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Are you looking for solo female travel tips and advice? Then you’ve come to the right place. As well as traveling as a family, Craig and I also take some time to travel solo as well.
Of course, we love traveling together with our girls, but there is something so freeing and rewarding about traveling alone.
Traveling solo in Peloponnese Greece
Solo travel teaches you a lot about yourself. It allows you to have headspace when things are stressful, it allows you to connect deeper to a country’s culture and way of life, and you get the chance to meet other solo travelers and make new travel friends.
But if you’re new to solo travel, or you’re thinking of taking your first solo adventure, then you may be in need of practical advice about safety and where to go to get your feet wet.
Solo Female Travel Safety Tips
1. Don’t think about the possible dangers
There are a million things that can go wrong, whether you are traveling solo or not. In fact, there are a million things that can go wrong in your life just by stepping out the front door.
But, that doesn’t stop you from getting on with your life right? Well don’t do the same when you are traveling solo. My following two tips will help you overcome any potential problems and keep you safe.
Most of the things you worry about never happen. Just believe in your own power. You can overcome any challenge. Now it’s time to focus on the rewards you’ll get from your female solo travel experience instead.
2. Be Aware
Keep your wits about yourself and your surroundings at all time. Spend time looking around you and taking note of what you see. Be present in every moment. This will help alert you to any potential dangers.
Most of the time problems arise because we aren’t present and paying attention.
3. Trust your intuition
Walking where there are lots of people
Your intuition always knows best. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. The only time things have gone wrong in my life is when I have ignored my intuition. I’m talking about major financial disasters!
There is a reason why you get that unsettled feeling in your stomach when you meet that strange person on the beach.
Don’t freak yourself out by imaginary monsters, but definitely pay attention to those little messages our animal instincts give us.
4. Walk assertively and confidently
When I was in Grade 9 we did a self-defence course for sport at school. I don’t really remember how to flip someone over in a death roll if they were to attack me, but I do remember a very wise preventative piece of advice they drummed into us.
Always walk assertively and confidently. If you do this potential scam artists and attackers will leave you alone.
They only prey on those who are vulnerable. Walk with your head held high, and confidently greet people and look them in the eye. I have done this many times when I have felt afraid, and it instantly made me feel very strong and brave.
5. Let people know of your plans
This is especially important for solo women travelers. When you are travelling with someone else, there is someone to help watch over you. Not the case when you travel solo.
Tell people you know and trust where you are going and when. With today’s communication portals this can involve something as quick as an email, facebook message, twitter update or Skype call.
6. Talk to people
Beautiful Ameena from Jordan
Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers, to make new friends and to travel with those new friends. I used to go out on my own in Dublin, because I wanted to meet new people. I always had someone to talk to and had wonderful nights out.
I also made plenty of new friends travelling through various countries. I made an effort to talk to strangers, and travel with them. I was never afraid to do so.
7. Keep your wits about yourself
I traveled in South America as a solo female traveller and it was absolutely fine. I also met quite a few other solo female travellers who had done the same.
It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, if you keep your wits about you, make sensible decisions for your personal safety, and are lucky to not be in the wrong place at the wrong time, then you can travel wherever you like and be ok.
It is just a case of getting over those initial fears and just going for it.
8. Get a doorstop and whistle
If you’re worried about people breaking into your room at night, there are a few small items you can take with you to protect yourself and also make you feel at ease.
Get a doorstop from a hardware store – cheap, lightweight way to wedge your door shut at night if you have a solo room and
You can also get a safety whistle, which has gotten me out of trouble (monkeys chasing me up a hill, getting stuck in a night train’s bathroom, etc) many a time.
9. Keep your valuables locked in a safe
If your hotel or hostel comes with a locker or safe, make sure you use it to lock up your valuable possessions.
If you use a safe, make sure to change the code so that it’s unique to you and only you can access it.
Bring a padlock with you to lock up your bags in a locker in a hostel, or worse comes to worse, lock you bag.
10. Get Uber instead of taxis
Uber, and other taxi apps and ride-sharing apps such as Bolt or Grab, is a great way to ensure you stay safe when you need a taxi.
Not only can you share your ride with friends or family, but you can also follow the route your driver is taking as you drive.
