Travelling solo is not an easy task. It is more expensive and sometimes a bit lonely. However, for women, travelling on their own has one more layer of difficulty: it can be quite dangerous. So, in the name of International Women’s Day, we put together a list of tips to help solo female travellers to conquer the World. Here you will find tips from women travel bloggers who speak from experience when it comes to travelling solo as a woman.
Tip number 1 is pretty straightforward, take good care of your belongings. Women can be seen as easy prey (which is so not true!) and because of those items such as camera, laptop, smartphone or tablet can be even more attractive to thieves. So try and avoid walking around with these and only carry them when strictly necessary. Documents such as visa, passport and wallet are also key possessions you need to keep within your reach at all times. Kiki, from The Blonde Abroad also mentions how it is especially important to blend in so you don’t attract the wrong type of attention.
Tip number 2 and 3 come from Janice and Tracey from Solo Traveler. Plan your first night well. At the minimum, have a place to rest your head on the first night of every destination on your trip and plan to arrive by mid-afternoon. It’s important to have the time to find your hotel or hostel in daylight and time to change your accommodation if you determine that this is not the place for you.
The second tip from them is to visualize the necessities but no more. Travelling solo does require attention to details. Visualizing how the practical aspects of your trip fit together, from departure to transfers to accommodation, help you travel with less stress. But stop imagining what the trip will be like at that point. Be open to opportunities as they arise. It’s impossible to travel without any expectations of a destination, however, the less you are driven by specific expectations the freer you will be to travel at the moment.
On that note, tip number 4 is to not plan every single detail and if you feel uncomfortable alone, join a day tour. Lyz from YTravel explains how important is it to leave some time for spontaneity. Think that if one day you don’t feel like exploring a city on your own, there will always be a guided tour going on. That is also a good way to make new friends, by the way.
Tip number 5 is also about connecting to other people, but this time, with locals. For Kristin from Be My Travel Muse, locals can give you a great idea of where to go and what to avoid, plus, if they show you around that’s even better. Also, tour guides will usually point out any areas you might want to steer clear of, and you can feel more confident about finding your own way around the city after being led by an expert.
In number 6, is a tip from Brooke, from World of Wanderlust. She explains how important it is to get to where you need to be before nightfall. When you’re travelling long term it is often difficult to keep track of time as each day, week, and month all blur into one. But the golden rule for solo female travellers should be to always arrive at your destination before nightfall.
Our tip number 7 also comes from her, and she says it is the one most people usually ignore. For Brooke, it is important to not get drunk and simply go out and party through the night. When you’re on your own and attempt to make it home safe after a night of heavy partying in a foreign city, things might not end well.
Tip number 8 comes from Claire, from Tales of Backpacker. She says it is important to never be too trusting. You are a woman and it is pretty natural for some people to see you as vulnerable. Travel is a sociable activity, and you will meet people who will chat with you but be careful not let your guard down, especially not right away. Sadly, some people just want to take advantage of tourists, and women.
Tips number 9 and 10 come from Becky and Vanessa, two friends from We are travel girls. For them, one thing every solo female traveller should focus on is to know the customs and traditions of your destination. In some countries, being a woman means you are subjected to certain rules. In some, for instance, you cannot sit beside monks. In Hindu countries, you cannot go inside a temple if you have your menstrual period; according to traditions, a woman is ritually unclean during this time.
The last tip is: the pros far outweigh the cons! All female travellers advice about all the dangers out there, but at the same time, if you are a woman planning a solo adventure, just go for it. Solo travelling allows you to truly take in a different culture. You get to go out of your comfort zone, you improve your focus, and your discovery of things leaves you so much more fulfilled. More importantly, you can truly relax.