Solo female travel has been prevalent lately as more women have started going around the globe on their own.
Yes, solo traveling, especially as a woman, can feel dangerous and risky. But, when you take the right precautions, it’s a fun and empowering experience.
Mustering up enough confidence to decide to venture out alone for the first time is a big challenge in your path.
Once you’ve overcome that, there’s nothing to be afraid about. With these nine tips from experts, you’re going to be okay, wherever you decide to go.
Take Baby Steps When You Plan Solo Travel
Now that you’ve started thinking about solo traveling, it’s time to put the plan to action. If you’re new to it, you might be worried about what you’re setting yourself up for.
To put yourself at ease, it helps to plan things ahead of time.
Start by thinking of a place to go to. For your first solo female trip, choose an accessible location.
Take baby steps. Start by going away for the weekend somewhere close to home. When you’re feeling more confident, you can go abroad and stay for longer.
They also have a lot of tourist infrastructure, which makes things easier when you’re venturing out alone for the first time.
There might be exotic destinations you’ve always wanted to visit, but if possible, put that on hold for now.
Watch Your Drinking
During your travel, you’re always trying to push yourself to do things outside of your comfort zone.
But never do something that’s going to compromise your safety – like drinking too much. You don’t have to avoid drinking altogether.
Having a couple of drinks is a great way to unwind and have fun with new people.
But, too much of it makes you vulnerable as it slows down your reaction time and affects your senses.
In a nightclub or a bar, only accept drinks that come directly from the bartender.
That way, you don’t have to worry about your drink being spiked.
Most importantly, don’t try to keep up with others. Know when to stop. Ordering water and lime is nothing to be ashamed of.
Be Cautious With Your Possessions
When you’re packing for your trip, take what you absolutely need.
If you’re a rider and leaving for a motorcycle trip, you’d only require essential motorcycle gears with you.
That way, you’ll have fewer things to worry about. Not having to carry around a lot of luggage will also make moving around smoother.
When you’re heading out, keep your most valued things in the apartment or hotel safe.
The best way to stay safe is to put your passport, money, phone, etc. in a fanny pack, and not in your backpack.
Also, keep some small bills in your pockets, so you don’t have to open your bag frequently, especially in crowded markets.
Make sure you’re also prepared for the worst. Keep a copy of your important documents, a backup credit card, and some cash hidden in your luggage.
When you’re out alone, you might want to take a break from social media altogether.
True, you get to experience the world better when you’re not behind an iPhone screen. But breaking off the contact completely with your people back home is certainly not recommended.
To give your family and close friends the comfort that you’re safe and happy, check-in with them regularly.
You can do this by scheduling a regular call or chat to tell them what you’re up to. Make sure they know enough to trace you, in case you’re in danger easily.
Choose at least one person you trust and leave your bank account number, travel insurance details, hostel address, and general itinerary with them.
Also, you can update your Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with photos of your travel, but make sure you don’t overshare them online.
One of the first things you can do to keep yourself safe in your travels is to research extensively about the place you’re headed to.
Not only should you try to get a general idea of the spots you’d like to go to and the activities you’d like to take on, but also the risks associated with each. For instance, how secured is a particular place at night?
Also, research the country’s visa requirements and restrictions, currency exchange rate, and transport system.
Find out about unsafe neighborhoods to avoid and the documents you need to carry.
Additionally, check if there are any preventive vaccinations you need to take to keep yourself safe from common health problems that might plague the area.
Try to Blend In
Before you go to a new place, you should know about local people, their customs, and traditions.
Doing so will make you look less like a tourist-target, thus effectively keeping away unwanted attention.
Try to dress, act, and think like a long-time ex-pat or a local. Move around confidently and mix with people.
If you find anybody staring at you, learn to ignore them. If you’re in a conservative country, dressing as you please can seem offensive.
Instead, go for clothes that cover your shoulders and knees to show that you respect their customs.
Even in beaches of countries like Indonesia or Malaysia, do not wear crop tops or short shorts.
Dressing inappropriately will not just single you out as a tourist, but also attract the wrong kind of attention.
Meet Other Solo Travelers
Traveling alone allows you to meet other like-minded travelers and form long-lasting friendships.
All you need to do is, keep an open mind, and you will find yourself pleasantly surprised by the people you meet.
If the thought of approaching strangers in a bar or café makes you anxious, there are lots of other ways to meet people.
Staying in a hostel, using apps like Bumble or Meetup, going on a group tour or a pub crawl, volunteering, and taking up a language class will all help you meet fellow adventurers under a pretext, so you feel less awkward.
As long as you exercise good judgment, you’ll be fine.
Learn the Local Language
To get the most out of your first solo trip, it’s best if you go to places where English is widely spoken or where you speak the language.
If you insist on traveling to a place where it can be hard to find an English speaker (like Chile, Brazil, Argentina, or China), it can turn out to be a challenge.
So, to help break down the barrier, you must learn as much of their language as you can beforehand.
If you have the time, you can take up language classes before you leave. If not, use apps like Babbel or Duolingo to learn at your own pace.
Knowing a second language will not just put you at an advantage in your travels, but also gives you a feeling of enrichment and accomplishment. Locals will also respect you for trying.
Trust Your Instincts
When you’re traveling solo in unfamiliar territory, your survival instincts are on high alert.
It manifests as the little voice in your head that tells you when something doesn’t feel right.
It’s almost as if you’re psychic, being able to sense the vibe of the people around you.
Your gut instinct is the most powerful tool you have with you on your travels, which is why you should always listen to it.
When someone makes you uneasy, or if something feels off, you should walk away from that situation.
Don’t worry about looking rude or impolite when trusting your gut. Put safety first.
Final Thoughts on Solo Female Travel
Traveling solo, as a woman, is not as stigmatized as it once was.
There are multiple communities of women now who travel solo and encourage others to do so.
So, don’t let the lack of friends stop you from exploring the world.
Keep in mind these nine essential tips to get the most out of your travels and experiences.