Just make sure to confirm the license plate and identity of the driver before you get in.
11. Update your social media regularly
Let friends and family know you are safe by keeping them updated on social media.
Sharing an Instagram story or Twitter post every other day ensures your friends and family that you’re well.
Be sure to tell people beforehand how often you plan to post, so they know if you stop posting, then they can see this as a red flag.
12. Don’t flash your camera
Minaret Vista, Mammoth
If you have an expensive camera, don’t walk around with it hanging from your neck displaying how wealthy you are.
Keep it in its bag until you need to use it.
Solo Female Travel Tips About Destinations
13. Visit a destination with a similar culture
For your first country abroad as a chick, one of the safest places to travel alone is going somewhere the culture (and language) is similar to your own.
I don’t care how much you prepare, or how much you have traveled with others before, that first trip will be difficult and going somewhere you can figure your head out and not have to worry about a language barrier is key.
For me, it was England. I was cranky, confused, doubtful and scared as all hell, but at least I could order a sandwich without too much confusion.
Read these suggestions for best places to travel alone as a woman
14. Study Abroad for your first female solo travel experience
A good first solo travel experience is a studying abroad experience. Places in Europe make for a great place to study since the universities are excellent and the culture is easy to settle into.
You also get to meet other students and likeminded people, so you’re never really alone.
15. Know your adventure threshold
Figure out your adventure threshold, take a deep breath and go for it!
And I definitely would recommend Australia for a carefree single woman traveler. I had such a blast there as a newly-single early 20-something.
There are also so many outdoor adventures in Australia from hiking, diving, white water rafting, ziplining…you name it.
I think it depends on what kind of a person you are more than anything else, though. Are you gutsy and adventurous, or more reserved and cautious?
16. Western Europe is easy for the solo female traveler
Greece is an easy destination
Probably anywhere in western Europe are the best destinations for solo female travelers. I have traveled to the UK many times solo and it’s so easy to get around with trains, subway/metro/bus/tram in nearly every city, etc.
Most of Europe is the same, although some places may be a little bit more hassle if you don’t speak the language.
But places that cater to tourists always have people who speak English so it’s not a huge deal; just learn a few key phrases before you go.
There are tons of young people that travel to Europe every year so it’s especially good for younger solo women, very easy to meet people and make friends.
Western Europe, in general, has really low crime rates (have to watch out for pickpockets in some places, but that’s what a money belt is for!)
A really good way to meet people is to go on a backpacker’s tour, which is designed for younger, independent travelers.
I did a MacBackpackers tour of Scotland during my trip and met some really awesome people I still keep in touch with.
17. Learn some practical safety tips
Da Nang City and Ba Na Mountains, Vietnam.
For many, the first time travelling alone is to Thailand. You can easily spend one month and more in Thailand, followed by time in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Southeast Asia is generally very safe but it can be busy and chaotic, especially in the cities like Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh.
Here are some ways to make you feel at ease in Southeast Asia
– When I walked around alone I wore long trousers and a t-shirt.
– I never lose sight of my baggage, especially on the beach.
– When I left my bags in my hotel room I locked it with little locks.
– I wore my shoulder bag always in front of me and not on my back.
So I would say Thailand is very good for solo female traveller. You learn a lot about yourself, its very important to trust yourself and your gut! That’s a nice experience and makes you stronger!
I think Thailand, Burma, Laos and the Philippines are each ideal places to start traveling alone as a woman.
While cautious about certain things (dressing appropriately, not drinking much and of course never leaving a drink unattended), they are receptive countries where people treat you with respect. And places where a big smile goes a long way.
18. Be confident and alert
My first solo female travel experience was my study abroad in Sydney. It was perfect, it helped a lot that I already spoke the language as some people said above.
I always recommend a zipped shoulder bag for traveling and to more or less just be aware of your surroundings.
When you are walking at night look up at the faces of people that pass you and if you see someone around you look at them so they know you are alert.
19. New Zealand is a friendly and easy destination
New Zealand is probably one of the friendliest and easiest countries for a first-time backpacker! It’s really easy to get around, there are loads of great hostels, and the people are so friendly!
20. Listen to those who have been before you
Staying safe in London
It’s such a relief to know that London is a great place to start as a solo female traveler.
