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I’m a female solo traveller and I went backpacking around Asia and Europe – these are the biggest mistakes I made

A solo traveller has revealed the six biggest mistakes she made when backpacking around south east Asia and Europe.

TikToker Rory Hollier shared her do’s and don’ts on booking hotels, spending cash and which hostels to avoid, in the video seen by 155,000 people.

She regularly makes videos where she shares helpful tips and tricks for solo travellers like herself.

In a video from July, she gave her best advice for those planning to backpack.

She told viewers ‘I solo travelled south east Asia and Europe for six months this year on a budget by myself and these are the biggest mistakes that I made’ – read on for the full list of the travel influencers recommendations.

TikToker Rory Hollier shared her do's and don'ts on booking hotels, spending cash and which hostels to avoid, in the video seen by 155,000 people

TikToker Rory Hollier shared her do’s and don’ts on booking hotels, spending cash and which hostels to avoid, in the video seen by 155,000 people

Staying at a mad monkey hostel in South East Asia 

Rory revealed that the first mistake she made was deciding to stay at a Mad Monkey Hostel.

She said ‘Mad Monkey Hostels in South East Asia,’ while shaking her head.

The TikToker warned ‘big mistake, don’t go there. I’m not s******* on party hostels, I love a party hostel but they’re disgusting and I don’t support them.’

Mad Monkey is one of the largest hostel companies in Asia, welcoming over 350,000 customers per year in Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Indonesia, and Laos.

Some commenters were in agreement, with one writing ‘Don’t tell me twice about mad monkey’.

However, others argued that they had a positive experience, adding ‘What p***** you off about Mad Monkey? I stayed at 3 in Cambodia and 2 in Vietnam, thought they were all very good’.

Another chimed in with ‘Oh damn. I went to mad monkey in Cambodia 7 years ago and it was amazing’.

Mad Monkey Hostels have been approached for comment. 

She She told viewers 'I solo travelled south east Asia and Europe for six months this year on a budget by myself and these are the biggest mistakes that I made'

She She told viewers ‘I solo travelled south east Asia and Europe for six months this year on a budget by myself and these are the biggest mistakes that I made’

Booking Philippines flights ‘too far in advance’ 

Her next regret was booking her flights for the Philippines too far in advance.

She explained ‘I booked my Philippines flights like a month before because it was cheaper to do it in advance.

‘Then I got there and I loved it so much that I cancelled the flights and booked new ones – I lost like a grand doing that’.

Packing too light  

When backpacking, a big issue can be having too much stuff to carry around and overpacking, especially for first time travellers.

However, the travel fanatic had the opposite issue, she packed ‘way too light’. 

Rory said ‘My backpack is 40L which is like carry on size and I thought that going under seven kilos, like carry on size, was smart but no one weighed my f****** carry on.

‘I got it through every single time, I didn’t bring my go pro, didn’t bring my film camera. I barely brought any clothes, it was just a nightmare, I was throwing s*** out all the time.

‘I should have just bought a new backpack but it is what it is.’

In a video from July, she gave her best advice for those planning to backpack

In a video from July, she gave her best advice for those planning to backpack

The influencers full list of mistakes she made while backpacking south East Asia and Europe

  • Staying at a Mad Monkey hostel
  • Booking Philippines flights  too far in advance’ 
  • Packing too light
  • Budgeting too hard 
  • Staying at hotels too often
  • Not booking things in Europe enough in advance 

Budgeting too hard  

Again, spending too much money is the more common problem among travellers, but Rory admitted that it’s also important not to spend too little and miss out.

She told viewers ‘The first three months I was using this app called Travel Spend and I was tracking every single expense.

‘Like if I got a water bottle at a 7Eleven for ten bucks, it was going in my travel app and it just made me miserable.

‘Just give yourself lenience, you’re going to have days where you don’t spend much money and you’re going to have really expensive days.

‘But I was like $50 a day in Asia and that’s it, not spending any more money for the day and Europe $100 that’s it.’

The influence continued ‘I was just missing out on the things that I went there for.

‘Like I went to Cappadocia, I spent hundreds of dollars on accommodation and transport and everything to get there and I didn’t get on the hot air balloon, which is like the whole reason of going to Cappadocia.

‘But I was like aww I’ve spent so much money – stupid. Don’t budget so hard that you’re missing out on experiences and don’t budget so hard that you’re constantly like oh no I can’t do this, I can’t do this and stressing about it, it will be fine.

‘It will work out. Worst comes to worst you run out of money and the Australian embassy or the American embassy has to fly you home and then you’re in debt to them.’

Spending too much money is the more common problem among travellers, but Rory admitted that it's also important not to spend too little and miss out

Spending too much money is the more common problem among travellers, but Rory admitted that it’s also important not to spend too little and miss out

Rory regularly makes videos where she shares helpful tips and tricks for solo travellers like herself

Rory regularly makes videos where she shares helpful tips and tricks for solo travellers like herself

Staying at hotels too often 

Next, she concluded that she ‘loves hostels’ but after six months of travel she was ‘so tired’:

‘In the last month I think I exclusively stayed in hotels and that’s so much money that could be in my pocket if I just stuck it out and went to the backpackers.

‘It is really nice to have your alone time but it gets so addictive, especially when you’re really low on your social battery. Just stick it out, it’s not that bad.

‘You will eventually meet that person in the hostel that brings your social battery back to life, if you know what I mean.’

One commenter chimed in with ‘Private rooms in hostels, perfect compromise between hotel and dorm life. Can always split with a friend too’. 

Another agreed ‘Do private rooms at hostels for alone time!! Most of the time they are cheaper than a actual hotel’. 

Booking in advance in Europe 

Finally, her biggest point that she claims ‘every backpacker needs to hear’ is that you should book things in Europe far in advance.

She revealed ‘I had a one way flight, I didn’t book anything, I didn’t even know that I was gonna go to Europe.

‘I went to South East Asia thinking I was gonna do South East Asia for the rest of the year and then I ended up in the Balkans.

‘The Balkans were really easy to do day by day but the hostels in western Europe were so expensive. I was spending like $100 a night in Florence, it was ridiculous.’

The travel pro admitted ‘For my birthday I really wanted to go to either Switzerland or the Dolomites and I couldn’t do either because you need to book those things really far in advance.

‘It’s not something that you can just waltz into, people are looking at hotels in the Dolomites years before they go.’

She concluded that for her next trip in the planning process she will go through all of her options for everything she wants to do, adding that she still wants to ‘go with the flow, airy fairy day by day’, but sometimes ‘you do need an actual plan, especially if you’re trying to go on a budget’.

Rory said ‘I could have gone to Switzerland or the Dolomites but it would have cost me like $350 a night just for myself, whereas if I had booked it ages before, it would have been so much cheaper.’

Viewers flocked to the comments to share their own experiences, with one traveller writing ‘I agree with everything your saying, except mad monkey. Everyone needs to experience going mad at the monkeys, good or bad lol’.

Someone else praised the TikToker, adding ‘Good advice Rory I didn’t do the balloon ride 25 years ago also my one travel regret but I did this year you have to go back’. 

Another penned ‘Don’t budget so hard that you miss out is great advice – from someone who has been to 32 countries’.

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