Traveling solo has been one of the most empowering experiences of my life and one that I’d highly recommend. Not only does traveling solo allow you to fully immerse yourself in new cultures and experiences, but it also gives you the opportunity to challenge yourself, learn new skills, and meet people from all over the world.
However, traveling solo can also be daunting and challenging at times, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar place and don’t know anyone. Not to forget, safety is a big concern, especially for women traveling solo.
While no one can guarantee complete safety while traveling, there are several best practices that female travelers can follow to minimize risk and stay safe on the road.
So, sharing some best practices from my experience traveling solo for over 5 years.
Research Your Destination
Before embarking on any trip, it’s essential to research your destination thoroughly. This includes reading up on local customs, laws, and social norms, as well as researching any safety concerns or potential dangers in the area. By doing your homework in advance, you’ll be better equipped to navigate unfamiliar surroundings and make informed decisions about your itinerary.
It’s easy to get lost and feel overwhelmed by the mountains of decisions one has to do as a solo traveler. So, if you have a few things already researched and sorted out in your itinerary, that’s one less decision you need to make when you are on the go!
Be Mindful of Cultural Differences
Different cultures have different norms and customs, and it’s important to be mindful of these differences while traveling. Take the time to learn about local customs and social norms, and respect these traditions even if they are different from your own.
This also includes dressing appropriately. In some countries, modest clothing is expected, while in others, more revealing attire may be acceptable. Dressing appropriately not only shows respect for local culture but can also help you blend in and avoid unwanted attention.
Connect with Other Female Travelers
The saying “Solo but never alone” is often used in the context of solo travel. It refers to the idea that even though you may be traveling alone, you are never truly alone because there are always opportunities to connect with other people on the road.
Connecting with other female travelers can be a great way to stay safe and make new friends on the road. Not only can other female travelers provide valuable advice and support, but they can also help you feel more comfortable and confident while traveling solo.
Join travel groups, attend meetups for female travelers, and stay in female-only accommodations when possible. A great way to do all of the above is through the Travel Ladies App. It enables you to find locals or travel buddies and it’s meant for women by women.
Trust Your Instincts
As a solo female traveler, it’s important to trust your instincts and pay attention to your surroundings. If something feels off or you feel uncomfortable in a situation, trust your gut and remove yourself from the situation. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Stay in Safe Accommodations
When choosing accommodations, opt for reputable hotels or hostels with good reviews. Look for accommodations that offer 24-hour security, well-lit entrances and exits, and secure locks on doors and windows. Additionally, consider staying in accommodations that are located in safe, well-lit areas with easy access to public transportation.
Hostels are a great place to stay while traveling solo. They are more accessible to geared towards solo travelers. Also, it’s easier to meet other solo travelers while staying in hostels.
Keep your valuables secure
It’s essential to keep your valuables secure while traveling. Consider investing in a money belt, fanny pack, or a secure bag to keep your passport, cash, and other important documents safe. Additionally, never leave your belongings unattended in public places, and be wary of pickpockets and other thieves.
Stay Connected with Loved ones
Staying connected with loved ones back home can be an important safety measure when traveling solo. Make sure someone knows your itinerary and check in regularly to let them know you’re safe. Consider sharing your location with trusted friends or family members, and have a plan in place for what to do in case of an emergency.
Learn Basic Self-Defense Techniques
While we hope that you’ll never need to use them, learning basic self-defense techniques can give you added confidence and peace of mind while traveling solo. Consider taking a self-defense class before your trip or practicing some basic techniques at home.
Avoid Walking Alone at Night
While it’s tempting to explore your destination at night, it’s generally safer to avoid walking alone after dark. Stick to well-lit areas with plenty of foot traffic, and consider taking a taxi or using public transportation if you need to travel at night.
Use Common Sense
Finally, the most important best practice for solo female travelers is to use common sense. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings, avoid risky behavior, and trust your instincts. By taking these simple steps, you can enjoy a safe and rewarding travel experience as a solo female traveler.
In conclusion, traveling solo as a woman can be a wonderful and empowering experience, but it’s essential to take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety and well-being. By following these best practices, you can mitigate risks, avoid danger, and have a positive and rewarding travel experience.