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Pinays Share The *Best* Solo Traveling Tips They’ve Learned

solo travel tips
PHOTO: (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) Courtesy of Angelica Galingana, Courtesy of Coleen Oliva

If you’ve been itching to travel solo, you’re not alone. On Facebook groups such as DIY Travel Philippines, posts about solo traveling can be seen almost every day. Some posts ask for tips, while others share their experiences. Indeed, solo traveling is a life-changing experience that many have embraced recently. 

One of the benefits of solo traveling is the freedom and flexibility it offers. When traveling with a group, a lot of compromises are usually made to accommodate everyone's preferences. On the other hand, solo travelers have the liberty to make their own decisions and even change plans on a whim.

Additionally, solo traveling offers opportunities to meet new people! Without the safety net of traveling with a familiar group, solo travelers are more likely to interact with locals and fellow solo travelers, leading to memorable connections and experiences. 

Of course, solo traveling is also a great way to challenge oneself, overcome fears, and develop confidence. Traveling alone requires bravery and resourcefulness, and solo travelers tend to get to know themselves better as they push their boundaries and embrace their independence more.

While solo traveling can be incredibly enriching, of course, safety is always a concern. Some places are safer than others, and it's essential to do research before embarking on a solo trip. Locally, Palawan, Siargao, Boracay, and Bohol are highly recommended. Internationally, Bangkok, Singapore, and Bali are the popular ones.

Now, are you ready to make your solo travel dreams come true? To help you more, we asked some Pinays—from seasoned adventurers to first-timers—to give us more insights and tips. Read on!

  1. Decide what you want to experience (to help you pack wisely and prep your OOTDs!)

    “I initially decide on what type of experience I want to have. Do I want to be extra adventurous and active, or do I want to just keep it chill and be flexible with my time? From there, I build on the places I want to visit and activities I want to try, and strategically schedule them on a per day basis for me to be able to dress accordingly. I love my OOTDs as much as I love my travels!” - Nikki Paglomutan, 25

    solo traveling tips
    Courtesy of Nikki Paglomutan
  2. Write everything down

    “I make a spreadsheet and input things that I want to do—from my non-negotiables and options to experiences that I want to try. For example, since I like wall climbing, one of my non-negotiables is climbing gyms. So, what I usually do is research beforehand, pull up a spreadsheet, and include the address, the schedule (open and closing time), cost, and even other must-visits around to maximize my travel in that area.” - Coleen Oliva, 25

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    solo traveling tips
    Courtesy of Coleen Oliva
  3. Better be extra ready in advance

    “Always research about the country or place you'll be visiting. Familiarize yourself with the bus and train stations, including their timetables. Know the dos and don'ts of the country or destination. Download Google Maps and Google Translate—these are really helpful especially when you are getting lost. Also, always bring extra money or a debit/credit card. Lastly, make sure you have a copy of your identification cards (passport, license, etc) on your phone.” - Angelica Galingana, 32

    solo traveling tips
    Courtesy of Angelica Galingana
  4. Always be vigilant

    “I refrain from giving too many personal details when speaking to people I just met. If I don't feel safe in a certain place, I find a way to leave that place immediately and/or go to someplace where I can ask for help if needed. I regularly update my family with my whereabouts and also provide them with relevant contact numbers: my tour guide, hotel, etc. I also bring a list of important phone numbers with me should my phone batteries die and I need to contact certain people.” - Kimberlee Gacita, 31

    solo traveling tips
    Courtesy of Kimberlee Gacita
  5. Don’t be afraid to go beyond the usual tourist spots 

    “What I usually do on my travels is I would pick a couple of places that I really wanted to go to, so I can cross them off my list. Then, I plan a free day to relax and just enjoy getting lost in a foreign city. Believe me, getting lost is rewarding especially when you discover other local places that are waaay better than the usual tourist spots. So as much as possible, I try not to have tight itineraries so I can go to those places. It's also okay to get scared because it's part of the whole experience—just get over the fear and have fun! Just always be cautious, of course.” - Mara Manglicmot, 33

    solo traveling tips
    Courtesy of Mara Manglicmot
  6. Let your guard down

    “When you let your guard down even just a little bit, you will be able to hear and learn more about other people's stories and share your stories with them as well—and then somehow, you will realize that we are kind of connected. Go where the locals go, eat what the locals eat, and meet new friends! Through this, I learned that it's not lonely traveling alone—it is actually one of the best things that you can give yourself every once in a while. Keep a life without limits! - Claire Bernardo, 28

    solo traveling tips
    Courtesy of Claire Bernardo


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