Tips for travel without a tour guide

I have always prefer to travel without the usage of travel agents. It's a hassle, yes, but also enriching and saves my $$ a little. So, how to venture forth into other countries? Most people i know have no clue how AND  always are surprised or sceptical when i tell them to go travel minus the agencies.

"I don't know the language!How am i suppose to find my way around? I need a travel guide to translate"

"It's dangerous, travelling in small groups of two or three people"

"How am i suppose to go around without a ready available transport[ note here, car@van]. Public transport? I'd get lost!"

"It's too much work to do to travel alone....I'd rather pay and let someone else handle it."

These are some of the statements I've come across among my friends or read. Actually, it's not as hard as it looks like (OK, you DO have to do a lot of work before) but that's the beauty of it. You get to know more about the places you're going to visit, you'll find out how the local culture is, what's the weather like, their history.
I mean how many of us actually listen to those travel guide yapping away in the front of the bus about the places they took us to?

Don't know the language of the country you're headed to? No problem, learn a few basic words before your journey. Or even better, we live in a very techie era, use those dozens of apps available. One I'd recommend is Google translate. Just type the word you want to translate and it'll give a voice over of the translation. Brilliant! Or you can just go and do sign language with the locals. It will be funny! Best of all, you'll remember that particular moment talking with that friendly uncle trying to give you directions in Spanish; recto,recto derecho. I only understood it as straight straight right by his hands showing to go straight (we did get lost in Majorca, Spain btw, but no worries!) Or you would never forget how a French waiter tried to explain to you about soft drinks with gestures (Imagine a waiter acting out a soft drink being open and it's contents fizzing out, hilarious just watching him!). So don't worry, just go!

Is it dangerous? Everywhere in this world is dangerous if we don't practise caution. Just follow basic steps in making sure you are safe. Such as
- Don't go out at night walking in a deserted area!
- Take extra care of your belongings, your cash, passport, valuables in places known to be pickpocket areas
- I always divide my cash and put them separately in different places just to be safe.

There's a lot more tips on staying safe while travelling. Read it up before your journey. As for me, i can say I've been lucky to not have encountered any unpleasant scenarios. Although there was once in Budapest, me and my sister was walking towards a mall and the area was a bit deserted at that particular time(it was noon) and there was this man walking behind us. We felt like he was following us, so we switch to the other side of the road and thank god, he didn't follow (Dunno what his intentions were, but we followed our instincts).

True, you can get lost if you're going around without a ready available transport. I myself got lost a dozen time! (Make that in every trip I've ever been to despite being excellent in map reading!Haha) But once you realise you're lost, stop and ask for directions. The locals won't mind helping you out. Most of the time they are very helpful. I think everyone is very helpful when it comes to tourist who are lost (what would you do if some tourist come up to you and ask for directions? You'd help them out right?) So, don't be shy and just ask away. Besides, by taking the public transport, you'll get to see the locals in their everyday life (be it crammed in a Paris train during rush hour and accidentally left your mate behind because she couldn't fit in too or standing awkwardly in a bus in Rome with aunties and their groceries.

Here are some of the pictures from our old but goldie trip to Budapest.

So...are you ready to travel on your own?


  1. Hi good info.. I will travel solo to bali and do not use tour guide.. Will use this info for my travel. Tq

    1. Happy holiday dear, have not been to bali yet. someday maybe =)

  2. I totally agree with u on the apps. Everything is online now! Just search and translated hopefully I get to your destination with ease! Nice tips sharings!

  3. To me, it's not about the fear of travelling alone, but the inability to share moments with a person close to me. That's when I will feel like I'm all alone in the world to face challenges.

  4. This says all the information. We've been tried to travel without a tour guide. It's challenging tho!

  5. Thanks for your tips! I prefer to travel without tour guide because i find it more convenient and experience spontaneous adventures.

  6. It is my favourite part of traveling. Going solo is one of the greatest gift. just go for it with courage

  7. I prefer travel without tour guide! But once a while, it was quite relax to just follow tour without needed of planning anything =)

  8. Good information. I do prefer travel without tourguide too. It can be more flexible.

  9. I'd like to find out more? I'd like to find out some additional information.