20 Tips for Women Traveling Solo

traveling solo woman

Whether we like it or not, traveling solo as a woman isn’t always smooth and easy. There are places across the world where females are still limited by cultural or other laws. There are also regions where women don’t get as much respect as they should. Female travelers are a bit more vulnerable, but it doesn’t mean we don’t belong to the road! We absolutely do. We can travel alone and enjoy it fully. Nevertheless, safety is very important, so here’s a list of useful trips for traveling women.

  1. Take copies of all your documents

You can take printed copies and keep them separately from the originals. It’s also good to take photos or scan your passport, ID, tickets etc. and save the digital versions on DropBox, email box or another secure site, so that in case you lose the whole luggage, you’ll still have access to the documents.

  1. Keep in touch with people at home

At least one friend or family member should now what more or less you’re doing. Sometimes it’s hard to keep in touch constantly when you’re on the road, but keep them informed and send a message at least once in a few days. Before you start traveling tell someone about your plans.

  1. Make female friends

There are lots of cool communities for female travelers, such as Travellets.net or Sheswonderful.com. They connect girls from all over the world who share the passion for traveling. You may contact locals and ask about advice or meet up with women who’re traveling to the same places.

  1. Use maps wisely

Don’t wander around the streets with a large paper map – it’s a clear sign you’re a tourist and that’s something pickpockets love. If you really love these maps and can’t do without them (they have a charm indeed), instead of checking them out in the middle of a chaotic crowd, get to a quiet place (a shop, café) and study the directions peacefully. Anyway, it’s always better to have a map on your phone as well. Even if you use this one though, try not to look like someone completely lost, especially if you’re in a place that doesn’t seem entirely friendly.

  1. Travel light

Traveling with a heavy backpack or suitcase is unpleasant and you honestly don’t need much stuff. Pack only the things you truly can’t do without. It’s more comfortable, but also safer. In case you have to move quickly, it’s going to be much easier without three suitcases or a full 65-litres backpack.

woman traveling solo

  1. Don’t keep all the important things in one place

Never stuck all your money in one pocket. The same applies to documents. You can keep the ID in a hotel safe and when you go out, take the passport. Put one document in the large backpack and another in the small purse. Never put everything in one place.

  1. Enroll your trip with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

You can do it on this U.S. Department of State’s website. They’ll let you know about all major events in your home country or the destinations of your travels. The program makes it easier to contact you in case of an emergency.

  1. Dress casually

Unless you’re staying in a safe, luxurious resort and going for a fancy party held in its club, it doesn’t make sense to look fabulous or wealthy. Dress simply. Forget expensive jewelry and high-heels for a while. You can use them as much as you want at home, but it’s not a good idea to attract attention when you’re traveling. Keep in mind customs of the country. Don’t wear short skirts in the places it’s not culturally acceptable. World is diverse and what for you seems absolutely normal, somewhere else isn’t. You’re free, but it doesn’t mean doing whatever you want is a good idea, safety comes first.

  1. Be sure your phone’s working

As wonderful and useful as they are, cellphones have the tendency to become disappointing abroad. Check if your phone’s working as soon as you arrive to a country. You don’t want to discover it’s off in the moment of a desperate need.

  1. Take a fake wedding ring

Some people say it’s a funny advice, but the ring might really come in handy. It’s not such a big deal to get it and have it, so why not? In case you’re in an uncomfortable situation and want to get away quickly, you can always say your husband’s waiting for you. While some men don’t care whether you’re married or not, it does speak to many and they won’t bother you seeing you’re somebody’s wife.

Travel-light-Backpack

  1. Don’t sit in empty train cars

Look for a compartment where there already are some females. Don’t ever sit all by yourself, especially on a night train.

  1. Be careful when using buses

Buses are pickpockets’ paradise. Be cautious in the crowd and remember pickpockets aren’t always young males. Girls and children steal too. Unfortunately, it’s a common “profession” and a variety of people make money this way. On long rides, the risk is always smaller if you sit next to another woman, especially an older lady. It’s extremely rare for them to be dangerous. Besides, they usually have plenty of fascinating stories to share.

  1. Don’t fall asleep on a bus or train

Your eyes should be wide open. If you can, avoid night trains and buses in general.

  1. Have some money for a cab

Don’t be too thrifty about it. You don’t even have to spend this money, but take it when you go out in the evening. Then, in case you don’t feel walking is safe, just take a cab. And stay cautious in the cabs as well! Watch the route and look for the driver’s license, it should be visible.

  1. Don’t drink too much

Control your drinking when you go out alone or with people you’ve just met. It doesn’t mean you can’t party or drink at all, but know your limits and never cross them.

  1. Take a safe-defense gadget

Just in case. Be it a whistle, a cat keychain, a pepper spray or something else, you’ll feel more confident having it. But find out how to use them! With a pepper spray, for example, you can do more harm if you’re not aware about how it works. Read the instructions.

  1. Ask for help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. When you arrive to a hostel, speak with the clerks and ask them for advice. If you’re in a problematic city, talk to the female staff members who can tell you which areas you should avoid. Pick a nice person on the street and ask them for directions if you get lost. Just remember to be careful about whom you approach.

  1. Don’t get too far with strangers

That can be understood in many different ways. First of all, if you’ve just met someone, don’t go alone with them to a place nobody can hear it in case you scream. Secondly, don’t trust too easily. Be friendly, meet people, talk, laugh and smile, but don’t assume the human kind is only made of loveable individuals.

  1. Take care of yourself

Eat, sleep and rest when you need. Don’t push your limits. Relaxed and energetic, you’ll enjoy the holidays more. Moreover, taking good care of yourself lowers the risk of getting ill. If you do get ill anyway, find a good hotel to stay at until you get better. Are you a budget traveler? Stay with some trustworthy people then or use a credit card to pay for the hotel room. Don’t worry about the money too much; you’ll pay it back later. Your health’s a priority.

  1. Say no

You can always refuse. A group of travelers you’ve met in the hostel invites you for a beer, but you have a strange feeling about them? Don’t go. A guy in the pub sits next to you by the bar, but you don’t like his behavior? Leave. Follow your intuition and don’t do anything that doesn’t feel comfortable. You have the right to say no. The fact someone gets a bit disappointed shouldn’t make you feel guilty. You’re traveling to have fun, learn and experience new things – you’re do it for yourself. Pleasing the people you meet on the road isn’t your responsibility.

Are you a solo female traveler? Do you have some other tips? Let us know! And share this article with your girlfriends, so they too can travel safely.