Starting your solo travels of extreme adventure but you don’t know how? Here are some basic guidelines i developed during travelling an its very useful .
It’s unusual to see a young Singaporean that travels alone. However, it’s a normal thing in other country. Why people travel alone? It is something rewarding as you could do whatever you want without waking up asking about your buddy “What do you want to do today?”
Although, solo travelling is not always easy. You will learn a lot about yourself and knowing your own limitations as well. Travelling alone will make you step out of your comfort zone.
Let’s kick start with basics tips I developed during my solo travels and it has been really useful throughout.
- No actual plans
I’ve learn from other travelers I’ve met, the BEST PLAN IS NO PLAN.
Why? If you planned for the trip, you might be disappointed if the plan fails and led your day to be spoil, rushing to find alternative on what to do as you don’t want to waste your day and it will make things worse.
Just follow the flow of your travelling days, make spontaneous plan on where you are going on that day and that’s all. Now you have a starting point, just follow the flow and I guarantee you the rest of your day will be a great adventure.
- Book an accommodation in advance
This is very important when you just stepped into a strange town or new to travelling alone. You need a shelter to settle down and treat it as your base camp.
Why? For example you arrived in a town late, finding accommodations could be hard as you might encounter “The room is full”, “High price quoted” and worst “You aren’t able to check in this early/late”
In these kind of situation, travelers would spend waiting pointlessly and some might even just sleep on the streets. Therefore, it’s important to have accommodation all book one day before arriving.
- Remember common landmarks
Landmarks like McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coffee Bean or any other places that is well known to the locals.
If you are those type that is not good in directions and might lost the way when you walk, easy, remember landmarks that is near you hostel or destinations.
Why? If for instance you get lost in the middle of nowhere, you could ask anyone or even the locals to show you the direction of the landmarks. This will definitely works if there is a language barrier too. These landmark has been a powerful tool during my travels.
- Avoid using town map on streets
I hate using the town map as it makes my sense of direction even worst. It might work for some travelers but I just rather walk and explore. Walking and explore might just be better if you memorize by visual better.
Why? You might eventually be able to walk the whole town as you might be walking past the same area and in your head it will be like “Hey, I’ve walked here earlier” from there on, it shouldn’t be a problem for you already.
- Walk confidently
You might want to head to a destination and you have to look at the map. Don’t look at the map while you are walking in the streets alone. Before you head out, ask the hostel/hotel receptionist which landmark it is nearby. Which direction should you be heading? North? South? West? East?
Why? You might be easily be spotted by the locals and “the new kid in town” and therefore it makes you vulnerable to robberies, scam and etc. Walk confidently even you do not know the way as it might give them the impression that you have been here for quite some time and making you less vulnerable.Be aware of your surroundings as well. If you are lost, DO NOT PANIC head to a safe area like Starbucks take your time and navigate yourself as you have nobody to offend.
- Don’t be a stupid traveler
No time for fancy fashion during your travels. Dress down, wear less branded good or flashy goods. Wear something that blend into the surrounding so that you couldn’t be easily spotted. Furthermore you are travelling alone, doing this might make you blend into the surrounding better as COMPANY DOESN’T MEAN SECURITY.
Why? Reducing chances of robberies, scams and etc. and so far I’m doing okay when I walked around the streets even in late night. Just use your common sense if you feel that it is unsafe to walk in a certain dark area and keep your electronics out of sight.
- Set a daily budget
One of the most important tool during your travels as you have no friend for backup, you definitely need this daily budget to get you going on your upcoming days.
Why? You just don’t want to overspend yet you want to utilize you daily budget to maximize what you can do throughout the day. If you under spent on the current day, this is a good sign. Bring forward to the next day so you could do even more activities the following day. I usually set SGD 50 for a day including accommodation, transportation, food and activities which is a tight budget but I managed to pull it through. Just bring extra if you feel uncomfortable having less money or in case of emergency as for me, I like to take risk as it is part of my travelling experience and a lesson to learn as well. I usually don’t worry about carrying lesser cash as I believe MONEY IS NOT THE SOLUTION TO EVERYTHING. You will progressively learn to deal situations without money.
This is the most common thing in our daily lives but yet some travelers aren’t abiding it which is a sad thing. Just remember that you are not in your own country. Different countries have different culture and by hook or crook, you have to respect that. Don’t go around littering or spitting in places. Do have mutual respect to the locals and consider their advice as they do have their own superstition.
Why? You just don’t want to be condemned by the locals by your actions. It will seriously makes you uncomfortable. Do not give DISRESPECTFUL REMARKS when the locals tells you about their culture and NEVER EVER ONCE suggest corrections to their culture as their culture are meant to be that way for a reason.
- Language barrier
This is a common struggle to most of the travelers communicating with the locals that doesn’t know English. The best way is to learn their language and trust me, it will really help you during your travels. BARGAINING would be easier as you gave an impression that you have been here for a long time thus reducing the chance of being ripped off.
Why? Learning the local language during your travels especially when travelling alone really helps as you could get directions example “Bus”, “Airport”, “Train Stations”. I usually greet people using their local languages and in a polite manner so it sounds more inviting to start a conversation and the local would give you a helping hand not in terms of money, but others when you need it.
These are the tips I developed when I consistently traveled alone although I couldn’t guarantee you safety, it do helps reduce bad encounters.
Here you go, just follow these steps and you are ready to book your flight and go for a SOLO ADVENTURE!