Travel Talk: The Dilemmas of Planning for my First Semi-Solo Trip
April 17, 2017
I can't believe it's so tough to plan a trip, not to mention an international trip wherein you aren't very familiar of how things work. Last year, when I went on a 10-day backpacking trip outside the country, most of the planning was done by my friend who was very willing and able to do it. I had so much trust in him too that I knew he would do great with the plan. He did!
Come August, I'm going to be on another international trip but I'm going to be mostly on my own. On. My. Own. Solo. Or maybe semi-solo. I have never done a solo trip outside the country. I'll be meeting some of my friends though but for the most part, I have to do my own planning because I won't be with them for long.
I didn't realize how many things I need to consider. This is even just a 7-day cross-country trip coming from Singapore to Malaysia, plus the destinations are very common that there are already many resources available. It's already
April almost May and I'm not even halfway with my planning stage yet, but I’ll make sure I’ll have budget friendly experiences.
Although spontaneity is part of the adventure, I'm not very confident with doing it because this is my first time to travel alone in an unfamiliar country.
What preparations do you usually do when you travel? All my plane tickets were already booked so I don't have problems with that anymore. My passport is still good although it's actually 8 months away from expiration! Yikes, need to renew very soon!
For now, here are some of the things I'm getting busy with aside from debating whether I'm gonna bring a carry-on luggage or a backpack. Sheesh!
I only have to worry about my accommodation in Singapore since my friend offered to pay for my accommodation in Malaysia. As you know, Singapore is not exactly the cheapest country in the world so I've gotta look for a place I can afford. There are deals for travel websites all around the internet and all I have to do is choose. So help me God.
I might have already scoured the entire web for a place to stay but I haven't even decided or booked even one yet. The search is still on.
This is where most of my research time is spent. I have to read a lot of websites and blogs to make sure I make the most out of my trip without getting ripped off.
My itinerary basically starts at Changi Airport where I have to wait for a couple of hours for my friend to arrive, who will just be on an 18-hour layover in Singapore. So what should I do at the airport in the wee hours of the morning? Based on my research, there are several things to at the best airport in the world!
I just hope I don't get lost around. Oh no, I think I'm going to get lost anyway.. so what's with hoping?! Haha!
I also have to stitch my itineraries because I have another friend I'll meet the next day and we will be together until we cross the border to Malaysia. Actually, I don't know what to do. Do Universal Studios with Friend #1 or Friend #2? I can't do it twice because it's expensive!
There are several free things to do in Singapore (at least based on what I've read so far) so I guess if I budget my money well, I'd be fine. Right? I'm also looking for budget friendly experiences because I don't wanna go home super broke. Broke, okay. But not super broke.
Right now, I'm still reading about what to do in Singapore. I have yet to read about what to do in Malaysia. With the short time that I'm gonna stay there, chances are I'll be doing the touristy stuff but it's okay, there's nothing wrong with going the touristy route especially when I don't exactly travel long-term.
On the way home, I also have a long waiting time in Manila before my flight back to Cebu. That's another thing I have to plan for since I don't remember having Manila friends who live just around the airport and I don't want to go far because everybody knows what traffic in Manila means. I don't wanna miss my flight back home. Mall of Asia, then?
Hmmm. Since I have ruled out taking an airplane, I'm left with either the train or the bus. I've been researching about it but I haven't decided yet. I want to take the train though. The reviews I've read are all good so far but I want to read the most recent experiences like late last year or early this year. I've read that there were some changes.
I've crossed overland borders before and I was just so thankful that I wasn't alone. I tend to panic when things seem to be out of hand and I happen to be alone. The only thing I'm good at when something bad happens is that I don't show people that I'm already panicking inside. I think I can maintain my composure fairly well.
But even so, I need to book either a train or a bus ticket ahead of time (for my own sanity)!
What do you mean saving up? I am not even halfway. My travel funds are still in progress. I'm working so hard to reach my target for this trip to happen. Otherwise, bye bye trip. Better luck next time! With 4 months at my disposal, I hope to have my pocket money ready before I leave (obviously). Good luck to me!
Any suggestions for me? Drop them in the comments section below. :)
*All photos are from Unsplash.