to Ireland in June. I will be turning 69 in August . It is liberating to see all of these fascinating places, even on my own. I'd rather travel alone than sit at home wishing I had. Happy travels.

May 16, 2015
Still solo travelling
by: Di from Australia

I flew from Australia to Dublin in 2005 (aged 60) and drove around Ireland on my own for nearly 3 weeks, then in 2009 went to China on my own and taught English there, and in 2009 taught in South Korea for 3 months, and back to China in 2010. Then in 2012/3 I drove around Australia for 5 months on my own - did 35,000+ kms, and in 2014 flew to China again. Am hoping to do a couple more trips in 2016/7. Not too old yet!

Jul 17, 2015
Go for it
by: sandy

I am sitting at home this afternoon planning out the next few years of my life. I am 62 next week and done a fair amount of travelling over the last 42 years and yes some of it alone . I have done most of my travelling in India and s.e. asia and australia. I live in New Zealand. Am now planning to go to Sri Lanka next year and then in in 2018 i want to go to England, Spain, france, Portugal etc... I wll be doing this alone on a limited budget... Any tips comments greatly appreciated. I know it seems a long way of for this trip to the northern hemisphere but i am not free work wise, mortage wise, time wise till then as i want to go indefinitly, minimum 6 months...

Sep 19, 2015
traveling solo as an older woman
by: Anonymous

I am so glad that I googled this and found this site.

I am now 55 and just booked a three week trio to Barcelona, Spain for May of 2016. I too am finally emerging from being out of a 26 year relationship for the last 4 years where I have pretty much have become a hermit.

I traveled the backpacking thing when I was 19 back in 1979 and I have had the greatest desire to go back but never have. I surprised myself when I hit the purchase button for the tickets.

I am scared and excited. Scared because I felt like maybe I was too old and now I feel more empowered and more of a devil may care attitude to not worry about what other people think and to just go for it.

I like to do the hostel thing too and have 3 weeks booked at 3 different hostels. It is more fun to do it on the frugal for me but if I really want something i will not hesitate to get it.

Thank you ladies for the inspiration and I hope to meet any of you someday on my journies. Happy trails.

Oct 10, 2015
Seventy Solo
by: Anonymous

I am just turning seventy years old and am in good condition. I want to travel for the next ten years if my health continues to be good, but I wonder if I'm too old?

Nov 19, 2015
90 and want to see Paris again
by: Mudge

If one of my daughters doesn't want to go to Paris with me will go alone. Am very healthy, drive everywhere, live alone, see my doctor only once for annual check-up. Love Paris and want to see it again while am still alive. Some of my kids will probably say I'm crazy but so what?

Jan 03, 2016
solo around world at 50 in 1999
by: Anna

My big trip around world at age 50. I was lucky with my earned vacation from working as a nurse plus few weeks without pay I decided to see a world. My husband was not interested. I left Northern Ontario. My first stop was New Orlean then Hawaii Islands then/ visit my girlfriend in Sydney. Later on I concentrated on Asia:Japan, China, plus Hong Kong, Bali Thailand. India was something / not easy to navigate being a woman./ Next stop London, Warsaw, Istanbul and Jerusalem with on side trip to Petra. Last was New York and back to Canada. I flew with "world one"/ economy class. I had 2 sets of tickets from country to country and each country had its own internal tickets. Before my trip I decided what I wanted to see in each country, place. It was rush to see things in 13 weeks! I should not to mix too many cultures in so short time but I was greedy I wanted to see as much I could. I enjoyed very much my trip to Vietnam but it was done another time. I'm older now but I hope to see New Zealand and Alaska one day. I cheer people who like adventure are curious of other cultures and are not afraid to challenge self!. Good luck my female friends.

Jul 05, 2016
Let love lead you, not fear
by: Donna Starr

I've been traveling alone for years - took off at 53 and lived in Europe for two years and learned the language(s) as I needed. I volunteered, taught English, you name it and have a cornucopia of buddies in nearly every country that I can visit whenever I want. I just traveled to Cuba - alone, as a teacher us U.S. Folks can do that. Try it! Traveling as a traveler and not a tourist is the key. The inquisitive nature of women makes friendship, connection and compassion a natural way of being. Look for my own travel story on Amazon (Cuba for Mama) and hit the road yourself! I enjoy this site so much, very inspiring. Saludos,

Jul 21, 2016
I would love to have friend your age to travel with
by: Ans

There is lots of life to live after 50

Aug 20, 2016
looking for a trip partner
by: Anonymous

Hello everybody
I'm 76 years old, live in Israel. I like
but usually I don't have a partner to travel with.
Originally I'm from Russia My travel preferences are nature walking and all connected with.
Just why I'm going to Tirol region in Austria from
the 1-st of September this year for 2 weeks
I stay in one apartment and every day I start walking for at least 10 km around the wonderful places
Is there anybody who wants to join me ? I'll be glad.

Ed. Note: This website is mostly for women who travel solo but I've put together a page for those of you who need a break from solo travel or who occasionally seek female travel companions.

