2023 Travel Essentials for the Newly-Minted Solo Traveller
"Travel only with thy equals or thy betters; if there are none, travel alone." - The Dhammapada
As much as it’s one of the top travel trends of 2023, travelling alone for the first time is daunting. You have to do literally everything, everything, by yourself. You’re on your own, a stranger in an unfamiliar place. But it can be so exciting because you’re unravelling the world’s beauty in your own way. To help you truly immerse yourself in your own wanderlust, here are some of the top travel essentials for new solo travellers for their upcoming trip.
Table of Contents
1. The Right Backpack
Because how else are you going to carry your essentials? We prefer backpacks over trolley bags because you can take a backpack across most types of terrain. After all, international travel in 2023 is all about heading to the world’s hidden gems.
So if you’re looking for one backpack to conquer any path you take, consider the Pacsafe Citysafe CX 17L backpack. It features interlocking zippers and cut-proof lightweight steel mesh to prevent theft of your personal items. Not to mention, it’s durable, water-resistant and easy to clean.
2. A Sling Bag
The last thing you want is to look like you’re a tourist, lest you want a trip to the local police station to report theft. With a sling bag, you’ll look less conspicuous than someone lugging a backpack around. Plus, you’ll have a much breezier time exploring your destination, and you can properly get to know the place too.
3. Travel Journal
You don’t have to be the great Paul Theroux to write a travel journal. You only need to remember one thing: it’s all about you. You don’t need to think about how the writing will turn out. Just focus on what’s in front of you. What you’re seeing and hearing, and what’s in the air. Write down as many details as you can. You could even add photos and sketches to remember the experience.
Now you can splurge on a fancy-schmancy Moleskine notebook. Or, get a simple $2 notebook from Daiso. What matters most is that you capture that wanderlust when you can, whether it’s at the end of the day or when you’re in transit.
4. Film Camera
Nothing can replace film—not even the latest iPhone. Film cameras are getting back in vogue. But it’s not only that. In an era where screens dominate us, the film holds even more magic and mystery. Just imagine holding up a physical rendition of your memory after a whole day of sightseeing. Not to mention, as you take a photo, it engages you to be mindful and intentional about the image you’re capturing. After all, there are only so many photos in a roll of film.
They don’t need to be expensive either. There are plenty of hassle-free, point-and-shoot film cameras costing only around $100. You can get them at stores like 8storeytree. They have a physical shop where you can consult with the store attendants about your preferences. They have film rolls on sale in both their physical and digital stores.
5. Inflatable Travel Pillow
You’ll never know when there’s going to be a delay. If the recent Southwest debacle in the States didn’t scare you, it should. So whether you’re stuck on flight delays or on a long bus ride to your next destination, a travel pillow is a quick and cheap way to make your budget travels more comfortable. Airport lounges can only go so far, after all. And you can easily chuck it away after you’re done with it too.
6. Noise-Cancelling Earphones
Fellow light-sleepers, we sympathise. This writer even uses their own noise-cancelling earphones to shield them from noisy neighbours. While the newer planes are much more silent, you can’t guarantee silence on the entire trip. Some hotel rooms and serviced apartments might not have the best soundproofing. Noise-cancelling earphones are a must-have if you want some peace of mind amidst your entire trip. Business travellers and digital nomads across the globe can surely attest to that.
7. Solar Charger
Solar power for the win! With this handy little tool, you don’t need to be hunting for a power socket wherever you go. It’s perfect for when you’re the outdoorsy type. You can just go and enjoy your travel plans without ever worrying that your phone would be out of power. Not sure which one to get? Try Wirecutter’s top recommendation: BigBlue 28W USB Solar Charger.
8. Packing Cubes
This will transform the way you travel. Packing cubes let you organise your personal items, helping you reduce further frustration down the road. You can check in and check out of your hotel room or serviced apartment in a flash. It’ll do wonders on how much space you can save too. According to one reviewer, you can fit an entire week’s worth of clothing and accessories into a carry-on.
9. Reusable Water Bottle
Mother was always right: always drink more water! Being more eco-conscious is one thing, but finding fresh water that’s safe to drink isn’t always going to be easy. With a reusable water tumbler at hand, you can always have enough water to go. If you’re travelling off the beaten path, do consider a filtered water bottle. That way, you can filter out and remove harmful bacteria and substances from your water.
10. Swiss-Army Knife
It truly is multi-talented. Most Swiss-Army knives come with a knife (of course), a can opener, scissors, a bottle opener, and more! You can use it for nearly everything for the entire trip, not least defending yourself from unwanted attention. You can get the O.G. Swiss-Army Knife from Victorinox, with all of its 15-tool glory. Otherwise, consider the Keenstone Multi-Tool & Fire Starter Set, which is perfect for the great outdoors.
MetroResidences Singapore Serviced Apartments—Your Home Base for Travels Beyond
Looking for your home away from home? Our Singapore apartment rentals and serviced apartments are perfect for a longer period of stay. We have properties in luxury developments across Singapore’s most coveted addresses: Bugis, Bukit Timah, Shenton Way, and Novena.
And, you can rest easy at any of our properties. We adhere to our strict Property Standards that account for the comfort and cleanliness of all our serviced apartments. Our fully-furnished apartments come with amenities like wi-fi, air conditioners, and a fully-equipped kitchen.