Is it possible for a woman to safely travel the world alone? Absolutely.
Traveling alone requires some special attention to safety. However, there are even more solo travel safety tips to keep in mind if you are a woman traveling alone. But don't stress – this post isn't supposed to discourage you from solo travel! If anything, it's meant to show you that as a woman, you are more than capable to travel the world on your own. But it never hurts to keep a few key solo travel safety tips in mind.
In our travels, we have find that prevention is the best way to keep problems at bay. And the best way to keep problems from arising is to be aware of situations that could go wrong. Additionally, you must be keen on how to manage potential issues that could arise. But honestly, these solo travel safety tips are great general guidelines to keep in mind all the time.
Traveling solo can be an amazing experience. And we're here to help ensure your solo travel experience goes as smoothly as possible. Read on for solo travel safety tips and tricks.
Research Your Destination Thoroughly Before Leaving
Truth be told, this is the best solo travel safety tip we can offer our readers. And that's regardless of whether you're a woman or not. It is always a good idea to research your destination before you leave. This can help you gain your bearings before you even arrive. And you might find that researching for your trip can be fun! This is a great way to get excited for your upcoming adventure. Plus, doing some research in advance can help you optimize your time away. You can read up on all of the best sites to see and the best restaurants to dine at.
But you still may be wondering, what exactly should I look into? There are a few specific solo travel safety tips when it comes to researching your destination.
1. Know Your Neighborhood
Whether you're staying in a hotel, hostel, an Airbnb, or with a friend, get to know the neighborhood. You will find it comforting to have even the smallest understanding of the area once you get there. Not only will it make the place seem more familiar, but it will help you if you find yourself navigating the streets alone.
Don't get us wrong – sometimes we love being lost in a new place. And we're not suggesting that you get to know the area entirely before you arrive. But as a general solo travel safety tip, it doesn't hurt to know where a few key spots are before you get there. Such as...
2. Map Out The Nearest Hospital
You never know what could happen while you're traveling. If you can break your leg when your back home, who's to say that won't happen when you're abroad? Therefore one important solo travel safety tip to follow is mapping out the nearest hospital or wellness center. And depending where you are going, it might not hurt to look into travel medical insurance. Travel insurance in general is a smart thing to invest in.
3. Research Your Lodging
If an Airbnb has a 0.5 star rating and you get the heebie-jeebies when you go inside... You probably shouldn't stay there. We cannot stress this solo travel safety tip enough: thoroughly research your lodging before making a reservation! There are too many horror stories out there of travelers being scammed and not having a reservation waiting for them. Or worse, travelers arriving to their lodging and discovering that it is not a safe space to stay. Research your lodging. End of story.
Arrive During The Daytime
If you are an avid budget traveler, you probably know that the cheapest flights tends to happen overnight. Or in the very early morning. And that means you will likely arrive to your destination when it is dark outside. This isn't necessarily a bad thing when you're traveling in a group. But if you are a woman traveling alone, we advise arriving to your destination when it is light outside. Could this make your airfare a little pricier? Perhaps. But we put this on our list of solo travel safety tips for a reason. And honestly, no price is to steep when it comes to your safety.
Keep Your Valuables On You At All Times
Whether you're on the plane just arriving to your destination or stepping out of your hostel in the morning for a latte, keep your valuables on you always. Even if you have made friends with other people in the hostel, you really can't trust anyone while you're abroad. And the last thing you want is to have your wallet, passport, phone, or another valuable stolen or lost when you're far from home. This is another one of those solo travel safety tips that we advise all of our readers to follow at all times.
Maintain Personal Security Guidelines
A crucial component of mastering solo travel safety tips is to be aware of your personal security. This means understanding that in every situation, your safety is your top priority. After all, if you are traveling alone, you have no one looking out for you but yourself. These are a few top personal security guidelines we advise both male and female travelers to follow at all times.
1. Blend In
In other words, don't make it obvious that you are a solo traveler. Depending on where you are traveling to, this can make you stick out like a sore thumb to the wrong people. And that's one of the best solo travel safety tips to follow to avoid getting pick-pocketed! But we know that it's not always easy to "blend in" in all cultures. So just do your best to not draw unnecessary attention to yourself while traveling alone.
2. Give Your Itinerary To Someone You Trust
It's always a good idea to let someone know where you're. And it doesn't even need to be someone in the same country as you, though that is a plus. Before you leave, print out your itinerary and travel details and give them to someone you trust. This can be a family member or a close friend. To further enhance this solo travel safety tip, consider making a copy of your travel documents for your confidante to hold onto.
3. Don't Give Out Personal Information
This is the updated "don't talk to strangers" idiom for solo travelers. Of course you're going to talk to strangers while you're traveling. You should talk to strangers when you're abroad! Just don't be dumb about it. There are certain bits of information that you don't need to show with someone you just met. This includes includes details about your travel documents and credit cards. It also includes details on where you're staying and in what room.
On that note, if you are signing into a hotel, do not write your full name. Instead, give your first name and the first initial of your last name. There is no need to write your entire legal name in this situation.
One of the best parts of traveling alone is being able to make new friends along the way. Meeting people from other places is such an important part of traveling! It helps get your outside of your comfort zone and learn about different cultures. And as an added bonus, making friends helps put you in a travel group. Even if it's just for a night or two. So do yourself a favor and make yourself some friends while you're away. This is a solo travel safety tip we insist you try out! In the same breath...
