Seven Reasons To Go Travelling Solo

Want to go travelling on a long term backpacking trip but can’t find a friend at home who’ll come with you? Worried about the idea of going travelling on your own but really want to see some places? Here’s seven tips to give you some reassurance and to urge you to seize the moment and do it.

Lankayan Island, Borneo, Malaysia
A Perfect Place For Solitude - Lankayan Island, Borneo, Malaysia

I left the UK in December 2002 and spent 18 months travelling solo in Australia and South East Asia, and eventually wound up settling down with my American girlfriend who I’d met on the road in Thailand, where we still live today.

When I left the UK I was pretty much petrified at the idea of travelling alone, so this is what I wish someone had told me:

1) You won’t be alone for long

Don’t think by leaving home on your own you are somehow going to condemn yourself to a six month trip of solitude and loneliness. If you go backpacking anywhere in the world, you are going to meet likeminded people who are interested in travelling as much as you and who have gone travelling on their own too. You get to meet people who actively want to do the things you do rather than having to cajole friends at home into an experience they might not enjoy or be ready for. You need to be with people who are into it, not who need to be coerced into it.

The easiest way to meet people when travelling is to get involved in activities – go on an organised week long roadtrip in the Australian outback, for example, or go and do some scuba diving somewhere for a few days, or do a cooking course – whatever interests you. In this way you will meet new people and be in a shared situation where conversation comes easily. Similarly, in backpacker hostels and the like, simply strike up conversation with someone with a smile. The old “Hey guys, I’m on my own, mind if I join you?” line rarely fails, although you need a bit of courage to say it first. Not looking like an axe murderer is also useful.

Seek out hostels and hotels that have independent travellers in mind as their primary customers – these places are mindful that they have many solo travellers and so try to have communal areas and many organised activities – whether it’s an evening barbeque or a daytrip – for you to join and so easily make connections. A great example of this is Bangkok’s Lub’d hostel (pronounced Lub Dee – it’s Thai for “good sleep”) which you can see from the numerous guest reviews is considered one of the most friendly places to stay in Thailand.

I’ve written a short article about how to find other travel companions online through websites like CouchSurfing.com before you even leave your house. You might as well increase your chances of meeting likeminded people before you go travelling, and it can be a good psychological boost to have a plan to meet other people abroad.

Female travellers might feel an understandable extra sense of trepidation about travelling solo, but millions of other women have travelled alone already, and there is plenty of great advice about solo travel for women to help you.

You might also want to consider travelling in a small group with a reputable adventure specialist like G Adventures, Stray Travel, Exotissimo or Intrepid Travel if going solo is too much to begin with. These companies specialise in bringing together solo travellers to enjoy travelling with a small group, so making new friends and sharing the journey. Many people use these trips to bolster their self-confidence and then strike out on their own. When I was in Australia I did several week-long trips like this and made some great friends as a result.

2) Cut loose from your life

Going travelling on your own lets you literally leave everything behind – work, family and friends. This is what makes it scary and also what makes it so intensely liberating. If you travel with a friend from home, you both travel in a bubble of familiarity with each other. On your own, you have absolute freedom to do what you want and you don’t have to conform to the expectations that work, friends and family inevitably put upon you. Of course, you have email and cell phones that will let you stay in touch pretty much anywhere in the world, but you can still pick and choose when you have contact with home.

Unless you’re massively serious about your boy/girlfriend, you should probably take a time out with them before you leave, otherwise it will only cause heartache when the inevitable travel romance occurs. If you *are* massively serious about your boy/girlfriend, you need to come up with some ground rules about what’s acceptable while you are apart from each other if you want things to pick up where they left off when you come home. Trying to conduct a long distance relationship while travelling can be gruelling for both parties.

3) Know your own mind

Making the decision to travel solo is a great step, but it’s important to know what it is you actually want to do while travelling. Avoid falling into the trap of just doing what other backpackers do – there’s a definite travel circuit in most countries for backpackers to follow, which is incredibly useful, but only if you are interested in the things included in that circuit. There could be lots of other stuff in the country you are visiting that is a bit off the beaten track that is of much more personal interest to you. Therefore it pays off massively to do some research and reading *before* you go. [I’ve written How To Budget For A Backpacking Trip if you want some pointers on managing your money while planning your trip].

For example, I knew I wanted to do more scuba diving when I went to Australia. After a couple of false starts, I really got into it. Subsequently my travelling in Oz was driven largely by visiting good places to dive and when I was in Thailand I eventually became a scuba diving instructor. (Yes, I liked it that much!). Many of these diving locations weren’t really on the backpacker circuit so I had to make my own plans to get there. In doing so, I met loads of great people who were into diving as well plus, of course, I got to dive some of Australia’s most awesome sites. If I’d just stuck to the traditional backpacker route, I wouldn’t have gone to these places.

Of course, you can just go with the flow and see what happens – there’s a definite danger of overplanning which you should avoid. You don’t need to stake out and book an entire day by day itinerary for your trip or anything so rigid. My point is simply to think about the overall goals of where YOU’D like to go and what YOU’D like to do, irrespective of what other people say.

4) Become comfortable dealing with the unfamiliar

When I first left the UK, I stopped off in Bangkok, Thailand for 3 days en route to Sydney (I couldn’t face the 24 hour direct flight). It’s fair to say my first encounter with Bangkok scared the crap out of me. (I recounted my first days in Bangkok if you want to know more). Ironically, I now live in Bangkok these days. (See my Thailand Backpacking: A Quick Guide for more info).

Travelling is hard for the first few weeks because you are dealing with constantly unfamiliar situations and surroundings – it is unavoidably stressful. It’s also what causes homesickness, because there is a yearning for the familiar. Within the first week of travelling, though, you will simply start to relax into it as your mind grows accustomed to dealing with this constant input of new information. You’ll start to discern the patterns of travelling – find location, find transport, find hotel, repeat – and find the continual change of logistics as routine. The great thing about humans – and a skill that doesn’t seem to get much emphasis these days – is that we are incredibly adaptable. We naturally adjust quickly to new surroundings, for all that we think we might not. So if you’re at home reading a travel guidebook and thinking, “there is no way I figure out all of this on my own”, don’t worry. You will.

When I left the UK, I was really lacking in self-confidence about travelling in a country where I didn’t speak the language. Australia is the answer for US and UK travellers who feel the same – it’s incredibly exotic and there are hundreds of fascinating things to do and see there, but the language barrier is not a problem. Here you can get into the rhythm of meeting other people while you’re travelling and trying out new things like scuba diving, skydiving and surfing.

Within a few weeks your confidence will have grown and you’ll be ready to take on anywhere. I went travelling in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia with some girls I’d met in Australia and had a spectacular time – my worries about language dissolved because everyone in Asia speaks enough English for you to get by and I’d developed the confidence to start a conversation, smile, and speak slowly and clearly. (But not patronisingly, like they’re stupid). Treat people like people. I have found this to be a winning formula everywhere I’ve been. It’s important to not feel embarrassed or self-conscious about stepping up and speaking to the locals wherever you go. They will invariably be friendly in return. Have patience if they don’t understand your English at first – they’re the ones who speak a second language utterly alien to their own, unlike you. State what you want simply and clearly – don’t use slang. Most of all, smile and be friendly. Don’t act all suspicious like you expect them to rip you off at any moment. It really is true that 90 per cent of communication is body language.

5) Make new friends and be influenced by people

You will see and do some amazing things wherever you travel in the world – but what makes your trip truly spectacular is the people you meet along the way. Solo travelling exacerbates this because you are much more open to talking to other people because you have no one else around. Again, that can be a scary feeling sometimes, but the pleasure of meeting new people makes it worth it. Not only are friendships made much quicker and are more intense while travelling, but sometimes the bond formed is more than just circumstance and can transform into lifelong friendships. I am still in regular contact with numerous people I met while travelling. Meeting other people exposes you to so many other points of view, ideas and opinions, which can set your mind off on paths you’d never previously considered. It’s also a great excuse to get drunk and talk rubbish to each other all night.

A worthwhile caveat here is that you shouldn’t feel that every day has to be a party – admittedly I did spend most of my first two months in Sydney and Melbourne somewhat inebriated, but by about the fourth month I’d calmed down a bit. A quiet night in with a good book can still be fun – again, it’s about doing what you want to do, not what you feel obliged to do, or what you think you *should* be doing.

People are terrified of being lonely, because it’s equated with being a loser. There are inevitably going to be evenings when you’re travelling solo where you will feel a bit lonely. It’s then that you realise there’s things that are a lot worse than being lonely and it also makes you appreciate your friends all the more. If you’ve got a good book, or a journal or a sense of purpose about your trip beyond just seeing the sights (see below), the times you’re alone don’t have to be lonely, and indeed, can be a welcome respite from the intensity of travelling.

6) Do whatever you want (as long as it’s legal)

While it’s true that you are on holiday when travelling, it’s worth avoiding your brain atrophying. Travel gives you the freedom to not only think about what you want to do with your life but also to go and do it right away.

Give yourself permission to investigate the stuff you’re interested in, however whacky it may be. Whether is clothes and fashion, archaeology, video games, conservation, elephants, sharks, religion, oranges, bugs, architecture – whatever it is, allow yourself to spend some time looking into it. If you see your surroundings as more than just the backdrop to your holiday, as the stuff of real life and how other people live, you’ll get a lot more out of them.

In a similar vein, give yourself permission to be creative too – many people like keeping a journal while they’re travelling, or sketching what they see. Reading a lot can be fun too, especially about the country around you. Most people go snaphappy and get really good taking pics with their camera. I wrote half a novel while I was travelling – I’ll never do anything with it, but it was fun all the same. By churning through ideas and trying out stuff – even if it doesn’t go anywhere – you give yourself new ways of thinking about stuff. This might come in useful for thinking about how things will be when you come home.

7) Bring a new perspective with you when you get home

The old cliché is that travel broadens the mind, but travel can also change your mind too, about your job, your circumstances and your general situation back home. That might sound scary, but it’s a good thing – you re-evaluate your life and feel ready to make some changes for the better. Similarly, things can change at home too. Usually they don’t – while you have been living in hyperspeed intense travel mode, life back home continues as normal, which is what makes it so comforting to return to. But be sensitive around your friends when you get back – don’t just endlessly brag about your travel stories. Pay attention to what’s been going on with them and your friendships will pick up where they left off. How long you decide to stay at home is up to you. You may decide that your trip was great fun but you’re ready to take on new challenges at home. Or you may decide you want to save up some cash and get back on a plane as soon as possible. Either way, once you’ve gone travelling solo once, you’ll bring home a whole load more confidence and perspective on your life that will help you in the future wherever you are. The bottom line is, I have never, ever heard of anyone who went travelling solo and came back regretting that they’d done it.

There’s a lot more I could write, but I’ve gone on long enough. What do you think? For people who are thinking about solo travelling, are there issues I haven’t addressed here? For people who have been solo travelling, do you agree or disagree with any of the above? Please leave comments below. Thanks!

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Comments

  1. great article. I ‘ve been travelling on my own for the first time last summer, for a month, and i agree with everything you say in this article. I didn’t regret at all, i loved it. I met lots of people i would never have met if i hadn’t been on my own.
    I also noticed that a lot of coincidences and synchronicities happened when i travelled. You know, the fact that you have to deal everyday with the unknown makes that you are obliged to “let it go”, don’t worry, and be opened to what is coming to you. The result for me was : everyday I was really lucky and wonderful things happened to me. Litteraly everyday, i was lucky about what i was doing, who i met etc.
    Sometimes I had nothing to do on the evening, so i read, write or something like that. Sometimes I had crazy nights with new friends.
    Anyway it was always different from home and i found that travelling alone was kind of like an initiatic journey.

  2. Some great advice.

    I lived in China for a year, did some solo travel and loved it. All your points are true. My brother also came over and we did some travel together towards the end of my stay, but (not that I don’t get along really well with my brother) I enjoyed traveling by myself better! :)

  3. …great post! Haven’t thought about it in this way yet.

    Definitely worth trying. Keep it coming!

    Cheers,
    Chris

    http://www.nomad4ever.com

  4. “Travel is not really about leaving our homes, but leaving our habits.”
    –Pico Iyer, from “A New Kind of Travel for a New Kind of World”, a speech given at the Key West Literary Seminar, January 5, 2006

    Danny

  5. I wish to go travelling in southeast asia but was aprehensive about going alone, however reading you post has encoureged me to be more possitive about it.

    Thanks alot!

  6. I enjoyed reading your article, as I am gaining the confidence to travel alone for at least 5 weeks for my sabbatical this summer/fall. If that goes well, I am contemplating taking more time off. The thing that I struggle with (I traveled alone for just 2 weeks in Europe once) is the “spontaneous” travel plans part. How do you avoid exhausting yourself looking for places to stay or places to go? I don’t want to be spontaneous at the expense of spending all my time wearily looking for a place to stay.

  7. Hi Andrea

    that is a good question – and a difficult one to answer definitively. It’s certain difficult to be truly spontaneous – it’s more about identifying where there are clusters of guesthouses in the city you’re visiting so that you can easily view several within a short space of time. That obviously means spending some time looking in your guidebook. Online reviews are taking off so it’s worth searching for those in the locale you’re visiting and seeing if you can spot places that get more good reviews than bad. That helps you whittle it down to two or three places to look at – and of course, if you like the first place just fine, go with that!

    Booking and paying ahead of time are fine, but you have to be really sure you know what you’re getting – it’s why sites like TripAdvisor.com with lots of reviews from previous guests are invaluable at figuring out if somewhere is any good – although TripAdvisor tends to cover the more medium to luxury end of accommodation. If you’ve got the budget, you can certainly find some good reasonably priced hotels through them. Otherwise, check your guidebook and also search on travel forums for recommendations for backpacker accommodation. (I put together a travel forum search engine that searches 12 different travel discussion forums so you can find info on a particular topic quickly from all of them in one go).

    I hope this helps – let me know how you get on!

    Best
    Chris

  8. Andrea, I took a short solo trip to Italy and struggled with the same thing. It was important that I felt free to just jump on a train at a moment’s notice, but I was nervous about finding places to stay. I solved the problem by booking an apartment last-minute, getting a fantastic deal. That way I had a ‘home base’ but wouldn’t feel guilty exploring another city if I wanted to, since I hadn’t spent that much on the apartment. It gave me security and freedom at the same time.

