So this is the first part of this little blog series about going to Disneyland or Disney Parks alone. Throughout the blogs I’ll be giving out my tips and advice on how to have a fun, safe and overall fantastic solo holiday. So I’ll start with my advice and thoughts then end with common questions I get asked.
I get a lot go questions about going solo because I do go solo a lot, and the first thing you must learn is; THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH GOING SOLO! People might hear you’re going solo and assume you have no friends, but that’s not the case. Not everyone wants to go to Disneyland or have friends that cannot afford to go. So going solo is the only way to go is solo. It’s better to experience the magic alone than not at all, I say. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t fall in love with Halloween, experience Christmas and all my other amazing trips! So now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about travel.
So, the one thing that I feel that people can get scared of is travel, especially if you’ve not travelled far distances on your own before.
For me, my first travel alone was Halloween 2011 and I flew. However my only “negative” about this was that I’d done it before, twice that year. I flew with my parents and then a month later I was able to “dip my toe in” by going with a friend – so two 18-year-olds going and I was in charge. So going alone wasn’t too scary for me because I knew what I was doing, where I was going – not many people have been before and won’t know their steps. Also I just started University so I was slowly starting to become independent, travelling to home, learning to be by myself ect. But I’ll give as best tips I can below.
So that’s my first advice is try to learn as much as you can the steps you’ll take!
Learn the times of your trains/flights/coaches ect till you’re repeating them in your sleep! When booking travel always make sure to leave time between journeys for any delays or issues. Even if you get there early, just sit and chill, calm your nerves, get some food or looks around the shops. There’s always something to do. Another tip is try and learn your seat numbers before you’re on the train/coach/bus ect, there’s nothing more annoying than someone holding up the queue because you can’t remember your seat. Check when you get there, then again just before you head off – or keep it in your hand and check before you reach the doors.
If you’re in a new area, try and not look like a tourist – that can get people to target you! Always look ahead – always keep your head up, don’t look at the ground, don’t wear headphones, always be alert – but not scared! Always keep an eye on your bags, make sure if you can to pick a seat near the luggage racks or place your bags near you.
Always makes sure to print off your tickets or have the documentation for getting your tickets! Obviously, if the machine doesn’t work, go see a member of staff. If you’re in France, and they don’t speak English – try and type on your phone and use a translator. But remember, phones die, internet stops and technology doesn’t always work. If you want to use the super-cool new app, do so, but have a paper copy as backup! Try and also keep all your documentation together and neat, nothing more annoying than searching through pockets and bags.
But at the end of the day, travel can be quite enjoyable – if nothing goes wrong! You’re sat down for ages and you can read, listen to music, play games, watch movies – it can be tiring and stressful but once you’re on the move – relax. It honetsly can be enjoyable having some alone time, just be with your thoughts and learn to be alone. I am an introvert and do love meeting people and doing thing – but I don’t mind my own company, so going alone for me isn’t the worst thing in the world.
So that’s all I can really give you guys on travel – obviously if I think of more I’ll do a part 2 blog post. But below I’ll answer some of my comon travel questions.
- I want to book, where do I book?
I only travel by Eurostar and I for that I used their website. I know if you book through Disneyland Paris or any other travel agency they can find you trains but sometimes you cannot pick which ones. So I’d book separately through Eurostar for flights there’s Skyscanner.com and for coaches, I have no idea. But google is there for you. (Please note for Eurostar you can book 6 months in advance, flights and coaches I dont’ know)
- How do you travel?
I use the Eurostar and TGV. It’s the easiest way for me to get to Disneyland Paris. I don’t mind the change at Lille, I find it breaks up the journey and the TGV is more comfortable than the RER. I will soon upload a post about the many ways of getting to Disneyland Paris! Keep and eye out.
- How do you not get lonely on the long journey?
Read, watch a movie, listen to music – the time will honestly fly by. And like said before, I’m an introvert and lived alone for a year and I’m extremely independent, so for me it’s become second nature.
- How do you do the transfer at Lille?
I’ll soon be uploading a travel guide, but to summarize, the train is sometimes on the opposite platform, but just go up the stairs, find a screen – the train will say “Marne-Le-Valle” and also compare with the number on your ticket. The train will arrive on the platform downstairs. You can stay downstairs if you want, but it’s nice to stretch your legs and have a walk around upstairs – please remember that the toilets are 50cents to use. But that’s it, no getting a bus or even leaving the building. Note that there’ll be TWO trains together, but 99% of the time they’re 1-6 and then like 14-18 or something, they won’t have duplicate coach numbers, so don’t worry. Also on the way back, one train might stop at Lille and the other at Brussels, if you’re on the Brussels train, don’t worry, it’ll also stop at Lille.
- What do you do with your stuff when going to the loo on the train?
Just take my bag with me (I do 100%, didn’t when I was running when I was sick) and I leave my coat and anything on my seat. I normally pick the seats closest to the luggage rack and to the loo, but you’ll be gone for less than 5 minutes. It’ll be fine. Prey that on the TGV you get the aisle seat, if not, just stand up and say “pardon moi” or just “excuse me” and go to the loo. Simple. Don’t deny yourself basic human needs because of upsetting people or anything.
So that’s all I have for now, I hope you find my tips and advice useful! If you have any questions, read through this twice, then ask. Ha.