The Student Room Group

Solo travelling question

Hey guys! Have any of you solo travelled before? If so could you give me any advice on how much you planned (was it a really good itinary), how did you know how to get around, are you meant to meet other backpackers (if so how- do you pre arrange idk how it works)

Also are there any safety tips. I’m going to be going round Thailand (2 weeks volunteering, 2 weeks travel). I’m a women so a tad nervous but also I’ve never solo travelled or gone so far so wanted some advice and tips! Thanks!

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Original post by flamingolover
Hey guys! Have any of you solo travelled before? If so could you give me any advice on how much you planned (was it a really good itinary), how did you know how to get around, are you meant to meet other backpackers (if so how- do you pre arrange idk how it works)

Also are there any safety tips. I’m going to be going round Thailand (2 weeks volunteering, 2 weeks travel). I’m a women so a tad nervous but also I’ve never solo travelled or gone so far so wanted some advice and tips! Thanks!


With just two weeks of travel you are not going to cover that much ground so planning an itinerary shouldn't be too complicated. I recommend you get hold of a Lonely Planet or Rough Guide for Thailand which are aimed at independent travellers. They are often available in local libraries or second hand on ebay - just make sure you get hold of a recent copy. The books include must-sees, highlights, travel advice, accommodation, dangers, etc. and so will answer a lot of your questions.

Lonely Planet gives some info on its website but the books are more comprehensive:

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thailand

Check the government website for latest travel advice:

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/thailand

Also, the following website has good advice on the best bank/credit cards to use overseas:

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money/

Don't forget to take out travel insurance for your trip and make sure you are covered for any activities you are planning - eg diving, hiking, etc.
Reply 2
Original post by flamingolover
Hey guys! Have any of you solo travelled before? If so could you give me any advice on how much you planned (was it a really good itinary), how did you know how to get around, are you meant to meet other backpackers (if so how- do you pre arrange idk how it works)

Also are there any safety tips. I’m going to be going round Thailand (2 weeks volunteering, 2 weeks travel). I’m a women so a tad nervous but also I’ve never solo travelled or gone so far so wanted some advice and tips! Thanks!


Where abouts in Thailand? Its generally fairly safe with a huge number of visitors. The main safety tips (apart from the usual dont get too drunk, watch drinks etc) would be to be aware of the (well known) tourist scams, some of which may be done with a "harder sell" if youre a single woman.
(edited 10 months ago)
Reply 3
Original post by mqb2766
Where abouts in Thailand? Its generally fairly safe with a huge number of visitors. The main safety tips (apart from the usual dont get too drunk, watch drinks etc) would be to be aware of the (well known) tourist scams, some of which may be done with a "harder sell" if youre a single woman.

I was planning on doing 3 days in Bangkok, 4 days in the north (Chang Mai+ Chang rai) and then a week island hopping (krabi, Phuket and then some of the islands). Okay thank you! I’ll definitely have a look at the common scams
Reply 4
Original post by normaw
With just two weeks of travel you are not going to cover that much ground so planning an itinerary shouldn't be too complicated. I recommend you get hold of a Lonely Planet or Rough Guide for Thailand which are aimed at independent travellers. They are often available in local libraries or second hand on ebay - just make sure you get hold of a recent copy. The books include must-sees, highlights, travel advice, accommodation, dangers, etc. and so will answer a lot of your questions.

Lonely Planet gives some info on its website but the books are more comprehensive:

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thailand

Check the government website for latest travel advice:

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/thailand

Also, the following website has good advice on the best bank/credit cards to use overseas:

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money/

Don't forget to take out travel insurance for your trip and make sure you are covered for any activities you are planning - eg diving, hiking, etc.

Thank you so much! I’ll definitely check out the guide. Definitely things to consider that I hadn’t before like insurance. Thanks!
Reply 5
Original post by flamingolover
I was planning on doing 3 days in Bangkok, 4 days in the north (Chang Mai+ Chang rai) and then a week island hopping (krabi, Phuket and then some of the islands). Okay thank you! I’ll definitely have a look at the common scams

Sounds good. Dont know what interests you but ayutthaya is a decent day trip from bangkok if youve got a spare day and obviously there are plenty of wats, good food, ... etc in bangkok. Chiang Mai is interesting but not been to chiang rai..

The scams/risks will depend on where youre staying/going. Tuk tuks will overchage, sometimes a lot, unless you agee a price. Taxis may forget to start the meter. Touts will "recommend" hotels etc but obv its commission based. Dont buy "bargain" jewels and locals "helping" you at attractions may expect payment. Wats are never closed and anything to do with cute animals being touted round the beaches are generally an avoid. But get a guidebook and read up on it.
Reply 6
Original post by mqb2766
Sounds good. Dont know what interests you but ayutthaya is a decent day trip from bangkok if youve got a spare day and obviously there are plenty of wats, good food, ... etc in bangkok. Chiang Mai is interesting but not been to chiang rai..

The scams/risks will depend on where youre staying/going. Tuk tuks will overchage, sometimes a lot, unless you agee a price. Taxis may forget to start the meter. Touts will "recommend" hotels etc but obv its commission based. Dont buy "bargain" jewels and locals "helping" you at attractions may expect payment. Wats are never closed and anything to do with cute animals being touted round the beaches are generally an avoid. But get a guidebook and read up on it.

Yeah I’ve heard ayutthaya is good! Chaing rai is close to Chang Mai but I could maybe swap it out for ayutthaya. I’ll look into it!