Aug 26, 2016
Hopeful for you!
by: Shelly

I will be 68 in November of this year (2016) and my parents - now in their 90's - are in assisted living practically the other side of the USA from me. For about a year (ever since I started noticing many "nomad" videos on YouTube)I've been trying to hatch a plan to find a mechanically-sound,affordable Sprinter van with reasonably good tires and body, with the objective to set it up as a camper for myself and my kitty, so we can spend time with Mom & Dad and other family & friends throughout the US. However, due to having stayed at home with my kids when they were growing, I am now living on a very minimal Social Security income. So, finding the perfect van is going to be a challenge, but my resolve is - good Lord willing - for this to happen. Since your original reply was a few years back, I am hoping that everything has panned out for you, and that, by now, you are enjoying the freedoms that living on wheels affords!

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Travelling overland in Africa as a 60 year old woman?

by Wilna Wilkinson
(Lalinde, France)

I have spent the last week studying all the websites of companies that provide transport for overland travel through Africa, trying to decide which company would suit me best. I plan to start this journey around November this year.

The biggest consideration for me is the itinerary -- but my concerns are:

1. Fellow travellers - I am not too keen on a group of gap year kids who have suddenly been given unlimited funds and freedom and all that that entails.

2. As much as I am yearning to travel over Africa, I have to admit I would love to do it in a slightly different and novel way - or go places not too well trodden by the countless who go before me. A big ask, I know, but I think you will definitely know what I am trying to say here!

I see you backpacked this journey - but confess I do not think that is for me. If for no other reason than to not to have to worry about getting through borders and past bureaucracy while on the road, I think I would prefer to be on a slightly more 'organised' trip. Any suggestions???


First, Wilna, let me congratulate you for even thinking of traveling overland in Africa! Younger women are often daunted by this trip, even though they shouldn't be. I was in my 40s when I backpacked across Africa and had the time of my life. I also ran into many women who were far older, into their 80s.

I understand you'd rather not backpack - it's not the easiest way to travel, even though I love it. And you're right to be concerned about choosing the right tour operator. The last thing you want is to be mismatched with a group that doesn't have much in common with you.

I can't speak personally, since I've never taken this kind of tour. I can tell you that has a good reputation. I have several friends who have traveled with them and have loved it. I've just checked and they have tours that last up to 23 days and cover 4 countries.

However, that may not be what you're looking for. Doing a bit of surfing I've found the following - but please note, I have no personal knowledge of any of these groups at all!

Africa in Focus - they specifically state they don't cater to the gap year market

I also recommend you check out the Senior Travel or Overland Africa sections on both BootsNAll and Thorn Tree travel forums. Just post your questions and see what comes in. I'd also try Trip Adviser's Senior Travel Forum and Africa travel reviews, where readers post questions about specific tour operators and review them.

By the way, 'senior' doesn't mean old in any way - usually they start at 50 and we know how young that is these days. It's more of a shorthand to say physical effort will be watched closely and you won't be going to bars every night - unless you want to, of course!

Happy travels, and if you do go on an overland trip, other Women on the Road would love to share your travel stories!

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Apr 06, 2010
Just do it
by: geogypsy

As a 56-year-old solo woman traveler I just returned from a month in South Africa with no glitches. I rented a car for the second half of my trip which allowed immense freedom to get to the "off the tourist map" places. The country is so easy to travel in and people are very friendly. The only organized tours I took were at specific places. If you'd like to know more or ask any questions feel free to contact me through my blog at
Good luck and have fun!

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It is safe for a 74-yr-old woman to travel halfway around the world?

by Jules
(Sydney, NSW, Australia)

I have travelled many times before but this time I seem to have lost my confidence and have fearful nerves. I'm planning to travel Sydney/Singapore/Sicily/London/Chiang Mai/Sydney. I guess it's the logistics of it all. Two medium suitcases, then London to Italy only allows one - just a bit fearful, but have spent the money! I feel a little frightened now that it's near.

Answer: Feeling a bit of fear and anxiety before such a major trip is perfectly normal, whether you're 74 or 24. You'd be surprised at the number of email I get from young women in their early twenties expressing the same fears - and more!

Lets deconstruct a bit. First, your itinerary sounds wonderful. All these places are as safe for women as they are for men, and as safe for older women as for younger ones.

The first thing you need to deal with are the long flights. Avoiding jet lag and deep-vein thrombosis are things you should take seriously. Take the proper precautions and you should be just fine.

Then there's your luggage. You basically have two possibilities: either you cut back to a single suitcase, or you pay the extra luggage charge on your European leg. Check the airline's website to see how much it would cost and then decide. The less comfortable option would be to change one of those suitcases into a backpack with rollers and take it on board, while checking the other one.

I can't help you on the logistics but I can tell you that the places you're visiting are all interesting, welcoming, fun - everything you could possibly wish for. London and Singapore have excellent public transportation, so you'll easily get around. Chieng Mai is cheap so you'll be able to get around everywhere by cab.

Everything appears poised to provide you with a fabulous trip to wonderful destinations. If you're more tired now than you were a few years ago, just take it easy. You don't have to see everything in a single day. Cut back on the sightseeing and make sure you stay within your comfort zone. Make sure you're comfortable at all times - especially while walking. Keep your money and cards partly in your hotel safe and partly in a travel money belt so you won't have to worry about waving around wads of cash. No bum bags - they're easy to dip into. These are standard precautions for anyone and there's no reason you should travel any differently than the thousands of other women - of all ages - you'll be coming across.

I would guess that your itinerary may have been chosen because you know people in those places. If you do, that's great. If not, you might try making contact with a few people before you go, through services like Hermail or Hospitality Club. And remember - senior travel doesn't have to be different: a lot of it is about attitude. Writer Dervla Murphy can't have been too far from 80 when I ran across her in Uganda a few years ago. And as of this writing she's still going strong.

