When you mention the idea of traveling solo, family or friends usually ask or think that it’s for some soul searching a la Eat, Pray, Love, or you’re off to nurse a broken heart. While these are both wonderful reasons to go gallivanting on your own, sometimes the only reason you need is because you simply love to travel.
You can start up with a simple day trip to give your confidence a boost, then move on to an overnight trip when you’re feeling brave enough. Once you’ve done those two with ease, hop on a plane and take a trip to one of our islands–it will prep you to travel out of the country on your own!
Need an extra shot of courage to go forth on these solo trips? It will help if you let your family or friends know where you’re going in case something happens. Provide the addresses and phone numbers of the hotels where you’re staying and the sights you’ll be going to. Once you get past the questions and worries from well-wishers on why you’re traveling solo, and your own doubts if you can actually do it (Hint: You can and you will!), here are a few places around the Philippines that you’ll love to enjoy all on your own.
Perfect for: A quick day trip
Go solo because… Cavite is sprawling with hidden culinary gems, museums, and historical sights that are used to welcoming tourists of all nationalities. Popular tourist destinations usually include Kawit because of the historical significance of the Aguinaldo Shrine, Imus for the beautiful Nuestra Señora del Pilar Church, but you can also go as far as Tagaytay for a bit of cold weather, or Tanza if you prefer the beach instead.
One of the best things about going solo is you get to plan your complete itinerary, without needing to consider other people’s interests or opinions. Planning a day trip out is great practice for when you do decide to travel alone for a longer period of time.
Lone traveler’s tip: “The Aguinaldo Shrine seems overrated to some, but I felt a sense of Filipino pride when I took the tour on my own. I wouldn’t have been able to drag my friends to go there.” – Marge, 27
Perfect for: A beach getaway for the weekend
Go solo because… Batangas is the obvious choice for beach lovers who don’t have the time for a long drive or flight out. The beaches in Laiya are full of resorts for every price point, but if you would want to go old school, Nasugbu was one of the first provinces in Batangas to have beach resorts.
Heading out to the beach will help you better appreciate its beauty, especially when you’re lying on the sand, with a drink in hand, and waiting for the sun to set. You’ll get to relax more, too!
Lone traveler’s tip: “If you’ve got the extra cash, get a room with a queen-sized bed, or get a whole cabana to yourself. It will instantly feel like a luxurious vacation. I loved the Virgin Beach Resort because there’s a hammock right outside the cabana, under the shade so you can enjoy a book while it’s still too hot to go out.” – Grace, 34
3. Cebu City
Perfect for: Experiencing flying solo for the first time, but with less stress
Go solo because… Cebu is a safe city to visit, with more than enough beach resorts to go to, food to try (hello, lechon!), and historical places to see. Flying out to Cebu will take you less than an hour and a half, but the experience of going through the entire process, from checking in to flying out, is completely different when you’ve only got yourself to rely on for everything. It’s also highly urbanized, making it easy for you to go out and about, and with all the comforts of city life. While some might not speak Tagalog, the locals understand you and are very helpful.
Lone traveler’s tip: “Cebu is one of the friendliest and safest cities I’ve ever been to. They are indeed a city of smiles, because everyone was actually smiling! I didn’t feel scared to take a cab to the different tourist spots by myself because the cab drivers were honest and helpful.” – Sarah, 28
Perfect for: Those looking for solitude and some intense me-time
Go solo because… Bukidnon is off the beaten track and is usually associated with pineapples, but it has much more to offer. There are caves to explore, and falls to dip your feet in that are so pristine you’ll get the urge to take a sip! Getting to Bukidnon will be a challenge to your solo traveler prowess, because it will call in all that you’ve learned from traveling solo—fixing your own itinerary, flying out on your own, finding your way around by bus (maybe even motorcycle!) to get to your destinations, all of which must be done in a province where some don’t understand Tagalog. It’s great practice to when you want to fly out to an exotic location on your own.
Lone traveler’s tip: “I headed out to the Monastery of the Transfiguration when I went to Bukidnon. They have simple accommodations there for those who wish to stay for a few days, which I did. It’s high up in the mountains, surrounded by greenery, I feel like even the most troubled of souls will find peace in that place. Benedictine monks run the Monastery, and they encouraged you to be alone and stay quiet for most of your stay. I discovered so much about myself there.” – Maita, 33
*All photos are of author’s, except for the Aguinaldo Shrine, courtesy of nhcp.gov.ph