Read up on how planning a solo travel trip as a woman can expand your horizons, and what you can do to feel secure and safe while your mind is being blown.
Why is female solo travel trending?
Well, in Agoda’s Solo Travel Trends 2018 survey conducted by YouGov, they found that a primary reason for solo travel being on the rise was relaxation (we stan that so hard), followed by discovering new cultures, and shaking up an old routine.
To us, that makes total sense, what better way is there to relax, see new cultures, or shake up a new routine, than booking a trip by yourself?
In another study, it was shown that 34% of people said that travelling solo was among the top five trips they’d ever taken. I mean, those are some serious stats.
What are the benefits of female solo travel?
Apart from being able to do what you want to do whenever you want to do it? Well, travel can mean many things to many people, but one of the best things about it is that it can be really empowering. Here are some of our favourite benefits to travelling alone.
1. Full control
That’s right, full control over what you eat, over where you go, over where you stay , over your whole damn schedule without any say from anyone else. You’ll go mad with power feel so unfettered and free.
2. You’ll make friends
In fact, you’ll kinda be forced to. As kids its easy to make friends, it’s like, you’ll make friends with a kid just because they’re the same height as you, but making friends as an adult feels harder. Travelling alone forces you to strike up conversations and put yourself out there, which is an amazing lifelong skill to pick up.
3. You’ll learn to trust yourself
Embarking on a solo travel trip means that you have to rely on your own instincts and your own intelligence to figure out how to get places, where you want to go next, and whether that adorable pair of sandals is truly worth $15. You will come away with a real belief in your abilities, and that is a confidence boost everyone could use.
4. You’ll see some amazing things
Whether you’re hiking the Tongariro Trail, standing before the Taj Mahal, or taking awkward selfies in front of the Grand Canyon, you will be blown away by the sites that await you <cue Hero by Mariah Carey>.
5. You’ll have amazing experiences
Sure, sharing experiences with friends like eating way too much chili and then rubbing your eyes can be hilarious, but some experiences are more amazing and meditative for being by yourself. Imagine stepping up to the viewing plateau over Machu Picchu, or seeing dolphins jump off the coast of Hawaii and taking a silent moment to appreciate it all. Hey, even sipping on a beer at a local dive and watching the world go by can be amazing.
If I’m a little nervous about female solo travel, what do you suggest?
Good question! We suggest that if you are heading out solo that you try a tour to kick off your trip. This can be a comprehensive two week tour, or just a few days until you find your feet. It’s a great way to meet friends, and become comfortable with travelling solo.
Which countries are the best for female solo travel?
You can travel wherever you want to, and there are ways to stay safe whilst travelling alone. However, there are a few countries that have some top safety ratings for solo female travellers.
What about safety? How do you stay safe as a female solo traveller?
Staying safe is one of the top concerns of ladies embarking on a travel trip alone, and it’s a boring subject but an important one. A lot of our tips are common sense, but just in case, check out our recs on how to stay safe.
Dress to fit in
In more conservative countries it makes sense to dress in a more local style, especially if that involves covering arms, legs and shoulders.
Do some research
Do some research before you depart, and check the safety recommendations the government makes. For instance, research the neighbourhood you want to stay in, and check out recommendations on social media by other seasoned travellers.
The Smart Traveller website run by the Aussie government is a brilliant resource for solo female travellers. This site lists the political situation in your chosen destination, what you can expect on the road, and what you need visa-wise.
Keep in touch
In most countries you can get a mobile pay-as-you-go SIM card for data and minutes, so you can get around more easily and stay in touch with your friends and family. We really recommend checking in regularly with your loved ones.
You can also call your hotel, or a cab service if you feel unsafe for any reason.
Inform your hotel or hostel staff where you are going
If you are going to be out for the day, or the evening, it is really worth informing staff before you leave where you’re going (and roughly) what time you expect to be back. Leave your number, and take theirs.
Keep your valuables on you when you’re on the move
A little hidden passport holder or bum bag is a solo female traveller’s best friend. Don’t keep anything precious in your backpack (if that’s what you’re carrying) whilst you’re in transit.
Stash stuff in different places
Embrace your inner organizational self and keep cash separate from your cards, cards separate from your passport. So if there’s sticky hands nearby you won’t lose everything.
Don’t carry too much cash
When you’re out for the day, only take what you need, as that way if you lose your wallet or it gets pick pocketed, you’re not going to be out by too much.
Photocopy your important documents
This may seem silly, but if your passport is lost, stolen or damaged, you may need to recall the details of your passport to secure another from your embassy. A photocopy is an easy way to have all the information you need to hand.
Take out travel insurance!
Seriously, just do it.