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Aug 30, 2011
Be strong!
by: Laura

Good for you! I hope when I am your age I will demonstrate your hutzpah.
Suggestion--take one bag. The clothes wont matter, you will NOT wear all you think.
Mix and match and if you wear the same thing over and over--who cares? You are moving locales anyway! You will regret the TWO know ppl always pack way more than they really need.

Sep 04, 2011
travel safety
by: JAVS

Your question asks about safety. This is something you will have to be responsible for. You will be as "safe" at 74 as you were at 34 (if you traveled abroad then). Use the same precautions (important docs & money in waist or shoulder pouches inside clothing) that you have used in the past or as suggested by others on this blog. Keep alert for stalkers and avoid them by going into a merchandising establishment or bank if you feel someone is following you. I took a long trip (London, Italy, France, Eastern Europe and Russia) a year ago (age 73) and had a great time, but I agree with the comments about luggage. My biggest hassles were with bags (I had two); I had trouble when there were no elevators or lifts available at train stations. I'll be posting the journal from that trip in a couple of months at


Sep 04, 2011
Senior travel: I'm planning the same
by: brenpammy

Hi Jules, I share your age range, and am planning to travel on after 18 mths in Malaysia as my travel base, I'm an Aussie solo with plans for Turkey, Mediterranean, to Spain, UK, Ireland etc. taking time to smell the roses and immerse in culture, maybe volunteer as well.

I only take one bag, amazing how little you need outside essential papers and medical supplies. All else can be bought (& discarded via charities) as needed, much cheaper than in Oz. My essentials as artist include a small art supply case and vis/write journal, camera. Minimal clothes and underwear changes, include sarong for various uses ie sheet etc. a small, thick hand towel does fine. Free web access is now everywhere.

Jump in Jules, the waters are warm and mostly friendly and the rude are no match for a feisty Ozzy. My email is brenpammy AT gmail DOT com. Please contact me re exchange of ideas.

Also,if you care to take small sidetrip from Singapore, I have spare rooms for fellow nomads in my house in Kuching, Borneo as I enjoy the company while you sample the fascinating life in Sarawak... an offer you can't refuse?

Oct 22, 2011
Pack Light!!!
by: Linda

I'm 73 and have been traveling internationally and solo for the past 10 years.You definitely don't need the hassle of two bags! As others have suggested, carry only mix & match things. I now only carry a backpack as even one suitcase with wheels causes problems at train stations stairs, buses and lots of other places with curbs and cobblestone streets. And, I agree, pace yourself! You don't have to see it all in one day. Be a traveler, not a tourist. My favorite female solo traveler was Patty from New Zealand. Met her in Rome on a six month tour of Europe with a single large backpack and she was 76. What an inspiration whe was to me and as you will be to others. Go girl! Have fun. My travel blog is at TravelPod DOT com. User name: grannytravels2

Sep 24, 2012
Am 68 going to Sydney
by: ET

Love to get some updated information on Sydney and the best and most reasonable place to stay safely for the 2 days before I leave on a cruise for 2 weeks. I will be leaving Nov 20 2012, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

May 05, 2015
Is it time to give up?
by: Naomi

I am 60 and hoped to become a TEFL teacher. I did a TEFL course though I didn't finish university and had 2 months teaching experience in Vietnam.
Lack of money prevented me from taking things further and now that I have a little bit of low paying menial work, it seems that I'm past the
age to get teaching work.
I would have loved to go back to Spain but it seems that even younger people are unable to find work there. I've joined a forum and it seems like I'll have to wait until I retire at 66 before I can travel. If I continue my present work I'll probably be unable to do much by then. I'm usually optimistic, but I've run out of ideas.

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I'm qualified but poor and (considered) old. Can I live in France?

by Jessi
(The Dalles, OR, U.S.A.)

Okay, so I'm 33, single, and I have a lower class background (i.e. no expendable income). I've long wanted to live in rural France, and last summer I was lucky enough to do a study abroad program on Romanesque architecture in northern and central France--and fell even further in love. I'm a visual artist and I recently completed my M.A. in English Literature. And I'm adventurous and not particularly spoiled, so I'm open to lots of possibilities. Is there any hope for me?


From where I stand 33 is hardly old... But lets get to your question about France. There's good and bad news.

The good news is that as an American, you can live in France for up to three months with no paperwork. You're a tourist, and whether you choose to stay in an old farmhouse the entire time or travel around the country is your business.

Anything longer than that requires either a job, registration in an institution of higher learning, or an independent income. Basically the French state wants to make sure you can support yourself and won't become a public burden.

With the enlargement of the European Union, it is becoming increasingly difficult for non-Europeans to find jobs. Teaching English in France is pretty much the only option, and a difficult one at that. Difficult, but not absolutely impossible. Another option is the occasional agricultural work, but if you don't speak French you'll be vying with thousands of other job-seekers who will all have first swipe at jobs so at the very least you should try to learn a bit of the language.

I would suggest you spend a bit of time on expat forums, which are often the best way of finding out about local requirements and possible loopholes and options. Here are a few: Expat Forum, Expat France, the France Forum on Expat Blog, and Expat Exchange. They should be able to help!

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Women over 70?

by Sylvia

How about women over 70 - is there a place for us as independent travellers?


