Advice please when travelling alone | MotorhomeFun | The Motorhome Support and Social Network

Advice please when travelling alone

Sep 13, 2018
24
85
Dorset
Funster No
56,159
MH
C Class
Exp
since 2017
Have a 7.4 m coach built . My wife passed away just before ‘lockdown’ so have had lots of time on my own trying to come to terms with how different my life will be. One issue is what are the challenges of travelling on your own. Is there anything I should do in advance to better prepare myself for a trip. We had planned to travel to France and Spain but am concerned that this maybe not a good idea for example if I was sick or had an accident preventing me from driving. I am determined to give it a go and hopefully will not be too lonely. Thanks
 
Apr 6, 2019
1,182
1,644
Peterborough
Funster No
59,702
MH
C Class?
Exp
1999 Autocruise Impala, bought 2019
Hi. And sorry to hear of your loss.

Personally I think you did the right thing keeping your Motorhome. Yes, you must have planned to go on trips together and that may play on your mind but I am sure she would want you to be happy and find things to enjoy.
As for solo travellers, there are groups and forums for single travellers that you can seek out and they often arrange their own meets so you are all in the same boat (hopefully other solo travellers from The Funsters can offer better advice).
But also think of the freedom (once lock down is finished) to pick a place of interest or a nice beach and know you can park nearby self sufficient and enjoy the place and retire to your own cosy space to sleep for the night.

Make sure your insurance is adequate should be unable to drive and then stop worrying about that kind of situation.
 

Puddleduck

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 15, 2014
10,503
25,413
Scottish Borders
Funster No
29,703
MH
SunLiving Lido M45SP
Exp
On and off for many years.
I'd rather be ill in my own space (motorhome) than in an hotel room.

As Jev88 said make sure yoir insurance is up to scratch (motor and personal / health) and then (when we can) make your plans and go.

Depending on your attitude to risk you may want to think about what you would do in certain situations but hope your contingency planning will never be needed. The first time I drove our current MH any distance was when my husband became poorly when we were away from home - not an issue having driven a previous very large motorhome round the Boulevard Périphérique during rush hour ...........

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yodeli

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 12, 2008
5,578
13,522
Balma (next to Toulouse) France
Funster No
4,394
MH
HymerCamp 51Capucine
Exp
Since 2011/owner since 6/03/2014
So very sorry for your loss....

It's very brave of you to carry on and try to realise what you had both planned.
You can be sure that if you decide to give a go to France, I'll be there to help you anytime.
If feeling tired weak or sick, it'll be easy to find a way to drive to my place. Once here , all the time to get fit and back on the road.

I'm sure everyone here will hold your hand to make sure you can reach your destination safely!

Amicalement
Frankie
 
Jun 25, 2019
125
419
Funster No
61,925
MH
A class
Exp
Since 2002
I have travelled alone for many years by motorbike, motorhome or simply flying off and making it up as I go along. Best advice I can give you is to take each day at a time so if you're planning a 60 day trip break it into 60 day trips, that way not only is it much more manageable but you also spend more time enjoying each day and place you visit.

Bear in mind that Europe is alway only ever a 2 or 3 hour flight home wherever you are so if you need (or want) to come back you can - if you look at it like that then there really is no great risk nor fear, no matter where you are. Also, getting out of your comfort zone is no bad thing, especially with what you've been through of late I'm sure. Sometimes doing things that challenge you focus your mind and can provide clarity about what to do next - be that the next day or the few years.

Equally, living out of a van is great for independent travel because wherever you go, your home is with you, if you're not feeling it one day just stay at home leave the world outside, chances are you'll find a new lease of life when moving around different places, personally I find travel is one of life's greatest distractions.

Now (coronavirus) is clearly not the time, but that gives you plenty of time to dream and plan an escape, make sure you've got good health insurance, repatriation cover for the van should anything go wrong and embrace the adventure.
 

