10 Empowering Tips for Solo Female Travelers

The modern world has opened up a lot of opportunities for travel, whether as a couple, in groups, or solo. Traveling today can be made quite safe too, even for solo travelers, which is why more and more women are embarking on solo expeditions in various places around the world.

Whether it’s mountain trekking, beachside resort tourism, urban sightseeing, or biking across Asia, there are many ways for solo travelers to entertain themselves. Still, whichever way you choose to go about it, it’s important to always stay safe, consider every step of the process ahead of time, and be strategic about it all.

With that in mind, here are our ten tips for solo female travelers: 

1. Start Small

You don’t necessarily have to start your solo adventures in the most extreme possible way. Biking through the Asian wilderness may sound exciting and life-changing, but it’s best to build your way up to such Anne Westwards-level heroics.

Small stuff such as an afternoon in the park, a day for a few local museums, and a weekend out of town can gradually build your literal and metaphorical muscle for something more ambitious. Besides, it’s best to make your first traveling mistakes (such as stuff you forgot to take or overpacking) while you’re on a lighter and less ambitious trip.

2. Consider Group Tours and Activities

Traveling solo doesn’t necessarily mean traveling solo. By that, we mean – even if you don’t have or want a personal group of friends to travel with, you can still tack onto a larger tour either for the whole trip or for certain short sections of it.

This may sound like it defeats the purpose at first, but it really doesn’t. You’d still be by yourself, after all, there will just be other people around you most of the time. And this is one of the safest and smartest things to do when traveling solo as a woman.

3. Be Ready to Be Flexible

Things rarely go as planned when traveling, so a certain degree of flexibility is always needed. That’s especially true when traveling solo, however, as you have no one to rely on but yourself. So, being flexible is especially important in cases of delayed transportation, lost or stolen gear, bad weather, and the myriad of other things that can happen when traveling.

This flexibility can include things such as – always having a backup route in mind, having spares of certain essential items, always having a place to fall back to, being prepared to change plans on the go, and so on.

You may have noticed a theme – the key word in “ready to be flexible” is “ready.” Preparedness is the name of the game when traveling solo, and that includes being prepared to improvise.

4. Plan for Rest and Buffer Days

It’s sweet to dream of climbing a mountain in one go, but, in reality, such solo traveling endeavors include a lot of breaks and rest stops. What’s more – it’s best that they include a lot of buffer days too, just in case. It’s better to have to spend an extra day resting somewhere than to have to choose between taking a much-needed break and missing your next transport.

5. Find Female Hosts

Many of the safety tips for solo female travelers have to do with stuff such as staying near large groups of people but away from individual strangers, especially men. This can be tricky when figuring out your sleeping accommodations, however.

After all, depending on the type of tourism you’re going for, you’ll likely often have to sleep in hostels, Airbnb, couch surfing, guest houses, and other such accommodations. The trick for such situations is often as simple as just making sure that your host is a woman too. Even then, there are no guarantees, of course, but this is certainly a very simple and effective tip to keep in mind.

6. Stay in Touch with People Back Home

The biggest safety tip when traveling alone as a woman is the same as the biggest safety tip for going on a date as a woman – let someone you trust know where you are at all times. This can be done either by location sharing with an app or just by staying in touch with a friend or relative. Just be careful how you are sharing your location and with whom, as location sharing also has its risks when it isn’t done properly.

7. Meet New People at New Locations Based on Your Hobbies and Interests

Even if you’re traveling solo, this doesn’t mean you have to be alone at all times and never communicate with any strangers. After all, meeting new people is one of the best joys of traveling to new places.

The most rewarding way to do so is usually to just look for places at or near your travel destination where people gather for a particular interest or hobby you share. Even if we’re talking about something too specific that isn’t practiced in that part of the world, chances are that other tourists like you will often have organized something to your liking.

People travel for all sorts of reasons, after all – to go to concerts, to meet new faces, to date a mail order bride they’ve met on specific websites, or for any other reason. So, finding like-minded folks while traveling is often not that difficult.

8. Bring a Book or Another Distraction for Idle Moments

Traveling often includes a lot of downtime and waiting, even at times when you haven’t planned or don’t need a rest. And, when you’re traveling solo, chances are that you won’t have someone to chat with and waste time with while you’re waiting for your transport or anything of the sort.

That’s why any experienced solo traveler knows to always bring a book or something similar. As an extra tip, if you don’t want a bunch of paper to weigh your backpack down while traveling, it’s a good idea to get an e-book reader or a couple of audiobooks on your phone. The latter are especially great for solo travelers as you can listen to them not just while waiting but while you’re on the road too.

9. Don’t Share Everything Online – Not Immediately, at the Very Least

Cyberstalking can be a genuine risk for women anywhere, especially when they are traveling alone. So, as tempting as it might be to share your travel photos as soon as you’ve snapped them, it’s usually best to wait until you’ve gone home. After all, it’s not like you’re going to miss your chance to post them – just don’t do it right away.

10. Make Sure You’ve Got Backups of Everything

We’ve emphasized preparedness a couple of times already, but having backups of your essentials is always a good idea. A backup phone bank, personal ID, money, and so on – preparing these things can often feel like a waste when you’re lucky not to need them, but it’s better not to need something you’ve prepared than to need something you don’t have.

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