    Have fun! I sure did.
    Leigh

  9. Im going travelling at the end of june and Im 50% nervous and 50% excited.. Its nice to hear that ppl have the same concerns as me, its also good to know that I won’t be in the only 1 travelling alone.. Cheers

  10. Hey
    I booked my ticket two days ago. I’m finally going to be flying (solo) to KL at the start of Dec and making my way through Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos?, & Vietnam. Even though they flight is 6months away I have been really fretting. I’m excited that I’m going but thought keep popping into my head about all the things that could go wrong when travelling by myself; And then you get those people who say ‘wow I can’t believe you are travelling alone, I would neeever do that, and proceed to give a variety of brainless reasons.’ I really enjoyed reading your article! I hope everything you mention is true because I know the part about being really dawning before you leave bit is:P If anybody has any tips (anything) about solo travelling or tips for SE Asia I would really appreciate it.
    Cheers Sam

  11. Is there a message board, where people discuss traveling and backpacking ect?

  12. Hi Gaz

    I don’t have a forum on Travelhappy yet as I’d need thousands of visitors everyday to make it work. But you’re very welcome to ask any questions you have re Asian backpacking and I’ll do my best to give you answers. You should also check out the forums at Travelfish.org and LonelyPlanet.com

    Cheers
    Chris

  13. Hi there just read your article and hope that what you say is true as i am going to book my flight for oct\nov. I am really nervious and am looking for a like minded companion for at least the first few days just to help settle in so if anybody is up for it my email is davev07@yahoo.co.uk

  14. You’ll be fine Dave – honest. The first few days are always the most difficult but you’ll get the hang of it and then start really enjoying yourself. If you want to find more travel friends, check out these sites:
    http://travelhappy.info/travel-tips/how-to-find-travel-friends-online/

    Have fun and let me know how you get on.

    Best
    Chris

  15. Hey Chris,

    Thanks for your write up i really appreciated finding it, i am departing in four days to Thailand for 3 weeks by myself. Your article has really opened my eyes, my best mate has dropped out at the last minute because of work obligation but you have really put my mind at ease i am studying journalism so i think this is goin to be great for me hope everythings still going great for you
    Cheers
    Jason
    P.s If anyone likeminded would like to catch up feel free to email me jkbcorp@hotmail.com

  16. Hey Jason, glad the article helped. You’re in for a great time. If you want to meet for a beer/coffee in Bangkok drop me a line. Have fun! Best, Chris

  17. kenny petersen says:

    Hey Cris.

    Thanx for a great article ;-)Im happy to be agreing with everything you wrote in this article. I think something wery importent conserning traveling solo, is that its in that situation where you loose yourself, and you find yourself. In some way i think you leave as a boy, and return as a man. It may sound wack, and clichè but it`s the truth.

    Im leaving for (yet another) roundtrip throughout southeast asia, starting in bangkok the 28/9-07 (on friday) and your article has made me remember all the great, positive things conserning solo travelling.

    Ps: If your free, lets meet for coffee ;-) I like to meet the man who wrote this great article.

    Take care.

    Kenny Petersen.

  18. Great article Chris and I endorse everything you say….
    After a gap of many years, at the tender age of 54,:) I set off last Nov. alone,for New Zealand, stopping off for six days at Sentosa Island, Singapore on the way!
    I too was fearful…and friends said they wouldn’t have the guts, etc.,…all the usual comments that we all get!
    I was away for three and a half months and it was amazing.
    ‘Nipped’ over to the remote Yasawas, Fijian Islands for a couple of weeks also.
    Travelled all around N.Z. on the Backpacker’s ‘Stray’ bus…with all the 20-30 year olds…and six lovely girls from the bus took me out drinking on my 55th. birthday in the beautiful Bay Of Islands…The look on younger guy’s faces was a great joy I have to say!!
    ….Just one of the many amazing adventures I had whilst away…and you can too!
    David.

  19. That is very inspiring David – particularly the bit about the girls ;-)

  20. …..Hope for us all eh Chris?!:)

  21. u went on ur own cos noone likes u n u had noone to go with! loser

  22. Hey,

    ThanKs for the story that was great.Im travelling to Thailand, Malaysia an Indonesia Nov/Dec 07 on my own an im so excited that im counting the days.I was never nervous but now its getting closer its like im obsessed with my trip.Its all i want to talk about.All I do is research for it.
    The only challenge i have is talking to ppl i dont know. (guess that’ll have to change when im away)
    You did help with your 1 liner “Hi im traveling alone can i join you”

    Thanx Anna :-)

  23. ….”pete on October 9th, 2007
    u went on ur own cos noone likes u n u had noone to go with! loser”….

    There’s always one isn’t there Pete?…and it had to be you.
    Your wonderful command of the English Language, together with your spelling, says it all eh?!
    I don’t suppose you are allowed out on your own, but I expect the carer could sort you a day or two at Lego Land…

    Just booked a ten week backpacking adventure to Thailand….leaving 29th Nov.
    Same mixed emotions as ever, but remember, we are the few with the guts to go.
    Be thankful for all those without, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to move for lone travellers!
    …Face the fear and enjoy!

  24. Let’s hope you don’t run into our knuckle-dragging friend Pete on your travels David!

    Hope you have a great time in Thailand. If you’re passing through Bangkok and want to meet up for a quick pint/coffee/peppermint tea (I do all three), drop me an email.

    Cheers
    Chris

  25. Ha!….
    Thanks Chris, but as a non-city person I am flying to Phuket and hopping on a longtail… to a small mainly Muslim island…;)(you know which one?!) to take a look at it before it is spoilt….and do a ‘homestay’ maybe.
    Also like the look of Koh Lanta maybe.
    Any contacts in the Andaman island region?
    Cheers,
    Dave.

  26. Jonathan Madigan says:

    Great article Chris, some very accurate and helpful points.

    I travelled around croatia last year for a couple of months and once you manage to take unfamiliar situations in your stride you appreciate where you are and what you are doing so much more, I was a little bit isolated because there were fewer travellers than in your traditional back packing spots but this made me all the more determined to establish relations with the locals and it was well worth it.

    I am planning a backpacking trip to Aus/NZ and Asia alone early next year, again the nerves and excitement are returning, reading your article has reminded me that when you are travelling your not as alone as you think and to remember the reasons why your doing it in the first place!

  27. Thanks Jonathan. Croatia must have been interesting. Have fun on your travels and if you pass through Bangkok, drop me a line and maybe we can meet up for a beer.

    Cheers
    Chris

  28. Chris this has been so helpful indeed!
    I have wanted to travel for years. I know where i want to go and what i would like to see and here in Britain i meet peolpe easily and have many friend because of hthis up and down the country but i had been in some realtionships that had tied me down i let them and my partners always said they too wanted to come travelling well years passed and it never happened i realised they did not want it as much as me anyway i am going on and well what i need to say is you have made so much sense to me and i am going to do it alone and!!!!
    I can’t wait!
    :)
    thanx so much!

  29. HI! It´s 4am and i´m stucked in what you wro
    te.Thank you some much for your advices! Until today I was feeling miserable because I have the biggest vacations of my life (almost one month and a half) and i found myself planning to travel alone…I feel scared, i feel frustrated…but now i read your seven reasons to travel alone and i feel alive! I´m going to print your words and read it when i´m not so positive :) so, once more i thank you for that.

  30. Oh…and one more thing….I hope i also find someone special :)) All the hapiness for you

  31. hi everyone i will be travel to thailalnd in dec28th 08 for weeks. and i know im a plannerso yes… im looking for like minded ppl to chat n maybe go on the same backpacking group or something.. and thank u for the great advice. cheers cin

  32. I love this article. I’m thinking of going away in August hopefully but had no reason to go really. But now I’ve seen this my perspective on travelling has changed my mind completly. Video documenting the whole way would be a great idea aswell.
    I just don’t think I appreciate life on the whole as much because I’m used to material possessions etc. That’s why I want to go away and refresh my whole view on life.

    Nice work in persuasion!

  33. thanks so much for the info chris!!!
    definately feel alot better about going on
    my own! i leave in two months and am still
    fairly worried about cash and how much is
    needed? i’m going to thailand for 6 months
    but hope to stay off the well worn paths!
    oh and visas is it best to ring the embassy??

  34. Hi Brian

    For visas, check the Thai Consulate in Hull
    http://www.thaiconsul-uk.com/

    They are very helpful – much more helpful than the Thai Embassy in London. They have a very efficient postal service for issuing visas.

    Re how much money you’ll need, How Much Money Do I Need For Thailand should help you get an idea of the prices of everyday things. Bangkok On 30 Dollars A Day gives you a blow by blow breakdown of what might spend in a day.

    Hope this helps – and have fun!
    Chris

  35. really great post. one of the best I’ve read regarding life on the road!

  36. oli rickman says:

    of to thailand in a week
    on my own, found your comments
    very reasuring. thanks

  37. Fab article – going May and all I’ve heard is “you’re going ON YOUR OWN!” It’s my first time travelling alone but thanks your article reassured me I am not mad!

  38. Thanks for the article, very reassuring. One thing you didn’t touch on though is the biggest worry of all… Money, what happens when you run out? How much should you take with you? And are there any money-saving tips whilst travelling?

  39. Hey Chris,
    really found your article helpful, particularly the parts about exploring other sides of yourself and not ‘just’ being on holiday. Planning a solo trip to Australia in the new year for one year, and its great to see just how many people a) do the same thing and b) have the same worries as I do!

  40. Ron Bereson says:

    Hi Chris,thank you so much for yr essay on solo travel.It has helped me get things in better perspective, with ideas on how to approach the philosophy of travel and get the most out of it.I went to India and Thailand 4 yrs ago,had 2 week guided tour in india,then wandered around a bit, (was in delhi when tsunami struck)and have been to thailand, cambodia,philippines several times each,plus laos, vietnam and malaysia.I am now 64, and my wife is happy for me to go;I have taken her and daughter(nearly 19 now) to thailand and malaysia,sent them to india and daughter to japan with school.8 trips in 4 years,some as I said with them, some alone, and a couple with male friends.Having worked with asbestos for 13 years long ago, some heart scares and prostate uncertainty, I am determined to enjoy life while I can, doing what I like, which is asian travel.Regards and best wishes,Ron B

  41. Great Article!

    I’m traveling around North America, Central America, New Zealand and Australia in April, Hoping to go for about a year. My best friend pulled out on me last week so I’m flying solo and was a bit apprehensive at first at the prospect of taking on such a long time without someone to go with. Now I am 20% nervous 80% excited, after all traveling should be a challenge and an experience, I look forward to both :-)

    Thanks for the info Chris. Keep up the good work.

  42. Get all these pages published!
    great job!

  43. Awesome Article..thankyou!!

    I am semi planning a 1 year plus TRW trip taking in as many countries as possible en-route..it’s all been good up until now (crunch time) and was strating to have doubts because of the solo thing..but this has made me pick up the reigns again and got me totally amped again for my solo adventure..thankyou!!

  44. hey chris this article really made me think about how much i actually want this but im only 18 i was wondering if i should weight a few years till im 20 for example i would like to travel to australia for 3-4 weeks as the language barrier would not be a problem as i havent been traveling before and think it would give me a alot more self confidence o go and see more of the world ha could u give me some advice on traveling in austrlia would be very much apreciated the age thing worries me more than anything im 19 in a few months wouldnt be going 4 atleast 3 months anyway. i really do wanna do this at some point but my family never take me seriously when i ask them about it so i want to get some real facts to show them im being serious but realistic. anythink would be great help thanks

    ben

  45. Thank you for this! I’m off to China on my own in a couple of weeks and I’m pretty scared…never thought it was something I’d actually do but this article has just made me remember why I wanted to in the first place. Just hope I do meet some lovely people along the way.

  46. This page is fantastic encouragement!!

    Im planning/booking my travelling for after my degree and literaly all my friends are either disinterested or broke! It was really nice to know that other people are apprehensive about solo travel and that I wont be the only bugger out there on my own!!

    Thanks very much :)

  47. Cracking article – reading it has brought back some amazing memories. I can remember advising people to travel solo, simply becuase you are never alone. We had a very similar path, I travelled Australia and SE Asia alone. I’m looking at a photo of when I was at the airport in the UK, saying goodbye to my family, weird, but exhilarating at the same time. I had the most amazing time, I really did. Partied hard, but also met the most incredible range of people. I learned self confidence, and also lost a lot of the fear of being in new an uncertain situations. It took being fed up with life for me to go, so my motives were a little odd at the time, but I can remember the build up to my flight out of the UK – I bought my ticket 11 months in advance, and for the first time in my life turned up to work each day trying to earn and save as much money as possible for when I left the UK. I managed £4k and that was a good amount to start with. I did blow that pretty quickly (my spending habits have sinced changed!), and had to borrow £1500 from my Dad, but all things considered, that’s not too bad. Travelling solo puts you in situations that you may not find yourself in by travelling with others. For example, I was almost “taken in” by a Greek family in Oz, and I spent most of the Summer on a yacht, swimming in the sea, having and absolute blast! They really looked after me, and showed me wonderful family values, and basically how to have a really good time, and not take yourself so seriously. I could go on and on, but I’ll leave some space for the others. I am planning on travelling again (now 29, first left at 20), and am looking to do a TEFL course along the way.

    Anyway, great post, and if you are not sure about travelling solo, or hesitating, just buy that bloody ticket and get yourself out there, you will not regret a moment of it!!

  48. Just adding the the favourable comments made by others – thanks for a great article. I’m a 45-year that has decided to take advantage of this so-called recession, and rather than worry about whether or not I will find a new job when my current contract runs out, I have decided to hit the road for 6-9 months – starting out in Indonesia (Bali, Lombok, Flores, Sumba), then make my way to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand – then back to Indonesia (Sulawesi) on the way home to NZ.

    Like others, I am excited but nervous about travelling on my own. Fortunately, my friends have been very supportive and encouraging – maybe that is a sign of an older age group?!

    I have travelled on short trips to parts of Indonesia many years ago, and did a 6 week trip to Thailand and Cambodia last year with my sister, so I have a head start in knowing what to expect. I am also starting out in Indonesia as I can speak Indonesian (studied it for 5 years when at school!) – so that should help the transition to being on the road as well.

