Are you planning to travel alone as a woman to a destination that you long wanted to see but not sure if you should? Below are a few safety tips for solo female travelers that can help you plan your trip in the best and safest way possible. As long as you follow these, there is no reason why you cannot see the world as a solo woman traveller.
It is said for women traveling alone that safety is a big issue which I agree and also disagree with at the same time. Agree in a way that yes it is a matter of utmost importance but I disagree if it discourages you from stepping out of your comfort zone and explore the world.
I strongly believe that safety lies in the hands of the traveler themselves. It is entirely dependent on the choices they make and the actions they take. With that being said, there are a few general rules that apply to everyone to ensure their journey to anywhere in the world was a safe one and free of any unwanted hassles. This article will give you an insight into a few such Safety Tips for Solo Female Travelers.
What is Solo Traveling?
Solo traveling means exclusively traveling alone with all necessary arrangements done by you. In many ways, it is really a true definition of the word ‘adventure’. Earlier, it was not really that common because people thought that you will just get bored all on our own. It was like sitting in a movie theater all by yourself watching your favorite movie with nothing but a tub of popcorns.
But things have started to change now. Solo traveling has become like a fashion and hobby these days. It is no longer necessary that you got to have a friend or family member accompanying you anymore. A lot of people would rather prefer to travel solo than with someone. All that you need now is some time, a destination in mind, a plan to get there, and a well laid out itinerary.
You will be surprised to know that you are not the only woman who is thinking of traveling solo. The trend of solo travel is getting picked by men and women both equally. Just do a simple Google search and you will find numerous blogs by ladies who are exploring the world all on their own. There is absolutely no reason why you should also not join their list.
Also Read: How to make Friends while Traveling Solo
Why Travel Solo?
As a female traveler myself, I suggest that all female enthusiasts should give it a try to understand the ‘Self’ better. To discover the potentiality and make yourself confident, you should try traveling alone at least once. It will not only help you to boost your personality but also somehow you will know more about yourself including your strengths and challenges.
Traveling alone will surely make you uncomfortable several times. I am not saying this as a woman but generally. There will be times when you would wish there was someone else to lend a helping hand or to just talk to. It will put you in situations when you will even be scared and will only have your quick wits to rely on. There will even be times when you will regret the decision of doing it alone.
But think about it. After facing all that, there is absolutely no way that you will not come out as a stronger and more confident person. It will help boost your overall personality. As they say ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. The confidence you will gain in yourself and your abilities will make it all worth it in the end.
Another part is that when you are traveling solo, you get to do what you like. You have the liberty to travel at your own pace, per your own convenience, manage things per your budget, see places you wanted to see and do things you wanted to do, and for as long as you like. There is no one else that you need to worry about and adjust according to.
Traveling alone means that you see the world from a whole new perspective. You will meet new people, make new friends, and gain experience that will help you lifelong.
Safety Tips for Solo Female Travelers
With all that being said and done, below are a few quick safety tips for solo female travelers. It will help you remove the risk and hassle factors and will ensure that your journey was only smooth and all fun.
Also Read: How to Plan a Family Road Trip Vacation
Preparation is everything when it comes to solo traveling. Make sure that you are aware and sure of the place you plan to go to. Information is readily and freely available on the internet these days. So spend as much time as you like and read as much as you can about the desired destination. Find travelogues of people who have been there and read their accounts of the journey. If possible, see if you can find a travelogue by a lady who has been there.
Basic research is very important for a solo female traveler. You should jot down the transport facility, the timing of public transport and the names of the places and hotels. Have a basic idea about the local culture which will help you to understand the food habits, clothing, and modes of communication.
International or Domestic?
If this was your first trip alone, I will recommend doing it locally. Plan a domestic vacation, get comfortable with the idea of traveling solo and then you can fly internationally for your next travel.
Also Read: 10 Things to Remember when visiting India
Pick Accommodation Wisely
How safe is the place is the first question you should ask when you are traveling alone. This is the most important factor. For a female solo traveler, accommodation must also be a question of safety and not just comfort. You got to choose your place to stay wisely.
Do not be at a lonely, remote, or a shady looking place just because you were on a budget and it was costing you less. Choose a place in a well-populated location. Hotels closer to a market place will both be convenient and safer. If you were booking it online, read online reviews about the hotel before you decide our stay.
