Being a solo female traveller has given me great confidence and has allowed me to see places I may not necessarily get to see if I didn’t do it alone.
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My reason for travelling solo isn’t always about not having someone to travel with, I go on group tours, travel with my friends and have trips with my mum.
But there are so many benefits of travelling alone that it would be hard to give up– you get to meet people you might never have the opportunity to meet, you can push yourself out of your comfort zone when you travel alone, and (best of all in my opinion), you get to plan your own itinerary and change it up whenever you like!
Unfortunately, for solo female travellers, the reality is that there are also downsides to travelling alone. We sometimes need to be more cautious and alert when we travel alone.
Obviously, there are culture differences to look out for. In some countries, if you’re nice to a man, they take this as marriage acceptance. Where I’m from, you can pretty much scream at a guy to tell him you like him, and he still won’t get it!
There are also countries which still see females as the weaker of the sexes, meaning we can be singled out when it comes to crime.
But that’s not to say you shouldn’t do it! You just have to keep your wits about you, and have fun!
So, let’s get into my travel safety tips for solo female travellers
Personally this is something I do, no matter where I’m going, who I’m going with, solo or not. You need to know where you’re staying, yes?
Here’s how you can research the area:
- Check out other people’s reviews on Booking.com or Trip Advisor for the good, the bad and the ugly parts of town.
- Have a look at what’s nearby on Google maps, save your hotel and local areas of interest so you always know where you are.
- Research whether it’s safe to walk around the neighourhood. If not, are taxis readily available?
- Join Facebook groups, such as The Backpackers Guide To Travelling, and ask other travellers
Getting out and about
It may seem daunting heading out for the first time on your own. What if people look at you strangely for being on your own?? This doesn’t happen, people don’t care that much!
Don’t let being a solo female traveller stop you from experiencing the country.
- Join some local group tours, you never know who you might meet. I was adopted for the day on a tour in Vietnam by a lovely Korean family! You can keep to yourself as much as you like or join in on some banter with other members of the group.
- You don’t always have to eat alone when travelling solo. You can join a cooking class group, or ask a stranger if you can sit with them, if you prefer. Mostly I eat alone and I bring a book to read in the restaurant.
- When I arrive in a new country, I like to buy a local sim card. That way when I’m out and about, I can always find my way back to my hotel by using Google Maps or local taxi apps, such as Uber or Grab.
As I’ve already mentioned, being a solo female traveller, we need to make sure that our security is a priority when travelling alone.
- Before I leave for a trip, I give my itinerary (hotel and flight information) to my mum. For her peace of mind and for my safety.
- Leave expensive jewellery at home. If you do need to bring it with you for a specific event, leave it in your hotel safe rather than bringing it out with you during the day. In some places, you will stand out if wearing expensive jewellery.
- By all means, be friendly, chat with locals and other travellers you meet along the way. But don’t share too much about yourself or where you’re staying with these strangers.
- Have a copy of your passport on your phone and a physical copy also. If your passport happens to go missing, at least you have a copy of your ID.
- I try not to carry too much cash with me and I like to use my credit card to pay where possible (more points!), but I do still carry some cash and I keep it in various places on me. I usually keep some cash in my pocket, especially at markets so I don’t have to take my wallet out. When it’s safe, I replenish the cash in my pocket from my wallet, without having to take it out in a crowd.
- As you never know what could happen, make sure you have travel insurance before you leave for a trip.
All of the above being said, being a solo female traveller is exciting and empowering and you shouldn’t let any of what I’ve said deter you from travelling alone. Just be alert and safe and you’ll have the time of your life.
If you’re not yet ready to jump into solo female travel, why not join a group of other solo female travelers? Intrepid Travel are known for offering tours for families, solo travelers and young travelers, but in 2017 they introduced female only tours to a number of destinations, employing local female tour guides in these countries.
Planning an upcoming trip? Here are my go to websites:
For activities: Get Your Guide
For hotels: Booking.com
For flights: Skyscanner
For travel insurance: World Nomads
Are you a solo female traveller? Let me know in the comments what your experience as a solo female traveller has been in foreign countries.