Sylvia, there's no such thing as too old for independent travel! Some years ago, I woke up in a dorm room in Durban to find a man getting ready and slipping on his backpack - he must have been well over 80, and going strong.

Often, in Africa or Asia or Latin America, I ran into older women on their own, or in pairs. On they trudged, cutting a swathe through the backpacker trail with a gusto that beat that of women less than half their age. They stayed in hostels like the rest of us, clambered onto pickup trucks - albeit a bit more slowly, doing everything we did.

Remember Dervla Murphy? As of this writing she's still going strong. She has traveled solo well into her 80s - and written bestsellers after each trip.

The thing about getting older is that we have to be more careful. If you're less active, climbing Kilimanjaro might not be the best trip for you. If you have health problems, you might want to stick to cities with good medical facilities. But these days, women in their 70s can be more fit than women half their age - age on the road is often relative, more a state of mind than a state of body.

If I'm still around, I have every intention of traveling into my 60s, my 70s, my 80s, and onward from there. I really believe that the only thing ever holding you back is yourself.

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May 22, 2010
70 is just a number
by: Gwen McCauley

I'm 62 and continue to love to travel on my own and see myself doing it until I can't any more. And I have a number of friends who are keen solo travelers well into what most folks consider to be their 'dotage'!

For certain my needs and interests have changed over the years. I had the luxury of being a corporate traveler for many, many years and acquired a taste for 'the good life'. Even though I seldom go 5*, I do search out places that offer comforts, quiet, ready access to the kinds of activities I enjoy, and access to others so that I can pick and choose who I interact with.

I also find that I've developed a strong bias for having trips that involve part of the time on my own and part of it involved with others, especially women. Friends and clients of mine seem to have that inclination as well. My good buddy Cathy, for example, who turns 70 this year loves to attend a retreat for a week and then have a week to herself.

I think that what's most important in all areas of our lives as we age is that we don't simply do things the way our friends, family and culture define. That we become very proactive about checking in with ourselves, take the time to define what our needs are, become aware of what fears are limiting us and address all of that in the choices we make about travel.

I'm looking forward to a whole raft of blogs starting to be written by us old gals who are re-defining what life is like after 70 and how we are creating ways of living our lives that are re-writing expectations.

I talk about her all the time, but my inspiration is a woman I interviewed for my monthly 'life'style column last year. She's 94 and still teaching TaiChi. That's how I want to be when I grow up!!!!

May 23, 2010
Bumming around Europe at 70+
by: Sil

A friend and I walked el camino de Santiago in Spain in 2002. She was 74 at the time. She walked it again in 2007 at the age of 80.
Another friend will be trekking the Annapurna circuit in October at age 77.

I am not 70 yet but hope that I will still be bumming around Europe with my backpack and staying in Youth Hostels when I am 80!

May 28, 2010
Darn right we can!
by: Evelyn Hannon

Thank you for the opportunity to comment. As the 70 year old editor of I am in the enviable position of hearing from travelling women all over the world. Their ages range from 18-80. All are passionate about travel and I feel most don't consider age a factor in following that passion.

What I do think happens to a 70 year old woman is that she travels differently than she did at 25. And for every woman that difference is unique.

Now, they may share a hotel room with a pal but go off and do their own thing during the day. This ensures that they have a security blanket should one of them need help in a foreign destination.

I at 70 find that I no longer need to rush about every day seeing EVERYTHING. I have absolutely no problem with sitting in a cafe in Paris reading for a couple of hours or people watching. In other words, I saw the Eiffel Tower 40 years ago. Now I'm happy exploring little neighbourhoods and chatting with the locals.

This is a very juicy topic. I could go on and on but I must get back to work! I look forward to reading other people's comments.

May 28, 2010
by: Monica

My aunt is over 70 and is my constant travel inspiration. Her lifelong travels filled my head with places I wanted to visit when I got old enough and she's still inspiring me today! She traveled to Spain with me and my two 20-something cousins last year and she regularly travels in the States at least two or three times a year. I hope I'm as active a traveler as she is when I get to be over 70.

Jun 01, 2010
And you can climb Kili too...
by: Birgit

That's a great topic and some great comments to boot. Thanks to everyone who posted!

Two years ago I spent six weeks backpacking through Tanzania together with my mother, who at the time was 64. I would also describe her as less active (guess Leyla and I may have different definitions for that), but that didn't stop her from climbing Kilimanjaro. And loving every minute of it!

When I was researching our trip I also discovered that people in their 70s and 80s regularly make the summit. Not only that, they also have better success rates than younger people.

It is a pervasive idea of our society that younger equals better, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is a shame that in the process of growing up most people are pretty much brainwashed into believing that the older you get the less useful you are, and the less able, and the less you should be doing and living.

I live to travel and I have been saying all my life that I have no intentions of slowing down until I reach my eighties. At 42 I am only a spring chicken, but from all I have seen so far, life only gets better and better with age. I fully expect this trend to continue and see absolutely no reason why it shouldn't. I very much look forward to the next 42 years of travel and adventure!

PS.: If you are in any way insecure because of your age, get John Robbins' Healthy at 100 for an eye opening read. And then go and do whatever it is you want to do. Never, ever let anyone make you feel like you're "too old" for anything.