    I haven’t travelled alone before, so that will be my personal challenge – I am not an extrovert, but I’m not a complete introvert either. I know and accept that I will hit those low moments where the loneliness will be overwhelming – I will make sure I have some strategies up my sleeve to deal with them!

    Thanks again for an inspiring article, The comments from other travellers are also inspiring too – thanks everyone!

  49. hi my name is josh, i am really wonting to go travelling, am scared but am not, i just wont to know where to start travelling, where to go i wont to go round the world vist places am goin on my own is that a good idea

  50. I am planning on going traveling solo this December in Thailand and you have given me great insight and enthusiasm. Many thanks :)

  51. Been on two 6-month trips by myself and wouldn’t of wanted to do it otherwise.

    I remember talking to numerous people while I was on my trip who were asking me the very same question “doesn’t it get boring on your own?”. I had to respond saying: on the contrary. While you are traveling with your very same friend for 6 full months, I have been traveling with people from all corners of the world. Not only is it far more fun to meet new people and travel along with them, once you’re fed up with them you just split up and find now company again. Even if you’re the shiest, introvert person in the world, there’s no way you stay solo while you’re traveling. If anyone ever has doubts about traveling solo, I have one advise: Just Go! You’ll find out soon enough that all the fears you had while back at home, were all unnecessary. You’ll return as a stronger, more open person once you finish!

  52. During the early 90s I couldn’t get any of my friends to join me in hitting the road, so in 1993, undaunted but a little nervously, I bought a solitary RTW ticket and headed off into the unknown. Y’know it was the best thing I ever did: as in no time I had teamed up with an American and a Dane who were sharing the same dorm, and after some drunken talk we agreed to sail on a cargo ship through the Cook Islands in the South Pacific. I met my wife on that trip too: a cheif’s daughter from an island called Mauke! (true….no bullshit). Been travelling ever since, taking any oppurtunity between jobs, holidays etc. I look at it as one big ongoing journey.
    Now a fortysomething putting the pennies away for an early retirement in 15 years or so (once the kids have flown the nest or gone travelling themselves): there will be no stopping us then! Long live the spirit of adventure, and remember there is an unwritten code of honesty and kinship amongst genuine travellers/backpackers.

  53. Thanks for such a thorough and information rich website!!!! I am going to Thailand on my own (both are firsts for me) in February 2010 – unfortunately it’s only for 2 weeks (Bangkok, Ayuthaya (?), Chiang Mai and then down South to some of the places you recommend (that aren’t packed and expensive).. Your advice has really made me feel that I’ll be ok on my own so thank you! I’m a bit nervous but after seeing how many other people have done it before me, I’ve decided to build a bridge and get over it so that by the time I get there, I’ll just enjoy the short time I have..

  54. Traveling Through Southeast Asia for the month of February, 2010. Loosely planning to visit Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia & most excited about the prospect of Myanmar (burma) if I can swing it. I have been to Thailand before and will fly here again to begin my trip. Backpacking Solo and looking forward to it, but also enjoy meeting like minded folks along the way. If there’s anyone out there planning to hit the road in this part of the world around this same time, feel free to shoot me an email. Ron P. Louisville, KY. USA.

  55. great article. I am about to spend two months backpacking solo in Thailand (Feb-March 2010) I’m a bit shy, so I have been worried that I won’t meet anybody while there, but now I feel more optimistic.

  56. Thank you so much for starting this. I went to Thailand last year for two years and had a blast but I went with a friend from the states. I live in Minnesota and currently cant find anyone to travel over seas with that is why I have been thinking about going by myself. I was actually thinking of traveling alone. If anyone is planning on going sometime this year and are looking for someone to travel with please shoot me an email at drbackstrom@yahoo.com as I would love to hear from you!!!!

  57. I am going travelling from the Uk in July/August. I am really shy and aprehensive about going alone. I was considering shelling out a lot of money on organised trips to avoid the expectent lonliness. However reading this article has really inspired me to just do it. So I am going to book my flight to Bangkok for the end of July and just go with whatever money I have saved by then. If anyone wants to meet up then find me on facebook: Lee Ellison (search for my email: leeellison1984@hotmail.co.uk). Don’t be shy just add me :-) Thanks again for this truly inspiring article.

  58. Hi again, I wrote a message on the 21st of Dec ’09 asking about travelling on my own and thanks to this page I decided to do it. I’ve just got back from a two week solo holiday to Thailand and all i can say is – I’m doing it again!!!! I LOVED it.. I was hardly ever on my own!! definitely better to stay in hostels when you go on your own as that way you’re guaranteed to meet people. It doesn’t matter if you’re shy – all you have to do is ask someone a question (like ‘Are you travelling alone?’/ ‘How long have you been in Thailand?’/ ‘Are you going anywhere else?’) and you’re guaranteed to make friends. I had the best time and now that I’m nearly over the jet lag and feeling almost normal, I’ve decided that I’m going back to Thailand on my own next year – and this time I’ll do the things I didn’t get to do this time..

    Highly recommend the following hostels:
    Bangkok:
    Soi 1 Guesthouse – Backpackers Hostel http://www.powerhostels.com/images/hostelaff/5594-1.JPG
    Address: 220/ 7 Sukhumvit Soi 1 , Bangkok 10110, Thailand
    Telephone: +66 (0)2 655 0604
    Email: soi1guesthouse@hotmail.com

    Kho Phi Phi: The Rock
    http://phi-phi.com/hotel/thailand/koh-phi-phi/phi-phi-don-village/the-rock-backpacker/index.htm
    Rooms in dorms were about 250-300 baht pn.. or you could get your own room/ share with someone for 600 baht pn.

    I would highly recommend booking in advance for these two hostels as they fill up really quickly.

    if you want any other tips (like ALWAYS ask how much something costs before you order/ buy it) or always take a meter cab in Bangkok – always cheaper than tuk tuks, then please feel free to email me! guinea@rocketmail.com

    Solo in Thailand is the future!!
    happy travels!
    Kerryn

  59. Hey Kerryn, thanks for coming back to the page and letting us know how it went – thrilled to hear you had such a great time and thanks for the tips. Pity I didn’t get to meet you in Bangkok but maybe another time. (Actually, I’ve only met a couple of people who’ve posted on this page which is a shame. Maybe I should start organising a monthly Travelhappy Solo Meetup lol). Take care and happy travels, Chris

  60. Hi Chris,
    No problem at all – it’s the least I could do as I owe my solo trip to your advice on this page. I’m really grateful that you wrote your blog – so thank you! :)

    I’ll definitely be coming back to Bangkok so I would be up for coming along to a monthly TravelHappy Solo Meetup event! Fer sure!!!

    Also wanted to make another recommendation of a place to visit in Bangkok – Jim Thompsons House.. amazing!! I nearly didn’t go cos thought it would be boring and thankfully someone recommended it – and it was beautiful! So if you have 1.5 -3 hours spare, go there..

    Cheers again,
    Kerryn

  61. Jim Thompson’s House is that rarest of things – a very popular tourist attraction that is actually way better than it sounds. I’ve been there about 10 times now and it’s a must-see for anyone visiting Bangkok (if they want me to be tour guide, anyway). I wrote about The Mystery Of Jim Thompson’s House a couple of years ago here on Travelhappy. Thanks again for the recommendations – maybe see you next time – happy travels! Chris

  62. Hello,
    Im leaving Wales to travel the world in a few weeks and its only now really hitting home what a big step this is… Im SO excited but scared at the same time as i going alone. I just kinda stumbled across this page while browsing for backpacking essentials and i have to say, reading that other people have felt or are feeling the same way as me is extremely comforting. :)
    USA is me first stop and I have booked a trip for the time that i am in the USA but that is the only thing that is set in stone at the moment. I am not the kind of person to plan everything to the last detail so i was just going to see where the wind takes me… hehe ;). However the people closest to me feel that I should have a bit more structure to my trip because im going to be on my own.
    I have a route and a few flights booked but Hostels etc, i was going to book as i go along… I suppose i am asking for reassurance that this ok.. I dont want to book trips everywhere, to be told where to be and when.. i want a bit of freedom…
    ADVICE PLEASE!!! lol xx

  63. Great article, it cleared a bit of my fear of traveling alone for the first time. I really want to leave NL to take on the challenge of overcoming the fear to communicate more to new people. Thanks a lot for the tips. I am thinking of going to Australia on October ‘10.

    Only thing that is on my mind, how to survive and get to national parks, with public transportation and such. But that’s off-topic.

  64. In Australia, there are several backpacker bus networks which are a good way to get around – I used Easy Riders on the west coast a lot. Great way of meeting other people too.

  65. John Mc (Scotland) says:

    Hey chris,
    Just gotta say that your advice has totally inspired me to go travelling! Honestly, I’d never even contemplated going travelling (let alone going solo – until sunday night in the pub) as I can barely muster enough confidence to chat to a girl until im about 8 pints deep! But you have totally put my mind at ease, planning on a “working holiday” to oz around september time when I get out of the army. Had a friend who went for a year or so a few years back around asia and oz and he was buzzing when he came back! I feel like I need to find ‘myself’… whatever that is, so thanks mate as this set me off on possibly the adventure of a lifetime!!!!! I would like to hear from anyone who know oz well or anyone thinking of going around that time or, well… anyone!!!

    Cheers!

  66. Good luck John – given that you’re in the army you’ve had loads of training in being self-sufficient so you’ve got a big head start there on a lot of other people. Australia is a great place to start your travels. Cheers, Chris

  67. Lorraine says:

    A helpful and inspiring article!
    My friend has just dropped out of our trip together so I’m facing a tough (ish) decision of either going solo or not going. Travelling solo is scaring me a lot but after four years of looking forward to this trip I don’t think I can simply just not go.

  68. heya.

    I literally have been thralling through googles answers to ‘travelling to oz on your own’, and this has been the most helpful piece ever. I’m at uni in my 2nd year but have had some sort of appifany (if that’s the right word!) over the last weeks, and am quitting to go travelling round Oz. I didnt know if i was just bored of menial work and this was a one minute wonder of mine but then i thought sod it. Travelling on my own always freaked me out slightly, but reading just a handful of people views on it have made me want to even more!
    I plan to work for the next 8 months to build up a bit of cash and head out to sydney end of 2010/early 2011- if anyone else has a similar plan let me know!

    thanks again!!
    kym

  69. Hiya
    I have been reading a number of your helpful tips including the tip for how much money i would need for thailand and i have also been getting butterflys about the thought of going it alone as i am planning on going to thailand to bangkok airport end of 2011-2012 time, i know its far away but its because im a student so im finishing my course and going to get some real life exspiriences. Im wondering if i will be too young to do it alone as i am only 18. I thinking on going for about 3 months at the least as i to am trying to become a diving instructor then ending my backpack packing trip in koh tao then carrying it on in oz just wondering if you had any ruff prices on the divemarster course and instructor course chris

    Thanks for these tips, their realy insiring

  70. Hey! I am in the same boat as Abbie with being a student and being the same age planning to solo travel. After walking the kokoda trail in Oct 09 it’s given me the confidence to expand out and explore I am currently planning to travel to Malaysia Thailand Cambodia and Vietnam around jan/feb/March, I would like to do some volunteer work in an orphanage or community work. I cant understand why it costs so much to volunteer I have done some research into it and it costs into the thousands for just a month volunteering, can you recommend any organizations. thank you for the Article its been very helpful:)

    Cheers
    Tim

  71. Hi Tim

    there are quite a few opportunities to volunteer in Thailand with grassroots organisations that won’t cost you a fortune.

    Check out RealVolunteerThailand.com, Volunthai.com and also InSearchOfSanuk.com

    Hope you get to take part in a project where you can really make a difference.

    Best
    Chris

  72. Hi!
    I’ve been studying here in Vietnam for the past 3 months and all of a sudden its looking like I may be on my own to travel for two weeks after my studies finish before I meet up with my bf.

    I was pretty nervous about this until reading your article and am now starting to feel excited, especially since I’ve already been here awhile getting accustomed to how things work.

    I am thinking of going to mainland Malaysia for those two weeks, starting June 6, since I’ve been all over Vietnam and in Cambodia for 2 weeks, but had a couple of questions. I had ruled out Thailand because of the unrest there currently but am wondering what the situation really is and would I be fine if I chose to travel outside of Bangkok? Also, does anyone have advice for traveling solo as a (21 year old) female and are there any things in particular to watch out for?

    Thanks!!

    Gaby

  73. Hi just thought id leave a comment on how impressed i was that the author is still maintaining all these comments!
    I thought id add my own little piece of advice be it good or bad but its a situation i am in at the moment: Dont feel tied down by the people you are traveling with, ive found it very easy to find a group of people and to just go with the flow and not to do the things that i really wanted to but rather to agree with the majority to avoid being outcasted and alone in a foreign environment.
    I recently organised to go to an island with other travelers which i’m not really happy about as its all boozing and partying with other westerners but then again maybe its all part of the experience and im just being shy, its so hard to tell what to do sometimes lol

  74. Hi Gaby
    there’s some tips for female travellers in this story on Travelhappy: Ten Tips For Wandering Women – hope you find it useful. best, Chris

  75. Nathanial says:

    I am going travelling by my self to australia and NZ in late 2011 (oct/Nov) for 10 months. I will have only just turned 18 by then but cannot wait will hopefully be the best time of my life.
    Was just woundering how much cash you think i would need for an 8-10 month stay.
    Great article chris, gave me real inspiration to just decide to go travelling YOUR THE MAN!

  76. Thanks alot chris really helpfull.. im travelling south america on my own in a few months an im really fed up of people giving me there opinion on why i cant, shouldn’t, mad to be travelling alone !!!!
    Cant wait to get away…. thanks again for the article ..

  77. Great Story… Planning at the moment my solo trip to south east asia. Are you still living in Bangkok?

  78. Thanks Elias – yes, I’m still living in Bangkok. 5 years now. No plans to move at the moment

  79. Great article has really made me sure I want to travel even though it’s not something my friends are into, Planning solo 4week trip to Thailand next year,do you think it’s best to book as much in advance as possible or just wing it eg hotels travel plans etc?

