Travelling solo often promotes ideas of worry, safety and sheer stupidity – I can 100% say, these ideas couldn’t be more wrong. Travelling solo as a female is one heck of an experience and is becoming so popular!
Offering tips and advice is such a broad term and depending on the country, it can really vary. From experience, the following ‘tips’ kept me safe from New Zealand to India. So if you’re toying with the idea but are feeling a tad nervous, hopefully this will give you that needed reassurance.
Is travelling solo as a female safe?
So, is travelling solo as a female safe? Yes, of course! Now I am not suggesting you jet off and become 100% carefree – that would be silly, but if you do your research and take precautions, you will be fine.
1) Understanding the culture you are visiting is key, and as a female, that extra research will go along way. For example, if it’s recommended for women to stay covered (which it often is), don’t strut around in hot pants and a bikini top – safety is better than a tan right?
2) Never put yourself in a vulnerable position (maybe rethink that next beer), and always aim to be back at your hostel before dark. I was always told, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Words from the wise.
3) Don’t be an easy target. If you’re walking around with a Nikon in one hand and an iPhone in the other, you are advertising yourself as a person with money. Although that might not be the case, it’s likely others will see it differently.
4) Be aware of your surroundings. From experience, I would strongly suggest you follow this. As a solo traveller, and female, you most likely will draw a bit of unwanted attention – but if you keep an eye on what’s going on around you, it can be easier to avoid.
5) Use your common sense. We are an intelligent bunch, but sometimes common sense goes out the window. When travelling – DON’T let this happen. From experience, safety is 90% common sense and 10% the country.
Tip: (Sorry to call it that). Carrying your backpack on your front is ideal for crowded areas to protect your things a little better.
Planning the big trip
As a female traveller, spending extra time planning how to get from A to B and knowing the best places to visit is really going to help you out. Like many, I don’t like every day planned, but there were several plans I would always have put in place, (ramble over).
1) Booking your first night. Whether it’s your first night after the flight or arrival to a new area, having an accommodation booked is always a good idea. It saves a lot of time and stress – and to be honest, having somewhere booked during peak season is a life safer!
2) Plan a tour. If there is something that’s grabbed your attention but you don’t want to do it alone, book into a tour. Not only is a great way to meet people, but it tends to be cheaper.
3) Blogs. Blogs are a fab way of planning your trip (shout out to Trip101!). First-hand experience from other female travellers is valuable and a great way to hear about travel experiences. Travel guide books are great, but can sometime be a tad over dramatic on female safety.
Choosing your accommodation
As previously mentioned, booking a hostel upon arrival is always a good idea, but sometimes choosing a hostel can be tricky. Hostelworld and Hostelbookers are the absolute bible when it comes to booking an accommodation as you can search by price, location and ratings. However, stumbling across hostels is often part of the fun of travelling – so, here are a few things to look out for!
1) Female only dorms. For female travellers, a female only dorm is not only a great idea but it gives you that extra bit of safety and security during your stay. Check with your hostel before booking, but to be honest it seems to be bordering on a requirement for hostels.
2) Safety in the hostel. Although it may seem like a drag checking if the hostel is ‘safe’, a few precautions never hurt anyone. So, does your room have a locker? Does your door have a lock? Is there any security to stop people coming in? Etc.
Again a continuous list, but just checking out these few things out before booking, will really put your mind at ease
Filling your backpack with goodies!
Speaking on behalf of all females, packing can not only be a nightmare but we are prone to over packing, (but what if I need that pair of heels for the beach?).
1) Pack lightly! Not only are you going to have to lug your bag from one location to another, it’s more ‘stuff’ for you to worry about losing. Plus, it’s not always easy getting a huge bag on trains and buses. On the bright side, if you pack light it means there’s more room for splurging in markets.
2) Time of the month during travelling. Of course some of you are going to skip this bit because it’s not a subject we are all comfortable with talking about. But even when travelling – your period is still gonna happen. Make sure you pack yourself enough ‘female products’ because, trust me when I say, they are not the easiest to find in some countries!
3) Now let’s jump back on the conversation of safety. Hopefully you won’t need one, but having a personal attack alarm is such a good idea – strap one to your day bag and hopefully you will feel more at ease when strolling around on your own.
Padlocks are an essential when packing. Whether it’s to lock your bag up on a train, in a hostel or just making your bag more secure – they are an absolute must!
Bite the bullet and travel solo
Travelling solo is one thing, but travelling solo as a female is something to be incredibly proud off! Although somewhat daunting, the experience will be truly amazing! And let’s face it, you’ll become quite the storyteller!
For those of you who have gone it alone – congratulations, I salute you! And those of you still toying with the idea, go for it! Travelling solo as a female is not only liberating, but you will realise just how capable you are. Lastly, outweighing any other reason to go on your own, the experience will be truly amazing!
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