Jul 06, 2010
Wise Women Travelling
by: Rensina

I take women in small groups on tours each year to Mongolia...though the women are not "alone' they still have to be very independant. They put up their own tents and we communally cook. The environment and climatic conditions are rough. Last year Our eldest traveller was 74....a seasoned traveller. I had an enquiry from an 82 year old this year. If you think you can....go do it! My motto is "If you love travelling....keep doing it" What is the worse thing that can happen? I LOVE the stimulation of travelling and the activity of overland travelling. Keeps the body moving and the mind active...I LOVE seeing older Wise Women travelling.....GO Girls!!

Jun 12, 2011
Traveling over 70
by: judith


Jun 08, 2015
Swap houses for a week or two?
by: Cay

i too am 70 and alone. I would love to meet other fun and upbeat women for friendship, travel and or house swaps.
If we can find a few gals to travel with or visit maybe we could network this into vacation spots that are affordable and safe for us? Thoughts?

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SOS... My first big overseas trip...I am 59!!!

by Shakona Rose
(Byron Bay NSW, Australia)

Finally a life long dream has come to fruition. My eldest daughter has gifted me an airfare to the destination of my choice in 2011. I live in Australia have only been to NZ.

I have several destinations in mind although would love to see it all!!!
1. India
2. Thailand/Cambodia etc
3. Sth America...Peru
4. Central America
to name some of the destinations top of my list.

I will be travelling on a small budget plus I do get my widow's allowance for 3 mths whilst I am overseas. Also I am only small in stature and light framed and know that a backpack would be too much of a burden for me. I feel one of those bags with wheels and the handle would be more appropriate for me.

I need some good honest helpful advice and suggestions to make the most of this fantastic opportunity.

Answer: First things first. At 59, you're a spring chicken when it comes to travel. It seems as though hordes of women your age have decided to take off and travel - welcome to you all! You'd be amazed at the number of mature women on the road.

Here are some of them:
Am I too old to travel solo? I'm just a few months shy of 50
Women over 70?
A woman in her fifties traveling to South Asia...
Traveling overland in Africa as a 60-year-old woman

As you can see, you are NOT alone!

Now, age apart, if you're traveling overseas on your own for the first time (and I'd give this advice at any age) I wouldn't start with India. It's a glorious country but much harder to travel in than others. Southeast Asia would be my pick for a first-timer.

Now for the backpack. I understand your concern but I'd think twice. The great thing about a backpack is that it leaves your hands free, and you might be grateful for that. The problem with the wheeled suitcases or packs is that they only really work properly when the ground is smooth, for example in an airport. Having traveled extensively around Southeast Asia (and Central and South America for that matter) I can confirm that where there are sidewalks (and that's not everywhere) they're often uneven or downright full of potholes. If you're backpacking you could easily reduce your pack's weight to something virtually negligible.

That said, others out there might disagree... Hina in the USA is also small and she asked, What backpack should I buy? The resources in my answer to her might help you too.

l think this will do for a start - but please don't hesitate to come back if you have more questions. And when you do travel, we'd love to hear about your experiences as a first-time Golden Girl!

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Jan 05, 2011
59 is so young to travel!
by: Pat

I've been to many many many countries - usually solo. YES with the backpack. FORGET anything you have to carry or wheel.

I am in mid 60's now!

Hostels are great - you meet interesting people, can buddy up with ones you like to sightsee, cook meals together with, maybe find a good house-sitting gig, share a rent-a-car, etc.

Also spiritual retreat houses, I like.

Do LOTS of research online 1st.

You can start out in a hostel, maybe work a desk or cleaning shift for your keep, while you search around for a room.

Family stays are great - esp. if they cater to students. (Of all ages - students of life, too).

My last trip was a month in Peru, solo. Stayed with a family - thru a student housing site I found online. In Puno, found a nice $10 US/room in a side street family hotel. Nice and quiet - my preference. Met single solo mature women travels in a neighborhood nice little restaurant.

In Kathmandu, I stayed in the Tibetan neighborhood. I don't like noisy tourist sections... too many partying kids getting drunk.

I prefer quiet, spiritual ambiance :) It was about the price of a fancy cup of coffee/night. Ate in the European restaurants - got to know many fellow travelers.

Travel LIGHT. I wear 1 change of clothes, carry 1. Wash 1 set out each night. 1 pair of shoes that I wear. Buy things locally. Take old clothes that you can leave behind. More room for souvenirs on the return trip. Best not to look prosperous when traveling, anyway.

Good travel money belt INSIDE clothes (not the fanny pack) essential for passport and most money. Daily pocket money OK in a pocket or fanny pack.

Be friendly, but reserved. Trust no-one...but don't be paranoid! Get street smart.

Have Fun! Congrats on taking off to see the world!

Jan 17, 2011
I am 62
by: Anonymous

If you are worried about carrying a backpack, spend some time at a gym before leaving. I build up both my strength and stamina by doing regular treadmill and strength weight training before I go. If you have a wheeled bag you must be able to carry it up several flights of stairs (e.g., on subways or in small hotels) and lift it overhead into a train luggage rack without help. The further you can walk without tiring, the more you will enjoy your travel.

I take a wheeled 22 inch bag but don't put any more than about 15-18 lbs in it so I can carry it. I must do that because I need to take a CPAP machine with me, which goes in my backpack. Purse items also go in the backpack (e.g, Kindle, phone, snacks for plane/train). I find that if I have more than 2 items to keep track of, there is a greater danger of losing one. I originally took my CPAP in its carrying case and lost it in the Gare de Lyon when a thief mistook it for a camera bag. The two-person team distracted me by asking a question. I set down the bag and when I was finished talking and looked around, it was gone. So now I take it inside a backpack and have my hands free, so I can keep one on the handle of my rolling bag at all times, while still buying tickets or doing something else with the other hand.