  80. Hi Jamie – I’d recommend you book your first night in Thailand as you’ll be jetlagged and wanting life to be easy. After that, it’s up to you. I would recommend booking ahead for the islands especially Koh Phangan and Koh Phi Phi – they get incredibly busy and it’s a lot of hassle to hunt for empty rooms just to save a few dollars.

  81. Hi Chris

    Really enjoyed reading your 7 reasons its all the reasons and emotions i want to deal with, Really want to go to oz in dec 2011 but not really feeling the busy cities but more off the beaten track to meet people you would’nt meet in the cities any ideas?? Maybe Beautiful beach Big town or Small fishing village with a few freindly locals and a few females won’t to keep me sane lol any reply would be great thanks ash

  82. Dear Chris,

    Thank you, this is a great site!
    I come from a very small area in Ontario, Canada where I am related to 3/4 of the village of 120 people. Leaving our little village is a faux-pas and world travel is unheard of. As a blond Caucasian solo travel was NOT condoned.
    After I returned from my month long Australia trip with my brothers girlfriend, I quickly knew that solo travel would allow greater growth, self reflection and all around more fun. Solo travel allows you to live and appreciate the culture.
    Six months later I was back in the air, destined for Thailand. I had signed up to become a Scuba Diving Instructor. Best thing that I have ever done!
    Like you mentioned in your article, solo travel builds life long friendships. Oddly enough I fell in love with a British lad and have booked my return flight back to Thailand to teach diving with him on Koh Lanta.

    May I ask where did you teach in Thailand?

    Thank you again!
    ~Can~

  83. Hi Can, wow, sounds like you have had a real adventure! Your story is a very good example of the positives of making the break and striking out on your own.
    For what it’s worth, Koh Lanta is my favourite island in Thailand too – I have friends living there so will be back down there in November so maybe I will run into you and your boyfriend at some point.
    I taught in Surin, back in 2003 – I had friends out there teaching full time and I turned up and helped a bit.
    Thanks for taking the time to share your story.
    Cheers
    Chris

  84. Thanks Chris for the awesome article. I recently decided that i will be going to Thailand for a month in december of 2011. So i still have awhile but i am very excited and have been smiling from ear to ear for the last ten minutes from it. I will definately drop on this website from time to time to check everything out and keep the excitement fresh! Thank you again for feeding the fuel for my excitement to travel to Thailand solo!

  85. You’re welcome Josh – have a great trip!

  86. Hi
    Chris seems like you didnt reply to my question? everyone else get wished a good trip, could have done with some much needed words of wisdom belive or not. But im sure i will have to learn it all anyway. Thanks for the blog Im sure i will have some tips and advice when i get back..

  87. Sorry mate, no offense meant, I find it hard to keep up with all the comments. In Oz I recommend you explore the west coast if you want to see the small towns – use Easy Riders – easyridertours.com.au – jump on jump off bus if you don’t want to hire your own car. Great way to meet other people. For me, personal highlights were Exmouth and Busselton but there are scores of places up and down that coast – it’s wild, rugged and amaaazing. Your trip is a while away so have a read of a Lonely Planet to get a sense of what’s on the coastline. Cheers, Chris

  88. I have to say this has made me feel a little better. I’m going travelling beginning of 2011, alone, and was freaking out a bit at the thought of being by myself. However, now I can’t wait and I’m aware that when I get back home after the trip I will be a new me. So thank you.

  89. chris this article only is the sole reason why i feel so much more confident and excited about goin it alone!!
    cheers mate

  90. You’re welcome Aaron – safe and happy travels!

  91. I’m planning on travelling to Oz in the new year. Was meant to be going with a mate but her plans have now changed which is a shame. Travelling on my own is actually making me very worried but on a brighter note gives me even more freedom! I do have a mate over there already so i have my base for when i first go over but i want to explore for myself and stand on my own two feet and make friends along the way. Home life in edinburgh is very easy but easy is boring. This article has just made me even more keen to do this and i cant wait to.. Visa has came through so all that is left to do is pick a date and book my tickets. I will always accept anymore tips people have from their experience.

  92. Hi Matt – think you’re making the right decision. “Life in edinburgh is very easy but easy is boring” is very well put. Got to get out there and try new things. Having a mate to meet when you first get to Oz is invaluable – same for me when I first went there. You can’t really go wrong! Happy travels, Chris

  93. Hi Chris,
    Really good article… Helps us to keep the guts of doing the first solo trip! I’m heading to SE Asia by the beginning of November, going to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnan, Laos, Indonesia and Phillipines for 4 months (till now…)
    Something that I would like to know is that if it’s ok to dive in Ko Tao during november or it’s just too messy and rainy? Better go to Ko Lanta?

    Will you be in Bangkok between the 9th and 11th of nov? Would be nice to chat a bit and get some more tips from you…

    Cheers,
    Leo

  94. This is amazing, I’ve just been reading through all the comments. I’m going travelling in 2012 when I’m 19, I know it’s a long wait but I want to know where I’m going and the best places to visit! Definitely want to go to Bangkok though for sure. Already started saving as I’m so excited! Thankyou for this, it was a great help and I’ll definitely remember this site so I can keep getting a bit of confidence for travelling solo. Thanks again! :-)

  95. Thanks Hannah and good luck on your travels – let me know how it goes. Cheers, Chris

  96. Hi Leo – sorry for my late reply — Koh Tao is definitely not a good idea in November as the monsoon season is in full effect. If you’re already in Thailand now you’ll be aware the weather over there has been really rough this week with flights to Samui and ferries suspended. Normal service has been resumed now but the weather is rarely good in the Gulf in Nov.
    Also, yes, I am here in BKK on 9 to 11th Nov next week so you’re welcome to drop me a line (chris@travelhappy.info) and we can try and meet up. Cheers! Chris

  97. Hi guys, I have just handed my notice in at work!! As a teacher for the past 5 years, there must be more to life than corrections and lesson plans. It really is a great job!!! :)\n\nMy plan is to go travelling in January or February stopping off in Thailand first, and then seeing where it takes me. Figi, New Zealand, Australia who knows?!. I am going to be travelling sole, so if anyone fancies hooking up on the way let me know.

  98. This is brilliant. Great perspective on travelling, as well as relationships and people generally. A wise and inspiring article! Many thanks.

  99. Hi, Im a 14 year old boy and I really want to go travelling for a year when I leave school! Could you give me an idea of where to go!

  100. Hi Chris,\n\nGreat, well written article – thanks! Would it be possible to somehow pass my email onto ‘Nick’, ‘Samswan’ and ‘Matt’ who have posted recently about travelling in the new year? I’ll also be travelling then and would love to meet up with other solo travellers! Any other solo travellers thinking of Oz/Nz and South America in the new year please get in touch!

  101. Due to a friend letting me down, I am now looking at travelling on my own (my flight is in less than 2 weeks) this article has given me more confidence and assurance that thinkgs will be ok!!! I cant wait now!

  102. Due to a friend letting me down at very short notice i’m now in a bit of a dilemna as whether to head over to Thailand for January. I guess my fears are much the same as many of the folk who have written here…and of course hearing so many people in the same position is re-assuring…I’m however still not too sure if I could genuinely manage the trip alone – which is incredibly frustrating. On one hand I desperately want a few weeks of relaxation, but simultaneously dread the idea of spending 4 weeks feeling uncomfortable and out of my depth…I guess I was looking for some strong words of encouragement…thanks all and hope all those who’ve been unsure in the past have gone on to enjoy anazing trips…

  103. David Tucker says:

    Nick…I am on a small peaceful island called Koh Yao Noi.This is the place to come for very little to do, good people, peace and support, etc.NO night life to speak of, or drunk roudy crowds!I know exactly how you feel, but come and enjoy!email me for help and advice, if this helps.

  104. how much did you save before you decided to leave? I can’t think how much I should need and things like how easy will it be to find work..

    Great article by the way
    helps alot!

  105. You are a perfect example of someone who’s ideas I like to promote to all young (ish) people. I have loved travelling since my first exposure to Africa in 1965 when I had the most amazing 6 months living in Nairobi. Since then I have lived in and worked in and visited many countries and going to a place previously unvisited still excites the hell out of me! Well done you :).

  106. Hey :)
    Iv just graduated school and breaking free from the traditional straight to uni path. Utterly clueless of what i wanted to do in life i thought about leaving home and going backpacking. I just want to know where are some good places to go backpacking? At first i was hesitant about travelling alone, but your article inspired me just to build up the courage and have a go. But im still slightly worried about travelling alone when im 18…

    any tips would be great
    thanks :)

  107. Hello,
    Im off to Thailand, Ko tao (cheap and excellent diving schools) from london Heathrow on the 15th of feb to learn to be a scuba diving instructor. I am going alone and again i am very nervous but i know things will plan out ok if you just be yourself and be comfortable with who you are! i have a 12month visa and will probably spend quite a lot of my time on the gulf of thailand islands so if anyone wants to meet me then your welcome to email me whenever on oliver.dines@yahoo.co.uk.
    I have a fascination with creatures on and off land so if you wanna come through some island jungle or just go for a swim then give me a shout man!
    Chris the article was fascinating and reassuring most of all….. Adventuring is and always will be an amazing thing thing for everyone. I always say to myself when traveling, keep a freindly smile and be open to everything if you have the time and monies. Like you say dont forget to do what you want do, you have gone alone so dont be afraid to leave new people you have met.

    Email me if you like and be be good all.

    Peace and joy, Oli

  108. Hello Everyone,

    I Love your Blog Chris. When I decided I was going to travel solo. Everyone I know had something negative to say. These words are among the first encouraging words I’ve come across about traveling solo.

    I’m off to Aruba on my own in 2 weeks for 1 month. I’m frightened witless but also very excited. I’m 26, very materialistic, still live at home and spoiled rotten…lol. One day I suddenly had an Epiphany and decided I wanted a new perspective on life. I decided I wanted to get away from my everyday life and travel the world solo, not all at once of course.

    I immediately started to Google places to travel. I selected Australia and New Zealand. As I’m not sure if I would like traveling alone, and every Tom, Dick and Harry I know (Including my parents) had something negative to say about me traveling solo. I decided to test run something closer to home to see if I will enjoy traveling solo. So in 2 weeks I leave for Aruba. If I find traveling solo enjoyable. Then I will be traveling Australia and New Zealand solo for the first 3 months of 2012.

    Also I read the article that was advised for Women travelers “Ten Tips For Wandering Women”. That is a very brilliant article. I totally love it.

    Any advise or words of wisdom is welcomed and appreciated. I will do a follow up when I return from Aruba. Suzanna.

  109. Hi, again awesome article! I was wondering how ever if you know of any websites where i could kind of advertise my self to go traveling with other people, i would like to go all over the world but as the old saying goes “safey in numbers ” :) . If i was to go to Thailand or OZ with a person i just met we could go some of the same places….mayb…i dunno just dont fancy Thailand on my own!

    Im 22 and a guy btw sound kinda soft but ooooo well

  110. I really want to travel.. I would love to see Thailand, I am from the uk and was thinking would Europe be a good opener to my journeys just because I could see soo many different places and its europe, English is a very common language.. Or do I get a flight to thailand and see where that takes me.. Unlike you chris I have no real ambition to go scuba diving in certain places I just want to get away and have a life experience, after all there’s so many better places to be spending my hard earned money than the city I was born in.. I find it hard to make decisions and can’t seen to put my finger on exactly what to do.. All your articles have helped soo much with the nerves, just where to go.. Soo many options.. btw people I want to be leaving soon so I will be back on hear and would love to meet up with some of your first timers to,
    Quick question, I’ve heard thai customs can be dodgy if there is no return flight booked is this true?

  111. Hi Sam – I would just bite the bullet and go somewhere, anywhere – that first journey will help you work out more of what you like and don’t like and so be a very positive experience (even if it doesnt feel like fun sometimes)

    Regarding return tickets for Thailand – yes, officially it’s the case that you need to be able to show a return ticket. In reality you are rarely asked to show this at Thai immigration – however, it does occasionally happen and it can be tricky if you don’t have a return ticket. You can argue you are going to leave Thailand by a land border which is reasonable. Provided you remain polite and respectful to the immigration officers you should be ok.

  112. Leonie Cavanagh says:

    Hi there,

    I find it absolutely fascinating that this blog has remained completely relevant for more than 3 years! And naturally I concur – it is fabulous! I am an Australian and about to go traveling for an indefinite period of time around South East Asia, and then head to the UK for work/tap into traveling around Europe. Your article has inspired me to travel on my own through South East Asia!

    I was originally looking at traveling using tours the whole way because I am/was completely daunted by the prospect of doing it all on my own. Your article has made me re-evaluate and draw on all of my previous travel experiences…. of course it’s totally do-able! I might just start my travel in Thailand with a tour though – that’s good advise :)

    Thanks again… Simon/Sam/anyone feel free to drop me a line via email if you are planning on being in South East Asia in around May 2012.

    Ta,
    Leonie
    leoniecav@hotmail.com

  113. I got the traveling bug while in the Navy; certainly not solo travel! My kids and I traveled quite a bit and now that they are grown I plan on traveling solo for a while.

    I started slow last summer and did a Cancun vacation alone and all my friends/family were freaked out about me going alone. Absolutely the best vacation ever! I am now planing a northern Thailand backpacking trip (saving up some cash really).

    Thanks for the great blog and tips!

  114. Thanx for writing these articles – they are truly great. I,ve ALWAYS had the dream of backpacking solo in the east and this year I,m probably gonna just do it. Youre an inspiration !

  115. Well, your article certainly has helped me so far!! And I keep reading it so as not to book my flight home.

    Arrived in Perth last week from Scotland, and so far I have had disaster after disaster, dodgy hostels, no bank account set up (despite putting money into it for 6 months), lost phone and i’ve buggered my camera.

    But do u know what, I aint going to give in. I have realised that despite being the “party-animal” back home, I am actually quite shy. I have spoken to loads of people, and have booked onto a trip. Did 2 weeks in Thailand before coming here and had a ball so i’m sure Oz will be the same!!

    Be yourself and you will all be fine!! Onwards and upwards!! Even after being here for a week, i feel my confidence is growing already!!

    Bring it on!!!

