Solo Travel #2: Where to Go? What Can You Afford? (My Personal Recommendations)

Narrow down your options based on your budget.

How much money you need for a trip depends on where you are going. You have to consider:

To get a rough estimate of your budget, check the prices from the links above and do the following calculations:

Flight = [ticket cost] + Php850.00 terminal fee + Php1,620 travel tax

Meals = 3 x [meal cost] x [number of days]

Accommodation = [number of nights] x [per night cost]

Take note that this doesn’t account for transportation within the country/city, shopping, tour costs.


Sample budget estimation:

5 days in Korea

Flight = Php6,000 tickets + Php850.00 terminal fee + Php1,620 travel tax = Php8,470

Meals = 3 x Php400 per meal5 days = Php6,000

Accommodation = Php1000 per night x 4 nights = Php4,000

Total = Php18,470

With Php10,000 tour/transportation/shopping allowance = Php28,470

With Php15,000 tour/transportation/shopping allowance = Php33,470


So if you want to go to Korea a year from now, with a budget of Php28,470.00, you need to save:

Php28,470 / 12 months = Php2372.00/month, or

Php28,470 / 52 weeks = Php547.50/week


You can reduce costs by getting cheap accommodation (I stayed in a hostel in Seoul for Php400/night) or getting promo tickets (my round-trip flights to Japan were Php1,600, normally prices are P10,000). This will either allow you to go on the trip sooner, or reduce the amount you need to save each month.

It is simple math, but if you get the number for the trip you want, then you now have an actionable goal. It is easy to think “I want to go to Korea next year for 5 days”, but how? There is so much to think about!

But there is no need to be overwhelmed, because now you know where to start! To make your dream trip happen, save Php2372.00 every month. If you are able to keep this up for a year, then you will make it. 😉

Now, do this same calculation for other countries of your choice. Now that you have a rough estimate for each trip, you can choose where to go.


My Personal Recommendations

Okay, first of all, it’s good to hear other people’s opinions. But at the end of the day, what matters is what you want, what you are interested in, what you wanna do and experience. Just in case you are still confused though, here are some good options:


1. Taiwan


View this post on Instagram


My trip to Taiwan was the first one where I did not plan that much. I just had hostels booked on certain dates, and some pins on Google Maps and then I just let everything happen. 50% because I booked my flights a week before departure, and 50% because I just wanted to try something new. . It was so nice to be able to travel slowly, with not much pressure and on my own terms 100% (as this was a solo trip). . So in the end, I went to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial 3 times (almost 4, but I had to catch my flight and there wasn’t enough time 😂). . 1st time, I went there to drink beer (because you can do it anywhere in Taiwan, omg how cool) but we ended up just sitting, talking, taking pics because wow, this place is so beautiful when it lights up at night. . The “almost” 2nd time was when I, with 2 others, attempted to go there at night to drink beer (again) but we got lost trying to find it (damn you Google) so we ended up drinking on the side of the road. Was fun still. 😂 . The “actual” 2nd time I went there to see it during the day. And the 3rd time, I finally got that beer while sitting on the steps! 🍺 Yay me! . I don’t even like beer… 🤷😂

A post shared by Trisha Lim (@thetrishalim) on

  • Visa free (August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020)
  • Cheap (a meal can be as cheap as Php50-Php150)
  • Relatively cheap flights with Air Asia, as low as Php4000 round trip
  • Great weather (can be cold enough to wear a jacket, stay outdoors comfortably, but not too cold that you feel like dying)


2. Korea

  • Requires visa
  • Nice helpful people
  • Relatively cheap flights (always on sale on Cebu Pacific)
  • 4 seasons (if you want to experience fall, spring or winter)
  • Language barrier (was not an issue)
  • Awesome food


3. Singapore

  • Visa-free
  • English-speaking
  • Relatively cheap flights
  • Tropical weather


4. Japan

Ichiran Ramen – best ramen ever!
Shibuya Crossing – busiest crossing in the world
  • Requires visa
  • The nicest and most helpful people
  • 4 seasons
  • Most expensive
  • Language barrier (was not an issue)
  • Just crazy beautiful… It’s only last on the list because it’s so expensive + it requires a visa.


These countries have a few wonderful things in common:

  • Good public transport system
  • Feels safe
  • Direct flights from Cebu/Manila


Expense Tracker App

It’s good to be aware of your finances so that you know where you are spending too much on. I’ve been using this app called MoneyLover for several months now and I highly recommend it. It’s how I knew that I spent too much on Angkas and taxi (4k in a month, yikes!). Back to jeep now! Hahaha

A sneak peak of my expenses in June 2019:



So now that you know where you are going based on your budget (and other preferences), it’s time to plan the trip in detail and create a day-to-day itinerary. We’ll get to that in the next post!

In case you missed it:

Part 1: My First Solo Trip & How It Changed My Life


  1. Great list. I also recommend these countries for first-timers in solo traveling.

Leave a Reply