The one piece of advice I have is to ONLY listen to those who have been to the places you’re going. Because they truly know what it’s like.
I’ve had so many people say to me “you have to be so careful there they’ll steal your bags and try to rape you” and i ask them “oh when you were you in London?” and then have never been and yet those who have been say it’s great.
21. Be aware of when you are most vulnerable
I found that the time you are most vulnerable is whenever you are first arriving somewhere. Not just in the country, but in a new town/city.
You have usually just stepped off a plane/train/bus and are tired, have a big heavy backpack or suitcase and are unsure of where you are going. So my tip for a solo female traveller is to always plan for your arrivals.
Book a hostel/hotel in advance just for that first night if you can so you have somewhere to head to. This will make you walk around with confidence and purpose, which makes you look less of a target.
It also means that you can spend your time figuring out the important stuff like getting there, rather than where to get to. And it saves you from getting involved with dodgy touts.
In notoriously dangerous cities or countries, pre-arrange a transfer or ask your hostel in advance for some local advice about getting a taxi. Not all taxis are safe.
Or get chatting to other backpackers on your train/bus/plane and see if you can share a taxi with them!
22. Don’t be naive or paranoid
My first solo trip was also Europe… I didn’t find any problems! Have your wits about you, don’t be naive, but also don’t be paranoid.
I found the most paranoid travellers ALWAYS had something go wrong!
Other Top Tips for Solo Female Travelers
The Citadel, Amman
Below are some other words of advice I have for solo female travelers. This can be to help eleviate some worries or combat loneliness.
23. Get a Journal or a Blog
You will be having the time of your life, but a few years from now you may struggle to remember the smaller details.
Get a journal, or start a little travel blog, to document your trip so you can look back on it for years to come.
24. Stay in hostels
Hostels are not only the most cost effective place to stay for solo travelers but they are also a great way to meet people.
If you’re introvert, you can find staying in hostels allows you to break out of your comfort zone and meet some likeminded people.
25. Pack light
Light and comfortable
Save your back years of pain, and pack light. Most of the time, you will find half the things you pack will never see daylight.
Carry half as many clothes as you think you need, and use a small carry on bag. Only carry the travel essentials, and you can always buy more things when you get there.
I recommend a 40L backpack. You can read my review on Standard Luggage carry on and the Tortuga carry on backpack.
26. Download Google Translate
This is the most valuable app for travelers as it allows you to communicate with locals who cannot speak your language.
Google Maps is the second most important app. You should make sure to download the map of the city you are staying in so you have access to information when you don’t have wifi.
27. Keep your devices charged
You never know when there may be a power out, or you get to a hotel room and the plugs don’t work. Trust me, it happens.
Any opportunity you get to charge your batteries, take it!
28. Read travel blogs
Of course, I’m a bit biased here, but there is a reason why we started YTravel Blog.
Travel bloggers started writing about travel to share their knowledge, experience, and helpful tips.
Most of the time, bloggers have been to the places they write about, or have done in-depth research, so you know the advice is going to be useful.
It also helps to read a few guides from different travel bloggers as each will have a different opinion or idea for a place.
29. Make a bucket list but be flexible
One thing we always find when we visit a place is that there is never enough time, or something happens, that means we cannot see and do everything.
Sometimes, you might just be too tired.
It’s always a good idea to have a list of things you want to see and do, but know that it’s ok not to complete everything.
30. Plan down time
It’s easy to be go-go-go when you’re traveling, so make sure you plan relaxing days too.
Whether you start your day with a morning yoga, a slow coffee, or simply have a lie in, it’s ok.
Travel is tiring, and sometimes you need to recharge yourself.
Final Thoughts On Female Solo Travel Tips
Happy in Jordan
While most of my travel around the world has been done with Craig, my first adventures saw me setting off into the untamed wilderness on my own. It was liberating and fun.
Traveling solo helped me to get to know myself, build my confidence, overcome shyness, and fall in love with life. Many women may feel afraid to travel alone.
Don’t be! You’ll never be lonely when you travel.
I recommend sole female travel to every woman young or old! I hope these tips helped you feel at ease and get excited about those first solo female travel trips!
More Tips For Female Solo Travel
Need more inspiration and advice about solo female travel? Here are some other resources…
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