Solo Travel Tips: 15 Things You Need To Know

Traveling alone was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. After over a year and a half of solo travel, here are my best tips:

Solo Feamale Travel Tips: What You Need To Know

1. Don’t Be A Stress Mess 

I will be completely honest here – I had a MASSIVE breakdown in San Francisco airport, while I was standing in line to go through security, immediately after my parents dropped me off for the first flight on my never-ending solo journey around the world. I had to resort to taking deep breaths in my hands. If only I could tell my SFO-breakdown-self what I know now – take it one day at a time! After that initial round of questioning why you would ever sign up for this, you’ll realize how amazing and rewarding solo travel really is.

2. Carry the Right Gear

As a solo traveler, you won’t have any strong man candy to lug around those extra large suitcases, so try packing light. I carry only a 44L backpack, and a day bag. By packing carry on only, you’ll be able to easily carry around your own luggage, plus you’ll save on checked baggage fees – ka-ching!

Tortuga Around the World Backpack 44L

3. Stay Where You’re Comfortable

When I was traveling through Europe, I did Couchsurfing, and loved it. In Central and South America, I tried out hostels. I was not too keen on the large dorm rooms full of anywhere from 8 to 16 people, but I was a fan of private rooms. I can be a light sleeper, so though it was more expensive to get a private room, I was able to sleep. I’m now a huge fan of Airbnb, as they have some excellent budget options (and some crazy cool villas, if you’re looking to splurge). Sign up to Airbnb here to get free travel credit when you book your first place!

4. Don’t be Afraid to Splurge

When I first started traveling, I was a bit freaked out to see so much money going out of my bank account and not much coming in. This sometimes made me want to stay home all day and inhale mass amounts of baguettes and red wine. But remember – you may never come back to this place. Carpe diem, seize the day, mi amor! Take advantage of where you are and do all the things you’ve always wanted to do – it’s been scientifically proven that we feel best when spending our hard earned money on experiences, so why not book that coffee tour in Colombia or go to the elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai?!

Solo Female Travel Tips: What You Need To Know

5. You WILL Make Friends

I’ve met so many people while traveling the world. I’ve made far more friends in the past year than I have in any previous year of my life. If you are looking to make friends while traveling, check out my video on the subject. Also, consider couchsurfing (you’ll become automatic bff’s with your local host), and private or dorm rooms at hostels (check out reviews to make sure it’s a social hostel).

6. Learn to Take Your Own Travel Photos

The number one mistake I made when I started traveling was being shy about asking people to take my photo. I was even shy about taking selfies. I was happy to be immersed in the place I was visiting, but now I have no photos to look back on of myself in those places. Learn from my mistakes and take your own solo travel photos.

Take Your Own Solo Travel Pics

7. Research Before You Go

I felt fully prepared when I left for my trip, because I had done hundreds of hours of research on budget and solo travel. I scoured the internet for weeks to learn everything I could about travel hacking, solo travel on a budget, solo female travel, couchsurfing, and what you need to know as a solo female traveler. If you want to save some time, consider downloading a copy of my ebook, where I’ve compiled all the info into one easy resource.

8. Know And Prepare for What Makes You Unique

Everyone has their thing. For me, that thing is veganism. Though it’s been surprisingly easy to find vegan food around the world, I’ve made it even easier by using resources such as the Happy Cow app and searching for vegan friendly restaurants before I get to a destination. (See my favorite vegan restaurants in the most vegan friendly cities in the world).

Finding Vegan Food Around the World

9. Get Inspired

One of my favorite things to do in my free time is to read travel websites and blogs. Research the places that you are going, pick the restaurants you want to visit, and search on instagram to see some of the beautiful photos taken there of places you may want to visit.

10. Be Smart, Cautious, and Aware

I have quite a few tips on safety in my book, but the main point is to just be aware of your surroundings. Know which areas to avoid, don’t carry your phone in your back pocket, and if you’re in a busy place, keep an eye on your stuff.

11. Dress Like a Local

To avoid looking like a complete tourist, try dressing like the locals. This will help you blend in, and help prevent you from being a target of a mugging.

Tips for Solo Female Travel

12. Walk Everywhere

I always prefer walking over using public transport, because it’s usually a much more immersive experience. Don’t get me wrong, I still use public transport, but taking the long way has definitely resulted in finding more than a few hidden gems.

13. Try To Arrive During the Day

Believe me, this one will save you so much hassle. I’ve arrived at Kuala Lumpur airport at midnight, train system down for the night, with no way of getting to my airbnb. I ended up taking a very sketchy taxi. I would have felt much better arriving during the day when I would have had the chance to take the trains.

Tips For Solo Female Travel

14. Keep a Copy Of Your Passport and Important Documents

Maybe keep a few in a couple different places (suitcase, purse, money belt, etc). I also keep a photo of my passport on my phone and computer.

15. solo travel is Easier Than You Think

Most importantly, take that flight, explore, and have an amazing trip. Solo travel is insanely liberating and so powerful. Bring your positive attitude, embrace whatever comes, and explore to the best of your capabilities.

Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it.

Check out my ebook full of tips and tricks for solo female travel!

How To Travel The World On A Budget

 




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THE BOOK IS HERE

Happy New Year! It’s 2017 and I hope that everyone is looking forward to the New Year. I love the energy that a new year brings. Fresh beginnings, a clean start, all of the opportunity that we can create this year – let’s do it!

I can’t wait to see how this year unfolds. I have loads of personal and professional goals lined up, along with a LOT of travel goals! Speaking of which…. Remember a few months ago I mentioned that I was working on an ebook?? Well, it’s finished, and IT’S HERE.

I’ve been working on an ultimate guide to traveling the world – this baby contains all of the answers to the questions I get asked so often, plus lots of tips and tricks for traveling. I’ll give you a sneak peak – here is the table of contents.

