The Solo Travellers Checklist For Travelling Southeast Asia

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Solo travelling to many is the only way to travel. Coupled with those pre-trip nerves, your courage to go it alone to far-away places will be rewarded with some of the most satisfying experiences that you will ever muster.

Your hard work of doing what you want based on how you feel and when you want will pay off, you meet new friends and you will push your independence all whilst travelling vastly into your unknown world. Travelling solo really does bring out the best in you, as you’re constantly pushed out of your comfort zone and that not only benefits you on your travels, but also in the rest of your life too.

You’ll learn that being content in your own company becomes hugely revitalising, something that only you can be proud of. You will be revelling in your own success in parallel with some of the best days of your life. Yet, despite all the props that come with solo travelling, everyone has to prepare still.

Southeast Asia is a great place to begin solo travelling. The warming culture, social travel scene and affordability (to western costs) are all major factors in why year after year for many, many years, solo travellers choose to unravel their journey here. If you’re a first timer in Southeast Asia we’ve put a quick checklist together for you to consider.

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Try To Reassure Your Family

Most families and friends will think you’re crazy for going travelling to Asia alone, to many it will be unheard of. Yet, you’ve made the decision to do it, so just reassure them a bit more you’ve done your research (like reading this article) and you have plans in place. When you’re out on the road, they’ll no doubt get a load of your travel photos anyway, and the odd Skype once in a while doesn’t hurt, to let them know you’re alive.

Book Your Flight

First things first, make that first step and book your flight; don’t wait, you’re travelling solo remember, the longer you put this off the more doubt will set in. This is all on you. It really depends which way you come from, but most travellers begin at Bangkok in Thailand, as it’s seen as the ‘gateway to Southeast Asia’. If you’re on an open ended trip then you only need to book a one-way flight. That might sound scary but exciting too! You’ll be journeying into the unknown with no time limit of when you’ll be back. That is what travelling is all about.

Stay In Hostels

Before you fly out, booking your first few nights accommodation is pretty standard. After that play it by ear as plans always can change, especially if you meet new travel friends along the way. Hostels are the perfect way to meet other travellers, many of who will be solo like you. If you do make it to Bangkok we recommend Nappark Hostel or the soon to be opened Mad Monkey Bangkok. Why? Because these places will have plenty of solo travellers like you, ready to meet and travel together.

Join And Network In The SE Asia Facebook Groups

If you are looking for a huge network of other travellers that have either passed through Asia or are about to then you can find them in multiple Facebook groups for Southeast Asia. These members and travellers are just like you, solo and ready to take the lead into Asia. Post questions (be specific) about which hostels, what attractions to see or simple ask if anyone wants to meet up. You’ll get answers quickly if not instantly. South East Asia Backpacking and Southeast Asia Backpacking are two of the largest groups of their kind on Facebook right now.

Download Travello & Join The SE Asia & Solo Travel Groups

One of the limitations with Facebook Groups though is that it’s not always easy to quickly see and interact with just those travellers that are there right now or about to arrive. So this is one of the best features and benefits about Travello, you can see who is nearby right now, it also notifies you when other travellers have arrived to your destination too. As long as you’re connected to the Internet, you’ll have no trouble at all from meeting other solo travellers that are nearby right now. This is perfect for solo travellers, because you can pick and choose whom you want to meet or if you want to meet at all. One of the great things about going solo is that YOU decide what you want to do, but at the same time you can meet new people to share your travel experiences too! Like Facebook, its also a travel community, so join the conversation on the feed to post your own photo, video or text updates or post your own questions or advice as well.

 

Get A SE Asia Travel Guide (Online / Book)

It’s always good to carry a paperback travel guide with you, and if that’s what you’re going to do, Lonely Planet or Rough Guides will give you all the basics plus the nitty gritty information. Even if you don’t follow it word for word, you still have a nucleus base of information that gives you a foundation of where to start or where to end up. With all the wealth of information online with blogs, articles and e-books, such as Adventure In You these are also worth considering today too. Reading valuable information as a solo traveller enables you to make your own choices as and when you want.

Tell Your Bank 

Nowadays, banks can block cards for the most trivial of use internationally, so it’s important you let them know of your plans. What you can also get is travel cards that reduce costs for withdrawals and transactions too, which saves you money in the long run. You aren’t sharing a bank account with a partner or costs with a friend, so it’s important as a solo traveller you tick this off the list prior to travelling.

Arrange Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is key to travelling anywhere, but in Southeast Asia, where laws and facilities are not the same as you might expect at home, it’s vital to cover yourself. Whether your airline loses your bag, you get things stolen or injure yourself on an exciting excursion; it’s good to know you’re covered. How bad would it be NOT to go with travel insurance, solo and end up losing all your money or luggage, knowing your all alone and have no cover? It would be the worst. There are many insurance companies that will cover you depending where you are from, such as Covered2Go Travel Insurance, World Nomads and InsureAndGo.

Consider Getting Your Southeast Asia Travel Vaccinations

Because you’ll be travelling throughout countries that have environments that can impose diseases and viruses foreign to you, as well as practices and facilities being a little less strict, getting the necessary travel vaccinations is something to definitely consider as a priority. Typhoid, Hepatitis A & B, Japanese Encephalitis and Tetanus vaccinations are all common vaccinations to get prior to your travels, with malaria medication purchased in form of oral tablets. Most of the time you will go to your own local travel clinics depending which country you are from. Addition to that, don’t forget to take your common sense with you though too! Think of clothing cover, repellents, water/drinking safety, food and personal hygiene as an example. All very important to not get lax on those, as it can dramatically cut short your solo adventures!

Packing Solo

 Packing without anyone else packing with you can sometimes be a little confusing. What to take? How many clothes? How many shoes? Well, Southeast Asia is warm even when it rains; so don’t worry about packing too much. Asia isn’t a place to take expensive clothes because they’ll just get outworn and out-washed. Keep things light, t-shirts, singlets, shorts etc, with a pair of long pants, trainers and hoodie or jacket. If you’re taking a backpack, which we recommend because of how mobile you can be, nothing more than a 60L backpack is required as the average traveller, you really won’t need to take that much! Solo travel is not a fashion parade, keep it simple and efficient, buy local if you have to as it will be way cheaper than a big shop before you leave.

Take The Necessities

For Asia, bringing SPF, Mosquito spray, malaria tablets (prescribed) are all necessary. You’ll be in hot weather and the sun can be relentless here. In rural areas, mosquitos can be rife, and with dengue fever and malaria common in some parts like Cambodia and Myanmar, it’s important you take precautions. Don’t forget your shades, a hat, and a pair of comfortable footwear like flip-flops or sandals. You’ll be taking photos probably, so remember to pack your GoPro, camera or smartphone, but that goes without saying.

Above all, trust in yourself, you can do this!

@my.infinity.wanders

This Is A Guest Post by Tommy Walker

Tommy Walker | The Wandering Walker | www.thewanderingwalker.com

Author: Tommy Walker

Tommy Walker first left England back in 2012 and has been backpacking and living away ever since. He has backpacked South East Asia, India, South America, Mexico and Cuba, lived in Australia and New Zealand whilst mini trips to Europe and Oceania too. Tommy has had stints in Melbourne, Auckland and Bangkok.
Tommy’s adventures have been the likes of roaming through India, revelling in Bangkok, hiking in Colombia and scuba diving in the Galapagos. Tommy has headed off the beaten track to places like Cuba, Guyana, Venezuela, Myanmar, India, Trinidad & Tobago and Paraguay.

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Tommy WalkerThe Solo Travellers Checklist For Travelling Southeast Asia

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