I stay in hostels and love them, but I am picky about finding quiet ones with fewer drunken students. Reading the hostel reviews is helpful, then I go to the ones the reviews call clean but boring. They tend to be located near interesting sights, but also sometimes in the noisy bar and restaurant areas where outside noise is a problem. Bring foam earplugs.

Mar 19, 2011
Wheeled Backpacks
by: Di

You nolonger have to choose between a wheeled bag and a backpack since there are now wheeled backpacks available. I have just purchased one by caribee and I can't wait to try it out. Why not wheel when you can and carry when you have to? Also agree with doing some gym work before you go which will make you feel stronger & fitter.
PS. good on you!

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I am a mid-age (50s) woman planning travel to South Asia

by Jordan
(Livingston, MT)

I'm interested in other women's experiences as to how age impacts travel in various other countries/continents. I have not traveled outside of America much since I was "young" and know it will be different!


Jordan, I'm not sure whether this is a question but I'm assuming you're asking whether other women travelers have had age-related issues or experiences while traveling. Just a quick answer to that: I've traveled since I was 15, and continue to travel solo in my 50s. In some countries, age is highly respected, for example in parts of Asia, so you should have no problems at all. On the contrary, being younger would probably attract far greater attention. Stick with the women in that region - use women's accommodation where you can or women's transportation (carriages, taxi services and the like) and you should be fine. If anyone else can share experience about age and travel in South Asia, please do!

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May 16, 2010
Go, go, go
by: Gwen McCauley

Hi Jordan

I'm a bit delayed in responding. Been busy getting a house ready for the market - and sold. Yay.

I'm into my 60s and don't find that age is any kind of barrier to travel, whether alone or in groups. I do find that I have greater expectations as a traveler at this age than I did when I was younger. I want nice hotels, restaurants with great food, activities that are age appropriate (without limiting me).

For example, if I'm planning on a hike or walking trip I check to see what the terrain is like, the pace that is possible, the duration. I find I go slower than I used to and take more frequent breathing stops. But I'm a pretty independent cuss so whenever possible I go on my own, not with groups. That way I can set the pace.

I think you'll find that more and more you'll be running into other women in a similar situation, regardless of the part of the world you are in. I offer retreats, etc. in Portugal for 'women of a certain age'. Many are traveling on their own for the first time. It is such a delight for me to see them discover just how resourceful, smart and savvy they are.

So I encourage you to go forth and have a fabulous time. All the usual caveats about traveling safe apply as they would for younger women but you might want to allow a bit of extra time here and there for the body to adjust to things.

And one rule I've always traveled by is this: if I can't carry my own bag, stuff doesn't come with me. I may become bored with a certain wardrobe, but it looks different to the locals since they likely didn't see me the day or two before.


Gwen McCauley

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How can I find out about solo travel for senior citizens?

by Joanna
(Hawaii, USA)

Are there articles for senior citizens traveling solo?

Answer: Virtually all the articles you'll find on Women on the Road are as suitable for seniors as they are for young people, with a very few exceptions. In fact, my website was partly inspired by the many older solo women I met while traveling across Africa and Asia. Their courage and indomitable spirit convinced there was no reason anyone should be concerned about traveling solo!

I can also recommend certain resources that are either aimed at solo seniors, or that are highly suitable, for example the excellent site Transitions Abroad and its section on senior travel. I would also check out the indomitable Maggie Counihan, author of Backpacking to Freedom: Solo at Sixty. One site that isn't specifically for senior citizens but whose author is over 70 and still traveling strong is Journeywoman, created and maintained by Evelyn Hannon. You'll also find some senior solo travel resources at Simplifying Life Choices and if you'd like your solo travel to be a bit more organized, try checking around Senior Travel Hub.

Another good place to find tips and interact is online - try the Still Going thread on Bootsnall or Older Travelers over on the Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree.

You might also be interested in reading Travelling overland in Africa as a 60-year-old woman? and my page on Senior Volunteering. Hope this helps!

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Senior woman wanting to live in travel trailer

by Helen

I want to do some traveling around the US but I'm totally new at towing and living in a travel trailer. I would also like the option of staying for a few months at a time in various locations but don't know how to begin finding out information on all this. I'm 65 and I would be living only on my social security so my funds are very limited. My adrenaline was over the top in looking for and finding my trailer, a vintage 1965 Santa Fe. Now I need to do some work on it, get myself organized and make my move but I can't seem to do it! What do I do?

Answer: Now this is really not in my area of expertise, Helen, as I've never traveled in a trailer! But let me see if I can point you towards a few good and friendly sites out there managed by people who seem ultra-nice and whom you could approach for this kind of information, since they're RVers themselves. I would try...
- Frugal RV Travel
- Your RV Lifestyle
- HitchItch

And strictly for women:
- RVing Women
- Women RV Forum
and the Solo Woman RV Blog

Most of these sites have Contact forms or Questions sections so please use them - and get it from the horse's mouth!

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Sep 15, 2011
You go girl!
by: Gwen McCauley

Hi Helen

While I don't travel as extensively as you plan to I bought myself a little pop-up tent trailer last year and have spent a glorious summer camping around Nova Scotia's provincial parks.