Hollyberry

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 24, 2011
5,638
37,407
New Forest.
Funster No
16,134
MH
None.
Exp
4yrs
I’m sorry for your loss.
It does take time to adjust to being on your own, it‘s a gradual thing.
Long story short, my partner was killed in a RTA a week after we bought our first motorhome ( not involved in accident) It was never used and I sold it the following year. 5 years later I thought of a camper van, just to go on short trips around France ( where we lived) I ended up buying a 6.5 metre motorhome and completely unplanned full timed for 9 months. Loved it so much I went home, put the house on the market, packed it all up and did another 15 months in the van. Loved every day and fortunately the only problem I had was falling out of a motorhome at the Shrewsbury show and twisting my ankle.
Make sure you have good insurance to get you home if you do become ill, maybe book some Fun rallies when life gets back to nearer normal. You’ll be fine, I’m sure. Oh , and a reversing camera if you don’t have one— essential bit if kit.

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Mar 26, 2009
7,795
7,594
Yr Wyddgrug
Funster No
6,057
MH
Hymer B678DL
Exp
Since 2009
So sorry to hear of your sad loss.

I travel alone most of the time in a 7.5m van. As others have said check your insurances to see if you're covered for repatriation. Additional cameras can be very helpful. Don't forget, truck drivers generally navigate and drive large vehicles solo.

If you have an outgoing personality you'll never be lonely. I use aires and campsites when in France. There is always someone to chat to. The French have never let me down. With a little pigeon French and some pigeon English (not from me honest:winky:) I've spent many a happy hour chatting. The Dutch speak better English than I do and are always willing to chat. If you have only one chair outside of your van other motorhomers will notice this and act accordingly. If you offer free beer your problem will be keeping visitors away.

I seek out classic car shows/car races/car museums when in France. You're never on your own for long in places like that.

When travelling is permitted - get out there and give it a go. You can only make your decision once you've tried it solo.

I wish you the very best for your future travels.

Phil.
 
Last edited:
OP
Jurrasic
Sep 13, 2018
24
85
Dorset
Funster No
56,159
MH
C Class
Exp
since 2017
Thanks everyone for your kind words and also advice especially insurance. Had not thought about repatriation cover so will investigate it. I carry a scooter in my garage so can get out and about once I am parked, so desperate to be able to get away once we are allowed. Thanks again.
 

denisejoe

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 6, 2014
3,355
3,708
Warden isle of sheppy
Funster No
32,702
MH
A Class
Exp
Since 2004
So very sorry for your loss....

It's very brave of you to carry on and try to realise what you had both planned.
You can be sure that if you decide to give a go to France, I'll be there to help you anytime.
If feeling tired weak or sick, it'll be easy to find a way to drive to my place. Once here , all the time to get fit and back on the road.

I'm sure everyone here will hold your hand to make sure you can reach your destination safely!

Amicalement
Frankie
You are so kind Frankie. Really hope to meet up with you at some time.

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Oct 14, 2011
150
187
Chichester,West Sussex
Funster No
18,474
MH
Wildax Hi Top
Exp
Since 2002
I have been on my own for nearly 5 years now.I sold our A class Motorhome and bought a Nissan NV200 pop top just to see if I was happy travelling on my own in Europe. My spaniel is a great companion which helps and you also meet loads of like minded Motorhomers when you have a dog.
I then ordered a Wildax Campervan and have had it just 3 years now. I use Nationwide Flex Plus for breakdown abroad which also covers Health Insurance. If you use the toll roads in France it is a must to use a Toll Tag as it makes solo travelling much easier. I wish you all the best and assure you as time goes by it will get better.
 
