For four years now, backpacking had become an annual thing na for me. And with all my heart, these days of traveling, have always been the best days of my recent years. Backpacking excites me, and it drives me para mag ipon on something. In fact, I am actually more excited for my travel time, than having Christmas holiday o my birthday. Seriously. Weird ba? Pero thats the way it is. Through the planning stage, on abanging of promo tickets, on studying the maps of foreign cities, and on being in the actual city and finding out that the maps you studied were kinda uncertain… The feeling of ‘being anonymous and somewhat lost in a place that I’ve never been before’ is totally my kind of adventure.
Why Solo backpacking? Simple lang.
- Easier sa planning stage (Walang antayan ng approval)
- Mas madami time to do things at my own pace
- No need to adjust my budget and travel standards (I sleep at airport floors when i have to)
- No need to adjust my feelings (Chot!)
- Most of all, mas malayo ang aking nararating.
Though I also recognise and appreciate din the friends that I traveled with sa particular stops, ksi naman masaya din sila kasama. Pero ewan lang, mas na eexcite ako mag explore ng unfamiliar cities on my own and at my own stride.
Malungkot? Di naman. Di lahat ng nagsosolo travel, e sad na agad. Yung iba, Aura lang.
Kasi walang lovelife? E di wow. Feelings can wait.
Home sick? Walang ganung ganap. I always have my home with me inside my heart. Chot!
Nakakatakot? Di naman. Sigurista din naman ako sa pinupuntahan ko. Minsan nga feeling ko mas delikado pa dito sa atin kesa dun. Hello?! Tsaka ok din naman mag isa. kasi kahit pa maiwan ako ng train dahil sa katangahan ko… walang madadamay.
Mahal ba mag solo? Compared sa me kasama? hmmm.. di naman. kasi nagdodorm lang ako o cheap hostel. depende lang tlga yan sa standards mo kung maarte kang nilalang. Me kasi, I don’t mind sharing room and things with people I don’t know… as much as I don’t mind sleeping on airport floors when I have to. I believe yun ang true essence ng backpacking eh… kaya pag sasabay ka sa akin, wag ma mag expect ng too much comfort. But I assure you, malayo mararating mo =)
Sa food cguro, yes. mas mapapa gasto ka more minsan. kasi you won’t be able to have someone to share the bill with. Pero most of the time naman may maffriend ka while on travel eh, ung mga kapwa backpackers din.
When you decide to go solo… madami namang online blogs that can give you ideas how to move around on a budget eh. Tulad nyo, dependent din ako sa kanila.
Budget? hmmm relative! dipende sa lugar na pupuntahan mo. Usap nalang tayo sa FB. haha. But really, more than the budget, starting this solo travel bug requires courage! Tapang at kapal ng mukha! Charot. Tapang lang, ok na.
Yung budget, kaya yan gawan ng paraan. E di mag trabaho ka. O hanap ka mayaman na daddy daddy. your call. Wag nyo ako tanungin paano mag ipon =)
How to Start a planning a backpacking adventure? Ideally, dapat daw meron kang travel bucket list na sinusunod. Truth, you need that for inspiration. But having a fixed destination on a particular year? hmmm wala akong ganun. How I start? Simple. Kung saan may ok na promo ticket, dun na! Sasample ko ung recent backpacking trip ko. Wala sa plano mag Europe ulit… pero dahil may promo, laban!
Stockholm -> Brussels -> Brugge -> Amsterdam -> Reykjavik -> Oslo. This was my route during my recent backpacking up the cold north. The planning started when I encountered ‘on sale’ flights with Norwegian Air last February. The flight only cost me less than 18,000 Pesos for a round trip Bangkok-Stockholm and Oslo-Bangkok (regular tickets are expected at 35,000 Pesos up). It was a good deal already. I did not bother worrying my Philippines to Bangkok kasi madalas naman mag sale on SEasian route.Sadly, I only had two weeks; The shortest that I did so far. Work this year had been quite serious and consuming. Kaya un.
How I find promo tickets? Hmmm,
- I included myself to the mailing list of most international airlines that had been noted to run promos from time to time. Emirates, Etihad. Norwegian Air, KLM, etc. Usually din kasi nagsesale mga airlines around Feb/March.
- I follow more airlines on Facebook to get updated
- I follow a number of travel enthusiasts and travel blog groups of Facebook, kasi from time to time, may nagseshare naman ng updates. Salamat sa kanila.
Where and how do I book tickets? usually direct sa airline websites (as mentioned, nasa mailing list ako ng karamihan); And skyscanner.com has always been a good friend on comparing prices. Payment is with credit card. And I do not go through agencies when booking tickets. DIY lahat, from booking of tickets to finding hostels and tours. VISA application, DIY lang whenever I can. Minsan na ako nag Manila based agency o getting my China Visa (work related trip). Salamat din sa kanila.
How to find a place to stay? Agoda.com and Hostelworld.com. Very convenient. and I highly appreciate the ‘MAP’ option ng websites nato. kasi i get to see where the place is located with regards to my preferences.
Considerations on which hostel to choose. Alway, and always… I stay lang dun malapit sa mga Central Train/Bus Station o near palengke. Easy to find, and usually may mga cheap food options(o market) around, and certainly may mga police so it is safe, basically. Important sa akin mapag aralan ang Transpo from the airport to the City center by public transpo. I worry about other on site things later na.
AirBnB, di ko pa natatry. kasi naman mejo malalayo ung mga options usually from the city center.
I tried couchsurfing.com na. Eto ung makikitira ka sa mga families. Na try ko na to when I went to Brunei 2014, and it was a good experience. I food good friends there. Sa India din, though i did not actually live with the couchsurfers pero I got major assistance from them and will forever be grateful.
Travel Bucketlist? Madami! Kailangan ng separate post for that. However, priority ko tlga makumpleto ang 7 wonders of the world before ako mag 35… ok 40… kasi meron ako regular work to take care of. haha.
- Taj Majal (Agra, India) – 2014, Check!
- The Roman Colosseum (Rome) – 2015, Check!
- Petra ( Jordan) – most likely susunod
- Christ the Redeemer Statue (Rio de Janeiro) – mahal ticket oi!
- Machu Picchu (Peru) – oa ang ticket!
- Chichen Itza (Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico) – benta ko muna atay ko.
- Great Wall of China (China) – last na to.