Guest Author - Christine Wilcox
I know, I know. The site is supposed to be about "Solo Travel." But I'm facing a traveling scenario that I haven't had to deal with for quite some time: I'm not going alone.
Hanging myself with mantle of "intrepid solo traveler" is not just for convenience-sake; it's my reality. Out of all the trips I've taken in the last four years (at approximately 40 to 50 trips per year), I can count on one hand the number of times I've traveled with specific people. This week, I'm embarking upon not just a trip-with-companion, but also the first trip I've taken with my sister in ages, and my first vacation days of the year.
We're going to one of my favorite places in the world - San Francisco. And we're going to get to do all of the great tourist things that I hardly do because, well, they just don't seem like they'd be as much fun without someone else to share the trip with.
So the "Rules" that I reference aren't rules that we have to follow, but they are rules that I have imparted to my sister because I am SO used to traveling alone.
1. I don't check luggage.
2. I always use a GPS in big cities.
3. I don't - generally - have a plan.
While the first "rule" would be viewed by some as purely personal preference, I know me, and I know that I would get annoyed if I landed in San Francisco and had to linger at baggage claim. I land, I go - so it's a rule.
The second rule - GPS systems. Some people find them to be lacking in adventure. I find them to be an invaluable travel tool for someone, like myself, who is plan-averse. One of my favorite things to do when I'm in a new place is to use GPS to find new nooks and crannies - something that not having a GPS makes nearly impossible. So I fork over the money to pay for one.
The third rule - about not having a plan - is something that's not entirely foreign to my Aquarian psyche, but it's one that I've adhered to more closely for the last few years. Plans and tickets and times mean watching a clock. I don't even wear a watch. Ask me how much I like to watch a clock. I don't plan ahead much. Yes, at times, this has resulted in my not going places that I've wanted to go because tickets are not available, but traveling solo allows more latitude - ("Oh, just one? You can fit on that tour that's leaving in five minutes" is more along the lines of the response). But since I have a companion to consider, like a tree, I can bend.
This time, I've succumbed as much as possible - we have a rough itinerary, and thanks to Travelocity's new Top Secret Hotels program, we have a FANTASTIC hotel down by Fisherman's Wharf for a steal of a deal - nearly $70 off the online price at other sites.
So, I'm saving money, I'm getting a couple vacation days in, and I get to spend a few free days with my sister - could a solo travel girl ask for more?