Meeting UK: 7 Things A Lone Traveller Needs

By Elie - 5:34 PM

Days since my last post: 11

Hello people! Really excited to be writing about this because I am finally, FINALLY done sorting my pictures from the UK trip. I know, it took me a month and it's mainly because I've been lazy busy claiming all my birthday meals from all my friends. Hashtag glutton. But I realized that before I could really talk about the holiday, I wanted to do a heads up to everyone and anyone who hasn't done a lone trip because it seems like the right thing to do.

Somehow, lists are everything nowadays. The 5 things you need for this, the 8 things you must do for that, and it goes on. I guess when something is popular at a time, you really need to jump on the bandwagon. Which is why I've compiled a tiny list of my own that I'd like to call...


1. A good camera, preferably with a flip screen

Shoot you, shoot me.

For those of you who didn't know, I've never owned a proper camera with a flip screen. I mean, I've got one of those point and shoot things but I think those are only good for regular shots. As a lone traveller, you'll really need something where you can flip over so you can be in your pictures too. That means selfies, and a lot of them. During the course of my 12 day trip, I was lucky enough to have borrowed an Olympus PEN E-PL7 from Olympus themselves and it was the best thing ever.

Few of the many.

I'm not really good with the specifics, so you'll need Google for that but what I can tell you from experience is that it was really light to travel with. The shutter speed is quick, the mode changes are great and the fact that the screen could flip was just the bomb. I know there are lots of cameras out there that can do the same but if you're a camera dummy just as I am, I guess this is a good start.

2. A little studying

You can't read my writing, but I had a list of places to be and people to see.

Graduating from your school does not mean that you have graduated from studying, okay? So when I say you need to study, I mean it. Go ahead and hit up Google for things you could do in the country you're going to. If you're on a budget then you should always add "FREE" on top of your search criteria. You'll be amazed that there is a whole lot of very localized things to do that are around for little to no money needed.If you really want to pay for something great, read up on how you could get it cheaper. Ask around, sometimes it helps. Beg, you'll actually be amazed that it helps even more!

I've found that by studying on whether or not building A and building B are near to each other, I got to save more time and money because hey if they're just next to one another then you don't have to jump on a cab or anything of that sort. It also helps you find them easier when you're on your sightseeing days.

3. A local map, or a ton of them

Free for all in UK.

In most countries, maps are often free for all. They can be in the airport or sometimes in train stations or if you have to pay for one, then just do it. It's the best help you can get, especially if you don't have a data plan abroad. Sometimes, the conventional stuff works a lot better than what you can get online and I got to learn that through my trip this time. Because somehow data sucks in the London Underground.

The best help you can get is a London Underground map, by the way.

You will use them a lot and the tearing will prove it.

If you think it's a hassle, then maybe you could have maps inside your phone. And by maps, I didn't mean the app by Google but instead pictures of maps that you could download from home so it's accessible even when you're not connected to the internet. It could be fun, and even if you're lost at any point of time, the map could help take you back on track!

4. The bravery to speak

I asked for directions to a place that was in front of my face. Yes.

Truth be told, I am not someone who likes to speak to strangers. But when you're abroad, I realize that asking is the best way to get moving. Don't know the way? Ask. Need to get somewhere via the bus but you're not sure which one gets you there? Ask. Want a picture of yourself taken but you don't have a selfie stick? Ask. Everything is about dropping your ego and just opening your mouth. You're gifted with a voice for a reason. Use it.

In fact, I even made this stupid blunder of asking for directions to Westminster Abbey when it was in front of my face. I can now laugh about it to myself . But it was asking that got me there. I'm embarrassed, but nobody knows me abroad so...who cares? Ask.

5. A zest for adventure 

Cliché travel photo done.

Yes, this is a no-brainer but when I say that you need a zest for adventure, it actually means that you need to be willing to be lost. Not everything has to be set in stone and you should always be fluid with your plans. This however doesn't mean that you should start out from one end of the country to the other end and go back in a single day, because that's just a waste of time. Travel smart, get lost and you'll see a lot more.

The final number to this was 30,218 steps.

And the best way to do it is to walk around instead of being on the train, bus or any other mode of public transportation. It's also better if you know how to cycle, because then your travel time is cut into half without the sacrifice from your sightseeing. Trust me, I walked so much in the UK that I think that's all the walking quota I have for the year. The MiBand tells me so.

6. A judgemental eye

 No war, just judgements.

I feel mean for saying this, but when you're travelling alone it's very important to choose who you interact with. Are you asking the right person to help you take a picture? Does that person look like they will throw a towel with chloroform over your face the moment you open your mouth? Ignore your heart and trust your brains on this, because you just never know if you're going to lose your life. It's important, and I cannot stress enough on this.

I know I just talked about how you have to be brave to speak and go on an adventure but it's equally as important to know you have to be safe. You really want to be back home in one piece and not in a coffin, right?

7. Comfortable shoes

Thank you, Nike.

If you're going to be walking, you'll thank me for this. It's important so you'll be ready to just go and not have to sit around nursing your feet with blisters. You're on an adventure, not going for a fashion show. Throw away your high heels and leather shoes and run for your sneakers instead. Make sure it's something that your feet can breathe in and it's also waterproof because accidents do happen and you really need to be sure that your shoes can take.

And thank you, Converse.

If you've gotten new shoes for the trip, be sure to break into them before you go. New shoes are blister invitations and they ruin everything. It's also a bonus to bring an extra pair in your luggage because if the other pair is too wet for wears, then you'll still have something to change into. I would know, I was in UK when it was wet and gloomy. Every day.

BONUS: It's nice to have company

My partner in crime since year 2000

But hey, if you can't stand being alone, a comfortable little company helps!

I hope my tiny list has helped you guys, just as I learned it step by step. I've probably missed out on things too, but really this was my first ever lone trip and I figured that if I survived 12 days in a foreign country that is approximately 6,585 miles away with these, you guys probably would too.

There's a whole lot of adventure that I've picked up this time and I'm really proud of myself for it. I've also been really glad that my parents let me go on the trip, as well as being extremely thankful that my father's friend, Aunty Kar Peng was around for me to bum in her place for 2 weeks. I guess by the end of the day, I'm still a very blessed child wherever I go.

A whole lot more of UK coming your way on the blog, I hope you guys don't get sick of it. I'll update periodically, but maybe on a slower pace because I've got big stuff going on in the family. If you'd like to keep up, maybe you should LIKE my page on Facebook and you'll be notified when things are updated!

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  1. yeah...agree ur 7 thing must have for a lone travelling. all i will prepare/ready with it.

  2. A good camera, preferably with a flip screen <3 <3
    let's travelling around the world

  3. Haha i think mine would be a camera, maps and $$$. Cant live without $$$ when travelling alone because there is no one to ask for help from

  4. Thank you for sharing and it is useful tips especially i love travel

  5. well said! most important courage to ask for direction. At least for me.

  6. Hahha travel and tourists are different things kañ... if travel you just can go .... if tourist you need to have map.. lol

  7. Hahha travel and tourists are different things kañ... if travel you just can go .... if tourist you need to have map.. lol

  8. Thanks for sharing the 7 great tips. Will ensure I had it when planning my trip.

  9. It's always nice to be able to travel overseas. I do that all the time. Travel to dance. Best way to make new friends, no need to worry about not able to speak their language and all cause dance itself is a language of its own.

  10. I'll have to make some fine tuning.... a pair of waterproof shoes are what's required in the notoriously wet weather of Europe.

    Anyway, I was in Holland, at a train station, and asked how to get to that train station. Someone pointed me to the sign board. Super duh moment and I blame it on jet lag.

  11. Thanks for sharing. Nice camera btw. :D

  12. Great travel tips! Totally agree with you since I recently went for my trip to Japan :D applies to almost every trip abroad. Also don't forget universal plug point and our own extension because we have too many things to charge these days

  13. Great sharing.
    I would say do your homework and the courage to speak up helps a lot when you are a tourist.

  14. Your camera reminds me to get a new one.
    Awesome sharing! I wish I can be a solo traveller someday. :)

  15. well said. Doing the homework properly and early helps

  16. Yeap agree with you dear! Must do homework before going to a place so that you wont missed out anything nice there!

  17. Your list has helped me. Thanks for sharing.

  18. yeah! high 5 with you as I agree 101% with you on your 7 things as an alone traveler : )

  19. I love the UK! Two more items to the list- a sense of humour when things don't go as planned and extra batteries for the camera if you're out all day snapping photos :)

  20. Agree on your 7 tips. Will going to do this for myself in future too!

  21. Good share- research is essential before travelling and I have to say that doing prep a little early definitely helps the process along :)

  22. Oh this is great! I am planning to travel soon too so this definitely helps ;D

  23. Can I bum at your father's friend's house as well? LOL great tips btw! I like to research in advance too because I'm paranoid like that

  24. How brave you are to travel alone! I wish one day I could do it, too! :)
    I agree with to invest a good camera. Your camera looks awesome tho! :D

  25. now i got to run out and get myself a flip screen camera, any donations? :)

  26. Thanks for the great tips, have not try to travel alone before :)

  27. haven't travelled alone in a long long time. wish i can still do that when i am old, wahaha

  28. Awesome tips! I agree with everything you said. For me, the top three things I would hate to travel without are my camera (with extra batteries), comfy sandals (because I can't stand shoes) and a map!

    Just a little question though, how much did you use in total for your trip? I'm really keen to travel to Europe but I'm sort of stuck at the budget needed. Anyway, great write up and keep finding adventure!

    1. Hi Angelynn, sorry I came by late! I spent about RM 7,000 inclusive of air tickets but it's really cause I saved a lot on my stays. I got to bunk with a family friend and that's a HUGE chunk of money saved.

      I think it's okay if you're travelling with sandals, provided it isn't the cold season. Oherwise you'd feel the chill because *hehehe* cold feet!


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