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Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia forum

experiences of solo travellers age over 40 backpacking in SEA

Posted by musaafir on 27/5/2019 at 07:27

Hello All

I am planning on travelling 12 weeks in SEA (thinking Thailand, Vietnam, Loas, Cambodia) early next year.

I have never travelled solo before or even backpacked.

Whilst I am ok with travelling alone i think it’s always nice meeting people, sharing stories etc. Otherwise can imagine 3 months with minimum interaction with others could (atleast for me) make me homesick.

How has the experiences of over 40 solo traveller been. ? Did you backpack ? Easy to make travel buddies enjoy few beers with people etc. Just weary whether fellow travellers will be 20 something or 60 something and am in that pariah category.

And if anyone is in SEA between Jan to March 2020 and our paths cross happy to get you a beer.



#1 musaafir has been a member since 27/5/2019. Posts: 3

Posted by exacto on 28/5/2019 at 03:21

musaafir. (traveler? visitor? guest?)

hi SB,

southeast asia and particularly thailand is an excellent place for independent travel as well as solo travel. people are welcoming. there is good infrastructure for travel, and finding your way around is relatively easy. value for money, it is a great place too.

you'll find lots of 20-somethings, 60-somethings, and everything in between, so i don't think age will be a large factor. over my last few trips, i've also noticed quite a few more solo travelers than i remember from before, so you won't stand out there either. there are a bunch of us out there who started backpacking when we were younger, and continue to do so now because we like the style, the independence, and the more genuine experience that comes with it.

i generally prefer to travel with a partner, but there are some serious benefits of traveling solo, including maximum flexibility to decide exactly where to go, what to do, what to eat, etc. it is also a great chance to get comfortable with yourself and to improve your confidence, for what that's worth. plus, with wi-fi available nearly everywhere now, you can stay in touch with others and share your adventure in detail every day, even if friends and family are on the other side of the world.

if you are looking to meet fellow travelers, in my experience the best way is on day trip-style tours. that way you are in a ready-make group, and will get a chance to chat with people. next best in my experience is on transportation, particularly long-haul transportation, where you also have time to talk to fellow travelers.

apart from that, hanging out at your guesthouse or roaming around tourist destinations gives you a chance to meet people. having something to share, or sharing travel information, also seems to be a good way to break the ice.

don't forget that meeting locals can be a fun option too, although language can often be a barrier there.

look to the Travelfish website for background information and important travel tips as you prepare for your trip. work out details on visas ahead of time for each country, as they vary depending on the nationality of your passport. make sure you arrange travel insurance before you leave.

i hope that helps. have a wonderful trip. regards.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,816

Posted by musaafir on 28/5/2019 at 04:50

Hi exacto

Thank you for your reply. Well spotted re name (traveller).

Hopefully friend/family will meet at certain legs.

Thank you for the tips too. Nervous but excited.



#3 musaafir has been a member since 27/5/2019. Posts: 3

Posted by amnicoll on 28/5/2019 at 11:16

I am 60+ but still backpack solo and can assure you you will have no problems as long as you apply sensible precautions

You will meet other travelers easily but one of the great advantages of being on your own is that you will often meet more locals as well

I have supped with many younger travelers that I meet along the way and find them friendly and accommodating - true I may not wish to join them for night clubs but generally in my experience age is far less of a barrier than at home.

the more off the tourist hot spots then many will simply invite you to join them or will have no objection if you ask to join them.

#4 amnicoll has been a member since 10/1/2005. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 976

Posted by musaafir on 28/5/2019 at 14:14

Hi Amnicoll

Thank you for your reply. It’s reassuring to hear real life experiences.

Many thanks


#5 musaafir has been a member since 27/5/2019. Posts: 3

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