Thursday, February 27, 2020

Heading To Vienna Soon!

Wiener Staatsoper abend

In just a few more days, I am heading out on my next journey. This time, to Vienna.

I was talking to people and they were saying that usually they are aware of my upcoming travel plans, but that I wasn't talking about this trip of mine at all. I realized then that I didn't really talk about it much, other than one line mentions in two different posts. So here it is, my post about my upcoming trip.

Last July I was in Greece with my friend Vera, and I was showing a mutual friend how I get cheap tickets, and while trying to show her an example, I ended up finding really cheap tickets to Vienna in January, so decided to book them on the spot. However, since the trip was 6 months from then, I decided to pay a bit extra to make the trip flexible, because I wasn't sure exactly what would be then, especially since I am a single mom and have to okay my travel plans with my ex, because he watches the kids while I'm gone.

Since I ended up booking ridiculously cheap tickets to Bulgaria for a trip with my kids in December, I was glad that I ended up paying extra to make my trip to Vienna flexible, because I didn't need to be traveling one month after my last trip. However, the stipulations on the website about the ticket included that it needed to be rebooked within 3 months, so I decided to book it for March.

We have a holiday coming up in March, so I tried to book the tickets so I'd be home for the holiday, but I accidentally booked the tickets so that I'll be gone over the holiday, but this time I didn't pay extra to make the tickets flexible, so my choice was to be gone over the holiday or throw out the money spent on the trip. I decided to make arrangements for myself to celebrate the holiday there, and make preparations for my kids for the holiday here, even though I won't be here with them.

Volksgarten Vienna June 2006 300

Though I've traveled quite a bit in the past few years, this trip is still a first for me. I haven't done solo traveling since becoming a single mom. My last solo trip was actually in December of 2017 to Belgium! Since then I traveled to Romania with my son, then traveled to Greece to spend time with my friend Vera, then to the US where I stayed with my best friend Michelle, then London where I stayed with a long time friend. And then of course my trip to Bulgaria, which was very much centered around my kids and their needs.

So this time, for that reason, I decided to do something different, and instead of staying at an AirBnB apartment by myself, I'd stay at a hostel. Not only are these cheaper, they also provide a social scene and events and its apparently more enjoyable to stay at a hostel when solo traveling because of the social aspect. I'm staying in a girls only dorm with 4 beds. I'm both excited and nervous about this. Because I do know some people that complain about their experience in hostels, but knowing myself and what I like, I think it'll be great.

There's one main reason I wanted to go to Vienna, and to be honest, its not even Vienna itself that draws me in, but the Alps. I've had a dream to go to the Alps nearly my entire life, and get so envious when I see people going there, because darn it, I want to go. So Vienna isn't super close to the Alps, its an hour and 20 minutes by public transportation to the nearest place, but I still am going to make it there.

When I decided to go to the Austrian Alps, I was trying to figure out how to do it in a way that I can appreciate it best. Of course, skiing was the first thing that came to mind, but I just went skiing in December so don't need to be doing that again so soon, and skiing in the Alps is super pricey (but very cheap in Bulgaria). So I looked to see what other winter activities I could do there, and found this sledding option there down what looks like a ski slope in Semmering (though they call it tobogganing), as well as this snowshoeing option in the Raxalpe area. Semmering has public transportation there, but to get to the Raxalpe there is no direct public transportation so easiest would be renting a car for the day. Car rentals in Vienna aren't so cheap so I don't want to rent one the entire time like I did in Bulgaria, but for a day its a reasonable enough price. (Though I want to learn how to drive a stick shift car, since those are half the price to rent!) However, there also is the option to take the train to Payerbach Reichenau train station and then a taxi from there, so I have to look into how much that would cost and price compare. Because I decided I wanted to do winter sports, I ordered myself a pair of warm and waterproof snow boots from Amazon to take with me on my trip. Less pretty, but I'd rather be warm!


Beyond that, and making plans for the holiday, I haven't even really done much planning for my trip. In London I didn't make plans until I was there and had lots of fun, so I'll probably do the same. I am going to definitely do one of the free walking tours in Vienna, and as for the rest, I have some websites picked out with suggestions for low cost sightseeing in Vienna.

I injured my foot a week and a half ago, and was worried it wouldn't be healed in time for my trip, but it seems healed enough now, fortunately.

Some people asked me if I was still planning on going on my trip despite the Coronavirus outbreak around the world, but Vienna is not a hotbed for the outbreak (even if they had 2 cases) and I don't plan on letting this virus which in most cases is not dangerous stop my trip. I've looked into it, done my research, and most evidence placed research shows that its not something I need to be worried about.
I did, however, look into whether I'd be able to get travel health insurance for my trip and if it would cost the same price, and if it would cover Coronavirus, just in case, and I had no problem getting it and it cost the same as always, so that reassured me enough not to be worried. (If it was so risky, the insurance agencies wouldn't be covering it, because they'd have too much money out of pocket.) I did pay a few bucks extra for this insurance to include covering tickets if I need to rebook because of illness, just in case.

Now I just need to make the rest of my preparations for my trip, like stocking up on my meds, and packing enough warm clothes. As always, I am flying without checked luggage, just carry on, and paid extra to be able to bring hand luggage as part of priority boarding instead of just a personal item.

Any of you been to Vienna and have suggestions on things that I have to make sure not to miss? Anyone else 


  1. The flea market,,rc_f:,rc_ludocids: and at least one of the really old coffee houses - with high ceilings, often beautifully decorated like ‘old masters’ with amazing music from Mozart or Beethoven playing in the background. And this tour:

  2. Not Vienna, but we were in the western half of Austria in November/December: there might be pretty good transport to the places you're thinking of going in the Alps. There was abundant transport from Salzburg and Innsbruck to all the mountains. Also, skiing there wasn't very expensive. You could probably find a smaller local place not one of the superski passes with a reasonable price point.

  3. I found it antisemitic and left depressed because I had wanted to go for so long but the hatred, on public billboards, left me eager to leave.

  4. That's so sad. I hope she's not experiencing that. :(


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