Are you a mature woman thinking about trying over 40 solo female travel? In this special Solo Girl’s Guide to Travel for Singles Over 40, I asked my friend Ali from Blinked Travel for her trip-planning tips as an older woman traveling alone.
Over 40 Solo Female Travel
There are plenty of guides for solo female travelers, but most are aimed at 20-30 year olds. What about those like me who want to learn more about travel for singles over 40? Us soloists who wish to do more than snap Instagram pictures in our bikinis?
Whether you’re a senior woman traveling alone or someone curious about travel groups for adults over 40, this guide has everything to know about planning your first solo trip.
Maybe you want to travel and gain new skills. Throughout my travels, I’ve learned to teach English, plus I became a yoga teacher. Along the way, I made some wonderful friends from all over the globe, like Kathryn and Chiara from Samui TEFL in Thailand.
Vinyasa Yoga School in Rishikesh transformed me physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
If singles vacations over 40 are something you want to learn more about, keep reading this guide to travel for singles over 40.
What to Tell Your Family as an Older Woman Traveling Alone
When you start taking single trips over 40, many people in your life might struggle to understand. Whether they think it’s a mid-life crisis or a neverending vacation, it’s hard for some to wrap their mind around a senior woman traveling alone.
Ask yourself why you want to pursue over 40 solo female travel. Then, write your reasons down to explain your motivation to the overly curious people in your life.
Many women travel for the freedom to see the world and experience natural wonders that may not exist in the future. Regardless of your reason for embarking on singles vacations over 40, your loved ones must accept and support your decision. Help them understand, but don’t let them change your mind if it’s something you’ve thoroughly thought about and planned!
One of the best ways to reassure people about over 40 solo female travel is to assure them you’ll stay in contact. My Mum checks Facebook Messenger in the morning to check my last online status—it might sound weird to some, but it puts her mind at ease to know I’m okay.
Always tell someone your exact travel plans so they have an idea of where you are and what you’re doing. This will be helpful in the unlikely event of an emergency.
Researching Travel for Singles Over 40
As you’re planning single trips over 40 and searching for the best travel groups for adults over 40, it’s essential to keep several things in mind.
- Start by researching the safest locations for solo female travelers—this changes frequently, so ensure you’re checking updated information.
- Check crime rates in your location(s) of choice. Southeast Asia, for instance, feels more welcoming and safe than my hometown of Melbourne, Australia.
- Ensure the weather patterns align with your travel preferences. Hate cold temperatures and snow? You may want to avoid destinations prone to severe winter weather.
- Research the currency conversion to pick a destination that fits your budget.
- Find the best and safest modes of transportation.
- Familiarize yourself with local customs to respect the traditional culture and avoid sticking out like a sore thumb.
- Verify the country’s travel guidelines and requirements for identification and documents.
- If you’re traveling indefinitely, consider a 12-month insurance pack—there are plenty of inexpensive options for long-term travelers.
- Locate your country’s embassy at the end destination for assistance in case of emergency.
- Consider participating in some education to start your journey, like teaching English, learning yoga, or practicing Tai Chi.
- Learn a new language before you go!
What to Pack for Single Trips Over 40
I recommend packing as light as possible—I made the mistake of over-packing camera equipment and suffered the consequences of a heavy, bulky backpack!
Pack clothing items you can mix and match—a few bottoms and tops are all you need for a seemingly endless wardrobe. It’s typically better to purchase clothes in your home country, as sizing standards tend to vary significantly worldwide. Stick with practical, versatile shoes, and pack three pairs maximum.
I sport a hair bun 99% of the time, so I’ve successfully avoided packing hair tools. If you can work with your natural hair and no-heat styling methods, you’ll save a lot of space.
Minimal makeup is key to packing light—stick with essentials like SPF, waterproof mascara, and tinted lip balm. I also suggest filling up the medications you take before leaving the country. Also, keep a notebook or written log of any prescriptions you’re on. Scarves are a handy accessory for covering your hair in modest countries, and they’re incredibly versatile.
By all means, research travel groups for singles over 40 to your heart’s content, but leave some free time in your itinerary for spontaneity or relaxation. You never know when you might be invited into a local’s home to share a meal or find the location of your dreams and want to stay a while. Over 40 solo female travel teaches you a lot about flexibility. Some of my best and most memorable experiences on singles vacations over 40 have been unplanned and spur of the moment.
Once you’ve booked that ticket (whether it’s one-way or roundtrip), make sure to reserve your first night’s accommodations at a minimum. You don’t want to arrive at your destination and struggle to find a bed to rest and recover from your jetlag. On the other hand, don’t book too many nights at once in case your plans change or you want to explore a new area.
Upon landing in your destination country, lay flat on a bed and elevate your feet above your head with pillows for at least an hour to promote blood flow and reduce swelling.
