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Advice / ideas for a solo trip

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Advice / ideas for a solo trip

Hey everyone!

I've been thinking about travelling alone somewhere just to get a break from this everyday stuff I have gotten fed up. Although, making this travelling dream come true probably won't happen anywhere in the near future, but hey, it's good to have some plans "just in case", right?

So basically, I'm just looking for places where I could just relax and escape the regular life. Fiji and Bora Bora would be kind of the places for me right now, but considering that I'm just a student, they are quite expensive destinations.

It's not all just about chilling in the beach, though, because what I would really want is just to really travel around. Like, take a year off from school and just travel. But wouldn't run straight into places like Seoul and Tokyo (which I in fact would really want to visit, especially Seoul), maybe in the end of the trip. So, I would start it slow and then "build it up", if you know what I mean.

I enjoy nature, so places close to it would be the first choices for me. Surfing, zip-line, hiking etc. are the things for me too. So a possibility for these kinds of adventures would be a big plus!

In the end though, I wouldn't plan my trip really in details because there is pretty much 90% chance that things won't go the way you like. I would probably decide countries and places I would like to visit, but nothing more. Just going with the flow; go to one place and be there as long as I feel like before going somewhere else and do pretty much everything what comes in my mind.

And I don't mind working abroad during my trip either if it means funding the trip. Hanging with the locals is also a big thing for me! Also about the places I would visit, doesn't matter. Anywhere in the world is fine!


- Want to go to an escape trip from everyday life

- Fiji & Bora Bora in mind, but too expensive

- Not all about beaches and chilling, adventures and cities are OK too

- Don't want to plan the trip in small details, going with the flow

- Working during the trip is fine

- Anywhere in the world is fine


- How big budget should I be looking at if I would go to travelling say for 1 year?

- What other places are like Fiji and Bora Bora, but cheaper?

- Probably an obvious question, but if I want to work during the trip, should I have some working visas for every country I plan to visit?

- In the end, would be more clever to go with a friend, even though I really feel like doing this all by myself?

Thanks in advance!

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1. Re: Advice / ideas for a solo trip

Try looking at this site for some ideas. You don't have to take their holidays, just give you a start in searching for something different.


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2. Re: Advice / ideas for a solo trip

Last question first:

No it would not be better to go with a friend. The sort of adventure you want just would not "flow" in the same way if you had to negotiate every change of place. The other person would either want to stick rigidly to the "plan" when you wanted to follow a new thought, or want to abandon the parts you liked best.

Also, so much a part of the sort of trip you propose is meeting new people, both local and fellow travellers. Going with another person is likely to get in the way of that.

If you want to work you should have a working visa for any such country. If you don't and get caught, you will be deported, banned from that country for a number or years and possibly fined or imprisoned. A prison sentence, especially for working illegally, could stop you getting visas for a number of other countries.

I gather that you are in Finland. What passport/s do you have? If you have a Finish passport, you can of course live and work in any EU country without a visa. That might be a place to start your travels, although I accept there are no South Pacific Islands in the EU; Greece, Spain and Portugal may have some places that are close enough to be starting with for visits, but not for jobs.

The islands in the Federated States of Micronesia are probably a bit cheaper than Fiji or Bora Bora, although if you search you may find that there are some less expensive alternatives in Fiji or on some of its outer islands.

The problem with islands in the middle of the South Pacific is that, as they don't grow or make everything they need there, importing goods costs so much.

Australia is not cheap, but it does have just about everything you are looking for. Getting a work visa to Australia, unless you are under thirty and hold a UK passport may be tricky, but it would depend upon what skills you have.

If you are a diver with a PADI teaching qualification, you may find jobs are open to you in the sort of place that appeal most to you.

I've just come back from 5 delightful weeks in Japan and if I were your age I would be tempted to look into teaching English there under contract. The jobs aren't particularly good for building up savings, but Kyshu and the islands south of there like Okinawa have a South Pacific vibe. There is much more to Japan than Tokyo.

However, if you do not yet have a university degree, your chances of being hired are less and if you are not a native English speaker, you would need to convince the school there that your spoken and written English were good enough.

What you want to do is certainly do-able, it is a middle class tradition in England to take a year off between secondary school and university to travel.

If you Google "Gap Year" should should find lots of information.

Edited: 22 August 2012, 22:08
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3. Re: Advice / ideas for a solo trip


I would probably recommend Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Phillipines and Indonesia. They are cheap what is expensive is the trip and have culture, beaches, nature and cities to offer. So check to which of these capital cities will be cheaper to fly to and navigate from there. Thailand in particular is very nice for visitors and organized and you would for sure meet new people, I think is an excellent introduction to the area. But it is a complete different cultural context and you will be alone, so please be sure that you will be ready to cope with that.

