There’s something awesome and incredibly fulfilling about traveling alone… a sense of freedom and possibility. You’re not tied down to other people’s itineraries and you can, quite literally, go wherever your fancy takes you.
Whether for a week, a month or a year, traveling solo can be great for the soul. As an independent woman, you know that the world’s your little shiny oyster and you’re ready to venture to a foreign land – kudos to you!
But, the big question is, are you going to be a super savvy solo female traveler when it comes to safety? Make the memories magical by remembering these handy safety tips while you get busy planning your trip…
Here are 8 Great Ways to Be Especially Safe on Your Next Solo Trip
1. Get the Lowdown on Your Destination Before You Leave
Whether you’re off to have an ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ experience in Italy, India and Indonesia or search for the wild man of Borneo, it’s a good idea to do some research on your destination before you jet off.
Make sure your accommodation is going to be in a safe neighborhood and find out how you’re going to get around once you’re there – what is the public transport like and are there certain types of transport you should avoid? Is the place you’re heading to safe to roam at night?
Is there a good health center or clinic close by, should you need emergency assistance, and will this place accept your travel insurance papers? These are just some of the questions you should be asking yourself before you book your trip. It may be worth checking out TripAdvisor to read a few reviews from guests who’ve stayed where you’re headed, to make sure the place is all it’s cracked up to be.
2. Keep Everyone in the Loop
Once you’ve decided where you’re going to go, share your travel plans with family and friends. Having an itinerary will give your loved ones peace of mind – tell them where you’re going, for how long and where your accommodation is booked so they can get in touch with you if they need to. And remember to let them know if your plans change.
Being spontaneous is fun when traveling solo, but being safe is also smart.
3. Have a Realistic Budget and Stick to It
Find out how much money you’re realistically going to need for your trip, and then make sure you have some extra emergency cash – just in case. Being stuck in a faraway land without the means to fully explore it will be disappointing… being stuck anywhere without the means to get home could be unsafe and turn out downright devastating.
If you are seeking out ways to make an additional income while traveling, and are thinking of exploring blogging to support a digital nomad lifestyle, check out Travel Blogging Behind The Scenes for some awesome tips and insights.
4. Keep Your Valuables Close at All Times
Although it’s best to leave your valuables at home, most of us can’t live without a smartphone, Kindle or some type of device for very long these days.
Invest in a good day bag with hidden compartments where you can stash your passport, cash, smartphone, camera or any other valuables you’ve decided to take with you. A sling bag for travel is great since you can usually swing it around to your front without taking it off. This way you can keep it on your chest in crowded subways or access valuables without the chance of someone grabbing it out of your hands.
Keep this bag with you at all times – don’t be tempted to put it in with the rest of your luggage before you board a plane, bus or train. If you have to check in larger baggage consider using zipperless hardshell luggage.
5. Keep Moving on a Long-Haul flight
Long distance flights are not always fun, especially if you’re flying economy. Safety goes beyond security. Safe traveling includes making healthy choices too.
Book your seat as soon as possible and try your luck by asking for an upgrade – the worst they can say is no. If you can’t get an upgrade, try to get an aisle or bulkhead seat. This way you will be able to walk up and down during the flight to stretch your legs and minimize the risk of getting a deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Pro-Tip: You can also keep your ultra valuables safe by taking along the best underseat carry on luggage you can find. There’s no chance of losing it with check-in and (if you can fit everything inside) you can even eliminate having to wait for baggage at all!
6. Blend in With the Locals
When you arrive in an exciting new place, don’t be tempted to dress up to the nines and flash a lot of jewelry or – in some places – skin. Try to blend in with the locals so as not to attract unwanted attention from those who may have ulterior motives. A pink luggage set will scream “I’m Not From Here!”
If you’ve done your research properly, you should have a good idea of the type of clothing, etiquette and social norms of the place you’re visiting.
7. Don’t be Gullible
This is probably the golden rule of traveling on your own – especially as a woman. Always be aware of your surroundings and don’t trust strangers who come on too strong.
Trust your gut and don’t accept free rides, food or alcohol from anyone you don’t know!
Don’t reveal sensitive information about yourself and it might be a good idea to wear a fake wedding ring. Always meet new acquaintances in public places and let someone know – be it the hotel receptionist or a friend on Facebook – where you’re going and with whom.
8. Never Agree to Carry Anything for Anyone Else
This tip goes hand in hand with not being gullible, but is so important that it’s worthwhile mentioning it on its own.
We’ve all seen those movies – the ones where a hapless female traveler inadvertently gets caught smuggling drugs in her suitcase for a handsome stranger or a new friend she’s recently made on holiday.
Don’t let anyone handle your stuff and if someone asks you to do them a favor…Just say no!
A Last Word on Travel Safety
This list of safety tips for solo female travelers is by no means exhaustive. Spend a few minutes on Google or check out Pinterest and you’ll find a whole treasure trove of information on how to travel safely – be it locally or abroad.
Above all, make sure you thoroughly research the place you’re intending to visit before you leave and – when you do embark on your big trip – do it with confidence knowing that you’ve checked all the safety boxes that you need to.
Then, take a deep breath, get ready to embrace the experience, and give yourself a high five before you begin your adventure as a fearless female fun-seeker. You got this girlfriend!