Looking for more recommendations on how to plan single trips over 40? Check out this step-by-step guide to planning the perfect trip.
Finding the Best Flight Deals
With so many airline choices, how does one choose the right flight? My strategy is to use a generic flight booking site like Skyscanner or Google Flights to estimate the rough price of my trip and decide whether or not I want a stopover.
Once you’ve found an option you like, go to that airline’s website and check what price they’re offering the itinerary for. Many times, booking directly with the airline is cheaper, and you can usually sign up for free rewards programs that let you accrue points, which you can redeem for travel rewards.
Before booking your trip, check reviews for the airline you plan to use. You don’t want to get stuck on an uncomfortable flight for hours!
When selecting your seat, I recommend options towards the back of the plane. Airlines usually fill from the front rows first, so the chances of having a spare seat beside you increase the further back you go. If you don’t require a window, opt for a window seat—there’s a good chance you’ll end up with a row to yourself.
Choosing the Right Hotel
I’ve often been called the “accommodation queen” thanks to my skill in finding affordable gems in excellent locations. My secret is Booking.com, though I also check Airbnb. The best advice I can give you is to read the reviews, good and bad.
Know What You’re Looking for as an Older Woman Traveling Alone
Identify what amenities and accommodations best fit your travel needs and preferences. Most hotel websites offer search filters to narrow down the list of results. Consider factors like:
- Balcony with a view
- Private bathroom
Remember that you probably won’t spend much time at your hotel or Airbnb, as you’ll be busy exploring and adventuring. As long as accommodations are clean, safe, and comfortable, I’m a happy camper.
Safety Tips for Over 40 Solo Female Travel
Common sense is priceless, ladies. Always inform someone of where you’ll be staying and how they can contact you in case of emergencies. Carry a crossbody purse and only use it for basics and minimal currency. You don’t want to lose your passport, ID cards, and cash all in one go.
Don’t get too drunk—if you’re planning a big night out on the town, arrange a trusted driver to get you home safely. Keep an eye on your drinks if you go to bars or clubs. Unfortunately, it’s pretty common for people to slip drugs and unknown substances into alcoholic drinks to put others in a vulnerable position.
If you’re finding travel over 40 lonely, participate in a group class to learn a new skill and meet people. I enjoy taking art classes and have made some great friends all over the world by chatting during class and going out for food or drinks afterward.
Helpful Advice for Planning Singles Vacations Over 40
A Smile Goes a Long Way
Locals are more likely to approach you as a friend if you offer them a genuine smile. Don’t be a rude, pretentious foreigner—a simple smile goes a long way and transcends language or communication barriers.
Email Copies of Important Documents to Someone Trusted
Before embarking on your solo trip as a woman over 40, I suggest emailing copies of your passport and ID to a trusted family member or friend.
Be Adventurous (But Do it Safely)
Give yourself the freedom for unexpected adventures, but never put yourself in a dangerous situation. Trust your gut instincts and stay wary of strangers.
Prepare for Anything
No matter how well you prepare before your trip, there’s always the possibility something will go wrong, or your plans will change unexpectedly. Stay flexible and prepared for anything to happen, good or bad. That’s life, after all!
Document Your Adventures
Whether you enjoy photography or writing, I highly recommend documenting your over 40 solo female travel adventures. Even if you keep these memories private, it will be nice to look back on them years down the road.
Talk to the Locals
Locals give the best advice on food, nightlife, and hidden gems. Living like the locals do as you travel internationally will help you keep an open mind and welcome new and unique experiences.
Hire a Car or Scooter and Explore
Assuming you know how to operate a car or scooter safely, I recommend hitting the backroads and diving into local life. Stop at small shops and talk to as many people as you can—I find the further away from large cities, the friendlier people tend to be.
Dress Per the Local Culture
Be aware of the local customs wherever you travel so that you don’t unintentionally offend the locals. In some countries, for instance, tattoos are frowned upon, and women must cover their hair.
Make Sure Your Phone and Credit Cards Will Work Overseas
Verify your cell phone provider’s regulations about international travel, and notify credit card companies of your upcoming trips, if applicable.
Join Facebook Groups
There are many Facebook travel groups for singles over 40 where you can meet like-minded people worldwide and seek advice from experienced travelers.
Travel for Singles Over 40: Final Thoughts
If you take one thing from this Solo Girl’s Guide to Over 40 Female Travel, I hope it’s a sense of confidence and eagerness to explore! There are so many beautiful destinations in the world that you shouldn’t let your age dictate where or how you travel.
Read about my travels here.
Ali is a professional photographer who uses her iPhone too much and likes to visit people and places off the beaten path.
Ali is in her mid-forties but has the mental age of a 20-year-old who wants to absorb all the positives that come with over 40 solo female travel.