10 Tips for Female Solo Travelers
Traveling solo can be an intimidating experience to embark on for everyone, but it is even more so for women.
Talking to friends and acquaintances about your solo trip plans is always synonymous with discouragement faces, added with a long list of unlikely dangers and a lot of general despondencies you might face on the road as a solo female traveler. And then, here G-Extreme aka Giorgy come by offering … practical and helpful safety tips and is always ready to support my Gextremers launched towards their next solo adventure!
The reality of solo travel is indeed very different from what most people think, it’s a wonderful and extremely rewarding experience, more than even you imagine! It’s a great opportunity to learn about yourself better, meet interesting people, get out of your comfort zone and enjoy a journey dictated all on your terms.
Not only safety is the number and only one concern for women traveling on their own, but there are a number of steps you can take. Therefore I am going to share with you some tips that will make your next solo experience smoother, worries-free, and fill you with confidence before heading out on your next lifetime adventure!
Take the followings steps to ensure your safety no matter where you go!
#1. DO YOUR RESEARCH AND BE PREPARED
Before you set off for your trip, it’s crucial to do your research before you arrive at your destination so you can move around with a clear mind and confidence!
It’s crucial you find out the visa requirements, customs restrictions, and exchange rates, how’s their public transportation system, knowing the time and fare of your ride from the airport to your hotel or city center, phone plane you should buy, local emergency contacts to save, and so on. It’s also a good idea to book accommodation for at least the first night of your stay so you don’t have to stress about finding a place on the spot.
If you know where are you heading (so made research on maps and travel guides beforehand in order to familiarize yourself with the neighborhood), you will end up focusing on enjoying the surroundings around you than on the screen of your phone figuring out where you are at and being the next test subject of pickpocketing!
While it’s necessary to do enough research and be prepared, it’s also important to not go overboard and overprepare, so keep an open mind and be flexible… I would say: go with the flow!
Hey Goofball! Check out the following link in order to figure out COVID-19 Regulations around the World.
#2. PACK LIGHT, AVOID OVERPACKING
Traveling solo means freedom and flexibility to change plans, and when it comes to moving around you definitely don’t want to waste time fussing around and fighting with your belongings!
Cube packing is definitely a smart way to save space in your backpack and organize things neatly without driving you nuts on looking up a pair of underwear. One of the tricks is to have versatile clothing combinations with you that you can use for different occasions!
When traveling light, you can afford to fly with carry-on luggage only: you’ll save time at baggage claim and money in not having to pay extra for a checked suitcase! Not only will this save time at the airport, but it will also save spaces as you can just use this backpack to move around! Keep in mind to never have your valuables in one place together, keep your cash and credit cards in different places on your body, as well as your passport.
Hey Goofball! One of the worst things that can happen to you while traveling solo is running out of battery on your phone: so do not forget to pack your charged power bank and bring it with you on every occasion.
#3. BE CONFIDENT ~ DRESS IT ALONG WITH A SMILE!
Although it might not feel like it at first, it is important to carry yourself with confidence during your travels. Adopt a secure and open posture when you go out and explore whether you don’t feel it yet (fake it until you make it).
Appear to be lost or frightened will make you vulnerable and an easy target for attracting a lot of unwanted attention. In case you happen to get lost, seek help from someone trustworthy such as a police officer or business owner nearby.
Along with it wear on always a smile, especially if the locals don’t speak the same language as you. A smile is always the best dress someone could wear on and it can lead to a friendly encounter or a good conversation.
#4. BLEND IN
Another way to avoid unwanted attention would be to dress similarly to local women. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to wear the traditional dress, but if you’re in a country where women dress modestly, for instance, it’s a good idea to do the same. This will help you avoid standing out which is ideal for solo traveling.
This is also where the research you’ve done before will come in handy, so make sure to check what clothes are commonly worn in your destination and pack the appropriate clothes.
In addition, look up to their local laws, and respect them! For instance, some hand gestures can carry a very different meaning in other countries such as thumbs-up as an “OK” in my hometown while in other places it is considered offensive and crude. Beyond a basic understanding of the local culture, you’ll want to research any cultural, religious, or political events that might take place during your stay. You don’t have to take part in them, just be sure to understand what is going on around you, so that you can be just as respectful as you would be of events happening at home.
#5. YOUR INNER GUT NEVER LIES
This might sound cliché, but trusting your instincts should be your number one rule and it’s very handy to stay cautious and read situations in an instant!
When traveling on your own, you should always be cautious and aware of what’s happening around you. At the end of the story, what really matters at the end of the story is just you and yourself.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where something feels off or you experience any discomfort, you have every right to immediately walk away, even if that means you have to get out of a cab or change hotels.
