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'I Wish I Knew This Before I Traveled Solo': 12 Useful Tips From Pinays

ALWAYS have a cash onhand.
A list of tips on solo female travel.
PHOTO: Getty Images

Staying indoors most days has definitely made me miss traveling. Besides binge-watching travel related shows and documentaries, there are days when I just literally go through my phone gallery reminiscing about past trips.

I already have a list of places to go and people to see when it's safe to travel again, and I've decided that to make it *extra special*, I'll be traveling solo. Yup, me, myself, and I. If, like me, venturing out all by yourself seems like a daunting journey, don't worry. I asked Pinays in our Cosmo Community Facebook group for solo travel tips they learned through their own ~experience~, so get ready to take notes!

1. Invest in a practical travel backpack.

"Invest in those really big backpacks that we always see foreigners use when they come here! SUPER helpful for the budget airline situation and of course, you get to pack more (and more efficiently)." – Barbara


"Invest in a 40L backpack. That's like the best size for a week abroad + pasalubong space (2 weeks if you're super cowboy)." – Timmy

2. Read up on the culture beforehand!

"Learn about the culture's do's and don'ts. Like for some countries, you shouldn't finish your food completely; in other countries, you HAVE to, [same with] giving tips or not, etc. It's those little things that could really show you respect their culture." – Kaye

3. Prioritize comfort over style.

"I had to buy two pairs of shoes in Seoul because my boots were killing me. The OOTDs were worth it though." – Karen

4. Invest in a good quality tripod.

"I bought a cheap tripod in Divisoria days before my solo trip to Hong Kong but [it] got broken on my first day in Hong Kong, so I end up buying another one. Nasayang lang P150 ko." – Jocelle

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5. Pack light—save space for shopping!

"I wish I didn't pack so much because there were so many things I wanted to buy, but lacked space and weight allowance. I also wish I brought extra phone chargers (mine stopped working and it was SO pricey buying abroad)." – Tasha

"You don’t need to pack too much because you could always do laundry at your destination. And you’ll end up buying stuff too, so you can leave the non-essentials for more space in your bag!" – Mika

6. Bring clothes that can work for both cold and hot weather.

"I experienced Indian Summer and I did not expect to sweat that much during fall season." –Ira

7. Take advantage of public transportation.

"Pick a place with good and cheap public transpo. Paying for cabs for just one person is impractical and can be unsafe in some places. A train will never scam you!" – Lia


8. Make sure to always have cash onhand.

"Sana mas marami akong dinala na pera nung nagsolo travel kase hindi pala uso yung within budget kapag marami ka bibilhin, 'pag international flights ang hirap maghanap money exchange at magconvert." – Brenda

"ALWAYS have a cash on hand (local currency) before going out of the airport." – Marjarelle

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9. Dont overplan!

"[For my] first few solo travels, I had a jampacked itinerary. I was so stressed. I enjoyed traveling solo more nung sabi ko bahala na si Batman saan niya ko dadalhin style." – Keith

10. Make friends with people at the hostel.

"You can split tour costs, as well as meals, drinks, and transpo with them." – Timmy

"You get yourself your own tour/adventure group. Def one of my fave parts about traveling solo." – Barbara


11. Bring essential medicines (and some oatmeal or your fave drink!

"Bring a tub of essential medicine for headaches, muscle pain, colds/flu, as well as a ziploc of tea/oatmeal/coffee you can easily prepare with hot water. This will save you [money] when you don't want to spend on a meal." – Misha

12. The best camera is the one you have with you.

"I wish I brought my camera! I got so scared that it might get stolen since I was alone and baka maholdup ako so I only had my phone the whole trip...which also ended up dying on me mid-day." – Angelica


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