A solo trip can be a girl’s best adventure, and when you do it overseas, the chance to have a breathtaking experience of a lifetime just multiplies tenfold. However, you can’t afford being too impulsive or careless—or else, the whole prospect can turn from thrilling to disastrous.
Whether you’re doing a little soul searching, taking a breather after a messy breakup, or ticking off your bucket list of fashion week destinations and beauty shopping districts, here are the things you must keep in mind to survive your solo trip:
Stage 1: How in the world can you afford traveling the world?
If only we could quit our jobs cold turkey and go jet setting for a living! Since that’s not an option for most people, you need to be creative and determined to build a travel fund. Aside from curbing the urge to splurge on shoes and macarons, look for freelance or part-time projects that’ll fuel your wanderlust.
Stage 2: To get or not to get a visa
First, make sure your passport is more than six months from expiring on the dates of your trip, then check if the country you’re visiting requires you to get a visa. Alternatively, if you can’t stand the whole visa application process, you can choose a visa-free country. It could be cheaper, anyway, and you have plenty of options when it comes to beautiful visa-free (and broke girl-friendly!) destinations.
Stage 3: Where to go, what to do, and how much will it cost
Once the issues about your passport, visa, and destination are out of the way, get down to the nitty-gritty. Be OC in planning your budget and itinerary! Consider all the places you want to go to, how much time you have for each leg of your trip, and all the possible expenses. Want to be more efficient? Make the most out of the apps created for jetsetters like you.
Stage 4: What the heck do I pack?
More importantly, be particular in planning your bags and outfits. Remember: porters and chivalrous strangers aside, you don’t have a beau or any other companion to help you lug around heavy bags, so you really need to keep your luggage light. Make sure you also have a roomy purse you can tote around with all your essentials during tours. Pack like a fashion editor, and make sure you leave space for shopping—after fitting in all your travel OOTDs and beauty kit in your suitcase, of course.
Stage 5: Bring out your inner girl scout
Wherever you go and whatever you do, mind your safety first! It’s good for at least one relative or close friend to keep a copy of your itinerary. Sticking to tourist spots with security personnel and nearby tourism offices is also a foolproof plan. In some countries, it’s not that easy to find English-speaking people, so a phone with a stable internet connection for quick access to maps and translator apps (ever tried WiFi eggs?) will be a great travel buddy. Always be resourceful—even if it’s your pocket money, sanity, or even a perfect IG snap on the line.
Stage 6: Do as bloggers and It girls do
Sure, there are a bounty of editing apps, VCSO filters, and Snapseed functions to tweak your images, but nothing beats taking photos like a pro to get those double tap-worthy travel snaps. Who needs a companion when you can take amazing OOTDs and other travelgrams on your own?
Stage 7: Actual globetrotting
Now here’s the part that some travelers unfortunately fail at: actually enjoying the trip. Don’t let your phone, vanity, fear, and other roadblocks get in the way of your adventure! Have fun experiencing that country’s culture! Don’t panic or lose your composure when you get a little lost. See how awesome you are on your own, maybe make casual friends on the way, too, or even meet and spend some time with locals or fellow tourists—and like what that oh-so-memorable book suggests: eat, pray, love.
Stage 8: The bittersweet sequel
Think the whole “survival” thing is over once you get home? That’s never the case when you had the time of your life in a trip. Be prepared to nurse a serious hangover from your holiday, where jet lag, inability to focus at work, and daydreaming are the top symptoms. And here’s one totally easy cure to ward off those post-vacation blues: Plan your next trip.