  116. That’s the spirit Michael :) Am sure your luck will get better

  117. Quick update for anyone looking to meet up with other travellers – I’ve added a Facebook discussion thread to Travelhappy’s Facebook Page where you can connect with other travellers. It’s a bit of an experiment but I thought it worth giving a go. Please treat each other with respect and good humour and keep it fluffy. Thanks!

  118. Lara Jordan says:

    Wow, thanks to you all so much for posting these!
    I’m off on my own in September and VERY excited! I’m still saving currently but am working my socks off so i get to fulfil my dream :)
    I’m 28 yo female from UK so its great to know that others in my situation are succeeding…
    I want to do a lot of Asia, Indonesia, South Pacific, India & South America primarily and then maybe OZ or NZ after that, but the former are my priorities.
    Has anyone concentrated on these before and is it worth me starting off in OZ and then working my way around from there?
    I’m trying to save as much as i can, but am aiming for 1k a month to get my by.
    I’m into meditation so it will be lovely to get more involved in that!

    If anyone has any tips that haven’t already been shared i’d be most grateful… I’ll come back on when i’m on my trip and post some blogs.

    Happy travelling guys, maybe see you soon one day!!!

  119. Hi, I am going Solo to Thailand to live in a few weeks, I will be arriving in Bangkok then flying on to Koh Samui. I am going to teach English for a few months then I plan to travel round Indo-china, any useful advice for when I first arrive is most welcome.

    (Great web-site by the way, lots of helpful tips..!)

  120. I plan on going to thailand in the first week of january 2012,I live in Australia and i have no idea how ill go doing this lol i have never been over seas, no idea how to plan a trip / best way to exchange money / booking hotels ect … i was just gonna try wing it , fly there and go from there, my trip will consist of 3 weeks where i plan to travel to Phuket, chiang mai, Khon Kaen,Pattaya, Bangkok,Kok samui then back to phuket to fly back to brisbane, any tips would be great, anyone else traveling at this time?

  121. Jason -have a look at http://www.travelfish.org – there’s a travel forum with lots of helpful discussion, etc that focuses on SE Asia. They also have suggested itineraries,planning tips, free e-guides, iPhone Apps, etc. (No I’m not associated to that website, but have used it in conjunction with this site for really useful and reliable travel info).

  122. Hey guys, I’m a 21 year old woman from NZ, just graduated from uni and I’m off to backpack in the uk and europe for 2 months in a few weeks! Very exciting and scary as hell because I’m an only child, had very protective father and I’ve suffered from various anxiety problems and horrible family situations but all the more reason to do it! I’m nervous about being alone on public transport because even here guys hassle me in the street but I think being confident, assertive and organised is the best you can do to protect yourself anywhere… and just a tip to you guys who are coming to NZ… don’t hitchhike here and don’t sleep in your vehicles in quiet places because tourists have been robbed, attacked and worse, don’t wanna make it sound horrible but just don’t let your guard down just because we are a small country ok! Stay safe and have fun everyone :)

  123. im heartened by the numbers of likeminded souls on here,its took ages to get to this point so here we go…starting in bali and working my way up to india(hopefully)starting november.anyone with tips(especially budget tips)or planning a similar trip please drop me a line,craig-britton@hotmail.co.uk,safe trip everyone,keep up the good site,craig

  124. Thanks for this article. Ive been tossing the idea of travelling alone in my head for a few months now, and reading this article has helped :)

  125. Brilliant article thanks. I’ve always wanted to go travelling but could never find someone to go with and just thought with the new year and all that I’m just going to go. So now im booked to go to australia on my own in august. Im a 21 year old female so have my aprehensives obviously but having been there for a holiday last year I cannot wait the people are so friendly and the atmosphere in hostels is great. Dont think about it just do it :)

  126. Hi Everyone,

    Lie everyone else i have been thinking about traveling solo, but have always let fear stand in my way. i am a 27 year old female form Australia and am starting to think that if i dont do it now i never will! i have traveled a fair bit bit always with my e- partner, however now cant find anyone who wants to travel…maybe i should just do it! Im going to Italy for work in September so i might just take more time off and go form there! thanks for the boost of confidence! :-)

  127. kieshia ,
    Where in Australia are you going to visit? im in brisbane

  128. Hey guys, friendly reminder – it’s easier for you to talk to each other using the Travelhappy Facebook discussion board- means you can talk to each other direct and in real time without waiting for me to approve comments. Cheers, Chris

  129. Hey Jason I’m flying into Brisbane in august then I’m not sure where I’m goina head from there. Are u there now?

    I’ll check out the discussion board now :)

  130. Hey Chris,
    I have found your articles and your whole entire site so helpful and beneficial. I will definitely keep reading. Thanks for all the super helpful information and your articles are exactly the kind of self assurance I need to do some solo traveling!!
    -Alycia

  131. Tickets booked for Thailand, departing 5th of April, only to hear about the recent floods.. :( anyone know how bad the situation is???
    Wanting to make my way upto chiang mai for the songkran festival then WAS wanting to hit the fool moon party on ko pha-Ngan (18th) will this be possible, any info much appreciated!

  132. Hi Sam – things on Koh Phangan, Tao and Samui are not good at the moment (30th March) – tourists are being evacuated by the Thai navy. There has been widespread flooding on the islands and it’s going to take a while – probably a couple of weeks – to get everything cleaned up and back to normal (assuming we don’t get more freak weather coming through). I think if you head to Chiang Mai and then down for the Full Moon Party on 18th you should be OK, but best to keep an eye on the news. I’ve put together a Breaking Thailand News page which is continually updated with headlines from English-language Thai newspapers and TV channels.

  133. Hey Suzanna!, when are you planning to go to NZ and OZ? I am planning a trip to OZ then into NZ from late June for about 6 weeks. Really looking forward to it!

  134. I read your post about getting off the plane in Bangkok and thought it was the most honestfunniest post I have read on travelling. I can picture feeling exactly the way you did and when I go now and feel that way, I will know that it will get better. Thanks!

  135. Thanks Kelly! Getting comments like yours makes it all worth it :) For anyone else wondering what Kelly is referring to, it’s this story I wrote about My First Day Backpacking Solo in Bangkok

  136. Kieshia i live in brisbane so if you wanna hang out when u come id be happy to show you around… you can contact me on discussion board

  137. Hi Chris, what a brilliant article! The bit that really flew off the page at me was:
    A worthwhile caveat here is that you shouldn’t feel that every day has to be a party – admittedly I did spend most of my first two months in Sydney and Melbourne somewhat inebriated, but by about the fourth month I’d calmed down a bit. A quiet night in with a good book can still be fun – again, it’s about doing what you want to do, not what you feel obliged to do, or what you think you *should* be doing.

    I’m currently travelling Australia, and I’m always concerned about what I feel I *should* be doing, or that I should be having a riotous day every day while I’m here, and it’s actually affected my mood quite severely at times. But I’m here for another year at least, and like you say, a night in with a book is just as valid as going out and getting smashed!!

    A lot of my feelings comes down to how I present my trip to people at home when that shouldn’t matter to me at all – I’m here for me, not them! What I mean is, when they ask how much fun I’m having, or when I tell them the stuff I did while here, I want to be able to make it sound awesome and like it was a party every day, but that’s not realistic!

    This article has really helped me immensely Chris, thank you :)

  138. Great article, thanks to reading this I have decided to go traveling alone. This has really helped me and given me the things I needed to hear. I’m off to oz in Oct/september, where is a good starting point in Australia?

  139. Hi Chris,

    I’m coming at this from a different perspective and would really appreciate your thoughts/ comments. My son is nearly finished at school and doesn’t want to go down the whole uni route but wants to just take off and go travelling solo. Reading your article and the reasons you had for heading off sound so similar to what I’m hearing from him as he doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life and just wants to see what the world has to offer.

    I’m panicking at the thought of him heading off into the wide blue yonder without evereything being planned as I’m worried about his safety. Guess I’m seeing all the negatives and the things that could go wrong rather than thinking about the positives. Typical parent stuff. I want to be supportive but am struggling big time with this. Any thoughts or comments from the perspective of a parent that could help me out here and reassure me that the minute he heads off he’s not going to land himself in trouble?

    Thanks

  140. Hey Chris. Great article.
    I’m currently working in a pub right now, saving for about a year to gather enough money to go travelling. I was thinking starting off in Italy, then moving on to Australia, where my brother will be soon emigrating too. I will be 18 at the time of my hopefull travels, is that too young? I have a few people interested in travelling with me, but so far I’m the only that’s actually dedicated to saving for it.
    Thanks alot.

  141. Catherine says:

    Hey guys,

    I’m travelling in Sept 2011, i’m going to Thailand for 2wks then on to sydney, so if anyone’s interested in hooking up let me know.
    p.s i’m coming from Belfast irl.

    Thanks

    Catherine

  142. Hey Chris!

    I agree with your points on travelling solo and found your articles a great help for solo travelers.I visited Chiang Mai & Bangkok last December 2010 for the first time and alone which made me plan to go back in Thailand through HCMC then Siem Reap then to Phuket this July 18-28.If any one is going on these dates please let me know. I lived and worked here in the Philippines as a health care provider.

    Your articles are a treat Chris!Keep them coming….(Do you have a meet up schedule between July 24-28, 2011 in Bangkok/Phuket?)

    Denden
    maconsolviaa@yahoo.com

  143. Incredible article. Definitely motivates to travel.
    I am soon going on my first solo travel which is going to culminate in a couple 3-5 days in Bangkok. Could you give some suggestions/guidelines what to do? Maybe something out of the city (national parks..) is manageable in 1-2 days?
    I am not going to overplan my trip, just want to know what my options are.

  144. Hi nV — Khao Yai national park is near to Bangkok and also the ancient ruined city of Ayutthaya. Both worth visiting if you have 1 – 2 days free during your stay in Bangkok. I’ve not written anything specific about Khao Yai (if you google it you can find all sorts of info) but I wrote about Ayutthaya a while ago here on TH. Enjoy your trip, Chris

  145. Hi Denden – thanks for all your comments and very happy you’ve found so much to enjoy on the site. :) Unfortunately I am not around in Bangkok late July as I am heading back to the UK to see my family. You might want to check on couchsurfing.org and also the Travelhappy Facebook board to see if any other travellers are around to meet up with. CS has a vibrant traveller community. Happy travels, Chris

  146. Hello Chris,

    What a GREAT article! I find it amazing to think that people have been commenting on it for sooo long and more importantly that there are so many people out there travelling solo :) I wanted to go travelling before starting uni but opted out simply because the thought of going alone scared me somewhat… however, its something that I still find myself thinking about and that I just WANT to do! When I see the pics / stories from people who have done it – it makes me want to book a ticket now and head off first thing… I would rather head off on my travels alone than not do it at all and your article has just pointed out all the reasons why this is something I can see myself doing :) I am from South Africa, living in the UK and would love to go back to my home country to travel, do the ‘tourist’ bit and to explore every inch of the country! Following that I plan to head to NZ and Australia… and then who knows where… ?! :) Thanks for the inspiration :)How exciting… I can’t wait! x

  147. jessica says:

    Hi,
    Have just read through all these comments. For me it will be a totally diffferent experience. I am 56 and decided only yesterday that I have to do this. I intend to go to Goa
    to start with for yoga, meditation and massage then to continue East. I would very much like to do some voluntary work alomg the way and I guess my journey will be somewhat diffferent to the the younger generation on here!!! However for me it still is a journey of self exploration and I too have never ventured to what I can only believe these magnificent places. I would very much welcome any input for the older traveller!!

  148. Simon P says:

    Great Website Chris…

    After Splitting from my long-term partner in January, I decided to book a month in Thailand to “Get the hell out of dodge” for a while. I’m hoping this trip will help me re-build my confidence as I’ve been pretty down for the past few months.

    I have 1 week to go before I jet off to Bangkok and will be following the familiar backpackers route down to Surat Thani / Samui / Phan-gan and finally some scuba action (I’ve never dived before) on Ko-Tao.
    I’m trying not to think about the practicalities too much and just sort of play it by ear. I am excited / nervous in equal measure. Your article above has given me real encouragement.
    As with some of the others on this page I have had people telling me I must be mad to go travelling alone and giving me scare stories. However, everybody I’ve spoke to who has travelled alone, or has been to Thailand, tells me I will have the time of my life.

    Don’t listen to the nay-sayers… Get out there.
    I will post some photos from my trip here if anyone wants to have a look.

    Great article and great website Chris… Mai Pen Rai!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/zcars1878/

  149. This comment is for Jess above. Jess I am about 18 months behind you and planning the same thing. If possible let me know how it goes.

  150. I agree guys, this is a fantastic article and has really put my mind at rest on a few points.
    Nevertheless, i’m still petrified. I leave in 3 months, have nowhere near as much money as i wanted, and wont have by the time i leave, i’m getting a lot of grief from family about travelling on my own as a 28yo girl. I don’t have an issue with it, but their constant complaints about it are starting to grind me down a bit….
    I don’t know exactly how i’m travelling from place to place as i want to do as much as possible over land rather than flying.

    All in all i’m freaking out!! Could really do with some reassurance that i’m not alone..

    Thanks in advance guys and girls x

  151. Shu Xiong says:

    Hi Chris, I’m Shu Xiong from Singapore and i really enjoyed your article. I am just back from a solo 5-day trip to Bangkok and i can really relate to your article. I feel like i am really in love with the city of bangkok and am seriously thinking of looking for a job there. But i am not really sure if this is what i really want though. And my parents back home will probably get a shock as well.

    I have made the first steps towards this dream though; I have signed up for Thai language classes.

  152. andy spencer says:

    fantastic read that from start to finish.
    i wasent so sure about going alone before i read all this, but now i would feel stupid if i dident. am 25 kinda stuck in the same old boring cycle, ive managed to save around 10grand and the more money i get the unhappier it makes me,really wierd considering all ive done since i left school is try to earn money. since the new year i havent been happy over here in rainy england i feel as if there is nothing left for me to stay for, i am going to man up and book a flight, shit thailand cant be no worse than manchester on a saturday night.. i will no doubt be back on here to see if anyone may be crossing paths with me am thinking 2nd week in august for 8 weeks that should break me in what do you think? cheers

  153. si ward says:

    Feel exactly the same andy, I live in sunny bolton! iv still not got the balls to do along time but goin to canada for 2months! I must say I don’t feel the same about money makin my unhappy lol :p ! Hope u enjoy ur trip, let me know how it goes hope to go Thailand some time! Si_ward@hotmail.coDotuk

  154. Drew Bodey says:

    Thailand is the way forward andy Ha ha!I’m going solo heading for Indo from July till mid August then flying to thailand, let us know if you make it!

