Thai Experience: Solo No More

“Thailand again?”

I’ve had to frantically fend off my reasons for coming back to Thailand again in the last few months. My reasons span from the beautiful white sand beaches, the friendly Thai people, the very light (for those alcoholics) cocktails and the vibrant nightlife. But the biggest reason however, is because the Solo traveler “finds travel buddies”. There goes my #SoloMissions #SoloTravels 

Could 2019 be off to an interesting start?

But before I get carried away, let me start off with some insights as to how I could afford this trip in ” Jan-u-worry”- this blog is about sharing my financial adventures right?

Planning- good old fashioned planning!

So I booked a package via STA Travel (www.statravel.co.za) for 10 days in Thailand in May 2018- 5 nights in Phuket and 3 nights in Bangkok for LSL14 850. The package includes return flights, airport shuttle and accommodation, both in Phuket and Bangkok. The nice thing is that STA Travel allows you to pay LSL1 000 as deposit and the balance payable over a few months.

For someone who loves to travel as often as me, this opportunity allowed me to plan accordingly. The deposit of LSL 1000 was paid in May 2018 and the balance raised through the 52 Week Savings Challenge- yes I achieved the LSL 13 780 goal.

Equally important was to plan for my spending money (an amount of LSL10 000). This meant selling ice over the festive season, part time lecturing and other small side hustles that would contribute towards the holiday. Unfortunately due to a payment delay from one of my many projects, I had to ask my sister for an advance of LSL4000 while waiting for the payment to reflect hopefully in February (waiting for payment is such a struggle). This is NOT to encourage people to use credit or advances for travel- you should plan and save for it (unless you have a real emergency).

Another highlight of Thailand is the ease and affordability of the visa application. I spent LSL500 to apply for the visa and LSL325 for courier fees. I also had to drive to Johannesburg to catch my flight from OR Tambo so that meant another LSL1 000 (shared with a friend) for fuel and toll fees (you will appreciate driving at 110km per hour to save on some fuel).

Most of these expenses were paid for in December 2018- hence you did not see much of me on the Maseru social scene(it was a tough festive). Excited as I am about writing this post, I have my passport stamped, visa ready and waiting to embark on a 10 hour flight to Doha, Qatar, 8 hour layover at Hamad International Airport and then 6 hours to Phuket.

I’ve become better at managing this over the years as a solo traveler; but looking at my travel companions- they seem to be struggling with the long hours. I suppose some wine would ease their pain…. Strangely enough, I’m also struggling to adapt; feels like I’ve just lost my “travel virginity” and exposed for the whole world to see. No longer doing as I please is a new rude awakening that will take some getting used to over the next 10 days.

Stay tuned and join me as I share the highs and lows of the journey of the traveller who was once alone in the next blog posts.

I’m beach ready… how about you?

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The Gin Journey…

The Gin Journey…

I had vowed to myself that I’d cut down going out during the week and focus on

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Thai Experience: Solo No More (Part 2)

Thai Experience: Solo No More (Part 2)

Day 3 in Phuket, Thailand and the story continues

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