Travelling as a solo female can be an empowering and enriching experience for women. It provides a unique opportunity for self-discovery, adventure, and cultural immersion. However, just like any other adventure, solo female travel requires careful planning and consideration of safety. While the world is generally a safe place, it’s essential to take precautions to ensure a smooth and worry-free journey. In this article, we’ll discuss 12 solo female travel safety tips to help you stay safe and enjoy your travels to the fullest.
Research Your Destination
Before embarking on your solo travel as a female, it’s crucial to research your destination thoroughly. Understand the local customs, culture, and laws. Familiarize yourself with areas that might be unsafe for tourists and identify neighbourhoods known for their safety. Having this knowledge will enable you to make informed decisions and avoid potentially risky situations. This research is a crucial step in ensuring the your safety in your solo female travel. Research also helps you know when it’s the Best Time to visit particular Destinations.
Share Your Itinerary Regularly
Always share your travel itinerary with a trusted friend or family member. Provide them with details of your accommodation, transportation plans, and any other relevant information. Regularly check in with them during your trip to let them know you’re safe and sound. This safety measure ensures that someone knows your whereabouts in case of an emergency.
Choose Accommodation Wisely
You should opt for reputable and well-reviewed accommodations. Look for places with good security measures, such as 24/7 front desk services and secure locks. Consider staying in well-populated areas, as these tend to be safer than remote locations. If you’re unsure about an accommodation option, reach out to online travel communities or forums to get recommendations from fellow travellers who have been to where you’re going. If you’re going to be using hotel booking websites and Airbnb, thoroughly read the reviews!
During your Solo female travels, you should respect the local customs and culture by dressing modestly, especially in conservative countries. This not only shows cultural sensitivity but also helps you blend in and avoid unwanted attention. Research the dress code of your destination and pack accordingly to ensure you feel comfortable and confident while exploring.
In traditionally Muslim countries, for example, wearing shorts and tank tops is not advisable and can be perceived as offensive. It’s best to at least cover the shoulders and the knees. This also applies to many houses of worship around the world such as the Vatican, Greek monasteries, synagogues, temples, and mosques. It’s handy to keep a long scarf with you to cover your shoulders so you don’t have to buy or rent one there as they usually would charge a lot!
Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
As a solo female traveller, you should maintain situational awareness wherever you go. Pay attention to your surroundings, avoid distractions like excessive use of your smartphone, and trust your instincts. If a place or situation doesn’t feel right, it’s okay to remove yourself from it. Awareness is your best defence against potential risks. A reputable walking tour at the beginning of your trip in a new city is not only a great way to have a proper introduction to the area, but also an opportunity to ask questions and get more safety tips from your local guide. This would help you be more aware of your surroundings.
Be ready to Defend yourself
Taking a basic self-defence class before your trip can boost your confidence and preparedness. Learn techniques to protect yourself and escape dangerous situations if necessary. While you hope to never use these skills, having them can provide peace of mind and empowerment. If there isn’t enough time to learn one, buy a pepper spray. Another important tool is something that makes noise. A whistle could come in handy in more ways than one.
Avoid Publicizing Your Solo Status
While it’s exciting to share your travel journey on social media, avoid broadcasting that you’re travelling alone. Sharing your exact location and solo status could make you a target for unwanted attention or potential threats. Instead, wait until you’ve left a location to post about it.
Use Reliable Transportation
When it comes to transportation, prioritize safety over cost. Choose reputable taxi companies, rideshare services, or public transportation options. If you’re unsure about transportation choices, consult your accommodation’s staff for recommendations. Avoid accepting rides from strangers, especially late at night.
Keep Your Belongings Secure
Pickpocketing and theft can happen anywhere, so it’s crucial to keep your belongings secure. Invest in a sturdy anti-theft bag with locking zippers to deter thieves. Use hotel safes for valuable items and carry only what you need for the day. Be cautious in crowded places and never leave your belongings unattended. Make copies of your important documents, including your passport, identity card, and insurance cards, and keep them in all of the bags you carry.
Keep electronic copies as well, should the worst occur and you lose the paper copy along with the physical document.
Trust Your Intuition
Your intuition is a powerful tool when it comes to personal safety. If a situation or person makes you uncomfortable, remove yourself from it. Don’t feel obligated to be overly polite or accommodating if your gut feeling tells you something is off. This sense naturally becomes more heightened over time as a solo traveller. Do not be afraid to say No!
Stay Connected to the Internet
Having access to communication is essential for the safety of female solo travellers. Get a local SIM card or an international data plan for your phone so you can stay connected wherever you go. Having a working phone allows you to call for help, use navigation apps, and stay in touch with loved ones. Getting a local SIM also helps you avoid the high cost of roaming fees.
Be Cautious with Alcohol and Dating Apps
If you choose to consume alcohol, do so in moderation and be mindful of your surroundings. Never leave your drink unattended, and avoid situations that could impair your judgment and safety. Being in control of your faculties is crucial for making sound decisions while travelling alone. It’s also super common for people to use dating apps for getting dinner or drinks (or, let’s be honest, hookups). Just remember to keep it to public places and use common sense. Dating norms and expectations can vary wildly from country to country, so plan ahead and keep everything public just to be safe.