They say a woman’s bucket list must include solo travel and as daunting and scary as the idea seems, it can actually be a life-changing experience. Being on your lonesome can open your eyes to a different perspective but as always, it can also pose a few risks.
Solo female travel is not something to be taken lightly, especially if it is your first time. Good for seasoned female travelers—they can just pack their bags and go because they already know their way around. But if you’re someone who is ticking solo travel off your list for the first time, think long and hard before booking that ticket.
Before we launch into anything, keep in mind that traveling in general has its risks, whether you’re on your own, with friends, with your partner or with kids. While they may be different, the ways to deal with these risks may be similar, if not the same. Here are some tips we have gathered from reading accounts of women who have successfully traveled the world and went home in one happy, healthy piece:
- Make friends. The point to solo travel is not to seclude yourself from the world but to open yourself to new possibilities. You will meet a lot of people and make connections. These friends will keep you sane and safe during your travels. They can give you sound travel advice too!
- Plan accordingly. Save the spontaneity for later. If you’re testing out solo travel, you’re better off with a plan to follow. There’s no need to obsess over each detail but at least create a solid itinerary, contact tour providers ahead and set a timeline for each destination.
- Dress modestly. No, we’re not talking about pullovers and pants all the way but you need to dress appropriately. By all means, wear that skimpy bikini on the beach. But if you’re strolling city streets, it’ll be best to wear conservative clothing: no plunging necklines and shorty-shorts, please!
- Leave the bling home. Jewelry makes women feel pretty and well put together but you’ll have to leave your precious trinkets at home. Be it costume or genuine, wearing something shiny only invites the attention of muggers, confidence artists and other dangerous persons.
- Go easy on the alcohol. There will be parties to attend and the booze will be flowing. You can be the life of the party but one too many margaritas can spell trouble for you. Strangers may take advantage your unattended valuables or worse, of you as a woman.
- Keep your loved ones informed. There is no need to update your friends and family about every activity you do or every person you meet. Or maybe you can via social media. The important thing is they have a general idea of where you are so they know where to look in case, heaven forbid, you go missing.
- Arm yourself. A little knowledge of how to defend yourself may go a long way in tight situations. We’re not talking about intense Krav Maga training; simple self-defense techniques will do. If you’re not physically strong, you’ll feel a bit safer if you have pepper spray or mace in your purse. Just remember that these must be in your checked baggage, 4 ounces or smaller and have a safety mechanism to avoid accidental discharge.
If you need more tips and inspiration for solo female travel, follow these female travel bloggers who have conquered the world. We’re also coming up with a travel health and safety ebook for so watch out for it. 🙂
Wherever you go in the world, be it some fabulous city in Italy or a culture-rich town in South Africa or a quaint beach village in the Philippines, there will always be risks. But you should never allow these risks to get in the way of the adventure of your lifetime. Traveling solo, especially for women, is a thrilling and a potentially life-altering experience. Go ahead and have your fill.