  155. Hey guys – great to see all these comments coming in recently. Hope everyone is getting ready to travel or already out there. Don’t forget I’ve added a Facebook discussion thread to Travelhappy’s Facebook Page where you can connect with other travellers if you’re looking to go travelling soon. It’s much easier for people to talk direct to each other there rather than waiting for me to approve comments manually. You’re welcome to leave comments here too – whatever makes it easy. Meanwhile, I’m packing to head to the Philippines next week… Cheers, Chris

  156. andy spencer says:

    hi all again. thanks for the replys, ive been doing more research and i am 100% set on going, all i have to do now is plan a route and pick some dates and am pretty much there, i take back what i said about it making me unhappy, i just need to get a much better work/pleasure time ratio, its pointless savin money if your not gonna enjoy it. i cant get that link to work for the facebook thing, probley my computer, oh well. good luck everyone on your travels whereever it may be,, remember fortune favours the brave

  157. Abbie aka Goldilocks says:

    Hi Chris,

    Just finished reading about your first day backpacking in Bangkok and just wanted to say that it was hilarious. I totally felt like I was there with you and has made me reconsider my decision to start my adventure in Oz making my way back to Thailand once I felt more comfortable about being alone. Now, I’m not sure where I’m going to start but after reading your 7 reasons to go travelling solo I feel better about wherever I end up. I’ve got 6 months to go before my 6 month sabbatical and instead of being a bit apprehensive, the butterflies are out and I can’t wait!! So thanks a million.

    Abbie

  158. Abbie aka Goldilocks says:

    Hi Andy (Spencer),

    Just read your post. I’m in a similar situation to you. I’m 26, just split with my fiance of 6 years and don’t really feel like there is anything holding me back home at the moment. I’m not happy in my job and although am studying to rectify that, I think I need to get out and see some world before settling down to normal life again. I’m off in the new year, so if you’re still around in Asia somewhere, maybe we’ll bump into each other. If not, have an amazing time.

    Abbie

  159. Such a motivating article!!
    I’m 34, female, just got back from a 10 day solo trip to Bkk. Absolutely fallen in love with the place! Stayed in rangnam near victory monument which is a great place to be based for transport links, bts skytrain so easy to use.
    I was literally quivering on the plane, so nervous, had visions of myself not even making it from the airport to the city but it was all fine. I had tried to convince friends to come with me but to be honest once you are in your thirties most friends are married/have kids/ skint etc so I thought I’d better just get on with it. Loved it so much I’m going back in October!! Feel a bit if a wimp going back to Thailand again as it will be kind of familiar but it is such s lovely warm in every way country it has to be done! :)

  160. Samantha says:

    Hi, i’m travelling solo around the east coast of aus for 2 months and i’m finding it alot harder than I expected to meet like minding people and to not be lonely. I’m staying in hostels and things but the people I meet aren’t really i nto the same things as I am and I’m finding it extremely hard. I have done tours and things but it doens’t seem to help. If you had any advice that would be great as at the moment it seems like i’m travelling for travellings sake and not seening/doing anything that is enriching or anything. Thanks.

  161. I’m so glad I found this page. I want to go to Hong Kong, and plan to fly out next week, but look as though I’ll be going alone. Part of me is really excited, and the other part absolutely terrified – even the mundane things like the drive down to Heathrow and finding the right terminal seem overwhelming at the moment! The other part of me thinks it will probably do me good though, once I get over the self-conscious feeling of being alone, eating alone etc.

  162. Wow! So happy i found this page too! Like alot of posts i’ve read on here (no offence), I’m really unhappy with my life right now. I feel i need to get away from everything and just go alone for a bit and maybe find myself :S I originally had thoughts of going to Canada cause its a place ive always wanted to go for some reason. But after reading many posts on here it kinda looks like Thailand is the place to be, it sounds more like me. Tbh tho i have no idea about even planning a backpacking trip, could really use some help. Cheers :)

  163. Hi, I am going to travel solo to southeast asia for a month, i am starting in Bangkok, any places you recommend?

  164. Great website there. I will be going on my little travel next week – going to Australia where I will be travelling the East Coast and then to Thailand before coming back to the UK. Any recommended places?

    Any other travellers out there in the same boat?

  165. A great article, and so very true! I left home in the UK at the beginning of November last year, and have met some fantastic people, done things I would never have done back home, and had some totally surreal experiences.
    I have also been able to think a lot about my life and what I want – it really gives you a great amount of perspective!
    While I feel ‘ready’ to go back home, I’m just trying to stretch it out a little bit longer – in Melbourne at the moment – great city, great people, great vibe!

  166. Just wanted to say what a great article this is and how, like all above, it has helped to alleviate my fears of traveling solo. I’m flying to Bangkok from the UK tonight and am going to be away for 3 months finishing up in Oz. I have no idea what to expect, or what I’m going to do with myself when I get there, but this article has reassured me that a good time awaits!

    Thanks again!

    p.s Facebook discussion link doesn’t seem to work?

  167. Melissa says:

    This is a really great article, and so very true. I went solo travelling around Europe as an 18 year old for 3 months, then through South East Asia as a 19 year old. Being a young woman, lots of people were putting doubts into my mind, but it is such a liberating and exciting adventure. I have travelled with friends also, but honestly I fnd it more fun going solo. After a week or so, you forget that you have come to this foreign land as a ‘single traveller’ because of all the great people you have met. It forces you to be social allowing you to meet many interesting people who offer a variety of new experiences. I love it so much and try to convince anyone thinking about it to just go for it!

  168. Anthony Booth says:

    Hi everyone, first things first, great article. I have been toying with the idea of backpacking for some time now, and at the age of 26 have decided that i need to do it before its too late and i regret not doing it. Ive got quite some time yet before setting off and was wondering how much money should be saved approximately? I have no idea yet where to go and what i want to do, and finding work abroad seems impossible sat here writing this. I am in the process of researching the whole idea and would like to chat to as many people as i can before i venture off. Any help would be appreciated, cheers everyone. Ant :)

  169. Rob Findon says:

    Hi, the website i s amazing, i’m going travelling alone next february, well sort of, I’m meeting some friends in australia for about 6 months then i’m going it alone, was nervous about going alone and i was also filled with dread of the fact that i would become a loner lol, this website has some great tips even the line “Hey guys, I’m on my own, mind if I join you” sounds like a great line to use. I was nervous but no more, i’m well up for it now, still got a few months before i go but i will be back on here to add any advice i have whilst i’m doing my traveling.

  170. Sophie Harris says:

    Hey everyone!

    At 23, I’m planning on spreading my wings next July and I confess – was worried/scared/naive about travelling alone. My plans are to go to Africa -> Asia -> Oz, but my fears were making me doubt this as I have friends and family in Oz. Why leave them last when I could go there first and get the support I may need before the rest of the trip?
    But after reading this, I’m more confident my route is looking great! Seeing my friends and family last would be more ‘cherry on top to a fab year’ rather than a thumb in my mouth before I’ve even set off for the real thing!

    I’ve decided to pull my socks up and make the jump…and I can’t wait!!

    Thanks!! :) xx

  171. Camilla Claire says:

    Hey!

    What a brilliant site – so helpful and this article really has put my mind at rest about going solo! Anthony, I’m also 26 and have wanted to go travelling for years, but kept putting it off. I’ve now finally set a date (February next year) and although I will be travelling alone I can’t wait to go!! I’m hoping to do Brazil – Argentina – SE Asia – then Oz to work for a year or longer if I can get sponsorship.
    It’s great to hear so many other people also go it alone. If anyone knows of any active forums to meet other single travellers please let me know…
    xx

  172. Hi Chris,
    Thanks for the article and all the tips.
    I’m heading for Nepal on october 24 and it’ll be my first solo trip. I’ve travelled a fair bit but never on my own before.
    Has anyone been to Nepal before? can anyone recommend Mountain Bike Tours? Any other tips?

    If anyone is going to be in Nepal between October 24 and November 4 please let me know!!
    Thanks

    Mark

  173. Hey Chris,
    What a great little read this was! very imformative, and has really put my mind at rest.
    I’m 26 from London and have been to Thailand twice, both times have been with groups of people, and as you say you are still in that “bubble” and still within some sort of comfort zone… So I’m really looking forward to getting our of my comfort zone and hopefully meet some fun, like-minded people :). So first stop will be the Koh Shan road March 15th 2012, if anyone else is heading out around then would be great to hear from you. Thanks again Chris, Matt

  174. Mahindra R says:

    My one concern with traveling alone i what do you do with your valuables? if you go to the beach and want to swim where do you put you valuables?

  175. Hey,great posts. I’m a 43yr old female and travelling solo, I was very anxious before I set off but am having the best experiences ever. I’ve spent 4 months in S. America, done some voluntary work, spent 3 months in NZ and am now in Oz chilling out at a friends house. I have felt scared, nervous and excited at different times, but absolutely loved being out of my comfort zone. If you have ever wanted to do it, don’t delay – life really is too short. I feel a tad odd at the moment as I’m staying in a normal house, comfy bed and surrounded by home comforts – great after 8 months of hostel life but it also gives you time to think about home life and your family. Whilst I miss my family and friends I’ve never once felt like returning home. Feels strange being in a normal house and I am now mentally preparing myself for the next phase of solo travel – am off to Fiji, Indonesia and the rest of Asia – no fixed plans as yet. I’m hoping I’ll find somewhere else in the World I want to live. I also aim to teach English in Japan or Korea at the end of my trip. My life feels like an open book. You will find your friends react in different ways, some are supportive, some are simply envious of your courage – it’s been very interesting. Best to keep a blog or set up a Group Page on FB that your friends and family can follow. People really do love to hear what you’re doing and share the experiences with you. As Chris says, have some idea of what you want to do but don’t firm up too many plans. Go with the flow is most definately the way to go!. I’ve met such wonderful people, admittedly most of them are half my age but that makes no difference. I do wish I had done this 20 yrs ago but feel so grateful that I am in the position to do it now – some folk never ever get the chance!. Go for it I say! :-)

  176. Dank Blezard says:

    WOW thank you for help i have been out of work for couple of weeks and got some savings think i know what im going to do now, BRILLIANT atricle, ONE question now Where can i get really cheap flights ??? thinking New Zealand, Thailand, still feel nervous about asia, language ?

  177. Thank you a lot, Chris for your advice.
    You made me start thinking of traveling alone. I’m 16 right now, but when I finish high school next year, I’d like to take a break by going somewhere new. And yes, my dream is to go to Seoul, S. Korea, once I’m interested in moving there after I finish university. The costs are a bit high, so I don’t think that any of my friends will be able to come with me. The point is that I’m Greek and I speak just my mother tongue, English and German, nothing that Koreans have expertise. Will it be a huge problem for me? And since I’m a bit shy, how could I possibly approach any people there? I want some Korean friends. Please, reply me. :)

  178. I don’t have any first hand knowledge of Korea but Couchsurfing and other traveller sites would be a good place to start looking for Korean friends interested in meeting travellers to their country. Korea is one of the most advanced countries in the world, let alone Asia, so I don’t think you’ll have a problem getting by with English. As always, trying to speak even a little Korean will go very far in making you new friends :)

  179. Try Skyscanner to compare most airlines during the time you want to go – also ask your local travel agents, they often can find even cheaper deals if they know what they’re doing. New Zealand is a good place to start, build up your confidence, then come to Thailand. You’ll meet loads of other travellers here and most of the Thais you’ll come into contact with will speak enough Thai for you to get by. Don’t let your nerves put you off – it’s easy once you get the hang of it

  180. Sounds awesome Danella – thanks for sharing your experience. Enjoy your next trip! Now you know you can do it, it gets even easier. Have fun!

  181. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the wonderful article. I’ll be travelling solo for the first time this Nov. 19-22 to Singapore. I’ve been to Singapore twice so I’m already familiar with the place.

    I’ve always wanted to try travelling solo but only had the opportunity and chance to do it this year. First time to be away from home on my birthday so I’m excited and nervous at the same time.

    Looking forward to my trip this November and I can’t wait to share my first hand experience on it too.

  182. Thank you Chris,

    Read your website and shall be clicking on some of the links, I’m going to Thailand in January 2012 as a solo! Just been to Melbourne on my own and wow – so friendly. I timed my first day at the hostel for one of their free guided city walks, within half an hour I had 12 new friends, we went out drinking after and I ended up going along the Great Ocean Road with one of those I met on the guided walk.

    So many of the words I have read on this site ring true.

    I’m looking through the web for prices for budget accomadation in North & Sth Thailand and then Malaysia for some beach action. Really looking forward to some food and sunshine!

    Thank you again.

    Darron
    (Croydon)

  183. Hi,
    nice post. thank you.
    i had some solo travel experience, mostly because my friend cancelled on last minute. i felt alone sometimes and afraid to talk with other people.. but once you got to know someone, it felt awesome.
    anyway, I will be going to Thailand in January 2012, 10 days. first time there. my friend ‘might’ be joining me in half of the trip.. hopefully..
    my plan is to visit phuket – phiphi – samui – koh phangan – penang.. have u been there ? maybe u can give me few tips :)
    i’ll be reading your post here bout thailand also though..

    cheers,
    nova

  184. James Crisp says:

    Really great and inspiring article! I really emjoyed reading it. Particularly as I am reading this whilst sitting at work on a rainy September day, with nothing to really do- having just finished uni :(. All my mates have gone back, and the idea of travelling is getting me through at the moment. This article has also made me even more excited as I will be going alone in January for 5 months around Asia. Ive definitely had moments where I’ve felt apprehensive, and anxious- and even considered the worst case scenarios, but actually these are things that make life interesting and exciting. Not sitting in a mundane office!

