Traveling alone can be invigorating. It can be empowering. It’s quite liberating not to be tied down by the demands, needs, preferences, and schedules of another traveler. You set your own agenda. You decide what you see and what you don’t see. You can follow your whim at any moment. And there’s nothing like the friendships you form with other solo travelers—you are kindred spirits, bold enough to trek the planet alone, but with open enough hearts to make connections wherever you go.
Now that last thing I mentioned—the whole friendly with an open-hearted thing—can also put a female traveling alone in danger. You have to remember that not everyone is curious about you for innocent reasons, and when you travel, you’re vulnerable. You’re unfamiliar with the settings, so it’s easy to get lost. You may not know the language or the customs. You’re tired and jetlagged and overwhelmed with information, so you may not be as aware of your settings as you are when you’re back at home. Women traveling alone need to be especially careful. While you may already know about some of the ways to keep you safe once you’re at your destination—enjoying your hotel safely and seeing the sites—do you know that you may set yourself up for danger in those places through your airport and travel behavior?
There’s a lot that can happen before you even reach your destination—a lot of security breaches, I mean. You can get lonely, bored, and generally sloppy while you’re still en route to your destination. But if you are a woman traveling alone, you need to be cognizant of these behaviors that can make you an easy target for thieves, scam artists, or worse. Here are airport and travel mistakes women traveling alone make.
Telling a stranger your itinerary
So you get friendly with another solo traveler in the terminal. You start sharing with each other where you’re going, what you’ll see there, where you plan on eating, where you’ll stay, etc. You just gave a complete stranger a play-by-play of where to find you at any given moment.