At Trafalgar, we like to think we’re big fans of travel. But we may have met our match in our very special guest, Candy. Hailing from the Philippines, Candy has travelled on a whopping 10 tours with Trafalgar and our sister brands… And she does it all solo too! We sat down with Candy to talk about her amazing passion for travel. She gave us the lowdown on everything from what it’s like travelling alone to her top solo traveller tips. She also shared her favourite destinations, most memorable travel experiences, and where she’s headed to next.
Where have you travelled so far?
I’ve travelled to 51 countries across Europe, the UK, North America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East! Of those, I’ve visited more than 35 countries with Trafalgar and its sister brands.
What is your favourite place you’ve travelled to?
I can say that my favourite place was Egypt because it is really rich in history from many angles. You also need to love their people and the way they live. There is a thrill because we need to exert extra caution while wandering in its many parts. It is a simple way of living but I can say that many parts of the country are really something because the ancient culture is still present even today.
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My second favourite was Iceland because, to me, nature is at its finest here. Walking down the lava fields and seeing active volcanoes without fear is exciting and Iceland’s nature is still intact.
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My third favourite was Russia. Why? Because it’s a big country, rich in history too, and epic. I enjoyed learning the life and stories of Russian Tzars and Tsarinas. Their Matryoshka dolls are beautiful and you’ve got to bring one home as a souvenir. It is a unique combination of cultures and influences. Their architecture is so beautiful and unique that you can’t stop saying “WOW”… It really is jaw-dropping. St. Petersburg and Moscow were really something, they are indeed pretty places. Not only that, their water tastes like VODKA (kidding aside) and you can appreciate it, especially when cruising the Neva river in extremely cold weather at night.
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What are the most memorable experiences from your Trafalgar trips?
A lot! Here are a few of my favourites:
Celebrating my birthdays with Trafalgar trips becomes extra special because of cakes and champagnes from my Travel Directors and some extraordinary celebrations like I had in Egypt. The whole cruise celebrated my birthday in our Egyptian Galabia outfits and other guests sang happy birthday.
Be My Guest experiences
The “Be My Guest” experience on Trafalgar trips is something I always look forward to because that is the time I can see the real and natural way of local life. I can see how they cook their food and, of course, taste it. This feature of Trafalgar is the BEST one.
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Celebrating Christmas Day with Trafalgar is also a memorable one. On Christmas Eve, we were in Venice and the whole group enjoyed the gondola ride with a gondolier singing beautiful songs. When we were done, our Travel Director was waiting with Venetian masks for all of us. When we return to our coach, our driver made an extra effort to decorate the inside with beautiful lights and decorations! Amazing! There’s a lot more but too many to mention.
What is your favourite thing about travelling on Trafalgar tours?
My favourite thing about travelling with Trafalgar is the itineraries. It is really well planned and the Travel Directors and Local Guides are very knowledgeable. They know how to take care of their guests. All the years I’ve been a solo traveller with Trafalgar, I never felt alone and at the end of the tour, I go back home with beautiful memories to show, beautiful photos and beautiful experiences.
I feel like a VIP because when we enter museums we skip the lines. It is hassle-free. I have all the opportunity to travel the world without having to stress about itineraries, coordinating transportation, or having problems with what activities to do in a day.
Most important is, that I am safe. I have noticed when I travelled with Trafalgar, that Travel Directors give extra attention to solo travellers… Or maybe I’m just lucky because I am always mistaken as a teenager since I am very small – haha!
What do you like about being a solo traveller?
It’s all about me and myself, without worrying about a companion or anybody else. Time is controlled by me and I can enjoy myself gallivanting in many places and taking photos without waiting for anyone else. It also teaches me to be responsible for myself and my safety because I am alone, so I need to take care of myself.
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Did you have any fears about travelling alone for the first time? If so, how did you conquer these fears?
NONE because before I travelled solo with Trafalgar, I used to travel alone, other than our annual family vacations. If my friends could not join me on my trips, I would travel on my own. So I have no fears at all. I did have some small worries when joining group tours because I don’t know who and what kind of people I am travelling with – but so far so good.
How does it feel being a solo traveller as a woman? Was this a concern for you at the start of your travels?
It felt risky and sometimes scary because whatever we say, I am still a woman. I’m small and young but I don’t show that I’m scared. I’m always confident with extra care in every move I take. I always take extra precautions on where I go and I always check the itineraries and activities of where I am going. I exert extra care for my belongings and of course myself. Also, I don’t easily trust whoever I meet, I always opt for my security first.
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What are your top tips for anyone thinking about travelling solo?
Go out of your cocoon, don’t be afraid! Try it once. Try to gather all the confidence to go solo, there is nothing to be afraid of. Join tour groups like the ones with Trafalgar, Costsaver, and Insight Vacations, or Contiki and other TTC tours. It’s 100% safe because there is a Travel Director and other guides. The moment you land at your destination, they take care of you from when the tour starts up to the end. Always be responsible and watchful of yourself, and respect your tour mates, don’t just do anything you want.
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Where are you travelling next with Trafalgar and why?
At this time of the pandemic, it is hard to go out because we have lots of regulations and rules to follow. Travelling right now is different from pre-pandemic times because there’s a lot to be worried about, especially our health and safety.
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What would you say to a solo traveller considering a Trafalgar tour?
Go ahead, you will never go wrong with Trafalgar. The moment you ask your Trafalgar Travel Consultants, you are already taken care of. If you are travelling solo, you can take a single supplement like I did, because privacy is always important and a must to me. Sometimes Trafalgar has special promos for single supplements too.
Do not skip the optional tours because you won’t regret them! The tours have well-planned itineraries, it’s stress-free, and all the Travel Directors and local guides are knowledgeable. Plus, in my entire experience, all our drivers are commendable! Try one tour and you will get addicted… Based on my own experience!
Are you an avid solo traveller like Candy? Do you have any great solo travel tips? Let us know in the comments below!