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Traveling Solo as a Female

You’ve been bitten by the travel bug and your wanderlust gene is begging for attention. The only problem is that you don’t have a partner in crime to join you on your next adventure! You’re thinking of traveling solo, but you’re not quite sure yet. I know how you feel because I’ve been exactly where you are. The thought of solo travel can feel awkward and scary if you’ve never tried it before. I felt the same way before I tried it myself, and after exploring 6 countries solo, I can tell you that I actually quite enjoy it. In fact, some of the best trips I have ever taken have actually been while traveling solo. Use these 13 tips to stay safe and have fun on your first solo journey.

1. Do Your Research

Since this is your first solo trip, you really want to set yourself up for success. Knowledge is power and will help you feel confident in venturing out on your own. Learn all you can about the country you’re visiting before you even arrive. Knowing the basics such as exchanges rates, tipping customs, and cultural differences can go a long way. A simple google search of “Things to know before going to_____”  will prepare you with some helpful information that you may not have even considered.

2. Double Check Reservations

Make sure you double check your flight and hotel details to ensure that everything matches up correctly. It’s a common mistake to get check-in and check-out dates mixed up when you are traveling across the international dateline. You don’t want to book an extra night by mistake and waste your money, or worse, not have a room at all when you arrive late after a long-haul flight. Make sure there will be someone there to assist you when you arrive.

traveling solo as female

Make sure there will be someone there to assist you when you arrive.

 

3. Travel is Easier with a Data Plan

I highly recommend adding an international data plan for the duration of your trip, even if it’s just for emergencies. My T-mobile iPhone has an unlimited international data plan that works perfectly for me, and I’m able to use my text and data just like I do when I am in America. If you travel outside of the USA often then I say go for it. My trips are so much more productive when I’m not wasting valuable time searching for a cafe with wifi to download directions to a certain attraction. Plans change, attractions may be closed, or you may get lost. Having the Internet in your pocket makes travel much less stressful when issues arise.

4. Be Street Smart

Be cautious when having someone take pictures with your phone or camera. Do they look like a tourist with their own nice camera? Then you are probably safe. Don’t trust the cute local kid in Thailand who is likely to run away with it and bring it home to their family to sell for money. Sadly, this happens way too often.

When out and about, only take what you need and use a small crossbody purse with a chain link strap to carry your things. This one is perfect for what you need and is also very affordable! Also, make sure the opening or clasp is facing your body. Crossbody purses that don’t have a chain strap can easily be cut right off of your body in seconds. If the opening is not facing your body, then you can easily be pickpocketed. This actually happened to me in Thailand.

Even though I wore a chainlink crossbody purse, I got lazy and stopped putting the clasp opening towards my body. I was standing on the beach watching a fire show and felt a tiny bump. I looked down and everything was gone in less than a second. Please learn from my mistakes! It happens to the best of us. Don’t let your guard down like I did.

Get a cute crossbody purse!

 

5. Use The Do Not Disturb Sign

I usually leave the do not disturb sign on my door at all times, even when I’m away. The safe in the room is not always considered safe, unfortunately. I have had hotel staff tell me this before. The “Do Not Disturb” sign is usually a good deterrent of having anyone come into your room to rummage around. I would rather have an unmade bed and ask for more towels than have my laptop stolen. Pack light and try not to bring anything too valuable with you on your trip.

6. Wear a Simple Wedding Band

When I am traveling solo I usually wear a simple ring like this one to deter unwanted advances. On a solo trip to Istanbul, I had a few men try to make advances in a very lewd way. I was able to say that my husband would be joining me shortly and that he wouldn’t appreciate this sort of talk. That was enough to scare them away. If someone asks if you’re traveling solo, you should always say no at first. You can easily change your answer later after you get to know them a bit more. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Trust your intuition.

7. Walk With Intention

You should know where you are headed and walk confidently with intention. Even if you don’t feel very confident in where you are headed, fake it til you make it so that you aren’t an easy target for would-be predators. If you do get lost, then try not to seem too lost. This is another reason to have your data plan active. Google maps will work well in most countries. If you are lost and need help, just make sure that whoever is helping you thinks that you are meeting your friends there.

