Solo female travel has become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing women to explore new destinations and gain independence through their travel experiences. However, traveling alone as a woman can also be intimidating and pose certain safety concerns. It’s important to be aware of potential risks and take measures to stay safe while traveling solo. In this blog article, we’ll discuss some essential rules to follow as a female solo traveler to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Whether you’re a seasoned solo traveler or planning your first trip, these tips will help you stay safe and confident while exploring the world on your own. So, let’s dive in and learn how to stay safe while embarking on your solo travel adventure.
Research your destination ahead of time
…and avoid looking lost: Before you travel, do some research on the destination you’ll be visiting. Learn about local customs, laws, and potential safety concerns. It’s also a good idea to research safe areas to stay in and avoid areas that are known for high crime rates. Look up what the most common scams are. I’ve found that each country utilizes different tactics.
When you first arrive and are still unfamiliar with the area, look up directions ahead of time and try to memorize them. If you need to remember, glance at your phone casually, but avoid looking lost or confused. There are times when I’ve had the map running on my phone while listening to music and I simply listen for directions on when to turn. This helps give the impression that you know exactly where you are going.
The way you dress can impact how you’re perceived and potentially attract unwanted attention. Dress appropriately for the local culture and avoid revealing clothing that may draw unwanted attention. It’s also a good idea to dress in layers, so you can adjust your clothing to the temperature and avoid standing out as a tourist. Dressing in layers also helps when you’re hoping to get some cute Instagram pictures. If you don’t know what time you’ll be returning to your hotel, it’s a good idea to have something to cover up with in the evening. Also, look up cultural customs to make sure you are not disrespecting any traditions such as revealing your shoulders in Buddhist temples.
Stay aware of your surroundings
It’s important to stay alert and aware of your surroundings when traveling alone. Keep your valuables close and be mindful of pickpockets in crowded areas. I highly recommend carrying something that is large enough to carry your essentials but can also be carried close enough to you that it can’t be stolen such as a shoulder fanny pack or small backpack. You can check out some of my favorites here.
Avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas
If I am completely new to a city, I wait until I am completely familiar with at least six blocks of the surrounding area in every direction. The best way to do this is to walk as much as possible when first arriving. During your walks begin to create mental breadcrumbs that will help you better remember how to get back and identify where you are.
Never let anyone know where you are staying
No matter how much you feel you trust a person, always avoid telling people the exact place that you are staying. If anybody asks you where you are staying, say something very common that you are most likely to find in every city such as a Marriott or Hyatt. You can also mention a general neighborhood they can reference but can’t pinpoint.
Don’t get too intoxicated as a solo female traveler
I know this can be hard since you are on vacation and want to have a good time. It’s okay to have casual drinks throughout the day, but know your limit. Most importantly when it begins to get dark. If your intention is to indulge, drink in your hotel or hostel if they have a bar on site. Another option is to make sure you drink within blocks of where you are staying so that you can easily remember your way back home without having to take an Uber or taxi. If anyone insists on walking you back to your hotel, say your farewells at the entrance and never let them know exactly what room number you are staying in. If you do find yourself drinking in your hotel and meet a handsome stranger, do not let them walk you to your room, and make sure they don’t follow behind.
Always carry your essentials
Being a woman is not a reason to stop yourself from traveling the world and living out your dreams. So if you do let yourself let loose and stay out a bit longer because you made some amazing friends, just make sure to have your essentials. Here you can find all my essentials which allow me to better relax and enjoy my trips.
My most recommended one is a door lock. If you plan on staying in a country or city for more than a month, you will make friends, and eventually, locals and tourists will begin noticing your daily patterns. At some point, others will realize where you are staying. I’m not saying to assume the worst in people, but also, don’t ever let your guard down completely. Use a second lock in your door to ensure your safety, especially if you’re staying in a hotel where employees have a key to your room.
My second most important essential is a portable charger. When we’re busy taking cute pictures of our trip, we can easily lose track of our battery life. Not everyone is going to have a charger conveniently available for you and your phone may choose to end its life during a late-night walk home. Regardless of the situation, always have a portable charger on hand. Find more of my female solo travel essentials here.
By following these tips, you can stay safe and confident while exploring new destinations as a female solo traveler. Remember to trust your instincts and take extra precautions if you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe.