Treat yourself to a well-deserved holiday, planned entirely by yourself. Joyce See shows the way.

More Singaporean youths are travelling independently and loving it.

Timothy Ong, 19, an Information Technology graduate from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, planned his fi rst trip to Bangkok when he was 17.

Timothy says, “It helps to travel with people who have travelled on their own before.”

Similarly, Singapore Polytechnic graduate Felicia Chow, 21, first made an independent trip with her
friends to Bangkok when she was 16.

Four girls in a foreign land certainly don’t paint a very safe picture. “Tourist-friendly places generally are quite safe. But when my group split up, I always make sure I’ve got at least one other person with me,” says Felicia.

Managing your dollars and cents

For those who are planning your first trip, here are some details on how much you have to set aside.


Timothy opts for online bookings for both hotels and flight tickets. He estimates spending $320 on a two-way plane ticket and accommodation for his week-long Bangkok trip.

Felicia spent $560 on a two-way plane ticket and accommodation for a five-day trip to Hong Kong. She was shocked at what her backpacker’s inn had to offer. “What you pay is what you get,” she says.

More detailed planning is needed.

Low Lai Chow, 26, editor of Youth.SG, recently backpacked across Europe herself. “Research” and “blending in” are the two musts on a trip. “Try to get in touch with locals, of friends or virtual travel communities before you leave home. Check if they can bring you around or advise you,” she suggests.

Lai Chow continues, “As long as you do your research, avoid war zones, have common sense and etiquette for the local customs and culture of wherever you’re going, you should fare pretty well. It might not be as glam as touring Europe but it’s intriguing nonetheless.”