On 2015 when I was 30, I did my dream to travel to Europe for a month. As the trip is quite long so no one can join me, I had to travel alone and here is some experiences I would like to share with you.
How to travel alone as an Asian girl:
1. English skill:
I think languages is the most important when you travel to any countries. If you can speak English fluently it will make you more confident, communicate with local people more easily in any situation and make friend with people who travel same as you, especially when you are alone ^^
2. Information preparation:
It took me 3 months to make a itinerary for my trip to 3 countries : Germany, Italy and France through 6 cites : research & booking.
– Hotel booking : I booked almost the hostels I need for all places, my tips is booking with the one which have free cancellation ( even its a bit higher) because maybe you can change your mind at last minute or when you have to cancel the places.
To travel alone, its the best if you can visit and stay in your friend’s house. I had experience for all included small Hotel, Hostel, and Airbnb. But I recommend to choose Hostel because in Europe the hostel is designed quite young, clean and affordable price. And you can talk, sharing your experience and make friends with a lot of travelers around the word. If you are a woman, book or ask the receptionist if you can move to a female dorm to feel more comfortable.
* One more tip is print a google map of the way from bus/airplane station to your hotel. This tip help you to have direction after arriving the city in case you cant have free wifi or 3G.
– Train/ Bus/ Airplane booking: Same as hotel booking, I also booked almost tickets for airplane,bus and train. For airplane I recommend to book as soon as possible to get better price, but for bus ticket, you can buy it later when you arrive in the city or come the station earlier . But because I was worry I have to go to bus station to buy it( when you dont know the city) so I booked online and print it to bring with me ^^.
Tips: You should aware that for cheap airline like Easy Jet, you need to check in online and print boarding pass when you go to the airport. If you forgot, they will charge you a fee, I almost didnt know about that. So note to read carefully all information in the ticket.
All the tickets need to be printed out and after they will scan the code for your check in.
– Places to go: this one is easier, you just need to research which places you would like to visit for your list.
If you have a short time to visit a city, better to book a hostel in the center of visiting, in Europe actually some of tourist places are close together, you can walk from the hotel to there and visit them which much more convenient. I did that when I was in Florence and Paris, so I just need to walk and avoid public transportation which not really safe in Paris. And when you walk, you can see more ^^
I am a 38kg Vietnamese girl ^^, so I decided to bring as light as much possible. I traveled to Europe with only 1 cabin luggage 7kg & small back bag because of:
– Its light and easy for me to carry myself.
– I dont need to have sending luggage which can save cost and time.
So if you are a solo travel girl you can handle the luggage as much as you can, but do it functional and comfortable because in Europe we have to walk a lot.
As a solo woman traveler, we need to be safe. In all countries, there is bad and good people , there is some situations that we cant avoid ( I got 1 time beggar attached in Frankfurt, 1 cheating in Berlin, and one pick pocket in Paris but lucky I didnt lost any much). But to at least to feel safe , this is what I did:
– Not bring so much cash ( I brought only 500E) and 1 credit card. I kept money + my passport in a small short and wore comfy jean outside ^^
– Not book any bus/train/flight ticket arrive the city too late at evening or too early at morning.
– Not going out and back to hotel too late alone. I went to Europe at summertime when it become dark around 7-8pm, and I often when back to hotel before that time, if I have a friend to join, I felt more safe when come back late.
– Not to be drunk and keep your health the best to enjoy your trip.
– Try to ask your friend if they could introduce you some of their friends who stay in the cites you will travel to and leave them a message before you flight. This help me to have some contact to ask for help in special worst case or have a friend to join me sometimes.
5. Not so much nervous and be confident:
To get my dream come true, I worked so hard so I was stressed before my trip. And I didnt imagine I have to travel alone( because some of my friends who promised to host me then cancel it) so I became so nervous for my first time to Europe.
The first week I actually cant enjoy so much because its so different environment with my country, I cant eat some food, tiring with moving a lot and felt so lonely.
I did cancel Venice & Austria to have more time to relax myself in Frankfurt and have more energy for the other places. I still remembered I cried in Berlin and just want to come back home then one of the roommate asked me if I was ok and after knew my story, she told me she felt the same when her friend left her alone to another city too. However its not easy to go to Europe so we should enjoy our time here, its gonna be alright. Then I recognized all women whatever Asian or American, European,… who travel alone they have same feeling: sometimes nervous, lonely…but we all would like to discover the world and improve our self by a challenge.
So based on these 5 tips, I passed my trip without missing any bus, train or flight. And the most successful is the last week of my trip I was confident to flight from Pisa to Paris like I took a flight through cities in my country, I felt more confident and stronger when moving, and made more friends. I saw a lot of beautiful things and learned a lot of experiences and have a story to tell you about now.
I hope this sharing is helpful a bit for you, and if you have any tips or experiences for same topic, welcome to leave a comment ^^
Enjoy you trip because life is a journey *_*