That’s all very helpful thank you! I’ll definitely look into it. Yeah I’ve heard about some of the stuff with animals so I’ll definitely be wary with that
I would make sure anything you book for your 2 weeks travelling can be adjusted/cancelled at short notice - that way if you meet some friends volunteering and want to spend some of your travel time with them then you can easily change your plans without being locked in to something already
Reply 8
Original post by flamingolover
Yeah I’ve heard ayutthaya is good! Chaing rai is close to Chang Mai but I could maybe swap it out for ayutthaya. I’ll look into it!

That’s all very helpful thank you! I’ll definitely look into it. Yeah I’ve heard about some of the stuff with animals so I’ll definitely be wary with that

Depending on how youre doing it, but the old overnight train from bk to cm has a stop at ayutthya, so you could head out of bk in the morning and catch the overnight train from ayutthaya in the evening to cm and arrive in the morning. A couple of days in cm is probably enough unless you fancy a hill tribes treck in which case its ~2+2 = 4 days, though how you balance with chiang rai has to be your choice.
Reply 9
Original post by mqb2766
Depending on how youre doing it, but the old overnight train from bk to cm has a stop at ayutthya, so you could head out of bk in the morning and catch the overnight train from ayutthaya in the evening to cm and arrive in the morning. A couple of days in cm is probably enough unless you fancy a hill tribes treck in which case its ~2+2 = 4 days, though how you balance with chiang rai has to be your choice.

Good to know about the train. Didn’t realise there was a night train! I wasn’t going to do the trek. I could do 3 days in Bangkok, a day in attuhaya, 2 days in chaing Mai and a day in chaing rai and still do things well!
Reply 10
Original post by flamingolover
Good to know about the train. Didn’t realise there was a night train! I wasn’t going to do the trek. I could do 3 days in Bangkok, a day in attuhaya, 2 days in chaing Mai and a day in chaing rai and still do things well!


Sounds a good mix. One thing that stood out for me was in kanchanaburi/river kwai and stopping in
https://www.riverkwaijunglerafts.com/
Its a couple of days to explore that area (from BK) and make it worthwhile and possibly more difficult solo/tight time, but the river rafts were memorable.
Original post by mqb2766
Sounds a good mix. One thing that stood out for me was in kanchanaburi/river kwai and stopping in
https://www.riverkwaijunglerafts.com/
Its a couple of days to explore that area (from BK) and make it worthwhile and possibly more difficult solo/tight time, but the river rafts were memorable.

I’ve heard about this! I’ll look into doing something on the river but I don’t know if I’ll have much time. I’ll probably have to come back!!
Reply 12
Original post by flamingolover
I’ve heard about this! I’ll look into doing something on the river but I don’t know if I’ll have much time. I’ll probably have to come back!!

Thats generally the way, its a big interesting country. Where are you volunteering?
Original post by mqb2766
Thats generally the way, its a big interesting country. Where are you volunteering?

I haven’t booked it yet but it’s a place called Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand. I’d be in their wildlife hospital. I’m a vet student so it would count towards my placement requirement
Reply 14
Original post by flamingolover
I haven’t booked it yet but it’s a place called Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand. I’d be in their wildlife hospital. I’m a vet student so it would count towards my placement requirement


That area is decent to explore as well, the caves, old palaces and hua hin for a bit of beach time before hitting the ones down south.
Original post by mqb2766
That area is decent to explore as well, the caves, old palaces and hua hin for a bit of beach time before hitting the ones down south.

Oooh I love caves! I’ll have a few days off on the placement so would definitely explore a bit
(edited 10 months ago)
Reply 16
Original post by flamingolover
Oooh I love caves! I’ll have a few days off on the placement so would definitely explore a bit


Id have to dig out some old pics/notes, but there is a very large/famous cave complex with buddha statues etc near the city/palace and there are some collapsed caves a bit outside hua hin just in from the beach and its a good explore.
Original post by mqb2766
Id have to dig out some old pics/notes, but there is a very large/famous cave complex with buddha statues etc near the city/palace and there are some collapsed caves a bit outside hua hin just in from the beach and its a good explore.

Oh wow!!! I’ll definitely have to check it out! I’m getting very excited now: I should be going around March time! Only thing I’m worried about is being alone but I guess I’ll embrace it because it seems like an incredible country
Original post by flamingolover
Hey guys! Have any of you solo travelled before? If so could you give me any advice on how much you planned (was it a really good itinary), how did you know how to get around, are you meant to meet other backpackers (if so how- do you pre arrange idk how it works)

Also are there any safety tips. I’m going to be going round Thailand (2 weeks volunteering, 2 weeks travel). I’m a women so a tad nervous but also I’ve never solo travelled or gone so far so wanted some advice and tips! Thanks!


I have never traveled solo. I've heard it's fun to do, but I'm too scared to do that. Some of my friends who travelled alone said it was a really cool experience and that everyone should try it. I know at some point in my life I'm going to do it, but for now I prefer traveling with my family or friends.
Original post by flamingolover
Hey guys! Have any of you solo travelled before? If so could you give me any advice on how much you planned (was it a really good itinary), how did you know how to get around, are you meant to meet other backpackers (if so how- do you pre arrange idk how it works)

Also are there any safety tips. I’m going to be going round Thailand (2 weeks volunteering, 2 weeks travel). I’m a women so a tad nervous but also I’ve never solo travelled or gone so far so wanted some advice and tips! Thanks!


I did travel solo a few times. Try staying in sharing dorms. You will meet other backpackers there.

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