Not planning in details can place risks in your overall budget, because prices fluctuate a lot with time and you can go to a pretty island somewhere and then find out returning is much more expensive than getting there.

Working abroad I think it used to be easier than now. In the countries I mentioned you could work but I doubt you will get anything reasonable out of it. The good thing is that they could offer you food but that is not exactly what will be expensive there, so don’t know if it will be all that worth it.

South America could be a good option but South America is a bit expensive right now.

Closer to home the Iberian Peninsula with Morocco could be an interesting option. Plenty to see, good beaches and reasonably priced. Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, Romania, Albania and Bulgaria as well.

To travel for one year I would book at least 18.000€ but this depends on the countries to visit, time of year, type of trip (e.g. if you are ready to couchsurf you will spend much less in lodgings), etc…

There are countries that demand visas others won’t. But the ones that don’t have visa, will limit your stay in the country (e.g. 90 days) so check that.

I think if you want to do it by yourself, than do it by yourself.

Have a nice trip!

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4. Re: Advice / ideas for a solo trip

You've got the whole globe and the place you hear calling to you is the South Pacific. Yes, there are places that share some, even many, common attributes with the South Pacific. The Caribbean, Cape Verde and SE Asia come to mind. But none would be the same experience. Go with the place you want to go.

You're willing to work to help pay for the trip. You could board a whaler in Nantucket and jump ship in the Marquesas until you are captured ... oh, wait, I've been reading too much Herman Melville. In all seriousness, the South Pacific is the trip you want. I've heard great things about Bora Bora. I've heard great things about Tahiti. I've heard mixed things about Fiji.

Pick a place and if you can't manage that trip financially, at this time, then my advice would be to go for something different. Don't look for a South Pacific-type experience somewhere else on the globe. You'll be disappointed because Barbados or Boracay or Bali or Bermuda didn't measure up the Bora Bora of your dreams.

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5. Re: Advice / ideas for a solo trip

i will travel with you. i dont want to go solo!

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6. Re: Advice / ideas for a solo trip

I agree with the suggestion of SE Asia.

If you want a cheap holiday that can allow you to travel, explore, relax, and have fun then SE Asia is the place to go. The other options are Central and S. America but the danger of those places does not leave a fair comparison to SE Asia.

Your largest expense will be the airfare to and from you home. The golden triangle of backpacking is Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. However if you are up to the task and are adept at traveling I would start in Thailand, over to Cambodia then back to Burma and return to Thailand.

There are SE Asian countries that are just opening up to the rest of the world and they are very very cheap. They make Thailand look like an expensive destination. The farther you get away from the cities and the tourist the less you pay. It all depends on what conditions you are able to live. Can you live without hot water or air con? You could live very cheaply throughout SE Asia.

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7. Re: Advice / ideas for a solo trip

If you want to do Europe, I was just talking to a woman from Australia yesterday who is doing a trip with Busabout and said she really likes it. Apparently it's a hop on hop off sort of bus around Europe. They have 3 loops in Europe and she is doing all 3. She says the bus drops you off and picks you up at their recommended hostel, but you don't have to stay there. You can stay at each place as long as you want. She said she has met a bunch of people on the trip and travelled with them for a few days but then goes off on her own again.

She's doing Europe, but looking at their website www.busabout.com it appears that they have similar trips to other areas. I saw one for the Greek Islands, for example. I have no personal experience with it, but she seemed to think it was a good combo of solo travel and meeting people but without the rigid structure and partying attitude of something like a Contiki tour. It might be worth checking out.

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8. Re: Advice / ideas for a solo trip

I am often suggesting busabout on here btgm, but must admit have never used it myself. Just struck me as a good idea, so nice to hear from you that it is working well for 'somebody'. In Aus the Greyhound buses have similar circuit tickets that I used when I was there years ago, worked really well.

KellyJohn, this forum is for people who DO want to travel solo, so you are in the wrong place.

Suggest you try one of those social networking sites, maybe there are other 'children' who can help you there.

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9. Re: Advice / ideas for a solo trip

I'll have to look at that option. Thanks for the Bus info. Sounds intersting.

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10. Re: Advice / ideas for a solo trip

Hey thanks all! Really appreciate all the suggestions and ideas.

SE Asia does seem like a good choice for me, I do have thought about going to Asia the next time I'm travelling. My friend is staying in Thailand at the moment and I've been asking him some stuff too and have pretty much gotten the same answers than from you guys.

The busabout sounds pretty interesting too, but don't know if it's the thing I'm really looking for. But if I decide to travel around Europe some day, I'll take this in consideration!

Keep the ideas coming as I won't be leaving anywhere just yet. If I can't get a funding for my exchange student trip to Canada, I'll probably take off one year from school next August and then go travelling. Just have to wait and see!