5 Tips for Women Traveling Alone

5 Tips for Women Traveling Alone

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Part of me hates that we have to write articles like this.  Women should be able to do whatever they want, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else, including traveling the world.  Unfortunately, although solo travel is an incredibly liberating, thrilling experience that everyone should try, solo female travelers have to take a little more care when traveling alone, to make sure they stay as safe as possible.  I asked fellow solo female traveler Nora from Rainy Adventures to share her top tips for women traveling alone.

Traveling alone is a fun and exciting idea. It allows you to explore places without getting dragged around or nagged by anyone. You can go anywhere you want without any complaints.

In the past, solo travel was just intended for brave and independent souls. But in recent years, we have seen more and more women pack their bags alone and fly to different destinations all over the world.  However, it might take a bit of time before you get the hang of solo traveling. It can be daunting, scary, and sometimes dangerous, and traveling alone is more than just learning how to pack your backpack!

However, as a solo female traveler, I can tell you it is possible.  Solo travel can be rewarding, adventurous, and the best experience of your life, if you are ready for the challenges it brings.  If you are a woman who wants to travel alone, there are things that you might want to try to get the most out of your single travel life!

Solo female traveler - tips for women who travel alone
Traveling alone can be an incredible experience, but be careful.

Tips for Women Traveling Alone

1. Do Your Research

It is not “you only live once” out there. The idea of traveling is already fun. But things might change once you have already landed at your destination. Any unfamiliar terrain can make you uncomfortable and insecure. Whether it’s an urban metropolis or rural countryside, you will still feel hesitant if it’s your first time there.

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The best way you can prevent yourself from falling into this kind of predicament is doing research ahead. Always know the place and everything that is there. Which destinations should you go to? Which areas should you avoid? Where is your hotel or hostel? Where should you eat?  If the worst happens, how do you call the police or get to the hospital?

These are some of the questions that you have to answer by yourself. Don’t be afraid if they sound daunting. You can have these matters settled just by doing a little research before you arrive, in guidebooks, blogs, or contacting your hotel or hostel for advice. And I do encourage you to have these details to hand, after all, you have to remember that you are traveling alone and might not have anyone to help you.

Explore the area but know where you go and where to avoid - Tips for Women Traveling alone
Explore the area but know where you go and where to avoid – Tips for Women Traveling Alone

2. Keep Your Valuables Secure

When you are planning to travel, make sure that you don’t bring items that are very valuable, such as expensive jewellery, heirlooms, important documents, and the like.

Modern gadgets that are necessary for your adventures such as DSLRs, tablets, smartphones, and laptops are still considered valuables but can really improve your overall travel experience, so think carefully about what you want to bring with you, and how upset you would be if they got lost or stolen.

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You should always bring a separate bag to carry these items so they are not in your main backpack or suitcase. A special pouch for your passport, credit cards, and cash such as a money belt is a good idea as well. You should never put these important items in your backpack to avoid the risk of damage, and certainly do not put them in check-in luggage. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that you are going to lose them or that they will get damaged.

Keep your Passport & Valuables safe - Tips for female solo travelers
Keep your Passport & Valuables safe – Tips for female solo travelers

3. Bring What You Only Need for the Day

Once you have arrived at your destination, it is completely natural to feel giddy and excited. We all have these sensations, especially those who have wanderlust and have just begun a journey. But don’t let these rambling emotions get the best of you, still remember to take care of yourself and your belongings.

If you are going out of your hotel or hostel to explore, there’s no need for you to bring your passport and all of your credit cards. Furthermore, it is not necessary to bring large amounts of cash. You just need enough to survive throughout the day.  Some people prefer to carry their passport with them in a money belt, and others prefer to leave it locked in a safe at their accommodation.

READ MORE: Getting My Passport Stolen in Ecuador

Before you leave your hotel, always put your remaining valuables in the locker or safe. If someone really wants to steal your stuff out of a locker they will, but it will certainly reduce the risk.

Tips for women who travel alone - Only carry what you need for the day
Tips for women who travel alone – Only carry what you need for the day

4. Never Be Too Trusting

You are a woman and it is pretty natural for some people to see you as vulnerable. Travel is a sociable activity, and you will meet people who will chat with you, and ask you to join them for a drink, activity or dinner. And sometimes, this can build long-lasting friendships and intimate relationships.

Sounds great, right? I mean, who wouldn’t want to make friends while they are traveling?  However, be careful not let your guard down, especially not right away. As much as I want to make things flowery and beautiful for you, some people just want to take advantage of tourists, and women. Con artists and thieves could be there lurking around, waiting for the right opportunity to strike.

Before traveling alone you might consider learning some self-defence techniques.  Other women travel with a rape alarm or pepper spray to help them feel safer and be able to react should they be attacked.

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If you want to get steamy with a local or a foreigner, make sure that you use protection.  You certainly don’t want to end up pregnant or with a nasty STI, so take some condoms with you if you think you might get lucky.  Alternatively, if you find yourself getting unwanted advances from men, don’t be afraid to say no.  A polite ‘no-thank-you’ or ‘I’m going to meet my boyfriend now’ can work wonders.  Don’t worry about appearing too rude to them. Saying no can still be done without losing your courtesy. You just have to be careful.  If you find yourself in a situation you don’t know how to get out of, ask someone for help.  A waitress, a local family, anyone who could help by simply talking to you and helping you out of a difficult situation.

