Despite the fact that there have already been so many successful solo female travel bloggers out there on the road, there’s something special and brave about their adventures that makes us adore and celebrate their achievements. There are lots of issues that may be involved in traveling alone as a woman, especially regarding safety, menstrual cycles, annoying strangers, and what-not. In this article, I have summarized my top tips for solo female travellers so that they can enjoy their adventures to maximum.
Make up your mind and plan the trip as early as possible
Before getting on that plane, planning is a must! Research your destination well in advance and plan the itinerary, budget, and accommodation for the trip as early as possible. A useful tool for trip planning is, for example, TripIt. Be sure that you have all the must-sees, including touristy places, on your list as you may not have chance to come back and see those sites. However, do not get stuck in checking all destinations off your lists as quickly as possible. The best way to enjoy a journey is to travel slowly. Bad planning can cost a lot of money, time, and effort.
Keep your friends and family informed
As soon as you have made the decision to travel alone, tell your closest family members and friends about the trip. It’s possible that your friends who have traveled to your next destination already can give some advice or connect you with someone staying there. It’s important that these people know where you are from time to time. You may get also lonely on the road so keeping in touch with them is good for that too. Though you will probably face some objections, people will most often be excited or complimentary about your braveness to go alone.
Packing - what to bring and not to bring
Depending on your travel style, either go for a backpack or trolley luggage. Bring only one piece of baggage, which is compatible with your airline’s cabin-baggage policy, to save time through the security gate. Pay extra attention to your beauty kit and clothing diversity. Try to avoid bringing many accessories and shoes as you may not need them. One pair of shoes that is good for walking is enough. Leave the high heels at home! Nothing could be more annoying than sightseeing with painful feet. When sightseeing, do not forget a bottle of water and hand cream to keep yourself hydrated. As being on the plane can be tiring and can cause jet lag, you will need a box of wet tissues, some snacks, and an iPod already loaded with your favourite songs in order to keep yourself awake.
Choosing accommodation for solo female travelers
Choosing accommodation for solo females can be tough, especially if you are picky enough not to go for a place just to rest. Skim through the previous customers’ reviews to make sure that the place is safe, clean, quiet at night and equipped with the same facilities as mentioned on the site in order not to be disappointed when arriving. Either book early in advance or at the last minute to get the last-minute deals regularly offered by many hostels and hotels.
Travel safety for women
Avoid walking alone back to your accommodation after a night out if you are not completely sure that the surrounding neighborhood is safe. Women traveling alone could also become regular targets for scams and robberies. Hence, always keep your belongings attended. Hide money in a couple of hidden places in your clothes. Keep a digital and paper copy of your passport rather than bringing the original passport when sightseeing, unless you are in a country that requires you by law to carry your original passport. Always have several copies in a safe place and with friends or family back at home. Sexual harassment can also be a big issue for women when traveling alone. If you feel absolutely insecure about a country, it’s always okay to report to the police or even leave the place!
Meeting people as a solo female
Because of travel safety, I always recommend finding some locals you can trust, and hang out with them and share the adventure rather than exploring places alone. But meeting with good people in a new country can be a big concern as well, as the people you meet will affect your travel experiences significantly. It’s very common to meet locals and travelers via Couchsurfing, free walking tours, or in hostels. Pay extra attention to profiling people online before you meet them in public places. Bloggers and digital nomads can also look for meet-ups via Hashtagnomads or at Co-working Hubs for a more professionally-engaging experience.
Taking photos when you are alone
Taking gorgeous photographs like Instagram stars you have always followed is not an easy task, but possible. If you do not like to carry a selfie stick or tripod all the time, ask a person around that does not look suspicious for help. Use a timer with your camera and phone, but do not leave your belongings unattended. I usually ask those who carry a professional camera and look like they know how to take good photographs rather than a just regular tourist with an expensive luxury camera.
In general, not only solo females but all travelers should keep in mind these tips. Watch how locals dress and copy them, as you do not want to stand out and draw attention. What I find important is also to be confident, friendly, and sociable with locals and other travelers. This can get you lots of help and prevent loneliness. Though it sounds quite complicated and challenging to travel solo as a female, there are already thousands of us out there exploring the world. And you can do it too!