Jan 16, 2017
82
97
Hillingdon
Funster No
46,924
MH
Vantage Med
Exp
Since 2017
I’m sorry for your loss and pleased to see you’re looking to the future.
Five years ago I went through the same traumatic circumstances. We had a caravan which we used to tour the UK and France. I continued to keep touring on my own but was thinking about what had changed and what I wanted to do in the future. I quickly realised I was more restless and wanted to be more mobile and so I sold the caravan and purchased my van conversion motorhome. I bought it with the particular needs for just me, it was one of my best ever decisions. I think of it as my escape pod.
I found one of the differences was the need and ability to get away for a couple of days at short notice when I was not required for grandad duties (I have 9 grandkids!). So have a really good think about how you will use the van in your new circumstances. I’m lucky, my van is kept on the drive and ready to go at very short notice.
I don’t find solo travelling any problem at all, there are always people to talk and socialise with, or you can enjoy your own company. I usually stay on campsites in the UK and in France, I rightly or wrongly feel more secure and the campsite fees are often based on occupancy and for solo travellers they can be great value. A good alarm system was one of my main priorities to ensure I always felt safe when parked up.
Sickness and accidents are always a concern but as other’s above have said, make sure you have good insurance. One of my major concerns was the loss of the keys to the van and how to carry spare keys; insurance companies do not usually allow you to leave spare keys on the vehicle. There are threads about this on the forum. I also carry a spare phone and backup credit cards.
For me, I found that dining out was not very pleasurable on my own so I keep the van well stocked with food and wine. I learned to cook!
I’ve never yet had cause to find myself needing help, but I have learned there is a great community on this forum who are always willing to help members through their problems and that is a great reassurance.
So push any worries to one side, get out there, travel, meet great people, create new memories and eventually you will find you are having FUN again.

Wishing you the very best in the future.

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Welsh girl

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 7, 2009
3,585
2,696
Funster No
9,222
MH
Globecar
Exp
Since 2004
I'm sorry for your loss
It's hard adjusting to life on your own after being with someone.
I lost my husband 3 years ago while fulltiming in the van.I didn't travel abroad in the van that I had when he was alive as I had a blind spot, the van I have now I would be happy to drive it abroad as I can see out of the left hand window ,it has no blind spot
Make sure that insurance will cover in the event if you not being able to drive .or broken ankle or similar.
I joined a single campers group and went with them to meetings, they helped a lot and were very friendly
They were called the phoenix campers. It's not a dating group just a group of friends getting together for meals, cinema etc . Obviously not able to meet now but I'm still in touch with a few friends a few years later.
I have a new partner now, not found through that group but we are still in touch as friends.
 

movan

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 2, 2009
20,423
65,684
Moving around
Funster No
9,543
MH
Burstner
Exp
since07
Have a 7.4 m coach built . My wife passed away just before ‘lockdown’ so have had lots of time on my own trying to come to terms with how different my life will be. One issue is what are the challenges of travelling on your own. Is there anything I should do in advance to better prepare myself for a trip. We had planned to travel to France and Spain but am concerned that this maybe not a good idea for example if I was sick or had an accident preventing me from driving. I am determined to give it a go and hopefully will not be too lonely. Thanks

Can't help re travelling abroad, despite being solo, as I've never done it.
....... but here's a hug to take on your travels when you eventually set off on your adventure. You won't be alone mentally as your wife will be there with you in your heart. . It will be scary having no-ne to discuss or make decisions with but the folks on here will only be a post away and will inspire and support you.

Use this time in lockdown to plan as much as is possible.
 
Oct 12, 2009
3,552
5,328
SW London, Poland and all Europe
Funster No
8,876
MH
A Class N+B Arto 69GL
Exp
Since 2009
Hello Jurassic.

Also my condolences for loss of your wife.

When I got my MH ten years ago I was single, still bachelor, so different circumstances to yours although I was still very much missing my last girlfriend. For the first 2 years I toured alone, until I paired up and now we tour together. I had previously toured largely alone on my boat in Greece for many years.

You do not say whether you have been, or plan to, use campsites, Aires or wildcamping. I was 'wildcamping' in UK, mostly lanes, verges, commons, beaches but also car parks in UK. I found it quite easy to find places. For water and dumping I often just phoned a private campsites and paid for just doing that, often very nominal. Of course France, Germany etc. is even easier for those facilities.

For socialising I did similar to the boat - went to a cafe/bar with a newspaper and invariably got chatting to someone. I found beach bars, or other tourist spots, were often good places for that as people talked to each other more there. I never felt the need to go on campsites just to get the company, and I do not appreciate campsites anyway. I did use CL/CS sites as they are more relaxed.