  1. Why I Chose Long Term Travel over the American Dream
  1. Preparing for your trip: What to do immediately
  • Bank accounts
  • Credit Cards
  • Savings Plan
  • Travel Insurance
  • Planning Your Trip
  1. How to Pack Only the Necessities & the Gear You’ll Need to Do It  
  1. How to Find the Cheapest Flight & Are ‘Around The World’ Tickets Worth It?
  1. Booking Accommodation
  • Which type of accommodation are you looking for?
  • Long Term Accommodation: How to Find The Best Apartment
  • How to Keep Your Stuff Safe While Travelling
  1. How to Get Around
  • Figuring out Local Transportation
  • Safety on the Road
  1. Saving Money on the Road
  • How to Get Free Tours
  1. So You Want to Travel Long Term
  • Work Visas vs Tourist Visas
  • Making Money Online
  • Getting Your Stuff Together at Home – Opportunities

9. Sample budgets from Thailand, South America, Europe and Australia

 

As you can see, I’ve covered a LOT of information. This book is 40+ pages full of insight on how to save money to travel, how I used travel hacking to get free flights (and how you can too!) and even tips on keeping your stuff safe while traveling. It’s pretty jam packed!

I know you guys will love the book. I created this because my mission is to help people travel more. Travel has changed my life in the best ways possible and has helped me grow into a better person. I hope that I can help you achieve your travel goals in 2017! Click here to get your copy – I can’t wait to hear what you think about it!

xoxoxx

Amanda

 

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Unexpected Encounters: Killer Wildlife in Singapore Botanic Gardens

I needed a chill out day after two full days of touristing through Singapore. I thought I’d head over to the Botanic Gardens in Singapore to relax with some greenery. I arrived at the gate of the garden. I walked a bit. It was serene. There were butterflies fluttering around my head. The birds were singing, along with a couple of hippies that had a guitar. It was more serene than I ever imagined a botanical garden could get. But then it turned bad. And dangerous.

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About half way through the garden, I basically turned into Steve Irwin after spotting a massive killer lizard. By “I turned into Steve Irwin”, I meant that I bent down and snapped some pictures. No way was I going to touch that thing.

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Okay, he isn’t a killer lizard. It’s a monitor lizard. Harmless. He looks pretty serene, right?

I would be lying if I said I didn’t automatically assume that he was a hunter. He looks a bit scary. I looked up monitor lizards when I got home and apparently they are carnivorous. Not necessarily for humans, though. He mainly eats turtle eggs.

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I also had some nice, serene moments before (and after, shockingly) this near death experience. I experienced total relaxation in a foliage garden. You really haven’t experienced life until you’ve been in a foliage garden. You can see the relaxation and pure bliss in my face below.

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I was feeling so giddy and full of sunshine and nature that I decided at this point that it would only be fitting to hug a tree.

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I believe this tree hugging experience really brought everything together. I think if you visit a botanical garden, you really can’t leave without hugging a tree. It was just the cherry on top of a wonderful, garden filled day. Here is me walking out of the garden, alive and mostly well (in case you wanted proof).

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Catching up in Chinatown, Singapore

Today I headed over to Chinatown in Singapore. San Francisco has a Chinatown, which I haven’t been to since I was a kid, so I was excited to see a different version of what I knew growing up. I was so happy when I hopped off the MRT directly in the middle of Chinatown. The buildings here are so brightly colored and the alleys have beautiful paper lanterns draped through them.

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It was a hot, overcast day. I walked through the streets and alleys of Chinatown with my lukewarm bottle of water and a sense of adventure and awe.

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The alleys were packed with tourists. I snuck a peek at one of the restaurant menus (I RARELY eat in touristy areas because the food usually is really expensive and not that great), and the beer was $6 for a Tiger, which is the Asian equivalent of a Coors light. My couchsurfing host had told me to look out for alcohol prices in Singapore, because it is so expensive to drink here. Good thing I’m not too big on drinking! I walked and walked and walked instead. Finally I came upon something that caught my eye…

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How cute is this?? Finally, after walking over 5 miles, I had to call it a day. I’ll leave you with this picture. What do you think the lady in the background is doing?

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I think I just fell in love: Singapore

OH MY GOD. I landed in Singapore late last night (my flight got in around 8:30 to the top rated airport in the world, Changi), and I trudged to my couchsurfing hosts’ condo after scarfing down a veggie sandwich at the airport. I got to his place around 10 PM, but he was really nice about it and I could tell that we will become good friends. I chose to stay with this host because he seems super cool, he is Australian (I’ll be going there later this year so I could use some of his tips), and he has a spare bedroom! So after a bit of a chat, I went to my room (with an ensuite – seriously) and went to bed. In the morning, I got ready super quick and basically ran out the door. I was so excited to go to the place with these massive “trees,” which I now know as the Garden by the Bay. It is a MASSIVE garden, so lush and green and beautiful.

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This garden is so cool and definitely the spot I was most excited to check out in Singapore.

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After walking around for a bit, I hopped back on the MRT (an underground train system, like a subway) and headed to another spot I was DYING to get to.

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In San Francisco, there is an amazing place called Veganburg. It is basically vegan fast food. My favorite food in the world is a good, solid vegan burger. So you better believe I was beyond excited to find out that Veganburg has ONE other location, and guess where it is. SINGAPORE! I had to go. 

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Please be patient with me as I am still learning how to use a camera, obviously. I could not be bothered to do a full photoshoot considering how hungry I was when I got here. I snapped a picture and devoured that burger. And it was incredible. 

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I am so happy that I planned to stay here for five full days because I have a long list of places to explore! Stay tuned 🙂

 

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