Recently, there has been a growing trend for young adults to fly solo! Some say they’re tired of waiting around for people, some are looking to discover themselves, and some are taking it up as a challenge. One of my friends told me his trip was life changing, travelling across Europe by himself over the weekends while he was in Sweden for a year. His experiences has built him into a whole new person, reliable, confident, and a hard worker.
With all these people around me, I got influenced to start planning for my own solo trip. I may either love it or I may not, all I know is that at least I’ve attempted it to see what the hype is all about!
This article will state all the conversations that I had with my friends. The pros, cons, and tips for a better experience.
No Waiting on People!
Have you ever planned a trip with your friends before? It’s not the best experience because of all the people you have to accommodate for. You have to account for everybody’s needs and wants, and they may not be excited to do something that you are excited about or vice versa. When your friends are working adults in other companies, it’s another challenge to coordinate time to apply for leaves, this is speaking from actual experiences with three failed messaging group chats.
Going solo will drop all this pressure. Only you are in charge of the itinerary. If you really wanted to, you could set off the next day right away and there wouldn’t be many problems! You can plan as much or as little as you want to do in a day, and the best thing is that you can drop or add whatever you want from your plan just because you feel like it.
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Gaining New Independence
When you are all by yourself in a whole new country for the first time, you will need to learn to be independent. From meeting new friends to trying delicious local cuisine, from figuring out the best time to explore to finding the perfect place to rest your head at night – you’ll be in charge of every little detail.
One thing is for sure, no matter how much you plan, you will definitely make mistakes along the way. You will need to solve problems all by yourself, and that’s especially scary when you’re not in your home country. But that’s the best part of the trip! When you succeed, you will emerge with a new level of confidence for yourself, and that is when you are no longer nervous about travelling solo.
Even if you fail, it’s just a lesson that you will keep with you for your next trip, and an amazing memory to share with your peers.
A win-win situation all around!
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Introvert & Extrovert Dream!
Flying solo, you can either meet new people, or isolate and relax. There are many opportunities where you can meet people overseas, choosing to stay in a hostel, going for group tours, walking tours, and many more. People interested in making friends will find it easy!
Personally, at least according to my MBTI, I am introverted. I have days where I just want to sit somewhere quiet and read a solid book, watching the world go by. As a solo traveller, you can and will do a lot of things by yourself.
However, some friends have told me that when you are by yourself with almost 0 interactions for a few days, it can get lonely, even for introverts. This is one of the reasons they do not love solo travelling. So, during your planning, put in opportunities to mingle! You don’t have to do it but is good to have!
Now let’s talk about the cons.
Cost Is Way Higher
There is nobody to share the cost with. If you want to stay in a hotel, have a variety of foods, take a taxi, and many others, you have to bear the full cost.
Although, you can counter this by staying in hostels, eating snacks throughout the day instead of full meals, plan your transport ahead. It may not necessarily be more expensive, but you don’t get the full luxuries travelling with a group.
More Danger When You Are Travelling Alone
When you find yourself alone in a foreign country, it’s natural to feel a bit vulnerable. Scammers and thieves might see you as an easy target. But here’s the thing: if you take the time to do some research and learn about the place and its culture beforehand, the situation isn’t as scary as it may seem.
Don’t let fears limit your travel experience! Yes, it’s scary to be in a country all by yourself, but don’t let fear control your decision. One of my favourite Seneca quotes is “We suffer in our imagination more often than in reality”. You can’t control these from happening anyways, so why not take a leap forward! Be smart about your decisions, do things wisely, and you will be safe!
If you are still extremely fearful being by yourself, I wouldn’t recommend going. Instead, fly to countries that are known to be safe, especially for solo travellers, like Japan, Iceland, Switzerland, etc… This can help to ease you into it for your first ever solo trip.
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How To Stay Safe!
Do you want to avoid unnecessary attention? Here’s a tip: don’t dress ostentatiously to show off. Instead, opt for affordable clothes, watches, and everything else. By doing so, you’ll minimize the chances of becoming a target.
Carry A Fake Wallet
If you ever find yourself in a robbery, your safety and keeping your identity cards should be your top priority. Carrying a ‘fake wallet’ with small amounts of cash and fake cards in them can help you to stay safe in that situation.
Registering With the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)
This is an extra but essential step for safety. Sometimes, anything can happen when you are in another country. Terror attacks, sudden war, civil unrest, natural disasters, etc…
Registering will allow MFA to contact you to make sure you are safe, and if need be, assist you if an emergency occurs. MFA can help provide advice, information, and consular assistance whenever needed! They will also notify relatives and friends if you have been injured or arrested abroad.
This is a voluntary and free service provided by the MFA for all Singapore Citizens who travel or reside overseas. You will need to provide your personal particulars, travel itinerary, contact information, duration of stay, and a contact in Singapore to contact during an emergency.
Register on their website or through the MFA@SG app
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With all these in mind, consider taking a trip by yourself. A solo trip will be something you will carry with you for life!