Don't Trust New People Too Quickly
It can be exhilarating to be out on the open road and come across a new group of people. It's even better when you seem to instantly get along with this new crew. And even though solo travel has its perks, it can get lonely. So jumping in on the first group you befriend is a normal thing to do. And sometimes these new friendships will turn into lifelong friendships - but they don't always. In fact, some con artists have mastered the art of befriending travelers to rob them later. Keep the earlier solo travel safety tip of always keeping your belongings on you in mind when you're meeting new people.
Follow Basic Safety Guidelines (Both Abroad And At Home!)
Like we mentioned earlier, there are some solo travel safety tips that are good to keep in mind anytime, anywhere. The following three tips will help keep you safe and prevent any issues from arising on your adventure away.
1. Be Alert Of Your Surroundings
Always be aware of what is going on around you. And in the same breath, keep note of landmarks in the surrounding area. This will help you if you ever get lost on your way back to your hostel. But being aware of your surroundings can also help to prevent worser things from happening. This includes getting robbed or pick-pocketed. Please keep in mind this does not happen to everyone who decides to go abroad! But it has happened before. So be smart, know what's around you, and help to prevent anything from happening that could put a damper on your journey.
2. Learn Basic Self Defense Moves
Honestly, this is a solo travel safety tip that we advise everyone follows. And we don't just mean when you're traveling. Everyone could benefit from learning a roundhouse kick or two! The chances of you needing to use self defense moves on your solo adventure are slim. But it doesn't hurt to have this tool in your back pocket. In fact, you'll find that knowing self defense moves makes you more confident. And confidence is key to solo traveling.
3. Stick To Public, Well Lit Areas
We're sure you've heard of this solo travel safety tip before. It's a good one to remember even if you're walking the streets of a city you know very well. If you are in a (literally) darker part of town, the chances of you being pick-pocketed instantly increase. Therefore do not stray away from well lit areas if you can help it. And considering you are likely exploring a new place on your solo adventure, chances are you aren't very familiar with your surroundings. It's already easy enough to get lost when you're traveling. Do yourself a favor and stay in well-lit areas to help prevent that from happening.
Spend Extra Money To Stay Safe
Remember how we mentioned you should book a flight that lands when it's light outside? That solo travel safety tip falls under this category, as well. Still, you might be wondering what exactly this tip means. It means taking a cab or an Uber home at night so you don't walk home alone in the dark. Or paying a little more to stay in a more central neighborhood. Overall, be sure to budget out an extra financial cushion for your solo trip to use in situations like these. AKA, make sure you have budgeted for a safety fund for your trip. That's probably one of the most important solo travel safety tips we can provide for you.
Watch How Much You Drink
Part of traveling and experiencing new cultures is about eating their food and drinking their beverages. We get that, and we agree that you should. But remember: you are traveling alone. There is no one else with you to look out for you other than yourself. Therefore the next solo travel safety tip is one that we cannot stress enough. If you are going to go out with new friends, please watch how much alcohol you consume. Drinking too much can lead to sticky situations. And staying sober is all a part of staying alert during your travels.
Prepare For The Worst With Extra Documents And Cash
Even if you follow every single solo travel safety tip to a T, things can still go wrong. Your purse can still get stolen. And you can still lose your passport along the way. That's why we suggest you always plan for the worse. Because it never hurts to have a backup plan.
1. Make Copies Of Your Travel Documents
We already suggested that you do this and leave a copy with a family or friend. But you should have front-and-back copies of your credit cards saved to cloud storage like Google Docs or Dropbox. Do the same with your passport. It is also a good idea to keep your bank and credit card number stored in a safe document, as well.
2. Keep Hidden Cash
Additionally, keep at least $50 U.S. dollars hidden in a secret spot in your luggage. You can get creative here. Seriously, throw it in an empty shampoo bottle or something! This will ensure that even in the worst case scenarios, you'll at least have a small financial cushion to fall back on. But if you are smart about keeping your money safe, you should have no problem while you are abroad.
3. Check In Regularly
Let someone know every time you have arrived in a new city. And if there is a change in your itinerary, give a heads up to your family or friends. We are not suggesting that you do this for every little thing you do on your trip! But as a solo adventurer, it's a good idea to let someone know where you are. Or where you're headed off to. And luckily, WiFi allows you to iMessage or Facebook message family and friends back home. It has never been easier to travel abroad and stay in touch with people back home. So why not take advantage of it?
Trust Your Intuition
There's a reason the saying "trust your gut" has been around for so long. It's because when in doubt, your intuition almost always knows the answer. Therefore if you disregard most of the solo travel safety tips on this list, make this the one you choose to follow. If a situation doesn't feel right, leave. Don't allow yourself to stay somewhere that doesn't feel safe. That goes fro whether you're abroad or not. Whether you're in a hostel, bar, park, etc. if you don't feel good in a situation, trust you spidey-senses and get yourself out of there.
As long as you keep a few key solo travel safety tips in mind, you will have the best adventure of your life.
We did not write this article to scare you out of traveling alone. Because honestly, we all think that solo traveling is something that everyone should experience at least once! But if you're going to do it, all we ask is that you be smart about it. There have been too many sob stories out there of people losing their passports or getting robbed while traveling. And we absolutely do not want that happening to you!
Are you planning on going on a solo adventure soon? Where are you going? Do you have any other solo travel safety tips for our readers? Leave us a comment and let us know!
Related Article: The 10 Best Places To Travel Alone: Plan Your Solo Trip