SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL SAFETY TIPS
EMBRACE THE FREEDOM: SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL SAFETY TIPS
Before we begin, my intention is not for you to travel with fear. I want you to feel empowered to take on the road. You don’t need to wait for anyone to travel – you just need to take the initiative to do it yourself. I have been traveling solo since I was 17, and I can assure you that it is much safer than we believe. All it takes are some measures, and the common sense that we carry as women wherever we are. In this article, I’ll share solo female travel safety tips that will allow you to explore the world without holding back.
Choose Accommodations Wisely
If you’re a solo female traveler, reviews are EVERYTHING. While it’s not always easy to filter through reviews, please make sure to read through them. It’s not yet possible to give a review and clearly choose that you’re a solo female traveler. In my more frugal days I used to not care about the reviews of a place as long as it was clean. I personally try to aim for a 7/10 or higher now. Prioritize accommodations with secure entrances and 24/7 front desk services.
Purchase Safety Devices
As a full-time traveler, I try to be very strategic with my purchases and what I carry with me. There are two devices I would highly recommend as a solo female traveler. The first one is a small alarm that works as a key chain. The second one is a door lock that is very effective. Both of these articles are tiny, lightweight and just basically give me peace of mind. I’ve never been forced to use either one, but I do carry them as a precaution, especially if I’m staying alone in a hotel room.
Keep friends and family updated about your whereabouts. Share your travel itinerary, accommodation details, and any changes to your plans. If you’re from a country that has services abroad for its citizens, you can register with them (this is a free service) and share your itinerary with them. This is the more official way. In the US, this service is called STEP.
If you’re like me, are more spontaneous or just forget to keep your family updated, simply share your whereabouts with them. This can easily be done if you have an iPhone. If you’re an Android user like myself, just use Google Maps. You can choose to share your location at all times. This doesn’t use a lot of power from my phone, and all my family needs to do is open their app to see where I am.
Be Mindful of Alcohol Consumption
Limit alcohol intake, especially in unfamiliar environments. Stay in control of your senses to make informed decisions and be aware of your surroundings. This applies to every scenario out there, even when you’re not traveling. You would not get drunk on your own or with strangers in a city, why should you do it while traveling? No, women do not “ask for it” but it is best to be on guard.
Research, Plan, and Stay Informed
Before you set off, conduct thorough research about your destination. Be aware of local customs, cultural norms, and any safety concerns. I believe that this is what sets aside a tourist from a traveler. A tourist stands out. A traveler blends in. Some might tell you to be wary of the political situation of the country through travel advisories. I personally despise them. I explain why you should rarely listen to them here. However, no matter where I am, I would never participate in any demonstration or protest.
This is all about respect and adhering to local customs. You’ll even find places in Europe where you are meant to cover up. For example, I was in Egypt recently and spent some time there on my own. Even though it’s a destination that most people advise against for solo female travelers, I had a wonderful time and was able to blend in. Avoid flashy jewelry. In many cases, a long flowy dress will do the trick.
Secure Your Belongings
Keep your belongings secure by using anti-theft backpacks, money belts, or concealed pouches. Be cautious with your valuables, and avoid displaying expensive gadgets or large sums of cash in public. I personally always travel with two locks: one that has a key and one that works with a code. If my accommodation has no safety box, I’ll lock my valuables in my bag. Can it be ripped apart? Of course it can. But if that were to happen, I’d have evidence and would be able to complain about my belongings missing. To be clear, in my 18 years around the world this has not once happened to me.
Power in Numbers
Connect with other solo female travelers through online communities or social media groups. Or simply, approach other travelers to join forces. Just recently, I was taking a ferry in the Middle East and I was the only woman on board. I saw a man with what was clearly a traveler’s backpack. I approached him, and we kept each other company during the trip. I wasn’t feeling particularly comfortable on my own, but having a fellow traveler by my side helped. Sharing experiences and tips with fellow adventurers can provide valuable insights and support.
Trust Your Instincts
Intuition is a powerful tool. If a situation feels uncomfortable or unsafe, trust your instincts and remove yourself from it. Whether it’s a poorly lit street or an unsettling interaction, listen to your gut and don’t give in to external pressure. This might sound a little far-fetched, but I am a firm believer that this is something that all of us women develop overtime. This is simply the reality of the world that we live in.
Should you learn self-defense techniques before traveling alone?
I’ve heard ignorant people (OK, some men) tell me that their daughters would grow up to kick men’s asses wherever they went. While that might be admirable for some, it doesn’t mean much. Unless you’re an absolute expert, in a situation of surprise you will most probably be overpowered.
I’ve personally taken self-defense classes, and I can tell you one thing. You don’t need to kick anyone’s ass. All you need is a few seconds to get away from the perpetrator. This is what will make a difference. So when you do take self-defense techniques, it’s actually to allow you to defend yourself to be able to run away and get help. This is another one of the reasons I travel with that personal alarm I mentioned earlier.
Should I just stay at home?
No! I know this might be overwhelming at the beginning, but I promise you that you’re in for a life-changing experience. Try it out! And if you hate it, at least you can get it out of the way. If you’re still nervous, I highly recommend you join a group trip! You’re still going alone, but you’ll meet other like-minded travelers and will always have someone look after you. I actually host group trips in case you ever want to join one! We focus on immersive experiences and responsible travel. That means that visiting a country makes a direct positive impact on locals!
Embarking on a solo journey as a female traveler is an empowering and transformative experience. By following these solo female travel safety tips, you can enhance your solo adventure, ensuring it is not only memorable but also secure. Embrace the freedom of solo travel with confidence, and don’t allow fear to hold you back from living out your travel dreams!
Hey there, and welcome to Go Global with Sibu! I’m a global citizen that has been living and traveling around the world since 2005 – all through budget travel, scholarships, study/work and living abroad opportunities. I share everything I’ve learned over the years here – to prove to you that you don’t need money or privilege to enjoy everything that this world has to offer.