Helpful Advice for Women Traveling Alone
Travel is one of the best ways to expand your mind, meet interesting people, and experience different places and cultures. Of course, you want to be able to explore the world while staying safe, especially if you’re venturing out on your own. We’ve collected some tips for women to stay safe as a solo traveler so you can feel confident and comfortable while jet-setting around the world.
Bring a Door Stopper
No matter how safe the place you’re traveling to is, it’s always a good idea to pack a travel door stopper. Whether you’re in a swanky hotel or a hostel, door stoppers provide a sense of security for any solo traveler. Even if you’re not worried about someone trying to break into the place you’re staying, keycards can malfunction and doors can be left unlocked.
It’s best to be safe and bring a door stopper with you to any place you travel. They’re usually shaped like a wedge and slip right under the door, so even if the door didn’t lock for some reason, you can sleep soundly knowing there’s an extra layer of protection.
Do your Research on your Destination
Doing your research on your destination is perhaps the most important part of traveling safely whether you’re solo or with a group. You might want to know what the safest parts of town are, where you should avoid, or the safest way to get around. In some places, it’s helpful to know what is culturally deemed inappropriate, etc.
It’s also important to familiarize yourself with location costs so you can know what to expect to pay while you’re visiting. Food, accommodation, and activities will vary in cost based on where you go. You don’t have to be an expert in every place you travel. But arming yourself with as much information as possible is the best way to go.
Keep in Touch
Don’t go completely off the grid! Keep at least one or two people in the loop about your whereabouts regularly. Consider sharing flight information or hotel names with a family member or close friend just to be on the safe side. Remember to let someone know if you decide to change your plans and stay somewhere else.
Keeping in touch with your family and friends will give you and them a sense of security while you travel on your own. While it’s totally okay to disconnect and immerse yourself in the environment, they’ll appreciate you keeping them in the loop and knowing you’re safe.
Keep your Valuables Hidden
Unfortunately, things sometimes get stolen. And having your valuable or sentimental items taken while on vacation or during travel can be a real mood killer. Keep your things hidden in your hotel room while you’re out and about. Some rooms have safes you can use for exactly this purpose.
It might be a good idea to leave some of your favorite jewelry at home. Don’t worry! It’ll be waiting for you when you get back. It’s best to blend in while you travel. This is also where some of your travel research will come in handy. Some places are known for pickpockets and scams so study up before you go anywhere!
Know How to Get Around
Transportation is key when you’re exploring a new place. Inform yourself of the kinds of transportation available and the safest ways to get from A to B. Uber is a great tool to use because the app tracks you and the driver. Always check the license plate of the car to confirm they are assigned to you.
Taxis and public transportation are often used in foreign countries as well. Always pay for transportation rather than walking alone at night. Knowing the safest ways to get around will benefit your entire experience, so do your own research and speak with locals for insight as well.
While this should be a general rule for all (or at least most) of the time, it is especially important for female solo travelers. Go out and have fun, but be aware and drink responsibly. Remember that you’re out of your comfort zone and you certainly don’t want to get lost or confused in a new place.
You want to keep your mind sharp while you’re on your own. Also, drinking customs may be different in a foreign place, so once again, research is key. If you do find yourself wanting to indulge in a drink while you’re traveling, try some of the local spirits! Just exercise moderation.
Backup Your Documents Online
While we wish everything went smoothly all the time, this is rarely the case. Having a digital backup of your documents while you’re away from home is critical if your things get lost, stolen, or damaged. Passport, I.D., booking confirmations, travel accommodations, etc. should all be backed up online so you have a digital copy.
We recommend keeping a physical copy of any emergency contacts just in case your phone goes down. Most of us don’t have phone numbers memorized anymore so it’s good to have a physical copy of those if your phone betrays you. You might consider writing down the name, phone number, and address of your hotel or accommodations just in case you get lost as well.
Don’t Tell People Where You’re Staying
While it is a good idea to let someone close to you back home know where you will be, you do not want to tell strangers. This one seems obvious, but it might be tempting to tell people where you’re staying if you make new friends. It’s best to be cautious and keep this information to yourself.
It’s the same reason you don’t reveal your home address to every person you talk to. You can keep some information to yourself while still meeting and talking to locals.
Like we mentioned before, as a female solo traveler you’ll want to blend in as much as possible and reduce the risk of being a target. Clothing is often connected to culture and environment so do your research to see what is and isn’t appropriate attire.
No need to wear anything too flashy that will draw potentially unwanted attention. Look into the weather for when you’ll be visiting so you can be sure to bring what you need to dress comfortably. Obviously, you can bring your style with you wherever you go, but be aware of local customs as well.
Learn Basic Words in the Local Language
Now, we don’t expect you to learn a new language overnight. But preparing yourself by learning some basic words in the common language where you’re traveling will be beneficial to traveling safely. You’ll want to know the basics: “Hello”, “Goodbye”, Thank you”, “Yes”, “No”.
But it might also be helpful to learn some useful phrases such as “Do you speak English?”. Familiarizing yourself with some basic language will make it much easier to get around and might come in handy if you get lost. Not to mention, it’s a great way to communicate with locals and immerse yourself in the place you’ve traveled to!
Trust Your Gut
The most important tip we can give female solo travelers is to trust your gut! Females’ intuition is not to be messed with. If you have a bad feeling about a person or place, leave. Don’t question yourself. Your gut is the most important tool you have when you’re in a new place and surrounded by people you don’t know.
Exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings while you’re traveling alone. You’ll never regret being overly careful. Safety is more important than politeness! Be kind to others but do not put your safety at risk to make anyone else feel comfortable.