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First time solo female travel

London, United...
14 posts
First time solo female travel

Hi everyone, I posted a question recently today but I don't think I explained it very well. Here goes, I've never travelled abroad before, however I've always wanted to travel Asia once I was older and financially able too. I have considered travelling to a nearer destination first, however I do not want to waste money somewhere I don't want to go. I've done thorough research about solo female travellers in Asia and it seems it's quite popular. I would really like someone to go with me, but at the moment it seems I will be going myself. I feel this would be a good opportunity to grow as a person however I'm still extremely nervous and anxious. I'm thinking of travelling to Singapore first as it seems it's really safe and popular for young female travellers and university students such as myself. I'm looking to book a package (flights and hotel together) for about a week period. I'm looking to do some shopping, sightseeing etc and using the swimming pools at my chosen hotel. Can anyone kindly give me any insight and any tips I need to know? Is this a good thing to do for myself or is it jumping ahead too much? I'm hearing negative opinions off family and friends it would be nice to see what others think. Thankyou!

15 replies to this topic
Seattle
Level Contributor
51,667 posts
22 reviews
1. Re: First time solo female travel

I didn't especially like the plan you posted earlier because you are going so far for such a short period of time.

When I take a 12 hour flight, I want to have at least 2-3 weeks to spend at the other end. If I only have a week, I find somewhere closer to home (no more than a 6 hour flight).

Why do your friends and family have a "negative opinion"? Is it about you going solo? Or the cost? Or why exactly do they think it is not a good idea.

Also you do know there are non-stop flights from London to Singapore, right?

Edited: 17 July 2018, 05:07
London, United...
14 posts
2. Re: First time solo female travel

It's not really possible for me to stay any longer then a week because I'm still a university student. So a 2-3 week holiday isn't possible unless it's in the summer which will be too expensive. Mainly my family (parents) are concerned for my safety which is of course normal which I expect anyway, hence why I've picked one of the safer destinations to travel too first. About direct flights, I feel because I have never flown before it may be a good idea to get off the plane for a while as a direct flight might be a bit too much for me first time. However I'm still considering direct flights.

r c
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
9,481 posts
1 review
3. Re: First time solo female travel

welcome,

if you are going to be an adult, you will be making those types of decisions.

your parents will be parents till they are dead and buried. Nothing will change that. its their job to be a parent and to worry. If you end up a parent, you will do the same thing to your kid.

theres nothing wrong with listening to people and freinds, but just be aware they may have their own agenda. So listen and then consider. sometimes a person may know you better than you do, but this is something you will learn about yourself. There is alot of misinformation and ignorance out there, its up to you to filter through the BS.

If you want to travel now and in the future, you will need to start somewhere. So if you want to spend alot of time on a plane for a short trip, then go for it. It appears you know what you are doing and what it will take to get there.

Dont forget that there is always a next trip too.

as far as if you are jumping ahead of yourself, you should be wise enough to figure that out. Theres an old cowboy saying.."good judgement comes from alot of bad judgement".

good luck.

Edited: 17 July 2018, 07:56
Melbourne
Level Contributor
1,318 posts
25 reviews
4. Re: First time solo female travel

I’ve not yet been to Singapore but would like to offer a couple of suggestions.

You say your family are concerned about your trip. Singapore has a reputation for being very safe, perhaps you could find some articles online to show your parents that you’re going to a very safe destination. It might help to put their mind at ease.

You mention booking a package. Before you commit, you should research the costs of booking it yourself.... flights and accommodation can be very easily booked online and will mostly be cheaper than paying a travel agent. The regulars on the Singapore forum are quite friendly and will suggest hotels if you provide a budget per night and maybe state your interests.

Enjoy your trip.

London, United...
14 posts
5. Re: First time solo female travel

Very true, thankyou so much😌

India
Level Contributor
285 posts
11 reviews
6. Re: First time solo female travel

Since you are traveling from London, can you try and 'test waters' with say a weekend trip to a closer city? Perhaps a long weekend close by or even Paris for a few days. You will know if that's something you like - I mean staying alone, seeing things alone, whether you are comfortable just being yourself. Once you get the hang of it, it might perhaps be more prudent to take a long flight to another continent.

Regardless of how many solo trips you do take, you will have apprehensions the next time you travel. At least it has always been the case with me.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
854 posts
266 reviews
7. Re: First time solo female travel

I have not been to Singapore, but I have traveled though Thailand and China on a solo trip. I love to travel solo. It gives me a lot of independence and I enjoy making my own schedule. You don't necessarily have to book a package with a hotel and flight. You usually don't save much money this way. I usually start with booking a flight that I can get a good deal on. For me the flight is usually the biggest expense. Then I find a hotel in the area that I want to stay in. I research neighborhoods to make sure I'm staying somewhere near nightlife, close to public transportation, and in a safe neighborhood. Sometimes I stay at hotels or I stay at an AirBnb.

Think of traveling like daily life back home (without school). You wake up, you make some coffee or eat breakfast. Sometimes this is at the hotel you're staying at or you go to a coffee shop close by. Then you figure out what you want to do that day. Could be a tour, visit attraction, or walk around the city. In the late afternoon I like to rest in my hotel. Then I figure out where I want to eat dinner, and if I want to go to a bar at night. Then you repeat it again the next day. I like to do a lot of preparation before I leave and will make lists of things I want to see and do, restaurants or types of food I want to try, and bars I want to go to (I enjoy drinking at night). I then tentatively plan activities by day to a loose schedule. Sometimes museums are closed on certain days or tours have to booked in advance, so that helps ease the stress.