I'll be 64 in a few months and I'm discovering that there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the look of shock on park people's faces when they discover that I am checking in all alone! Oh okay, perhaps the look of puzzlement on the faces of fellow campers when they watch me unhitch my trailer, haul it into its spot and set up camp in no time flat.

I chose to start with provincial parks because I knew that I'd get a fairly standard quality and reasonable prices. Because I only stay for a few days I'm perfectly okay without having electricity and water directly on my site.

But there are lots of private sites that have great websites where you'll find lots of pictures, campground schematics and highlights of what there is to see and do in the area. I'd get on the Net and start doing searches for specific areas you're interested in. Look for customer reviews that talk about how safe a site is, how 'hands on' the managers/owner are, etc.

For sure if you stay for several months at a stretch you'll pay a lot less than if you are constantly moving around.

And if you do decide to head north into Canada, give me a shout. Perhaps we can co-camp somewhere. I'm in the process of developing a relationship with a bunch of other small camper people. We're having our first collective camp in a couple of weeks.

Have fun. I know you are doing this for you, but know that you are a model for the world about what is possible for women at an age when most expect us to return to our knitting and fade into the sunset! I always say that 'the ole grey mare sure ain't what she used to be'!!

Sep 19, 2011
Encouraging email
by: Helen

Thanks Gwen!! Really appreciate your response. And I may very well be heading up your way some day, never know. LOL. A friend here is also trying to coordinate a get-together with others who have travel trailers....we seem to be on the same wave length, ha!
Thanks again,

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How can a US senior citizen spend 9 months in France?

by Deborah
(Boston, MA, USA)

I have done a lot of travelling alone...from home exchanges to couchsurfing! People ask me, "Are you afraid?", "Are you lonely?" and so on and so forth....And the answer to both is a resounding "NO!" Now I have an opportunity to go to Nice for nine months-September 2013-June 2014. This is a new but wonderful opportunity that has just developed today. I had said not too long ago that, if I had my "druthers", I would love to live in France for a year. Well, many more important events have happened in nine months than me going to France for nine months! Still I find the challenge quite thrilling!

So at this early point in this possible-and VERY-exciting-journey, I have a multitude of things to sort out. Where can I go to figure out exactly what I need to do to decide and then prepare to go? Can't find this in Rick Steeves! So far I've emailed the French Embassy in Boston to see when I would need to apply for a visa, because I think I will need one to stay more than three months, although I'll not be working. I've also emailed a friend who has been living and working in France for four years for some ideas. At that time I will be approaching my 73th birthday.

I will start a blog to see how this puzzle comes together, but this is my first written exploration. I would love any ideas and suggestions from the womenontheroad as I see if the road IS going to take me to Nice in nineteen months.

My Answer: You're right, Deborah, it doesn't get much more exciting than that! I've done a bit of digging and while I can't tell you exactly when you'd need to apply for your visa (3 months ahead of time seems to be the norm - at the very least!), I would advise you do a few things in preparation.

First, you WILL need a visa for 9 months so start gathering the papers. You'll need a birth certificate and police clearance. You'll also need to prove that your health insurance provider will cover you in France if there's something wrong. And here's the hitch - you'll need to prove you can support yourself during that time. I would assume there's a number attached to that but you'll have to reach the French authorities to find out what they mean by 'enough to support yourself'.

Then, make sure your passport will be valid for the duration of your stay before you apply for your visa or it might get turned down. Also once you get to France, you'll have to report to the authorities within the first couple of months and register. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

This article is a good place to start, but check with the embassy first. For example, it mentions you need a police clearance from your local police station yet other guides say you'll need one from the FBI. It also says you'll need a carte de sejour but as a retiree who won't be working, you won't need one. So check first!

If you read French, this is the official page for long stay visas by the government of France. This one goes into more detail but both are distinctly unhelpful. If you can't read it, use Google Translate to turn it into 'semi' English… Here is the actual form but I wouldn't try to get the visa online before talking to the embassy.

Finally, one thing I would do if I were resettling in a new country is try to talk to as many expats as possible. The good news is that there are plenty online. Just search for 'expat blogs' and 'expat forums' and you'll find plenty of threads that resonate. Those who have been there, done that will be your best guides.

Enjoy and have a wonderful trip!

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Feb 28, 2012
Expats in Nice, etc.
by: Deborah

First of all, thank you for your great ideas! This process will be on-going as I sort out what I need to do to 1.) decide whether to go, and 2.) to get ready to GO!

I had already signed up for the Nice expat site, so I can follow what is going on. I may even post my status as being in the decision-making mode to see what input from any expats I might get.

And-not that it really matters-but I am actually still selling real estate so my possible time in Nice will be either a "leave of absence" or the end of my working career. No matter....

Extended time in France has been a long time dream, so it is all about timing.

Feb 28, 2012
Spending 9 months in France
by: Gwen McCauley

Hi there - How marvelous to get to spend some 'real' time in another country. I am currently spending 3 months in the Algarve, Portugal and having a total ball.

Here are a couple of things I've figured out that may be of use to you. When you do any Web searches, make certain that the advice you are getting is for US citizens. Much of what I've found on-line speaks to what EU citizens need to do to enter another EU country for long stays and it is much easier that what we Canadians & US Citizens need.

I suspect that the French government may also want to see evidence of a return ticket. I made the mistake of booking my return for 1 week past the official standard 3-month visa granted to folks entering Portugal and I have to go to a government office with my return ticket and passport to get my visa extended by 1 week. . . .it's often the small details that trip us up, I find.