One tip for driving the MH is that, if you do not have parabolic mirrors or equivalent cameras, get them fitted as they make joining M/ways, main roads at an angle much easier for a solo driver with no 'look-out'.

Any questions, please ask.

Good luck with your touring.

Geoff

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OP
Jurrasic
Sep 13, 2018
24
85
Dorset
Funster No
56,159
MH
C Class
Exp
since 2017
Thanks again everyone and your positive guidance is just what I need in these difficult times . I have no children and must admit have been finding it difficult being stuck at home with no physical contact with family and friends. I will give it a go when we are released and hopefully things will get better. Maybe I will meet up with you guys on a campsite in the future. many many thanks .
 
Aug 30, 2012
4,368
8,158
Home of the war horse
Funster No
22,676
MH
burstnar T640
Exp
2010
Sorry for your loss it must very difficult
as for solo travel there are very many on here who travel alone both male and female
if I where in your shoes I would
try a few rally’s with fun or possibly join CCC and do a few of there meets it’s a good way of getting about
if your up for it when we are set free try France especially around central and bordoux areas plenty of aries and some very nice sites
twin lakes comes to mind especially if you like a spot of fishing nice people good company but not intrusive
just ask on here for some recommendations
edit
just as a afterthought have a look at the German rivers such as The Mosel Snowbird has a in-depth thread on it we did it last year based on his recommendations and enjoyed it immensely
mosel rolling meet was the title if I remember

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Jan 28, 2008
6,703
7,940
walthamstow east london
Funster No
1,353
MH
renault burstner delphin
Exp
7 years campers before that
i recall some one here installing a camera in the passenger side window as without a copilot the view was difficult
 
Feb 21, 2016
2,692
4,797
Uk
Funster No
41,726
MH
C class
Exp
Beginner
Have a 7.4 m coach built . My wife passed away just before ‘lockdown’ so have had lots of time on my own trying to come to terms with how different my life will be. One issue is what are the challenges of travelling on your own. Is there anything I should do in advance to better prepare myself for a trip. We had planned to travel to France and Spain but am concerned that this maybe not a good idea for example if I was sick or had an accident preventing me from driving. I am determined to give it a go and hopefully will not be too lonely. Thanks
Delete..pressed the wrong button.....again!
 
Feb 19, 2018
42
5,777
EAST ANGLIA
Funster No
52,484
MH
Murvi van conversion
Exp
Since 1975
Two things that hasn't been asked is, how experienced are you driving abroad and your age? Both will make a big difference.
I had a lot of continental experience, driving artics and coaches up until 20yrs ago when I turned 50+, since then I, occasionally, travel abroad in my VW campervan or Murvi motorhome.

I found, the main difference, travelling solo is that, its ok UNTIL something happens in a remote area and your on your own!
You MUST have all the insurances etc, especially if your elderly, but all the insurances in the world will not help you if your alone, half way up a mountain or on a dodgy aire with no phone signal and SOMETIMES, deciding to leave your van, just to do some sightseeing or shopping, can be a hard call.
Far, far easier if there's someone to keep an eye on the van.

My advice is, for the first couple of times, join a club that does continental tours (both the big 2, and others, do them) and go on a couple of there rallies. There, you will find, like minded people and a Steward if you have any problems. Plus, use proper campsite on the way to and from the rally.

Once you have a bit of experience, the decisions are yours! The driving the easy bit if you do a bit of research, speeds, roadsigns etc. and use some common sense. Good Luck!