8. Be Careful With Alcohol Intake

When I travel alone, I may have a glass of wine or two max, but never more than that. You need your brain to be fully functioning in order to stay aware of your surroundings. Either avoid alcohol altogether or enjoy in moderation, but always keep your drink with you and in your sight. You don’t want to have something dangerous slipped into your drink when you are gone to the restroom. When you are out, make friends with the bartenders and waitstaff so you are a less likely target. An attacker wouldn’t likely go for the girl everyone was talking to, but would usually opt for the quiet one that no one really saw.

Enjoying a glass of wine at the Four Seasons Sayan in Bali.

 

9. Add New Friends on Social Media

Always lead with caution, but do keep an open mind. Making new friends is one of the highlights of traveling alone. When you make new friends, ask to add them on Facebook or Instagram. You can quickly get an idea of the type of person they are by looking at their social media accounts. If they don’t have any, be leery and trust your gut. Most people have at least one social media account these days. You’ll have what I call their “new friend resume” right at your fingertips, and you’ll be able to stay in contact easier. Always hang out with new friends in a public place.

An amazing new friend I connected with while traveling solo in Indonesia.

 

10. Stay Connected With Friends & Family Back Home

Staying connected with friends and family back home will ease their minds about your solo trip and it will keep you from feeling too lonely. Take them with you on your journey through social media. When I am traveling solo, I post all the little things that I’m up to on Snapchat and Instagram stories. My friends and family feel that they got to sightsee with me and I never feel alone.

traveling solo as female

Snapchat your story.

 

11. Remember to Take Pictures of Yourself!

When I first started traveling solo I took plenty of pictures of the beautiful sights, but then later realized I wasn’t in any of them! Make sure you get some pictures of yourself exploring the world. You’ll definitely want to remember your first ever solo trip! Ask someone to take it or pack a selfie stick if you have to. You’ll thank me later. Also, bring a great camera that’s easy to carry anywhere. I am in love with my Canon PowerShot N100. It’s super easy to operate and is small enough to fit easily in any purse. It provides amazing photo quality and since it’s bright white, I never forget it on the table at dinner.

traveling solo as female

Remember to capture the memories!

 

12. Have Fun & Don’t Overthink It

By all means stay safe, but don’t forget to have fun! One of the biggest myths of traveling alone is that you’ll actually be alone! When I travel alone, I’m never really alone for very long unless I want to be. I’m very friendly and talk to everyone, and it never takes long to find new friends. Get to know people and keep an open mind. Be open to new experiences as they arise. You never know where your journey will lead.

In my experience, the majority of people in the world are good, and it is perfectly safe to travel solo around the world. I have made some amazing new friendships all over the globe just because I dared to say hello first. Say hi and initiate conversation. You’ll sense who is open to chatting and who isn’t. Don’t take it personally if they don’t respond the way you’d hoped, just try someone else.

13. Enjoy The Silence

Traveling solo allows you the time and space to just be, without having to worry about anyone else. The introspection that occurs during these moments of silence can be life changing. We are so busy in modern daily life and always on the go. We rarely create space in our lives for those moments alone with just our thoughts. I have personally had some powerful insights during my solo trips that have really stayed with me in a very positive way. When I return home, I always arrive inspired with new ideas and feel completely recharged.

traveling solo as female

Just me & the Koi

Having traveled solo to 6 countries so far, I can tell you that it’s very empowering. Once you experience it for yourself, you’ll understand that nothing can stop you from living your dreams of traveling the world. If you’d like help planning your first solo trip, you can make an appointment with me here. I look forward to empowering you to take on the world and conquer your first solo adventure!

Ready to book your next adventure? Check out my Travel Resources page!

Read next: Travel Hacking Made Easy

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THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL – 13 TIPS TO STAY SAFE & HAVE FUN

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