  185. Steph Jones says:

    Hey Chris,

    Really enjoyed reading your article and it has really helped put me at ease! I’m leaving for Africa on Saturday (1st Oct). I’m going on a 28 day tour of Africa with a company and about 10 other people. I don’t know any of them but its an organised thing so not too worried – just very excited. After Africa I fly into Bangkok on 2nd November and fly out on 27th november. I’m travelling alone (for the first time)and literally have no plans at all apart from my lonely planet guide (which I plan on reading whilst im in Africa)! I plan on getting off the plane, going to Khao San Road, finding a hostel, finding some other travellers and going with the flow with the intention of travelling around Thailand. If you have any tips on where I should go in Thailand that would be awesome! Thanks again

  186. Ami gutierrez says:

    Hello
    I’m really nervous of going by myself to seoul South korea but this article fives me more courage nd makes me more exited great job on this it really helped but idont know but this is what I heard tht after landing in south korea do I really nessary need to apply for the alien card ? If I’m jst going for 3 weeks ?

  187. i am nervous of traveling to China through SouthEast Asia in august-september 2012. wish me luck :)) still long though hahaha but for all the travellers out there, feeling the outer world reaching ur soul and calling u to come…i say : come there quickly :)) no matter what u will get in the bed, it’s all worthy

  188. My friend bailed on me last minute to jamaica i will be going for 5 days all inclusive resort im 23 male pretty outgoing ill admitt im scared dont know what could happen. This article made me feel alot better im leaving the 21st hope everything goes well!

  189. Thanks so much for writing and posting this – inspiring, motivating, and answering most of my questions and worries about travelling solo…time to book my tickets. Thankyou :)

  190. Hi I am thinking of going travelling next year but I don’t really know where to start. What sort of visas etc do I need to apply for if I want to go to Australia?

  191. Hello chris, good work on this page, very helpfull, i have a ticket booked for the 27th of december and am landing in bangkok from the uk. I literally have no plans, just £6500 cash and a nine month career break, could you please help me out as to where i could go when i first get off the plane to meet people best hostels ect, many thanks martyn

  192. Hi Martyn

    I just updated this page today – How To Find Travel Friends Online – will help you locate other travellers in Bangkok easily. Hostel wise, suggest you check out Lub’d – http://www.lubd.com — they are a great bunch and organise a lot of stuff for hostel guests that want to socialise. Have fun!

  193. Hi Chris great article, im going travelling for 4 months on nov 16th on my todd. Im 24 years old, so thinking its a good age to go uni is now done so need another adventure! Really looking forward to it but thinking now wow im actually going really soon!! Will be landing in Bangkok doing a tour for a month from bangkok to bangkok, this inculdes cambodia, Vietnam etc. Then im going from Bangkok to singapore for 3 months just chilling out checking out the islands consume lots of beer no doubt!etc. Not that I have done it yet, but the reason why have chosen the tour for a month is do get climatised, and also to meet people on the tour my friend had done this tour last year and said it was really good intense but really good, and also great way to meet people! Just wondering how much you think I will spend over 4 months, on average i no its hard to say.Well if anyone else is out there lets hope we bump in to each other for a beer or 6! :)

  194. I’m so happy I came accross this page!! I’m leaving for Australia / New Zealand in just a couple of months, I’m getting a working visa and I’m hoping to spend at least a year out there. I’m pretty excited but also very nervous about it. After reading this I feel so much more relieved though, so thank you! :)

  195. Phil Moody says:

    Hey Chris,

    Loved the article, answered alot of questions for me! I’m thinking about doing the same as you next summer – Australia and then some of South East Asia, how long do you think I will need? Not sure whether to try cram what I want to see into 2 months or take a gap year and see more? Let me know what you think.

    Phil

  196. Great article Chris and great comments. It’s amazing your article and comments are still running strong for so many years. I’ve stumbled upon it rather late, as I am headed home soon, but it is still helpful to read it even now.

    It was with some trepidation I started my solo travels (outside the US) a few years ago. The first time was Turkey for 2 1/2 months, the next and most recent was Africa. Now nearly six months later I am, somewhat regretfully, returning home (to help some friends.) My fears for traveling (solo) in Africa were significantly greater than Turkey but over time, I adjusted and have completely enjoyed it! I’ve met a lot of great people as well as spent a lot of time alone. Not knowing your way around, not knowing anyone, etc., while no less real, are somewhat superficial. I think the greatest fear most folks have is to be alone with their own thoughts. It’s not all fantasy and you will inevitably face some dark moments. But accept it, learn from it, grow from it and you will emerge a better person. I am almost constantly learning new things about myself and the world every day!

    While this trip is nearly over, but not yet, I feel the adventures have just begun and I’m starting to think where next?

  197. James fishwick says:

    Hi my name is James,
    I would 1st like to thank everyone for being so honest with their answers on here and their experienceies has help me a lot reading through everything!
    I am looking into trying to plan a working holiday in oz next year, stopping at Bangkok 1st and having a 2-4 week holiday travelling trough Asia until singapore then flying over from Singapore to cairnes! This will be the start of the work part!
    Questions I have are things like how easy is it 2 find work?! Can you quite easily travel and pick work up as and when you need it?! Can you earn enough to fund your daily life I.e food and accommodation just off earnings! I have money saved to use but would like to work as this will get me down and dirty with locals and culture to!
    I will be travelling alone most likely and just wanted to put a post out there to see if anyone has any good info for me or where I could find some to help me plan my trip and get answers to my questions! Even if you’d like to just contact me for a chat would be good to speak to like minded people! Could maybe help eachother!
    Thanks for reading and hope to hear from someone soon!
    Be carefull all and have fun, James xx

  198. Hi Chris, thank you for the article. I am nearly forty, live in the UK and recently been dealt a very crap hand by life and feeling very low but your article (and readers comments) has helped me loads. I have never traveled before and decided straight away to go solo but scared stiff. Not even been on a plane before! Not sure where to start as a first trip (hoping many more will follow). Was thinking Australia or South America, not sure as very new to this. Also not sure how long for, or just take it as it comes. I have a lot of research to do, me thinks. Any advise, especially for the slightly older, a little shy, first time traveler would be welcome. Cheers.

  199. Nice inspiring and reassuring article. I’m solo in SE Asia for the next month (and previous month), and will be braving South America for 3 months after that. Asia is ridiculously simple and safe, I have a few more qualms about S America but at least I speak Spanish and Portuguese so getting along should, in theory, be easier. If anyone else is in these places the next few months, drop me a line – arumack at gmail dot com!

  200. Hey, would like you thank you for this artical has helped me alot, am already currently in Australia spending some time with family members before I go traveling solo but the longer I leave it makes it even more scarier for that big push to start my travelling solo, looking at starting my traveling in Sydney first within the next month am just unsure on if this is the best time of year to startu backpacking if anyone is in same position or has any advice would be more than helpful thanks Kyle

  201. Guess I was too late to read this article. Wow I never imagined there would be many people out there who have a plan to travel alone. Surprising me!
    I have a plan to travel alone after my degree. But before that, let say for a test lol, am going to Bali on March 2012 alone, ya that trip would be my first solo trip. Even I’ve been went to bali before with my friend, am still nervous.

  202. Hi, I am male 30, going to Thailand on 24 November any one there can hang out :)

  203. Fantastic and inspiring article Chris. I’m a single female aged 37 and starting to think about quitting my job and going travelling around the world. In reality I have been thinking about travelling since I was 17 but not been in a financial position to do it before now. What I would like to ask of those who are slightly nearer my age range, is it normal to feel nervous about quitting your job? To explain my situation a little, I have spent the last 6 years paying off an ex’s debts (long story) and I wonder if I’m being over cautious with my planning to have enough money to pay for my trip plus £10,000 in savings behind me before I go? what do you think? I think basically I need some encouragement that I’m doing the right thing, I feel like I am, it is just everyone else that is making me feel like I must be mad! Thanks xx

  204. Hi Cara – no, I think you’re doing exactly the right thing. If I understand you correctly, you mean you have a chunk of money for travelling and then 10k as savings/backup for emergencies and when you get home? If so, that is eminently sensible, as it can take a while to start earning money again when home unless you already have something lined up. Don’t forget to get travel insurance too and your vaccinations – then you should be all set. Ignore everybody else saying you’re mad – you’re doing what you want, and you’re doing the right thing. Safe travels!

  205. @Dutari – going someplace you’ve been before for a solo jaunt is a great way to ease into it. You will at least have some familiarity for comfort.

    @Cara – agree with Chris on all points. Safe travels and have fun!

  206. I enjoyed reading this article! I have been wanting to travel now for many years and could never get someone to go with me! I want to go to New Zealand for a couple months and have been trying to brave it enough to go! I am terrified going on my own but have no choice as I can’t find someone! Thanks for this article as it was great information to read. :)

  207. Thank you for the encouragement Chris and Eric, I won’t be going for a few years need to save up first, but in the meantime I’m doing lots of reading about the places I want to visit and can’t wait to go!

    Crystal I also want to go to New Zealand and in my fact finding missions on the internet have come across various hop on hop off bus companies in NZ that seem to perfect for single people travelling alone, as well as providing a method of transport they can help book accomodation, advise and get you discounts on activities and integrate you in a group of like minded travellers. I hope its ok for me to post a link :-) http://www.magicbus.co.nz/ magic bus is one, there is also kiwi experience and stray travel that do similar hop on hop off options. Might be worth a look Crystal.

  208. Richard pullan says:

    Hey, this was really amazing, it inspired me to search for adventure even more, I’m a 16 year old guy at the moment and have dreamt about travelling since I could remember, I want to see the beauty this world has to offer, and thrive off of it, I want to walk through the glimmering blue sea of the Australian coast and learn to surf the swells it has to offer. I am currently finishing my gcse’s and have 2 years till I can roam free, it’s kinda depressing not being able to travel and meet new people and paces, I dream in classes everyday, planning where I’m going and what I’m going to do, I’m a extremely shy person, and don’t really have many friends, people at my school are just annoying and have no respect nowadays. 2 years and I’ll be happy and doing what makes me happy.

  209. Finding this article is equivelent to the heavens open and angels flying out!! ha ha!

    After about 5 years of talking myself out of it I have finally booked a 2 week trip to Thailand. I don’t have much travel experience and have only been on a plane twice – both time with friends (US and Barcelona). As it’s my first time alone I have booked with Contiki so that i’m guaranteed to make friends – I really needed some form of safety net. Anywho I’m arriving a couple of days before the tour starts and I have to say I’m pretty damn scared. I hate being alone in my own bloody country, never mind a strange and unfamiliar one. But I have to do this – i’m 28 and am not getting any younger. I AM excited… It’s just the jounrey: Heathrow-Bangkok, Bangkok-Koh Samui. Aggghhhh, scary scary!

    Anyway, I go April 27th!

    Your article has relaxed me a little and I’m sure I’ll be OK.

    Thanks

    Charlene.

  210. Hello there, I’m 18 years old at the moment and have 2 questions the first one I feel a bit silly for asking and it’s more to just reassure me and put my mind at ease.is being in your early 20′s still a great time to go travelling and do the whole back packer experience and or settle down in certain places and get some work which brings me to my second question. Right now I have just finished high school and chose to do a pretty local 3 year degree in computing, I know I could of gone travelling now at 18 and it would have Been maybe not easier but different considering you can join a programme and organise with a home stay family however I have to stop thinking like that because it only makes me doubt myself and panic me, I’ve chosen a course and am happy to do it but when I finish I will be 21 and I would really like to travel, I’m just wondering what your thoughts are on work because I don’t want to go abroad to do part time jobs that might be common for travellers and get back to realise my education Is now obsolete ( the part time traveller jobs are fine by me by the way) it’s just I don’t want to waste my education and more importantly three years of my life and a fair amount of money. I would really like to know whether you think it’s likely that I could find people abroad who are willing to hire me for my computing skills in what will be roughly programming and website development. Basically I want to travel and enjoy myself but also use my education to my advantage and earn slightly more money abroad OR know that I can travel for a few years doing other types of work and know that my computing knowledge is still going to help me kick off my career after a few years of travel when I’m ready. ??? Thank you for you time :). Daniel.

  211. Hi, definitely I love to travel by my own. First of all, I don´t have to convince anybody to come with me, I just extend an invitation, if it works fine, if not, fine also. You dont need of feel you have to meet the expectations of the other person, you feel free. I know it is always a great oportunity of being yourself, become more friendly, gain self-confidence, learn about other cultures, other lives, realize that there is much more out there, share the passion for see landscapes and nature, towns and cities, and as you said, the list is infinite.
    I use a lot TripAdvisor, is a great reference to me, I also check the reviews about hostels and things to do. I make a list or so of what I don´t want to miss, every trip has an main idea, a main goal.
    I have met nice people, I am still in touch with some of them and always I will have those great memories in my mind.
    Of course, there are some moments when you think or wish you could share with your love ones, but that make me appreciate more the time I have with them.
    My longest trip by my own has been of two weeks, I´d love to leave all behind, take my bag and travel at least one year to many places, to the other part of the world.
    by the way, my native language is spanish, I am not bilingual, and again I agree with Chris, you just need to speak english a little bit and almost everywhere you will be understood.

    Chris, what do you think about a woman traveling to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and that region by herself? I have always wanted to go there but I am not sure…

  212. hi, im 19 years old and from the uk. im considering traveling absolutely anywhere for the experience and adventure i have always knew i wanted to travel im obsessed with gaining knowledge and appreciate all kinds of nature, despite my age and experience i have no emotional issues that’s holding me back from actually setting off. the only problem im faced with is the root of all evil (money), as of no job i would have to make funds just to get a passport ( im from middlesbrough wich has the highest unemployment rate in the uk “fact” so its not like im just to lazy to work ). my only plan so far is to first hit france for no other reason than its the closest step across the pond and will start the ball rolling.i hope i can find any type of job to get me from A to B whilst there, if worse comes to worse ill use my bush craft skills for shelter and food that i have developed over around 7 years but this is just in a crisis situation is there any advise about getting a job in unfamiliar places? i am open minded so im willing to hear the harsh reality or positive feed back . i have no fear about my mentality or what lies ahead but reading this excellent article i figured its worth the time to ask someone with some sort of experience that’s alot more developed than my own if you have any advice to offer to help me on my way , you seem a down to earth guy and i wish you all the best for your future whatever it maybe , thanks for taking the time to read this and reply is you do so .. thanks again .andy

  213. I love the idea of traveling around the world. but I would never go on my holiday by my own.i was considering to go to Thailand this summer. does anyone from edinburgh/scotland/uk have the same plan?? its always better to have some company. and there is always someone to take a photo of you ;-).