If you decide to get busy, don't forget the condoms! Tips for women who travel alone
If you decide to get busy, don’t forget the condoms!

5. Don’t Overdo the Booze

Generally, tourists like to know where the nearest bars and hostels are where they can take their daily dose of alcohol. There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to have a glass of your favorite drink while you are traveling, and this goes for men and women.

At first, it is a cool thing to quench the thirst of your throat. But after a few drinks, you will get tipsy and your movements can become shaky and uncontrolled. As a woman traveling alone, you should not let yourself get into such a situation as it makes you more vulnerable to getting robbed or falling victim to potential sexual predators. And sexual predators do really love to hit on foreigners.

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I am not saying that you should not drink while you are on the road. The key here is to keep things in moderation. Do not drink like a thirsty horse. Instead, you have to control yourself and be aware of what you are actually drinking. Is the bartender giving you the right drink? Did you order a cocktail that is too strong for you?  Also, remember to keep an eye or a hand on your drink at all times, to make sure you don’t get spiked.  The same rules apply wherever you are in the world, and although you might feel safe drinking with new friends, still remember to be careful.

Don’t forget that you don’t have to succumb to any forms of gentle pressure. Sure, you can answer the kind gesture of people who invite you to sit with them. But this doesn’t mean that you have to let your guard down. Don’t ever push yourself just to keep up with them, although peer pressure to have another beer or shot can be strong, stop when you feel that you’ve had enough.

Drinking and making friends is part of solo travel, but know your limits - travel tips for female solo travelers
Drinking and making friends is part of solo travel, but know your limits

Wrapping Up

Modern women want to be free from their restrictions. They want to escape the binds of getting labeled or limited in their actions, especially on the things that they want to do, like travel the world.

When women travel, they feel a freedom like never before. You and I understand that feeling. But regardless of how jovial and ecstatic you can get, never be careless. You should always be careful, especially if you are traveling alone. In this way, you can make your solo adventure less stressful and more memorable, without missing out but still enjoying your travels safely.

Do you know other tips and tricks that can make a woman’s travel life safer and more convenient? Tell me in the comment section below!

About the author

I am Nora D.King – a contributor of Rainy Adventures. I am a nature lover. I believe that it is important for people to connect with mother nature’s gift of the great outdoors. I also write for several websites that focus on traveling and backpacking. I’ve also ghosted for other famous personalities who are known to be active in exploring nature and survival enthusiasts.

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Women can travel alone. That’s not a taboo anymore, especially in the modern era. But there are still some things that women have to consider before they start packing their luggage and travelling the world. Here are some tips to help female solo travelers do just that.

Just to let you know, this post may contain paid or affiliate links, which help to maintain Tales of a Backpacker and give me the chance to keep travelling, and to keep creating awesome content for you!

Tales of a Backpacker is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  I only recommend goods and services I believe are useful and reliable.

Last updated: April 27, 2018

 

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10 thoughts on “5 Tips for Women Traveling Alone

  1. You share the points are really important for a solo traveler. First of all, you collect the info your traveling destination before the traveling. I like your points. It’s very helpful. Great work.

  2. I loved these tips 🙂 As you said Over trusting is also not advisable. You must be open-minded by the way you should open your eyes also.

  3. The things that I do are: always research, don’t get drunk, make copy of my documents and always keep your close friends updated where you are. Thank you for the tips.

  4. I travel a lot by myself, though not backpacking. All of this is good advice – less is generally more when you are travelling alone. I’d also suggest checking the dress code of local people – not just what is ‘recommended’. If most of the local clothing is modest, even if you can wear what you like as a visitor, sometimes it’s better to cover up a little bit rather than draw too much attention to yourself.

  5. I know, it’s a bit sad that we have to write articles about what women should take care of if they travel alone but that’s the reality of life. Whatever you say, it certainly is tougher for a solo woman traveller, especially when it comes to safety and you’ve put together some really good points. Especially the point about drinking in moderation and not overdoing it.

  6. I’m not a fan of the idea that women are more vulnerable when traveling, but unfortunately it’s the mindset of criminals around the world. This is a really good list, and not just applicable to women either. As a solo male traveler, I follow the same five rules, and I rue every time I let one slip.

  7. I have traveled all around the world over the past year as a female and never felt unsafe or something like that. I guess it’s because I’m used to walking down the street by myself without drawing attention and I’m quite cautious because our big cities can be as ‘intimidating’ as those I visit when I travel. Research is always important and my add on would be to trust your gut instinct, in case something doesn’t feel good, it most likely isn’t good …

  8. These are great tips and I think also work well for the other sex. Guys also need to heed all these tips on traveling solo and to be aware of traveling for safety

  9. I also hate that posts like this still have to be written, but we do have to be cautious. As a woman who has done some alone bicycle touring and who has been groped before, I know just well how unfair life can be. Traveling alone remains a very empowering thing and we should never stop ourselves from doing what we want!

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