Traveling alone can be really rewarding.
You have nobody to please but yourself, so you can do whatever you want. It can be a great opportunity to check back in with yourself and spend some time unwinding. However, as a solo female traveler, it is important to take safety seriously. Tourists can be a target for crime, and women on their own can be even more at risk.
But there are ways you can help lower the risk. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Balance spontaneity with planning.
One of the big reasons to travel alone is to be able to be spontaneous, but try to have somewhere safe to stay booked for at least your first night at your destination, and know how you’re getting there from the airport.
2. Know where you’re going.
In a lot of places, tourists who look lost can be targets for pickpockets, so try not to look lost. Check your route before you set off, and don’t get out your giant map in a sidestreet. Check where you’re going more subtly.
3. Be comfortable saying no.
Whether someone asks you to have a drink with them, to join them for an activity, or asks to sit with you, if you feel uncomfortable, say no, and be confident saying it. If you feel strange about someone, it’s probably for a reason.
4. Arrive during the day.
If you can, arrive at your destination during the day, so you can find your hotel or other lodgings and explore a little in the daylight rather than walking around lost in the dark. If you do arrive at night, take a cab to your hotel rather than trying to walk or navigate public transport.
5. Be sensible about alcohol.
Of course, you can enjoy some local bars when you travel alone, but keep your wits about you. If you’re drunk, you are more likely to make risky decisions that could put you in danger. If you can’t limit your intake, it might be worth looking into addiction treatment.
6. Be aware of local culture.
Some cultures have very different attitudes towards women alone. Whether you agree with them or not, it’s good to know before you travel so you know where you might not be welcome. Do some research so you know when you will be expected to cover up, whether you will be safe alone, or where you are more likely to run into issues.
7. Tell someone your plans.
Keep someone at home up-to-date with where you’re going to be, and arrange to check in with them at regular intervals. If you don’t call when you said you would, they can raise the alarm and know you need help much sooner.
8. Never travel without health insurance.
Nobody likes to think they’ll get ill or injured while traveling, but it can happen, even if you’re careful. This is even more frightening when you’re alone, so make sure you have insurance so you can get the help you need without worrying about what it might cost you when you’re well again.