Trip Planning Part 2

Do you like to travel with a partner, friend or family member? Or do you enjoy solo travel with perhaps a few days of organized group touring? Do you enjoy trip planning or would you rather leave those details to the experts? `

I ate my lunch every day at the restaurant below my apartment in Paris.

Personally, I am adaptable to different travel situations and to different travel partners. Since my husband is not a keen traveller, I often travel alone. I enjoy setting up "a home" in other countries
and getting to know the grocer, the waiters in the local restaurant and the vendors at the market. Buying cleaning products in the Monoprix basement in Paris is almost a exciting to me as visiting the
Eiffel Tower (I did say almost!)

Flowers, an inexpensive tablecloth and living across from Gérard Mulot...what else could a woman want?

Finding an apartment is quite the process but there are many agencies and websites that can help. Try not to choose an agency that charges a fee in addition to the rental cost. In my experience, once the apartment has been located, you are on your own to deal with the property manager or owner. All agencies are not created equal but Paris Address provided me with a comfortable apartment and great service during my 5 month rental. Fresh sheets and towels were provided upon request and I hired their driver for my departure to the airport as the apartment was on the fourth floor and I had acquired quite a lot of books and papers from my French studies.

I clean our apartment at home so I don't mind doing the same in a long-term rental. If I am renting for a shorter period of time, weekly cleaning ensures that I have plenty of time to enjoy my destination.
I enjoyed my daily encounters with the smiling and fastidious Sofia at Casa Peyrera where I stayed
last year.

my Oaxaca dining room

I enjoy renting solo and having friends or family visit my "home away from home."  I always rent
with the possibility of having visitors. A fold-out couch or a rollaway bed provides my guests with an opportunity to share the apartment and my adventures. Visitors sometimes contribute towards the rental cost and sometimes take me out for a meal. I enjoy showing guests around "my new city" when I'm not busy studying or volunteering.

As I am a 60+  woman, nightlife is not a big part of my travel experience. I eat my larger meal during the day and  I usually save visits to the theatre or evening concerts to be shared with visiting friends. Reading and watching movies on Netflix are great activities for my evenings.

This year, I am planning a trip to Ireland in the late summer. I will be travelling with friends who enjoy being free to experience the small and out of the way towns. None of us wishes to drive so it will take some planning. I'm thinking of a coach pass for flexibility with some hotel bookings made ahead. Does anyone have experience with Irish travel in late August and early September? To reserve or not to reserve, that is the question? Can three "ladies of a certain age" with carry-on bags manage a two week visit to Ireland on coach?


  1. I'm getting ready for my first solo trip in several years -- although I'll have my daughter's family at the destination, so it's not quite the same. But like you, I'm quite comfortable with my own company, and I'm inspired by the way you managed on your own in Paris for five months. I'm also very impressed by the way you manage to keep up your habit of travelling even though your partner doesn't enjoy it as much -- go you! You show women of a certain age (and younger women as well!) that we don't need to rely on our spouses or boyfriends as travel companions -- I imagine you'll have all kinds of fun in Ireland with your women friends, and Monsieur gets the benefit, when you get home, of a recharged Mme.!

  2. You will enjoy your Roman holiday, I am certain. I didn't have a time between my parents' home and marriage and motherhood so I think that, for me, the time in Paris or Oaxaca that I spend alone fulfills a need. My husband, whose life experience is different from mine, does not have the same need. The world does seem to supply us with lots of possible companions for when we need them but sometimes our own company is best.

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