  214. Great for travelers. My wife and I are traveling the world and we have started our own blog and tracker. Check us out at http://chasethesummer.com we will be completing expense sheets to for everyone who wants to follow in our footsteps so they know what prices to pay.

    Great article and thanks for the info!

    Brad & Lana.

  215. hi, i don’t know if this has already been asked but i was just wondering how you go about booking hostels. do i book one before i leave england for bangkok for the first couple of nights? or do i just wait till i get there and have a wander then book one? How do you even book them?! and if the flight is due to land in bangkok in the middle of the night how do you know how to get to the hostel or if anyone will be there to greet you when you do get there?!this is the only thing i am worried about really, as i know every thing will kind of fall into place after the first few nights
    help!

  216. Ruben Adrian says:

    Hi there everyone, happy i encounter this website, love it. I just wanted to mention I am currently traveling with two dogs, I am in Playa del Carmen at this moment working ;( but soon ill start once again, thining of going down to chetumal, mx then go on the pacific coast stoping at different locations and enjoying the views. I would love to hear from people that have done this trip or are doing this trip also who want to do tthis kind of trip. Any suggestions? ive travel all over the usa now starting mexico. i read this article and it put a smile on my face cause i never when online for this kind of things i thought they didnt exist. the only thing is that i travel with sufficient funds just to survive which is what i love. i see many travel for months and have plan b, which is good. well i would love to hear from some of you about any ideas or just whatever is on your mind. i am consider strange cause the way i think of the meaning of life and the way to treat other souls with love and respect i think life is love

  217. Hi Jess. I’ve travelled to bangkok many times as a backpacker, and it’s always the first 2 days that tend to feel strange but it soon wears off and you settle in fine. Thailand has a knack of doing that. I’ve always thought that it’s best to get a flight that lands in the morning at bangkok then you have all day to mooch around the Khao San Road area. There are buses straight from the airport to Khao San Road…. many per day so you won’t have any problems…. just get a ticket from the booth outside the airport…. there are also many taxis and if you get someone else to share with you it can work out just as cheap. Just look for another backpacker or two and ask them if they want to share a taxi. Nearly all backpackers go to khao san road. As a piece of mind it can be best to book a room online for your first 1-2 nights then you know you dont have to worry about finding a room. It also depends on season. If you’re going around December January…. book your first few days online….. or you may find everything full…. it’s happened to me…. but there’s always somewhere available if you look hard enough. Go to newjoeguesthouse.com and book a room there. It’s on the road that runs parrallel to khao san so it’s quieter at night and the food is good. Rooms are basic, but comfy. You trhen don’t have to worry when your flight lands becaUSE you can still get a bus or taxi and just jump into your room when you arrive and sleep for ten hours. Enjoy your tavels…. Simon

  218. this article made my confidence bether. this is good reading for a solo backpacker. im 21y from norway and im of to bangkok next week. looking forward and hope I will catch up with someone on my route in asia. thanks!

  219. Hi Ruben, I am glad to hear you are in Playa del Carmen, that´s one of my favorite places in México. I am colombian but I´ve been living in Mexico for ten years and I´ve travel all the way you are and you want to do, definitely you have to go to Tulum, Palenque and all the places Chiapas has to offer, then go to Huatulco and Zipolite beaches, you must go to Oaxaca, it is pretty, there are a lot so see, to live, to eat… :) I am in México City, so let me know if I can help you with anything or advice. In two weeks I am coming to Playa del Carmen also and Cozumel, I am planning to dive a lot :)
    take care and keep enjoying, love the fact you are travel with the dogs. :)

  220. Hey Chris,

    First thing I have to say is thank you for this article. After originally planning to go travelling with my ex-girlfriend, I’ve been fretting travelling alone. Now in 3 weeks time I shall embark on a one way flight to Bangkok and attempt to travel Thailand > Cambodia > Vietnam and may be even Japan depending on my funds. This article has put me at ease a little more!

    Any extra advice?

    So far I’ve got a decent idea of what to do in Thailand, just not the following countries!

    Many thanks,

    Jamie

  221. Lauren Cheek says:

    Hello,

    Thank you for your article. I am a 21 year old girl, and my friends went travelling last year. Due to work commitments I didnt go, but i did go out there the beginning of this year for a holiday. I regret so much now not going travelling with them for the whole time. They have returned home now, and hearing about everything they done, and how amazing their trip was has just highlighted the fact i want / need to go even more. I feel i need to see what else life has to offer. I am just very apprehensive about the thought of going on my own. Reading this has eased my mind a little. I am looking to travel Thailand / Asia and possibly Australia towards the end of this year. If anyone else is looking to go around this time please feel free to contact me. Thanks, Lauren :)

  222. hey Lauren,i am thinking of going traveling to Thailand/ Australia towards august/sept/oct this year. i currently a student studying at bournemouth uni. thinking of getting moxture of people to go together.(kasiraiqbal@yahoo.co.uk)

  223. This article is great! I’m planning on going travelling around east Asia for a couple of months at the end of this year. I’m really looking forward to the experience of travelling however I cannot persuade any of my friends to come with me so it looks like il be going alone. I’ve done a lot of research and know where I want to go.this article has reassured me that travelling alone will be ok – if not a more unique experience. Id love however to know if there is anywhere I could go online to find other people thinking of going backpacking alone around east asia?
    Thank you!

  224. Hi Annie – have a read of my other article How To Find Travel Friends Online. Happy travels, Chris

  225. For those of you still following along this marathon comment thread, I’ve just put together a Kindle ebook, also called Seven Reasons To Go Travelling Solo. Today (21 April 2012) it’s now FREE to download for the next 24 hours. You cam get it from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk (and all the other Amazon stores as well I think).

    I hope everyone who’s commented will grab themselves a free copy as a thankyou from me for all the great comments, tips and advice that have been added to this post over the years. I am hoping it will get enough interest to do a second, revised, expanded version with more tips and also stories from other solo travellers about how they made the decision to go it alone and how it worked out. Cheers, Chris

  226. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for this great website Chris. I love travelling solo.I’m planning a solo trip later this year to Southeast Asia for 3 weeks. Right now, I’m thinking Bangkok, KL, Singapore, Bali. Your article and the comments have been really helpful.

  227. Great read ! I’m gonna do it now. Thailand here i come!!

    Daren

  228. I love this. Im leaving in..20 days (eek) for 6 months solo travel and keep getting waves of intense nerves- but reading this really helps.. Something I’m particularly daunted about is being out in the eve and eating on my own.. any tips?? Thanks

  229. Natalie says:

    Great article!
    I want to go to Thailand and after some experiences of solo working/travelling in Mexico I wanted to go with someone to Thailand but as usual cant find anyone..!
    But after reading your article I think I will just go for it…it will be a different experience this time around, as I won’t be working and thus ill be more flexible to go with the flow and visit places will new people I meet. And I really really want to do the scuba diving instructor course u talk about :)

  230. Reading this article, its given me a peace of mind. It was very daunting the thought of getting out there and not meeting people. Cheers for the advice. :)

  231. Shaun Whiting says:

    This article is fantastic, thank you.

    I’m heading to SE Asia in September 2012 for around 4 months, and i’m way too excited!

    If anyone fancies joining me, drop me a message shaunwhiting100@hotmail.com

  232. Tom Fletcher says:

    great article ! thanks! I’m heading to south east asia and australia solo in october 2012 and feel so much more chilled about it now !

  233. Hi , reading this article has made me feel much more confident about planning a trip solo to Thailand this summer , I haven’t booked flights yet and just wondered if anyone has any tips about getting good flight deals. I am a teacher and can only go July/ Aug for about 5 weeks .

  234. Tuesday morning at my desk in London just got so much more exciting reading this. Just broke up with someone so facing SE Asia alone this winter and I couldn’t be more excited! Great article!

  235. Really pleased I came across this article I’m going through a break up with someone after 6yrs and I need/want to head off travelling! After reading this I am going too!! Going to start off in Oz and go for at least a year and see where life takes me.. Thank you :-)

  236. Thank you so much for this information.
    I have always wanted to go backpacking on my own, and this only made me want it even more.
    I am scared that I’ll end up alone and too shy to take contact to others, but I am pretty sure that I will wind up surprising myself!
    Thank you for this motivational information!

  237. Liz on the road says:

    I’m traveling alone for 6 months now,
    and all I can say is go,go,go!
    You learn more then all your schoolyears put together, and the most essential part, you get to know you very thoroughly…

  238. I’m 20 and traveling to Thailand in late October for 4 weeks then going onto Australia. I was originally going with 2 friends but as many of you will know things don’t always go as planned. I’m a little apprehensive about going alone but it has always been my dream to travel! Reading this has helped a lot! Anyone traveling around the same time hit me up! jayde_d@hotmail.co.uk :-)

  239. Hi,
    Great article!
    You write that you never heard of anyone regretting a solo trip? I have been quite lonely on trips in Europe. But maybe it’s different if you chose a backpackers destination like Asia or Australia… What do you guys think?

  240. This seems such an inspirational website for all those lone-travellers out there…I love it! I went alone about 5 years ago now for a year and loved every single minute of it. I wanted to shake my life up and see where all the pieces landed when I got back & they couldn’t be in more of a different life than before I left. It has made my evening reading about all these lovely comments and remembering all the positive things travelling alone brings to your life…anyone in doubt – just go for it!! If the worst comes to the worst, there is always a plane home & you’ll at least be someone who tried rather than went through life wondering ‘what if’… Happy travelling :-) x

  241. This website is awesome :) There are a plenty of usefull information for me, because I’m planning my lonely journey :) thanks a lot

  242. Rene rønning says:

    Im going in january to vietnam. Then cambodia laos thailand and perth..dreaming every day about this trip. Cant wait. Have a nice journey on the road people. Ps um traveling from oslo, are ther someone else doing the same exit.:)

  243. You are truly an inspiration to everyone who reads your advice.
    I read this a while ago and it was the catalyst to make me go to Australia. I leave in 4 weeks and I cannot tell you how much your work helped my initial fear of the unknown.
    I will be making a stop in Thailand and Vietnam in my 18 months and would love to visit some of the places mentioned in the comment section above.
    One part that always sticks in my head when reading this is that you “re-evaluate your life” with travel and I think in a day and age where people feel depressed and lonely on a day in day out basis to throw yourself in at the deep end and take a risk like this is definitely going to make a difference to that.
    I’ll be writing a blog of my virgin travels aswell so I would be honoured if you could check them out. I will post a link somewhere when I get it started.
    P.S. I particularly liked your link to ‘first days in Bangkok’ it really reflected those feelings that you experience when you are out of your comfort zone.

    Thanks again.

    Ian

  244. Steve Sculley says:

    I couldn’t agree more, I travelled from Istanbul to Paris last year solo but never felt lonely. I met a guy on the train to Sofia, Bulgaria. Travelled with him through Romania and Serbia. Then met a Belgian girl in on the bus in Montenegro. We were inseparable for a week! The rest of the trip I met some amazing people and some people I met in eastern europe I ended up staying with them in western europe. Solo travel can have moments of feeling lonely, but it does force you to get out of your comfort zone. Travelling in groups you can tend to go with consensus. Going alone you can do what you want. I’m travelling through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos at the end of December. I’ll be travelling with two people in Vietnam and then solo for the rest of the trip. I’m more excited at that prospect because I’ll be my own boss! No asking where people want to go, I’ll just go!
    The positives far out weight the negatives for me!

  245. Inspiring article Chris,amny thanks! I`ve been trying to find things like this all over the internet to give me the courage and confidence to travel again at the ripe old age of 53…and I think you may just have been that catalyst! I backpacked in the middle east with a good mate in the late 1970s-early 80s and said to myself that after that I would never be the same. I then settled down in a boring office job for the next 24 years and did the wife and 2 kids thing!
    Now though my feet have become really itchy and I`m off doing the End to End(Lands End to John O`Groats)by bike in June with a couple of friends.I`ve not told my wife yet but I`m thinking it may be the prelude to something much bigger…the packing in of my hospital job and heading to India with a backpack,something which I regret not doing 30 years ago,when life was less complicated!
    I`m wondering how an ‘old wrinkly’ like myself will be viewed by the majority of travellers as they are invaraibly 20 somethings,and that is filling me with a bit of intrepidation! However,I`ve got to grab the bull by the horns and go for it. If any of you 20 somethings see me around treat me gently. :)

  246. Me and my mate and been planning to go to Thailand/oz for a while now, until he decided to go behind my back to book a solo trip to south America which doesn’t really interest me atm, anywho im still hoping to press ahead with my trip to Thailand alone around April time and am quite nervous about travelling alone. Anyone heading out around the same time?

  247. Graeme,
    Just found this site and found your comments intresting i am 55 and myself thinking of backpacking on my own again, but I was also intrested how i would get on mixing with the 20 somethings.

  248. This article is awesome and so true! I’ve come traveling with a friend from home who I warned that I might want to go off on my own and not to book with me if he wasn’t happy with that.. However we have been traveling for a month and I am now in the situation where I would like to split off but he doesn’t want to. I’m torn between making this unique experience the best possible experience for me and not wanting to ruin the experience for him! I’ve suggested splitting apart for a few weeks but keeping in contact so we have each other if we need help but he is reluctant and unhappy with the situation. I don’t know what to do.. Please any help would be greatly appreciated!

  249. Amina Soliman says:

    I just arrived home from a 1 month and a half trip by myself and I completely agree with you. The part about adaptability is 100% true and I thought about it too while I was traveling! I adapted myself to change from one place to another and to different types of people.. :) it’s a great experience!

  250. Jakob Enevoldsen says:

    Just finished reading your 6 dollar book and checking out your website – Thanks – so much valuable info in such a small space…..WOW

  251. Hey this is a great article, I would really love to go travelling solo, I’ve been away with tour groups both on my own and with friends and have always enjoyed the ones on my own more due to the independence and not having to worry about compromising, however I think that going completely solo would be more exciting and life affirming!! however saying this I am still terrified is there anywhere that’s best to start? and how long is good to go for? thanks xxx

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