There are so many myths surrounding solo female travel. Some people picture a woman traveling alone and begin to question her ability, safety and in many cases, her sanity!
True, a woman traveling alone is not that common – yet! – thanks to the unfortunate vulnerabilities that come with traveling alone. Nonetheless, quite a number of women have dared to take the road less traveled and have a different tale to tell – and an amazing one at that. Solo travel isn’t as hard as it seems, with enough courage, a little curiosity and lots of common sense, it can be done!
We will be giving you tips that will inspire you to travel solo. First, what drives us to want to travel alone?
Why do women travel solo?
Right from the horse’s mouth. There are different reasons that make different women travel alone. The three major ones? Freedom & curiosity, confidence, and busy friends.
One of the major perks of solo travel is the freedom and flexibility it comes with. Do you want to stay in all day and order room service? Great! Feel like changing hotels without warning? Go ahead. How about a sudden change of plans just because you can? Absolutely!
Secondly, there is a special kind of serenity that only solo travelers can attest. It gives you a chance to view the world from a different perspective and enough alone time to discover yourself like never before. When it’s all over, confidence and inner peace will be your crowning achievement.
The last reason is straightforward, not many people are lucky enough to get the time to travel as much as they’d like. If you wait around for your friends to tag along, you’ll never travel, and you want to see the world! With or without them.
Discover more: We’ve put together some pretty compelling reasons for you to travel alone so take a look here!
Solo Female Travel tip #1
Pick a meaningful destination
Solo trips need to be meaningful, not just an excuse to escape routine life. Take time to think about where you really want to go and why. Would you rather take a spiritual journey to the Island of Bali or you would be better off removing some items from your bucket list in Switzerland?
By picking a destination that has meaning to you, you will be far too invested in a purposeful journey to notice that you are alone.
Solo Female Travel tip #2
Above and beyond planning
I cannot stress enough the need to plan effectively when it comes to solo traveling. Things need to run seamlessly from travel plans to your documents as well as to hotel booking. Speaking of, strive to get to your hotel before the sun goes down (mid-afternoon preferably) to ensure everything is up to par. If something does go wrong though – make sure you don’t panic. Consider keeping emergency money on you at all times – but make sure you don’t spend it on a cheeky glass of wine. That doesn’t count as an emergency!
You need all the rest you can get on the first night of your trip.
Solo Female Travel tip #3
Have your documents ready and keep them safe
This seems obvious but you would be surprised at how many people start looking for their passport on the day of travel. Some even go as far as missing important health documents minutes to their flight.
Make sure all your documents are up to date. It could take weeks to apply for and receive an updated passport so check a couple of months in advance. Ditto visas. You should also go an extra mile and keep backup copies of your documents – it could really help you out in a scrape.
Solo Female Travel tip #4
Great minds think alike
When loneliness starts creeping in or you get homesick, it’s probably time to mingle. As a female traveler, Carey, aka Carebear, recommends strange as it sounds, DO talk to strangers. The best way to do this is by meeting up with solo travelers like you.
Staying at hostels as opposed to hotels gives you the opportunity to meet up with fellow travelers especially during communal dinners or simply in the common room. Alternatively, you can book a trip with like-minded women using tour companies like Journey Woman and Traveling Divas.
Discover more: Looking for some places to travel to with your new mates? Or somewhere to meet them? You’ll definitely find something in the list of 19 awesome things to do this May in America.
Solo Female Travel tip #5
Solo traveling doesn’t mean solo dining
If you are the type that dreads eating alone, there are some creative and safe ways to get company while dining. A cooking class for one will not only add to your skills in the kitchen but also give you a chance to meet and eat with new people. You can also go on a dinner cruise or be part of a dinner and a show. Or, consider staying in Airbnb, Couchsurfing places, and hostels to meet locals and travelers alike.
Solo Female Travel tip #6
When it comes to packing for a solo trip, less is more. This means that you should focus on packing the items that you absolutely can’t do without. Take it easy when packing makeup and jewelry as well as fancy clothes. Chances are; you will seldom use them. Moreover, a precise and light packing list saves you money and makes it easier to be flexible and move around the country easily.
Discover more: Packing light is hard, right! This is what the experts are for! Take a look at these packing tips from a travel expert.
Solo Female Travel tip #7
Better safe than sorry
Just like in day-to-day life, safety often comes down to trusting your instincts and using your common sense. You don’t need to be told the dangers of traveling after dark in an unfamiliar place. You also don’t have to be educated on the risk involved in drinking excessively at a bar/club where you know nobody. You most certainly do not need schooling on the repercussions of walking around with loads of money visible.
However, to feel safer, you can take a self-defense class before embarking on your solo journey. In addition, a thorough background check of any area you plan to visit will keep you on your toes while on the road. Plus your common sense. How about hiding your money in various items of clothing, or meeting up with a friend in a foreign city so you can enjoy a club in security?
Solo Female Travel tip #8
Keep up with friends and family.
I’m sure some of your friends looked at you sideways when you shared your intentions of traveling alone. Your family, on the other hand, may have been worried about your safety. Take time to contact them as often as possible either via phone calls, emails or postcard. Here are some cool apps that help you share the love everyday or while traveling! This will not only put their minds at ease about your safety but also allow you a chance to share your experiences with your loved ones.
Solo traveling doesn’t have to be lonely, awkward or dangerous. If anything, it can be really liberating for the modern woman who is constantly swamped with responsibilities. Do not take my word for it; here is a word from experienced traveler Elizabeth Gilbert on Solo Female Travel.