solo travelling is not for everyone, if like me you decided to embark on a solo travel, here are five things you can do before you go.
**disclaimer: these steps only apply if you have already decided where to go and the trip has been booked.
step 1: check the country you are going to whether you need a visa application in advance.
lucky for you if you are holding a passport of these countries (US, Australia, NZ, Singapore, UK etc), that would mean your passport brings you to most places without the need to go through this painful step.
if you need one, apply before arrival, application in the host country is usually cheaper and quicker too. visa on arrival may cost a little more, well….that depends on countries that you are going to.
step 2: check your passport expiry date
most countries will grant you entrance if you have a min validity of 6 months, but some countries will not. some countries take the precautionary steps in the event of overstaying and you may risk deportation.
so always always check the requirement of the country you are going to.
also, always make a photocopy of your passport and bring it with you when you go and about upon arrival and keep your passport in the safe provided in the hotel.
step 3: register yourself with the ministry of foreign affairs and accomodation
once your trip is confirmed and booking has been made, you may take this extra step of registering the period of your stay with your local MFA. this is in the event of emergency, you know where to get help and also for them to find you.
registration is usually free and can be done online.
it would be good to provide the address of the hotel you are staying in with MFA.
as a solo female traveller, where you stay actually makes or breaks your holiday. for a first time solo traveller, you may want to stay in hostel/hotel in a centralised location, where you can walk from one place to the next. this way, you may save up on transportation, but at the same time, it is easier to blend in in the crowd than to be in some secluded places where you will stick out like a sore thumb.
though i agree, centralised location can be quite expensive, but well….you save up on other things..so there are always trade-offs to be made.
another useful way for first time solo traveller is to find a host through couch surfing websites where you can bunk in with your host for free in exchange of chores etc.
well, if like me, you prefer a fuss free travel plans where you have all the time you need to recuperate and rejuvenate from the fatigue of work, opt for cheap hostels. there you can meet fellow travellers and make friends, not only that you can plan your day and go according to the pace you like.
step 4: locate your local pharmacies/hospitals/money changers
you can almost do all this with internet, just power up google, viola you can find almost anything there. better, you can even use google maps’ street view to familiarised yourself with your new surrounding even before you actual set foot there.
some good websites that i relied on alot during my planning are:
ii) google maps
iii) other travel forums
iv) blogs of other travellers who have walked the same path/route before
step 5: travel insurance
this is something that you can never scrimped back on. i couldn’t emphasize more on this. travelling without insurance is like walking out of your house without clothes on.
in the event of emergency (eg sickness) you can ensure that you can seek medical help in the country that you are travelling to without having to worry about the cost. and you should always purchase insurance that gives you the best coverage.
insurance is so affordable these days depending on the country you are going to and the duration of your travel. i usually activate my insurance a day before my trip and a day after the trip, in the event of delay flight, unforeseen circumstances, at least you know you are taken care off.
since you have already paid for a trip, might as well take another step further and get yourself insured.