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Jan 25, 2013
873
13,497
Dorchester, Dorset, UK
Funster No
24,414
MH
Tribute T620
Exp
Since 1991
I’m sorry for your loss and pleased to see you’re looking to the future.
Five years ago I went through the same traumatic circumstances. We had a caravan which we used to tour the UK and France. I continued to keep touring on my own but was thinking about what had changed and what I wanted to do in the future. I quickly realised I was more restless and wanted to be more mobile and so I sold the caravan and purchased my van conversion motorhome. I bought it with the particular needs for just me, it was one of my best ever decisions. I think of it as my escape pod.
I found one of the differences was the need and ability to get away for a couple of days at short notice when I was not required for grandad duties (I have 9 grandkids!). So have a really good think about how you will use the van in your new circumstances. I’m lucky, my van is kept on the drive and ready to go at very short notice.
I don’t find solo travelling any problem at all, there are always people to talk and socialise with, or you can enjoy your own company. I usually stay on campsites in the UK and in France, I rightly or wrongly feel more secure and the campsite fees are often based on occupancy and for solo travellers they can be great value. A good alarm system was one of my main priorities to ensure I always felt safe when parked up.
Sickness and accidents are always a concern but as other’s above have said, make sure you have good insurance. One of my major concerns was the loss of the keys to the van and how to carry spare keys; insurance companies do not usually allow you to leave spare keys on the vehicle. There are threads about this on the forum. I also carry a spare phone and backup credit cards.
For me, I found that dining out was not very pleasurable on my own so I keep the van well stocked with food and wine. I learned to cook!
I’ve never yet had cause to find myself needing help, but I have learned there is a great community on this forum who are always willing to help members through their problems and that is a great reassurance.
So push any worries to one side, get out there, travel, meet great people, create new memories and eventually you will find you are having FUN again.

Wishing you the very best in the future.
What he said! I've been on my own now for 12 years and my MH is my sanity saviour and I find it particularly frustrating at the moment with not being able to go away in it. The furthest I've been is Morocco, my most ambitious trip, but just a day out in it is just as "exciting". Park up, pull on the handbrake, turn on the gas, boil kettle - job done!

Oh yes, I just noticed you live in Dorset (God's own county!) as do I, so if you ever fancy meeting up when this "thing" dies down, just PM me and we could have a chat.
 
Jan 22, 2012
869
1,073
Wigan
Funster No
19,541
MH
Knaus Sun TI 2012
Exp
2010
I've been inspired by the people I've met who have lost their partners and still gone travelling in motorhome. All of them seem to be having a ball and one or two have met new partners. Being positive seems to be the best way forward. I met a woman last year who'd lost her husband and tried to sell the motorhome. When she was being offered shirt buttons for it she said 'sod it' and went off around Europe and loved it. When I met her she had a new partner. You might be best sticking to large sites with restaurants and bars on site where people gather and get to know each other. Best wishes and go for it.
 
Aug 26, 2008
2,323
6,826
B&NES
Funster No
3,823
MH
Van Conversion
Exp
since 2007
If you use the toll roads in France it is a must to use a Toll Tag as it makes solo travelling much easier.
That is a top tip if you are solo in a RHD vehicle. I have the Liber-T TAG from Emovis. The C&MC had a special offer on them last year.

Even in a LHD van the toll machines at the Peage are not so easy to operate.

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Aug 19, 2016
18
33
Wales
Funster No
44,700
MH
C Class
Exp
newbie
I am sorry for your loss , I too lost my husband just over 2 years ago we travelled all over Europe together up to scandinavia and even went to Lapland. . I haven't ventured out alone yet but I have a friend who comes with me and has given me lots of confidence , and had the lockdown not happened I would have been going away this summer alone. So good on you for taking the bull by the horns and planning trips , Take care keep the wheels rolling ,
 
Sep 18, 2010
508
461
Plymouth
Funster No
13,751
MH
Bailey 625
Exp
2010?
What fantastic supportive comments, this forum MHF is absolutely brilliant, no matter what your circumstances there’s always someone willing to help or lend a voice to you.
I hope you take some of these offers up and enjoy your time
:welcome4:
 
Jan 23, 2016
938
63,792
Wales
Funster No
41,434
MH
Adria Coral
Exp
25 years
Sorry to hear how things have worked out for you.

I am a solo traveler with a 7.5mtr van.

Four mirrors and two cameras help but most important is patience and don't rush.

I only travel in the UK and try not to go to places that I haven't done a recce on, thank you StreetMap.

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