Traveling alone you just want to have general sense about where you are and make sure you're safe. You're in London so I know you know what I mean. Also, read about common scams and tourist traps that the city might have. Sometimes an innocent gesture like guy taking you to his favorite bar could lead you to trouble, or sometime offering you a taxi at the airport.

Have fun and enjoy the adventure! And make sure to take lots of pictures and write in a blog or email about your experience.

Italy
Level Contributor
9,080 posts
8. Re: First time solo female travel

Europe is a very big place. It's right on your door. The flights are shorter. The flights are cheaper.

You've mentioned worrying about a long flight and doing a connecting. Well the worst part of flying is sitting in the airport waiting. A connecting flight is more of a pain than an aid. If you're anxious it means worrying you're going to miss that connection. Worrying about forgetting something like your phone or even your luggage.

All the airlines at the moment seem to be offering flights for not much more than €20. You won't be wasting much money taking one of these flights for the weekend. You'll see how much you like flying. You'll get to pack,deal with security,transfer to the airport etc.

Consider it an investment not a waste of money

England, United...
Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
Level Contributor
34,963 posts
111 reviews
9. Re: First time solo female travel

While travelling with friends is easier in some ways ie someone to talk to, helping with luggage when you need to go to the loo or buy a coffee that can be sorted with a bit of forethought about packing and a stack of stuff to draw on if you need entertaining like puzzles, music, books.

Don't take expensive stuff you have to worry about. Jewellery, gadgets can be bought cheap second hand just for travel if necessary.

The thing with friends is you then have to negotiate everything. Where you are going and when, how long to stay there etc. Going solo you can wing it, get up, eat when you're ready. Go where you feel like going on the day and spend as long as you like there. Go to the same place twice if you want.

You can keep in touch with family in so many ways to keep them reassured.

The idea of taking a long weekend to Europe should give you the practise on what aspects you need to improve to suit you and your family some reassurance that you will come home safe ;-) One thing - do take out insurance, should be cheap enough for a couple of days and have an EHIC card which is free.

You're in an ideal location to take advantage of any offers for travel. One guy on a budget did very long day trips from London to European cities. Have to be very organised with a map and what you are going to visit and how to get there but bargain day return, antisocial hour flights are cheaper and he got to see some great places and experience.

As for people worrying - I did my first long haul with a group and people thought I was amazingly brave - what if I get attacked by an Anaconda or a tarantula etc. I was on a boat with others, air conditioning and being fed and laundry done. Not much brave about that. I do more challenging things daily at home yet they're still saying the same thing. I had a friend say when I mentioned catching a bus in Spain -Ooo aren't you brave? Really?

But obviously do your research so you don't end up going down some alley in the wrong part of town ;-)

kent
Destination Expert
for Kent, Solo Travel
Level Contributor
14,807 posts
141 reviews
10. Re: First time solo female travel

You say you want to visit Asia & have opted for a week in Singapore as it is a safe option for shopping and sightseeing. Yes Singapore is a safe option, but it is one of the most expensive cities in SEA, with hotel prices on par with London. Is your student budget sufficient?

British Airways is one of several airlines with direct flights to Singapore from London, so no need for connecting flights. BA also provide a range of hotels which can be booked with them as a flight & hotel package, & are ATOL protected.

Other major airlines may also provide the same service, & it will be up to you to make price, route and accommodation comparisons.

As Asia is a vast continent, with many different languages, cultures, weather patterns and possibly visa requirements, you would benefit from extensive research. Although the various destination forums here in trip advisor are superb, it would be prudent to use at least 1 good quality guide book, to inform your choices and summarise the many practical issues you'll need to plan for. I'd recommend the Lonely Planet giude called SEA on a Shoe String, but Rough Guides & the Brandt series are also good quality guide books.

It is not a waste of money to take smaller trips before travelling to Singapore. Solo travelling requires new skills, knowledge & confidence. I am sorry if this sounds harsh, but you seem to be lacking all three, which may also account for your parents unease.

While there's plenty of advice available on the various trip advisor forums, including the air, rail travel, bargain and this, the solo forum, such advice is only part of the travel experience.

Apart from researching actual destinations, you'll also need to learn how to plan your budget, finance it, research and obtain relevant travel insurance & financial products, book hotels & flights, research local transport options, pack appropriately, The info item called Top 100 Tips for Planning a Solo Trip, located in the Top Questions box of this page is a comprehensive guide to all the practical issues to consider.

Then you have to take a trip.... ... and discover whether solo travel is an enriching experience for you.

On that first trip, you'll be able to put all your newly acquired skills & knowledge into practice. You'll also find out if you love solo travel......or not, as the case may be. If you are already anxious and extremely nervous, I'd suggest such an initial trip to a closer destination is an investment, and definitely not a waste of money. Consider this as an investment in yourself. You'd gain skills, knowledge, experience & confidence. This would also go some way in reassuring your family that you're able to travel and enjoy solo travels.

One last thing..... travel blogs are only useful up to a point. Many are written on a "pay per clck" basis, & contain advertising. Others can be little more than boasting.or lack sufficient detail to be useful. The "trip reports" in the Top Questions boxes are far more genuine and interesting. You'll need a pc/laptop/tablet to access the TQ box, as it doesn't show up on the trip advisor phone app.

Good luck on your travels.

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