Is traveling alone a safe option for women? Most people will tell you it’s unsafe to travel alone in general. What if you run out of money, what if you get lost, what if someone attacks you and you’re by yourself? What will you do? Most people believe that chances of you being subjected to assault or violence, are higher when you travel by yourself. This article is packed with women solo travel tips and ideas.
I think one of the misconceptions about traveling alone is that it’s not safe for women to travel alone. I’m not saying that it is a hundred percent safe. Of course, this depends on where you would like to visit. No place in this world is completely safe for anybody, although some places are a lot safer than others statistically speaking. This post covers topics such as pre-travel nervousness, making friends whilst traveling, your safety while you are on the road and fears of violence or sexual assault?
Why go on a solo trip?
Many people may not understand why you would want to take a journey on your own. But I honestly feel most of the time it’s tough to find somebody who shares the same passion or interests as you. When you travel alone, you just have more chances to meet new people and learn about different cultures at your own pace and style without worrying about accommodating anyone else’s needs and wishes. You see the world the way you want, in your terms. Don’t take me wrong, I have many good friends and I love to hit the road with them, but my solo travels just feel more like me-time and feels really liberating.
Many times, you may find people who would want to go along with you but either can’t afford to or don’t have the time to. If you’re always waiting for your friends to be available it may just never happen. Just knowing that you don’t have to wait for anyone and can go by yourself is a very self-empowering and liberating feeling.
Before setting off on a solo trip it’s natural to have a mixed bag of feelings or nerves. There’s always a little bit of apprehension because you don’t know what’s going to happen and you are sort of stepping out of your comfort zone and into the unknown. But if you follow the women solo travel tips in this post designed for the first time female single travelers, then you will feel a bit at ease and safer to take that journey.
Women solo travel tips
The first step is to know where you want to go, what’s your budget and then you do further research about the destination.
It’s very important to do proper research about the place you’re visiting – where exactly is your hotel and how are you getting there from the airport? Where do you find access to the nearest public transport? Is it worth taking a taxi? Distance between one local destination to other and transportation options available. What’s the culture like in the place you plan to visit? You could join a Facebook travel group which gives you access to so much information, you can ask questions related to your travel and other group members will give you answers. In these travel groups, people are always sharing tips and information. This can help you feel better and less nervous about your trip. Thorough research will go a long way.
Prepare yourself and your loved ones
Remember to pack light, you are traveling alone and you cannot be struggling with a piece of big luggage. Keep your documents, cash, cards, and passport secure. Plan your accommodation well and in advance.
I think the biggest challenge any female solo traveler is going to face is to convince their friends and family about their need to go on this trip and assure them that they will be alright. I don’t think before my first big trip I officially told my parents I was going on a trip all by myself, until after my tickets were booked.
Fear of being lonely
I see this as more of a fear of being by yourself and the feeling of being alone. Try not to fall into this big dark black hole. If you’re traveling by yourself, you can pick a hostel or guesthouses that have individual rooms available in a shared place where you can meet new people and feel less alone. Some of the hostels even have their own trips that are not necessarily expensive. You can sign up to go on one of these trips and this way you will meet so many new people and new friends.
Being a solo traveler means that you’re going to have to approach people and make conversation. Be prepared to talk a lot about yourself because that’s the only way to make new friends. By talking to people, you may make new friends with like-minded folks or just get to learn more about the place, you might get advice or affirmations about your local travels which can prove helpful. You might also get to meet other female solo travelers and actually find some company for the rest of the trip.
“Don’t think about making women fit the world – think about making the world fit women”
– Gloria Steinem
Fear of violence
Follow news updates to keep a track of what’s currently happening in the place you plan to visit, but also be aware that media mainly portrays negative news. My visit to Srilanka after a recent terrorist attack made me realize that the media will take one bad thing that happened in a country and they blow it up. This is will make people warn you about going to some places affected by unfortunate incidents like a terror attack. People will tell you it’s dangerous for you to go because of that one or a few recent incidents that probably and likely can happen anywhere in the world.
Funnily enough most of the time people who warn you are people who have never been there themselves. And many times, they will be completely wrong about the country. If you do go chances are you will not feel unsafe or threatened as long as you follow a few basic steps to look out for yourself.
The main concern around solo travel for women is the fear of being raped or robbed or just the chances of coming face to face with a violent situation. I have seen Vlogs and read blogs of other female travelers and all of them have one thing in common to say that is, the chances of any of them coming close to such circumstances are extremely low because they make sure to use their common sense and not wander off alone in the dead of the night to isolated places or do anything that would be obviously risky. It’s important to be sensible and uses common sense while being aware of your surroundings.
Fear of sexual assault
If you are a solo female traveler, don’t go out and get blind drunk. Do not to invite attention when you know there are some troublesome people close by. Stick around places with a lot of crowd and are open public places.
The majority of rape occurs at the hands of people that you know. They are either your partners, your friends or acquaintances. It’s much rarer that rape or violence happens at the hands of complete strangers. Yet any kind of assault can happen anywhere in the world. Assault can happen in your hometown and you are thinking about your safety always, even back home so, to just assume that it will happen elsewhere during your travels is really unfounded. Taking care of your safety is part of being a woman and it doesn’t matter where you are. You have to take the bad with the good, but when you come home and look back on the overall experience of your travel, I think you will be so happy that you went and experienced what you did.
If you are a first-time solo traveler
I understand it’s a very big wall you need to cross and for many people, it’s not really easy because they have never done this before. I would suggest you start small, take a weekend trip within your home country by yourself. This way you can start getting over small hurdles as you go along and also start getting used to it. See it as a learning curve and learning isn’t just about the world, but also about yourself and what you are capable of as a human being.
If you’re worried too much, then join a group tour. As a solo traveler, there’s nothing wrong in joining one of these tours and it definitely doesn’t defeat the purpose of solo traveling because one of the biggest things about traveling by yourself is that you are always meeting new people and you are actually never really alone. In fact, the majority of people choosing group tours are solo travelers so the chances of you meeting other solo travelers on this setup are high. You have many travel companies providing group tours of different concepts, for different age groups and different budgets. Making that initial decision to take the trip is probably the hardest part, the trip itself is likely going to go pretty smoothly and not as hard as some people seem to think.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do it or put doubts in your head about your solo travel plans. Go if you think this is what you need to do. As cliche as it may sound, just do it. Push past that wall of fear and see what you are made of, discover your most important companion, the one within. I am confident it’s going to be great for you. You are not just meeting new people and exploring new places, but also you are going to learn a great deal about yourself. Your self-confidence will just go through the roof. Solo traveling can change the way one views the world. You will feel liberated, empowered and just wonderful. If you are looking for inspiration then read my story here. Sometimes the most rewarding journeys are the ones we create for ourselves.
May the force be with you!