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Have a question about food, shopping, history, activities, or anything else about a solo travel destination? Ask away! We'll be posting updates on this page.

Where is the best place to get coffee in New Orleans?

Pulp & Grind is a new coffee and juice bar that's perfect for meetings, coffee dates, or working the day away solo on your laptop.

What attraction should I visit in Saint Petersburg, Russia?

The top must see attractions include: the Hermitage Museum and Palace, Church on Spilled Blood, Ballet performance at the Mariinsky Theater, Pushkin's Village to see the Catherine Palace and gardens, and dinner at Tsar Restaurant.

 

Which country is the best place for solo travelers in 2016?

Taking affordability, safety, and things to do into consideration, I would recommend Austria, Hungary, and China. China would be top pick of these three based on this criteria.

What is the safest country for solo travel?

In my experience, Austria, China, and Finland are the safety countries for solo travel.

When is the best time of year to visit New Orleans?

This depends on what you want to experience. There is Mardi Gras, Christmastime, Jazz Fest and many more opportunities to enjoy yourself in New Orleans. I'd recommend avoiding a visit in the middle to late summer because of the heat and humidity, although the hotel prices are more reasonable at that time

What are the security concerns traveling to and from Egypt?

Your questions are ones many people are asking which have no pat answers. I will share with you what I did before I traveled to Egypt and my experience. In the final analysis, visiting Egypt is a travel decision only you can make. Unfortunately, travel today is not as carefree or as safe as it was twenty years ago but this should not totally prevent you from traveling. Here are my Egypt safety suggestions:

  1. Before any trip I'm contemplating, I go to the U.S. Department of State website and read its travel advisories and warnings, plus everything about the country I am traveling to. If where I want to go is on either the warning or alert list, I do not go there. As of yesterday, Egypt is not on the list and was not on the list when I went which was after the downed Russian MetroJet that crashed shortly after taking off from Egypt. The fact it was not on the list relieved some of my safety concerns.
  2. As a solo traveler traveling to Egypt, I felt like I needed to go with a reputable travel company for several reasons: 
    • Logistics - the many historical sites I wanted to see were all along the Nile River. To hire a private guide and driver would have been very costly. 
    • Safety - I felt a highly rated tour company would have many safety issues taken care of. Egyptologist; having an Egyptologist explaining the highly complex, fascinating history of Ancient Egypt and its many fabulous sites, I feel, is a must to fully understand what you are experiencing. 
    • Cruising the Nile - seeing Egypt from this perspective is wonderful. The panorama is one-of-kind. Uniworld's "Splendors of the Nile" is the 12-day Cairo/Nile riverboat cruise I took part in this late winter which was the perfect time to go with no crowds and great weather.
  3. Another valuable traveler safety feature provided by the U.S. State Department is its Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) where you can enter your personal travel information for each trip you are taking such as dates, your hotel, personal and family contact numbers, etc. Once enrolled you will get notifications if there are any new safety concerns and what to do if needed. Also, if you have a problem such as a theft or an accident you can inform them and you will be given instructions on what to do. I never travel outside the US now without enrolling my itinerary with STEP. Likewise, there is a Smart Traveler Enrollment Program app I suggest you get.

Last, I must share I never felt unsafe while in Egypt but I was not doing anything outside what was on the Uniworld itinerary. This company has extensive safety procedures in place at all times to protect their customers during the entire time they are on the tour. Being a blonde, Western woman myself, I would not have wandered solo in Egypt. I found the Egyptians to be well-mannered, hospitable and friendly but there are significant risks for something to happen if you are totally alone.

With all of this said, I would probably wait until next year in late winter, early spring to visit when the weather is ideal and some of the current travel concerns may have eased. I loved my trip to Egypt and plan to back there one day. Hopefully, these comments and suggestions will help you make your decision.

What is your advice for trekking in Leh Ladakh?

Thanks for your question. Though I have never visited this beautiful and intriguing place it is definitely on my bucket list. Because I haven’t been to this area, I am a little hesitant to give you specific recommendations. I did scan the online universe on this subject and this is what I suggest you explore further.

Since Astrid Solo Travel Advisor only focuses on affordable luxury ideas for solo travelers my suggestions will have a luxury emphasis. I found two sites that I personally would explore in depth before choosing how to experience the Leh Ladakh region as a solo traveler.

First, Cox and Kings, a highly reputable luxury travel company, offers a nine-day tour to New Delhi and the Leh areas. In Delhi you would visit some of the most important sites, you would have free time in the afternoons to explore the city on your own and you would stay in two gorgeous hotels. In the Leh region, some of the highlights are the Leh Palace, the old bazaar, and a traditional home where you will have a lecture by a Ladakh scholar about the architectural history of the city. In Thiksey, you will visit the Monastery and have an opportunity to partake in morning prayer if you wish and have a guided tour of the entire premises. An optional cycling tour in the afternoon is available and sounds like fun. Also, you will tour the Hemis Monastery, the oldest in Ladakh. On the third day in the area you will cross the incredibly beautiful Indus River and visit the Stok Palace, the residence of the Prince of Ladakh and have tea at a village home. On the eighth day you will return to Delhi to prepare for your journey home the next day.

This tour is not a purely trekking tour but I thought I would mention it because of Cox and King’s reputation for high level luxury experiences . The prices range from $4,135-$4,735 with an additional interior flight fee of $460 which does not include your in and outbound flight, tips, and other expenses. If you are traveling solo, there is also a single supplement fee.I find this price reasonable for the experience to this exotic hard to get to region of the world.

The second alternative that is more of a trekking experience is offered by Shakti Tours based in India that specializes in Himalayan luxury tours and its cost is $515 per night. I investigated its website and what they offered looked appealing. They have a tour to the Leh region where you would be staying in a luxury tent and would visit all of the main sights in the area as well as do some trekking. I got this information from an article about them that was published in the New York Times. I will forward you the article.

As previously mentioned, I have not traveled to this region and these are just suggestions for you to explore before your make your travel decision on how to see this special place. Thanks again for the question, I hope this info has been helpful.

 


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