Hey Goofball! That feeling one has inside, the inner gut is always right in the end, and denying it to oneself without trusting that feeling in the end only backfires. So yer, I ignored that feeling I had that something was going to happen and it finally did. I was in Nicaragua and I trusted a stranger on a scooter while being the passenger. In the end, we crushed, I ended up with a huge scratch on my left ankle, no broken bones. From that day, other than realizing how lucky I was, I’ve learned something it cannot be unlearned; trusting your inner gut before all other things.
#6. PRIORITIZE SAFETY
Traveling solo implies some precautions and making sure you are always safe is fundamental in my opinion.
First of all, my first piece of advice would be to always have good travel insurance. This will save you a ton of money in case “Whatever happens, happens…”, and will provide you with a safety net.
Another fundamental thing is not to tell anyone where you are staying and do not to share your every move instantly on social networks (I am usually posting far behind where I am actually at the moment for avoiding stalkers). Yes, I said before that traveling alone allows you to meet a lot of new people: true, “trust is good, not trust is better” in this case.
Opt for a day tour, in case something happens and you are solo traveling, so someone will be looking for you if things go wrong!
When it comes to on-site transportation, I recommend using Uber, Taxify, or any applications that share drivers’ details.
Lastly, keep your credit cards and money in two different places so you wouldn’t be completely helpless if you lose any of your belongings! For instance, I keep an extra $50 – 100 somewhere safe in my luggage or on me when I explore for days (shoes or bras are great hiding places)! Whenever you’re traveling, do not forget to carry your passport to a well-concealed place too!
#7. KEEP YOUR LOVED ONES ON TRACK
Staying in touch with family or friends back home during your trip is another way to ensure extra safety, as well as a copy of your passport. While friends and family might not be able to immediately reach you, it’s a good idea to keep them in the loop and inform them of your plans and where you’re staying.
Another idea might be to share your live location (or use tools like Find My iPhone) with someone you trust. This is a good way to not only ease their worries but also keep a track of your whereabouts in case of emergencies.
It is also smart to share where you are heading to someone in your accommodation, even someone behind the front desk just in case something is about to happen to you, and have emergency contact information on you at all times, and not just on your phone.
Hey Goofball! Develop a code word with your friends and family so that if you are in danger and cannot say that, they know what it means; I mean, you never know!
#8. BE OPEN-MINDED AND HAVE FUN
Traveling alone is a great way to gain new experiences and discover new territories. And although it’s important to look after your safety and be cautious, DON’T forget to have fun and do NOT stay cooped up in your hostel, online, or on video calls… get out there and explore the world!
Don’t get too caught up in the little details and definitely don’t opt for the most touristy places. Visiting local markets and restaurants, streets and alleyways, get a bit lost in places that aren’t necessarily world-famous will give you a truly authentic experience of your destination and an unforgettable trip!
Don’t let your fears of safety, thoughts of being lonely, or other concerns stop you from discovering the world. Put yourself out of your comfort zone even though it could be a bit scary and even lonely sometimes, but it gives you the best rewards after all: starting up a conversation and making new friends.
#9. DRINK RESPONSIBLY
Having a drink or two can be a great way to be a little more breezy and have a good time, but having too much to drink while solo traveling can pose a risk to your safety: A BIG NO-NO!
Try to drink moderately and be aware of your surroundings. Remember to also take care of your drinks and never leave them unguarded.
#10. BOOK IN ADVANCE A SOCIAL ACCOMMODATION
To save money, try to book ahead of time flights and accommodation, especially for the flight! You can always find affordable safe accommodation wherever you go but flight prices can easily increase the more the date of your departure approaches. So book it ahead of time to avoid breaking the bank.
When it comes to accommodation, try to pick one in populated areas and use verifies reviews to guide your decisions. In addition, hostels are not only cost-effective, but they also organize events at night so you can meet other travelers!
Hey Goofball! If you are about to land in an unknown area at night or feel a little bit shaggy, pay a little extra for an accommodation that ensures a pick up in order to avoid any type of bad situation.
#11. KEEP WRITING IN A JOURNAL
Traveling solo is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you probably want to remember forever!
Writing in a journal is a great way to remember the details of your trip. It’s also good for reflection and self-discovery during this new experience. A journal can also help you stay organized during your travels in order to avoid feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
Next time you set out on a Solo Travel Adventure, take Giorgy’s advice into the account. As I mentioned before it is not as scary as everyone thinks. It’s a precious and valuable experience where you’ll make new friends, discover yourself, become more independent and confident, all while visiting amazing places!
Don’t let anyone discourage you from embarking on such a wonderful journey! Absolutely anything could happen to anyone anywhere, so don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back into your comfort zone; step out and conquer the world! So, ready to book your next or first solo trip adventure of many more others? Let’s share in the comments below where you are heading next!
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