Hervey Bay woman shares tips for travelling solo

IT SEEMS that more of our baby boomers are taking to the road, sea or air to spend the kid's inheritance and some of them are going it alone.

The NRMA's newest lifestyle service Living Well Navigator survey found 72% of baby boomers were comfortable holidaying on their own.

Hervey Bay's Mary MacDonald has travelled far and wide and said there are many advantages to travelling alone.

"I've been to the UK, Guatemala, USA and New Guinea," she said.

"I had time in London on my own and it was easy to do because London caters to tourists.

"I booked certain trips, but I enjoyed just going to visit places by myself."

Safety is always an issue whether you travel with someone or go on your own and Mary said the only real concern she had was with language barrier.

"In Central America I didn't know the language but I've been twice to Guatemala," Mary said.

"I went alone for five weeks and enrolled in a Spanish school and boarded with a family who looked after me so that overcame some safety issues.

"I took a trip to Europe on a Euro Pass and travelled to Germany and Stockholm and felt that it was pretty safe to be there on my own."

Knowing how much luggage to take on a trip can be a problem sometimes but you have to be vigilant, because there are limitations on how much you can take in some countries.

Finding places to stay is almost as much a problem but Mary said she found plenty of hostels and bed and breakfasts.

"In Ireland I stayed mainly in hostels, they're good because you can prepare your own meals, and most of them take people of any age," she said.

Living Well Navigator Ambassador Dawn Fraser said the navigator would be a useful resource for older Australians looking to travel alone.

"Living Well Navigator has a whole section called the Solo Travellers Club, aimed at those who are planning on a solo adventure, but would like to meet up with a group of people along the way and avoid common single travel supplement fees," Ms Fraser said.

For more information, visit www.livingwellnavigator.com.au.

Mary MacDonald with a tapa cloth from Wanigela in Papua New Guinea.
Mary MacDonald with a tapa cloth from Wanigela in Papua New Guinea. Contributed