Doing anything by yourself isn’t easy. But travelling alone is something you’ve got to do at least once in your lifetime! Let this handy guide show you how to be totally awesome at travelling on your own.
Mum wants you to come home in one piece – so set her heart at ease, and show her that you know what you’re doing before you leave.
First time travelling alone? Start with these places!
New Zealand Safety ranking*: 4
You get to view the lush green setting of The Lord of the Rings series, do some extreme sports like bungee jumping, go jet boating and meet some of the friendliest people on earth!
+ Know your neighbourhood
Familiarise yourself with the social and political issues that go on in the country you’re visiting. Needless to say, if it’s a place marked by political unrest, it would be unwise to head there! Planning ahead means you’ll also be able to get the most out of your destination.
Resources abound on the web – we recommend the always dependable Lonely Planet guides and Airbnb Neigbourhood Guides on their website. “We can provide you with tips on what to do, where to go, and what the city is famed for,” says Jia Jih Chai, Airbnb’s Managing Director of Southeast Asia and India. “These are essentially city guides based on insights from locals for a truly localised experience.”
Hong Kong Safety ranking: 108
Think Singapore but with more cultures swirling in one place, noisier, and more densely packed. But there’s also a lot of greenery and mountains to check out. You won’t ever feel lonely here.
+Find a place to stay
Couchsurf, Airbnb, hostel or hotel? Whatever your choice, it would be wise to do some prior research on websites like TripAdvisor to save time and get the best deals. If you’re opting to take the Airbnb route, Jia Jih suggests you go for places with high ratings, and to take note of images with the “Verified Photo” watermark on the website, as this signifies that the listing has been visited, checked out, and photographed by a professional.
Laos Safety ranking: 38
Explore Laos before it becomes a tourist hotspot. Most of the areas aren’t developed yet, so you can still get the real deal experience as you discover the city by riverboat and eat street food.
+Get travel insurance
Seriously, this is one thing you don’t want to be stingy about. Accidents, theft and flight delays can happen, so make your life easier by getting some coverage.
+Make sure your documents are in order
Don’t assume that you don’t need a travel visa. The last thing you want is to be turned away at immigration.
Costa Rica Safety ranking: 42
This Central American country was ranked the happiest in the world according to the Happy Planet Index. It’s the perfect place if you’re all about the laid-back beach life.
+Register at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
When it comes to global affairs, they know their stuff better than anyone else. Register your travel details with www.mfa.gov.sg, and they’ll be able to update and assist you should there be an emergency like a natural disaster or civil unrest. They can also inform your family on your whereabouts should anything happen.
+Leave an itinerary with your family
OK, so you don’t have to tell your parents you intend to hit the clubs every night. But at the very least, let them know which areas of the country you’ll be exploring, where you’ll be staying at, and how they can contact you should your smartphone fail.
*Safety ranking based on the Global Peace Index. The lower the number, the safer the place.