Book hotels in advance after reading reviews. Do not rely on the local taxi drivers to bring you to a ‘good’ hotel. Do not hesitate in shelling a little extra on accommodation, for safety reasons.
When you are traveling alone, you got to make sure that you are bringing only what is necessary. If you were driving an SUV around then, by all means, stuff whatever you want in the trunk. But if it is a backpacking trip and you are going to rely on public transport, then you need to be very careful with what you put in the bag.
Remember, it is you who will be carrying all that luggage. Whatever can be bought on the way or at the destination must be avoided. Do not carry too many bags. Just buy one big and comfortable enough backpack and stuff everything in it. Your hands should remain free at all times rather than holding 3-4 bags.
Pack clothes and shoes that can be used for multiple occasions and are multipurpose. Regular sports shoes must replace your fancy ones and the heels of course.
Plan the Itinerary
If you got your itinerary right, most of the things will just fall in the place automatically. Not every minor part of the trip can be planned in advance but most of the things can. Write down your entire itinerary either on a piece of paper or on your computer. You should have things planned right from the moment you leave home until you return.
Your planning should include booking your flight, bus, train, and accommodation in advance. This will help reduce the last minute hassle and running around. Prepare a list of places that you want to see and things that you want to do. This can be modified later when you are traveling but you should at least take care of a few things in advance.
You must also keep a couple of days as a buffer over and above the planned itinerary.
Try to dress like Local
I agree that what I am about to say is highly debatable but to me, the whole concept of “a girl should be able to dress any way she wishes” does not work in the real world. If you want to play safe, you got to be very careful about the place and the time and dress accordingly.
Do some research about the place you are going to before traveling. For example, If the locality demands a full sleeve cloth then that is how you should dress. Or if the demand is to cover your hair then do that willingly. There is no harm in respecting other people’s faiths and customs. It is all about showing respect to get respect.
In the end, you do not want to attract any unwanted attention or to get frowned upon at the least. Just be a little careful about how you dress. Take a look around and dress accordingly.
Do not act Limitless
Trust me, there is no gender-based opinion in this. I am not saying that you should not be limitless because you are a girl and the guys can. No, this applies to all. Everyone should know their limits and not put themselves in at unnecessary risks.
It is very important to have control of your behavior. This can help in a successful trip or else things may just fall apart. Do not go all crazy getting drunk at unknown bars or trying to click selfies at tricky spots. Do not venture out on trails through the jungle all by yourself. That is just inviting trouble.
You should act responsibly. After all, your safety is in your own hands. Having fun and testing your limits is all right but do you really want to throw caution to the wind completely? Getting drunk out of your wits while traveling alone is anyways not a good idea irrespective of whether you were a guy or a girl.
Also Read: How to Pack your Backpack – Tips & Tricks
Do not Disclose Personal Details
While traveling, you are bound to meet new and different people. That is after all one of the very purposes of traveling solo. Some of these people you will find to be very interesting and easy-going. So much that you would, in fact, want to spend more time with them.
But it does not mean for you to feel free about sharing your personal details like your phone number, where you were staying, and most importantly, the fact that you were traveling all by yourself. Not just a girl, this puts even guys at risk of getting robbed.
Do not Travel at Night
Under no circumstance should you be traveling at night? Try to arrive/land in a city during the daytime. Do all your sightseeing during the day and avoid walking around at nighttime. If you are walking in the dark, try to stay close to a couple or a family.
There are many advance applications which can help you in some sticky situation. Always share your location with your friend and family to keep a record. Check this website Cellphone Tracker Apps for a better understanding.
Do Not tell anyone that you were Alone
If asked whether you were traveling solo or with a group, your response should always be that you were with a group. Come up with an excuse about why you were alone only at that very moment. Do not tell anyone willingly that you were a solo traveler.
I was once on a trip alone and ran into this girl who I could tell was also traveling all by herself. I asked her if she was alone and she lied right on my face saying that she was traveling with a group. Even though I was a girl myself.
A few days later, I ran into her again. We got talking and that is when she told me that she was a solo traveler. When I asked her why she lied the first time, she just shrugged her shoulders and said, “You can never be too careful, can you?”. I agreed.
Do Not Disclose the Name of the Hotel
No matter what, do not tell anyone about the hotel you were staying at. If asked, just excuse yourself politely from answering that question. If you have to meet someone, do not invite them to your hotel. Instead, meet in a restaurant or some other public place with plenty of people around.
