This is a guest post.

First time traveling solo? Excited? Nervous? Everybody feels the same as you do. No worries, I’ve got you covered esp if you’re a solo female traveler. Here are our 17 tips for Filipina’s going on first-time solo backpacking abroad.

Survival guide for Filipina traveling first time solo abroad

Other articles you can read:

1. Research

Some unplanned things and journeys are I believe much more adventurous but if it’s your first time traveling solo abroad, you may think twice before risking yourself at a new place. Researching everything is overrated but a little bit won’t hurt your brain cells.

2. Read a guidebook or Travel Blogs

Survival guide for Filipina traveling first time solo abroad

Make an official guidebook for your best friend or read travel blogs online as they are free. Generally, guidebooks are practical whether traveling solo or with a group of friends. Read some dos and don’ts in a foreign land. Say for instance, in going to some solemn temples in Cambodia, a tourist must not wear a too-short skirt or short, or in Singapore, chewing gum is punishable by law and so on. Knowing the basic rules and laws can save your life!

3. Prepare

Check all your important documents such as passport, credit and debit card, return tickets. Try also to make your itinerary just in case. Make a short plan or list down some things you might want to try.

4. Pack light

My Luxury Hotel Stay with The Capitol Hotel Tokyu22

I know this sounds cliche, but believe me, this is an instant lifesaver. Considering yourself as a complete novice traveler, packing does not come as easy as 1~2~3. Avoiding the luggage trolley, use a backpack which is more handy and easy to carry.

Bring only the necessary clothes, slippers, or shoes, in case you’re expecting to go clubbing, bring at least one or two appropriate outfits but don’t overdo it. Remember: Girl, you’re not going on a fashion show!

5. Read/bring the map (or activate Google Maps)

I’m one of those people who don’t know how to look at map. haha! Okay, okay please don’t laugh at me, but I’ve tried to look at it since traveling solo and zero knowledge about maps won’t lead you anywhere. Trust me. I got detoured many times. If it happened to you too, never get shy to ask for directions to some people around you. But be polite all the time. Anyhow, here’s the tip: Use your charm!

6. Don’t be afraid to ask

Being shy won’t lead you anywhere. if you ever lost your way, asking a stranger or a local won’t hurt your ass. Traveling solo always means to say you have to ask heaps of questions to some people you don’t know but girl, that’s alright. Remember. Use your charm! So go on, don’t be shy to ask that cute local guy on sitting on the bench or waiting for the train (wink!)

7. Bring your Medicine kit

One most important things to bring. you’ll never what you’re going to eat and taste in your stomach. Having your medicine kit will always save your day.

8. Hello, toiletries!

This is not a bad idea at all, if you are staying at some cheap hotels, guesthouses or hostels, some of them may not provide basic hygiene kit. This must be available in your bag at all times. You won’t even know when you need it.

9. Don’t exchange money at airports

Survival guide for Filipina traveling first time solo abroad

This is a terrible deal you can do. You can surely find ways to exchange our currency everywhere but not here. Exchange rates at the airport are lower than other money changers. Money exchange is great at local towns or nearby areas but not at airports or it will rip you off.
You don’t want to be cash strapped, don’t you?

10. Don’t rely on your currency

Put this in mind. You are in a foreign country. Your currency and theirs are completely different. To avoid confusion, use a money exchange converter app or check it beforehand.

11. Don’t overspend on your first day

One definite thing. If you’re staying for a couple of days or weeks or so, remember that, never overspend on your first day.  Stick to your budget. If you see something you’d like to take home, buy it on your last day until you’re very certain that you won’t run out of money. No one will lend you cash whenever you’re abroad. Buying souvenirs can be done on the last days of your trips.

You’re not even halfway traveling, right?

12. Try cheaper hotels, guesthouse or hostels

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It’s okay to book expensive hotels, but if you have a limited budget, just go for cheaper ones. Most hostels provide good and comfortable accommodation, aside from that, some of them also offer free breakfast so you don’t need to worry about your food the next day you wake up. Hostels are nice on top of that.
Dude, don’t be a one day millionaire!

13. Make friends with locals or your Dorm roommates.

I understand you’re going on a solo journey but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to meet or be friends with some people you meet.

15 Tips on Your Next Hostel Dorm Stay

14. Trust no one but yourself.

Being in a foreign land is amazing, it gets your adrenaline going. Being friendly and nice is already a given fact that you somehow should be but trusting someone especially a total stranger is a big no-no.

If you’re drinking at a bar or going to a club, avoid accepting drinks from someone. There are some horror stories of a few women ended up in a displeasing way for not being extra wary. You are a girl traveling alone so take care of yourself all the way. Some bad guys out there may take advantage of you.

15. Inform one of your trusted person you’re going on a trip

You don’t have to broadcast to your whole bunch of friends, relatives in your hometown, or your colleagues in the whole building or your office on your social media account that you’re buzzing off. but at least tell the person you’re trusted with. If some bad things come your way, they know where to reach you out.

16. But hey, wait, there’s more!  Well, here’s the Philippines’ immigration

Being a Filipino means be prepared for how you answer and tell the immigration officer of your travel itinerary abroad. Immigration officers might endlessly interrogate about your travel abroad, but please don’t worry about it, they are just doing their job. Be specific and honest with your answers. And you’re set!

17. Lastly, never miss your flight!

This is the moment of truth, set your alarm, and prepare all your traveling materials so it will be handy as you leave on your most awaited day. Leave home at least 4 hours before your departure time. Traffic is your worst enemy here which is sadly the fact of living in the Philippines. Traffic is congested everywhere! Unless you’re taking the helicopter to the airport then you can still be snoring and drooling your way.

Now, are you ready? Have fun!

Bottom line. Enjoy! It’s your first time traveling solo out of the country!  and spend the most out of it. As they always say, life is too short to be boring.

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We all sure have had or will have some unexpected fun but bizarre circumstances. Do you have anything to add? Can you share yours? We’ll be glad to hear from you! 🙂

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By Sarah