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Do any of you travel alone?

(15 Posts)
NeedToMoveHouse Thu 03-Mar-16 17:33:12

I had arranged to do some volunteering with a friend at a school in Thailand in a few months but she has recently pulled out. I'm going to still go but on my own, it will be my first solo trip abroad and I'm equally nervous as I am excited.

Wondered if anyone else has done or does regular solo trips? Any tips?

Bree85 Mon 07-Mar-16 16:38:12

I want to but I am afraid. Hehe since I don't have a sense of direction. But I have been to Thailand with friends. I have seen lots of travelers there going alone from different nationalities.

mrsmortis Mon 07-Mar-16 17:00:07

I did until I got together with DH but mainly in the US/Western Europe rather than in the Far East.

Most important is to make sure that people at home know where you are going to be, what you are going to be doing, when. I used to leave a copy of my itinerary and a copy of my passport with my DM. These days you should also email yourselves copies of all your documents so that you can access them if needed.

NeedToMoveHouse Mon 07-Mar-16 17:07:32

Bree I'm the same with direction, I've found it usually results in the best experiences though. Getting off the beaten track and seeing different things, not too sure about doing the same alone though 😬

Great advice mrsM, it would all be extremely well organised what with it being a volunteering trip but I will probably be doing my own thing on weekends so will definitely plan ahead and share the itinerary. I'm nervous about silly little things like sitting alone in a restaurant, I know lots of travellers pass through Thailand so ppl won't be floored to see a lone diner, it's just a little insecurity I have.

It's definitely something I'd like to do at least once in my life, I'd love it if I felt really comfortable doing it and could travel alone regularly.

BellsaRinging Mon 07-Mar-16 17:10:42

I did when I was single, and in my early thirties-far east (including Thailand), some of the Middle East, Australia and USA. I loved it, and think it's much better than going with someone else. I met plenty of people and travelled with different groups. It definitely means that you're more flexible, and it's rare to have a travel partner who wants to do everything you want to do, so if you're going for any length of time you would probably split up at some point anyway.

Yes to emailing a copy of all your documents to yourself, and letting someone at home have your itinerary. I found Thailand pretty safe for a woman tbh-didn't have any problems there.

NeedToMoveHouse Mon 07-Mar-16 17:19:14

Ah that's amazing to read, Bells. Whenever I've travelled with friends/partners I've always gone off on my own and it annoyed the majority of my travel companions so I'm really looking forward to just doing my own thing. I'd also really enjoy joining up with different groups but not feeling tied to them, that sounds great!

Really pleased you included that last sentence about it feeling safe for a woman. I've not come across anything negative in all of the forums and blogs I've perused on solo female travellers but it still doesn't stop the niggle of concern I have.

MaximumVolume Mon 07-Mar-16 17:23:38

I really hope that this post isn't considered to be spamming...I'm a genuine MNer, but I've just launched an app aimed at solo travellers and making travel less lonely. Some of you might find it interesting (it's free!). MNHQ sorry if this isn't allowed!

www.trip-links.com

NeedToMoveHouse Mon 07-Mar-16 18:53:35

Snazzy app, Maximum! I had a look at something similar on Lonely Planet, they have a decent forum where solo travellers arrange meet ups. Your app seems a much tidier version, I may give it a go if I haven't overcome my solo travel nerves by then.

I may try a solo trip to a restaurant here in the U.K. as a tester, I've done lunches/breakfasts alone but never a proper evening meal. Hopefully that'll help ease my nerves slightly.

MagicalHamSandwich Mon 07-Mar-16 18:59:44

Very often on business - the most 'scary' place I regularly travel to is some Eastern European backwater with a high crime rate. I did the Middle East in 2002/2003 on my own, too. That was pretty hardcore given the Iraq war and the Palestinian intifada.

General tips include letting others know your itinerary, agree with someone that you'll check in every X days - a text will suffice. Also beware of cabbies and hotel staff - trust your gut instincts, some are lovely and some will rip you off/call their mates so that they can mug you.

I learn the phrase 'fuck off!' in the local language where ever I go on my own - helps with wankers who think a lone female traveller is an easy lay.

MaximumVolume Mon 07-Mar-16 19:19:26

Aw, thanks Need, our main problem at the moment is not enough members...so a lot of meets don't end up world at the mo as there's nobody in that location. We're working on it, though!

NeedToMoveHouse Tue 08-Mar-16 12:37:38

Wow, Ham, that certainly is hardcore! I don't think I'll be following in your footsteps and visiting war torn countries, I imagine any trip abroad is a breeze to you now though!

Being aware of cabbies and hotel staff is a good one. I won't be backpacking and everything will be pre-booked so I can do plenty of research on the hotels but I suppose it will rely on gut instinct when it comes to cabbies. I think they're pretty notorious for ripping travellers off so a friend advised me to always agree the price before setting off. I think I will learn 'fuck off' in various languages just for the sake of it, you never can tell certain ppl it enough times! Great tip grin thank you!

Good luck with it Maximum. I'm sure you already have thought of it but, sharing it on the lonely planet forum would get a fair bit of interest? I've had an eye on a few meet ups and ppl tend to get a bit iffy when it comes to sharing contact deets to arrange the meet up, many just give out emails which can prove tricky later on if you're running late/lost can't access your emails to contact the rest of the group. Your app could fill that awkward stage of 'I'd like to meet up with you but I don't know you so don't want to give you my number'.

Destinysdaughter Tue 08-Mar-16 13:03:46

I went to Thailand a few years ago by myself. Had a great time, planned lots of trips, did a detox, shopping and had lots of massages. Found it v safe and friendly, no hassle from men as a lot of western guys were there to meet Thai girls and Thai men just left you alone. It's really set up for travellers and pretty easy to get around. I found having a book/kindle helped when eating alone. That app is a great idea, there's also couch surfing where you can meet up with local people which I've done in Europe and India.

Hope you have a great time OP!

NeedToMoveHouse Tue 08-Mar-16 20:53:18

That sounds like an amazing trip, Destiny! I've been thinking about staying at a mediation temple for a few days at the end of my trip, it's kind of like a detox thing. Massages, shopping and reading sounds just perfect. You sound really cool! You all do, actually. I find the majority of ppl who've had adventures like you've all described are just generally more interesting to speak to!

I always have a book when I travel so that's a great tip to take it with me to restaurants, gives me something to do my hands and to focus on, stop me feeling awkward. It'll make it easier to ignore any unwanted advances too I imagine, but hopefully there won't be any!

Thanks for the tips everyone! I'm enjoying reading about your experiences!

adancopper Wed 16-Mar-16 07:01:59

Hi,
I visites Thailand one time last year about my bussiness. It's beautiful country and friendly local people. Prices in Thailand are also cheap than my country. Further, you can read about tips in Thailand in there: www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-guides/thailand-travel-tips/

MrsCaecilius Thu 17-Mar-16 16:37:09

Absolutely! Incredibly liberating and confidence building. I've travelled alone all over the place - Asia, Africa, South America, Middle East etc without any problems and with many adventures!

Embrace it and enjoy it. You will meet so many people along the way you'll rarely be lonely, but you'll relish the chance to do exactly what you want.

Tips - be organised, trust your gut, and be slightly cynical. If that smiling local chap is just offering to show you the way think twice before accepting....! And if you do get into a spot of bother, ask a middle aged woman of any nationality for assistance. They almost invariably turn into a mother hen and will go out of their way to look after you.

You'll have an amazing time. If you want any specific tip do let me know, I'm, happy to help.

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