Thankfully, being a Canadian we have government health insurance that will cover hospital stays and many medical expenses so I know that when I do decide to apply for a longer stay visa in Portugal I at least have that covered. I'm assuming that certified copies of your bank account balance of investments would be proof of your ability to pay your expenses while in France.

Some advance planning and making a very detailed checklist of all the steps you uncover in various documents should mean that you get to have an absolutely fabulous time. All the best to you.

Feb 28, 2012
Thanks to Gwen
by: Deborah

Thanks for your ideas, Gwen. I have taken long term trips such as six or seven weeks and also three months. However, I traveled to different countries, so this idea of staying in one place the really different element. I've made friends from previous trips, so I hope that some of them will come visit. Basic things like how many and what clothes to bring? (My recent experiences of traveling on Easy Jet and Ryan Air have helped me to learn how to travel LIGHT!!) My last two long trips were in warmer months, so I got by-really managed quite happily with the smallest sized suitcase in a set of three. But clearly, that is that least of my worries!
I must go start working on my detailed checklist!

Mar 09, 2012
An alternative answer-look to your roots.
by: Kalilileth

If you had one parent or grandparent who was an Irish National, you would have an entitlement to apply for an Irish Passport. You would need to supply a Birth Certificate for the relevant grandparent,parent and yourself as well as marriage certs etc. You can check out the exact requirements on Irish Government Website.

Thus bypassing the Visa requirements as a European Citizen.

I do not know what the requirements are for decendants of other European Nationals. You would need to check their individual websites.

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Is 65 too old to stay in a NZ hostel?

by Patrish
(Kent, England)

I plan to go to New Zealand Feb/March 2013 for 6 weeks. I would like to find a travelling partner but if not will go alone. I have looked at hotel prices and they seem pretty steep for singles. I don't particularly want to share with strangers but think maybe it might be better to share a twin room in hostels half of the time. Also that way I might meet up with some other travellers to converse with. Do single women of 64/65 go to youth hostels?

My answer: Yes they do! That's the short answer… and that's why most of them aren't called 'youth' hostels anymore. Few if any have upper age limits but if you're concerned most have websites so you can check.

In my younger hosteling years (not that long ago) I would always marvel at the older women I met along the way, sharing dorms with the rest of us, pitching in in the kitchen, hanging out in the evenings, going on short trips together - and usually more adventurous and fun than the rest of us! Think of Dervla Murphy, in her eighties and still trekking around the world (until at least recently).

I can't speak about New Zealand specifically but generally hostels will have a range of accommodation, from full-fledged dorm rooms to private rooms with ensuite bathrooms, depending on the hostel. There are also plenty of styles, for the more nature-oriented to the urban chic to the party hostel (bring earplugs).

Another alternative would be with at prices ranging from a $10 room to an $800 house, but with plenty in the $20-$60 range. Some rooms are cheaper than hostels!

If that's not what you're up to, how about couch surfing or similar hospitality groups? They're actually free, and you can easily meet up with people who share your interests.

Finally, the following pages may also be of interest:
Couchsurfing for women?
Female Travel Companions
Cheap Hostel Beds
Cheap Travel in Australia and New Zealand
Become a Housesitter

Wherever you decide to stay, just be yourself and you'll find a world of acceptance. Travelers love other travelers and if you love being on the road, that's your calling card.

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Mar 17, 2012
never too old!
by: Gwen McCauley

I think there's not very much that a 65 yr old woman is too old for! It depends much more, I think, on your flexibility and your need for privacy.

Don't forget to check out some of the on-line hotel booking sites; you can often get a mainstream hotel room for a fraction of their typical rates. You might also want to check out University dorm rooms which frequently are available when uni is out.

A friend also talks highly about an organization called World Wide Women Welcoming Women, an org that charges a small membership fee but then links women with local gals who are interested in renting a room in their home for a few nights.

Have fun whatever your choices.

Apr 04, 2012
Ditto on NEVER Too Old!!
by: Deborah

Hi Patrish, I agree with the earlier comments totally. I've been traveling solo for quite a while. (It was an outcome of business travel, when, of course, I had to travel alone.) Once I started, I never thought about travelling with someone. (I do invite folks to meet up with me along the way.) I've stayed t hostels, done home exchanges, and couch surfing. I ESPECIALLY love the latter, as I've met wonderful people and new friends. In 2102 to celebrate being seventy, I planned a trip to Rome, Sardinia, Spain, and Mallorca with home exchanges and couch surfing. ( if you want more details.) When I travel alone, I see more; it is really a richer experience in many ways. Go for it! You will love it!

Apr 05, 2012
not at all!!!
by: Albatros

I'm a mature woman and have travelled around NZ by myself.
On a trip, in the south island, I remember meeting a 90 years old woman traveling alone, so no, it's never too late!

To my delight I found that hostels have very good standards and are usually in great locations, so don't worry, just go and enjoy it.

May 27, 2012
by: susan

I have stayed in several NZ hostels and found them quite nice. Some have shared baths..down the hall... but everyone is friendly. Look some up online and ask what the facilities are so you can plan well. Try to find out if they are senior only or all ages, and ask if thier usual clients are noisy into the nights.

Apr 07, 2015
Never Go With
by: Cathy

Go alone. You will have a much richer and more rewarding experience!

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