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42 Secrets only Solo Travellers Know

Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub

 42 

SECRETS ONLY SOLO TRAVELLERS KNOW

…and why everyone should have a go at travelling alone

FUN FACTOR

» Solo travellers get more breaks. More often than not it’s easier to squeeze one extra person on a trip, or fill a spare seat, or even grab that upgrade (see page 28). Just one more person doesn’t tip the scales like a couple or group.

» On your own you’re better at joining in, and you’re never outnumbering or intimidating if approaching others. Leave the headphones off for extra approachable points.

» While the perception is that solo travellers are more vulnerable, often the opposite is true. You’re reliant on your own gut instinct, without peer pressure.

» You’re rarely on your own when travelling on your own. You make friends faster and have the freedom to change plans to spend more time with those you do get on with. And if not? There’s nothing keeping you in town when you feel like moving on.

Matt Phillips, Destination Editor at Lonely Planet

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35 Complain Well

Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub

 35 

COMPLAIN WELL

Ingrid Stone, author of Letters of a Dissatisfied Woman (lettersofadissatisfiedwoman.com) on the fine art of complaining

AVOIDING PITFALLS

Don’t be shy

Don’t forget you’ve paid a lot of money for your flight, experience or hotel room. If something’s not right, speak up. Travellers are great at moaning, but not so good at raising complaints.

Speak up early

Travel firms want to deal with problems promptly. If something’s not right, say so then. When it’s raised later, it can be harder to make amends.

Get social

Customer service departments now monitor social networks, Twitter in particular, and are quick to respond to problems. Sign up before you go and follow the relevant accounts to speed things up.

EU Airline compensation rules

Flying to or from the EU? It pays to know your rights as you could entitled to compensation in the event of delays or cancellation. See the EU website for more details.

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Abu Dhabi

Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub
Medium 9781743216774

Goa

Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub

%0832 / Pop 1.46 million

Goa is like no other state in India. It could be the Portuguese colonial influence, the endless beaches, the glorious whitewashed churches or the relaxed culture of susegad – a uniquely Goan term that translates as ‘laid-backness’ and is evident in all aspects of daily life and in the Goan people themselves.

But Goa is far more than its old-school reputation as a hippie haven or its contemporary status as a beach getaway. Goa is as naturally and culturally rich as it is compact; you can go birdwatching in a butterfly-filled forest, marvel at centuries-old cathedrals, trek out to milky waterfalls and aromatic spice farms or meander the capital’s charming alleyways. Add a dash of Portuguese-influenced food and architecture, infuse with a colourful blend of religious traditions, pepper with parties and beach shacks, and you’ve got a recipe that makes Goa easy to enjoy and extremely hard to leave.

ASep–Nov Post-monsoon, some shacks are up but crowds are still down; accommodation bargains.

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Melbourne

Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub

Melbourne

pop 4,250,000

Stylish, arty Melbourne is a city that’s both dynamic and cosmopolitan, and proud of its place as Australia’s cultural capital. Its stately gold-rush-era architecture and a multicultural make-up reflect the city’s recent history, while edgy street art, top museums and sticky-carpeted band venues point to its present-day personality.

Melbourne is best experienced as a local would, with its character largely reliant upon its collection of inner-city neighbourhoods. Despite a long-standing north–south divide (flashy St Kilda versus hipster Fitzroy), there’s a coolness about its bars, cafes, restaurants, festivals and people that transcends the borders. The city centre has meanwhile reinvented itself with chic laneway eateries and rooftop bars opening in former industrial buildings.

Sport is also crucial to the fabric of the town, taking on something of a religious nature here. Melburnians are passionate about AFL football (‘footy’), cricket and horse racing, and also love their Grand Slam tennis and Formula One car racing.

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