Read the Situation & Trust your Instincts
The most important thing is to understand the situation and trust your instinct. If you feel any discomfort or scruple in the situation, get the hell out of there at any cost. Try not to make a scene as much as possible and excuse yourself quietly. But at the same time, if you feel things are getting out of hand, make noise. Be as loud as possible and seek help.
Act maturely, remain alert, and always be mentally strong to face the challenges. Your safety and comfort are of paramount importance. It must not be compromised on, even if it means that you end up offending someone.
Consider Buying Travel Insurance
It can be a great help especially if you are traveling internationally. It will surely add a little to your overall trip budget but can be a lifesaver in emergency situations, medical help, and costs related to trip cancellation.
Emergency contact numbers
Keep a list of emergency contact numbers with you all the time. As we are now relying more on technology, we hardly remember phone numbers anymore. They are just saved on the phone and we simply hit dial when we want to call someone.
But when traveling alone as a woman, it would be wise to write down the phone numbers on an actual piece of paper and keep it handy always. You may also want to save these on your phone’s emergency and speed dials.
Keep Talking to Your Family
People say that a trip like this should be all about you. You should break yourself free and enjoy the time alone as a woman. That is all just useless talk and nothing else. When you are traveling alone, I will recommend that you leave a copy of your itinerary with your folks back home. While on the road, keep talking to them and let them know of your whereabouts.
Social media sites are also a good option in this case. Take plenty of selfies and keep posting them on platforms like FB. This way, your friends and family will always be aware of where you were.
Also Read: Best Translation Apps for Travel Worldwide
Pack the Essentials
I know I talked about traveling light earlier in the article but as a woman, there are certain items that will count as essentials. Prepare a list of things that you will require and to ensure you do not miss anything. Tampons/Pads, sunscreen lotion, toiletries are such a few items. True you can also buy these items but packing them will be easier. They don’t take much space anyways and aren’t that heavy either.
Also Read: Essential Items for Trip: What to pack
Relax and Have Fun
Be cautious but do not let it hold you back. Do not be over judgmental about people or situations. Meet new people, talk to them, have fun, and enjoy the trip. Keep yourself open to new experiences and places. There is a fine line between being fun and being foolish. As long as you remain on the fun side, it is OK.
Mentioned below are some other safety tips for solo female travelers that can be of help.
- Find out about ATM availability at the destination. Even if ATMs are easily available, you should still carry some cash at all times.
- Do not keep all your money in one place. Divide and spread it in bags, purses, pockets, and even your phone cover. Carry only what you think you will need for the day’s excursion.
- You must carry a Pepper spray with you. It can even be ordered online these days if you weren’t able to find one locally.
- Never get over-friendly with anyone.
- Be loud and make a scene if you get into a situation and are unable to find your way out.
- While packing your bags, do not forget to bring all the necessary documents for the trip. Your identity card, bookings, tickets, passport, visa, other travel-related documents, insurance, and anything that is relevant.
- If traveling by taxi, make sure the cabbie is not picking up someone on the way. It should only be you and the driver. While traveling, turn on the navigation on the phone and make sure he is staying on the route.
- If traveling internationally, learn a few words of the local language to make things easier.
- Your confidence should reflect in pretty much everything that you do. Miscreants can smell fear and vulnerability.
- You may have to talk to strangers for directions or other details. If you think the stranger is trying to be over-friendly, not letting the conversation end, asking personal detail, find a way to escape the conversation.
- Most important of all is to use your head. Do not be over-adventurous and only go on trips that you know you can handle alone.
Safety Tips for Solo Female Travelers – Conclusion
I think that should answer the question of how to travel safely alone as a woman. Some time ago, I read in an article that traveling alone offers the chance to test the limits of what you think you know about yourself. I completely agree with it and even more so when it is in reference to a woman traveling alone.
So if you wanted to go travel and see what’s out there but hesitant to do so alone, then my answer to you is to throw out any doubts. The world outside of your limits and reaches is a beautiful one that you must experience. Is solo traveling worth it? The answer is a definite yes. Should you try it? You must at least once and then there would be no stopping you.
I hope the information above on safety tips for solo female travelers was of help. If you have any questions or need any other details, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or at our Community Forum and I will be glad to answer.