Black women traveling solo is a whole vibe. Many major destinations have made accommodations and improvements in recent years to become safer for women traveling alone. And there are so many benefits to exploring the world with just you and yourself. The Solo Travel Society has over 264,000 followers on FaceBook, over half of whom are women. And a Booking.com survey found that more and more women are traveling alone every year. Expect to see plenty of solo female travelers out there this summer.
Traveling alone is liberating. You get to spend time with yourself doing what you enjoy and don’t need to consult with others when choosing on where to eat, what spots to visit. And you’re only working with your budget, so you don’t need to feel pressured to splurge or under-spend to accommodate someone else. However, with any sort of travel – solo, romantic or family-oriented – it requires special planning and knowledge. Here are tips for solo female travelers to be safe and have an amazing time on your adventures.
Don’t Over Pack
First thing’s first: you’ll be carrying all of your stuff, by yourself. That means when you want to grab a coffee or run to the restroom or do some duty-free shopping in the airport, you’re on your own. You only have yourself to carry your carry-on, purse, laptop bag – whatever. And once at your destination, you might have to walk down blocks of cobblestone streets or crowded sidewalks to get to your accommodations. Pack as little as possible so you don’t wind up playing bellhop to yourself the entire trip.
Think about what you have planned and prepare some playlists that will enhance the experience. This might include Soca music, if you’re going to carnival in one of the Caribbean nations or bounce or a brass band, if you’re hitting up New Orleans. Consider Jazz, if you’re attending a Jazz festival in the city you’re traveling to.
Hire A Local Photographer
You’ll want photos everywhere you go, and you don’t exclusively want selfies. Selfies don’t let you capture that gorgeous landscape or massive historical architecture. You won’t always be in an area with other tourists who are happy to take a photo for you. So, consider finding a photographer who will roll with and capture special moments.
Find A Mutual Connection
It’s always nice to know someone who knows the area well wherever you go. Before leaving for your trip, put feelers out on social media. Let your friends and family know where you’re going, and see if they know anybody who lives there. They might be able to find you a tour guide for the day, or even a safe place to stay. And if an emergency comes up, there’s a local person who you can help you navigate
Find Safe Transport For Solo Female Travelers
The app Safe & The City is designed to help women find the safest routes throughout the city. It uses user-aggregated data and other intel to rate the safety of certain areas and make recommendations on how you can best get from point A to point B. There are many other apps that are made to improve women’s safety. MADAMENOIRE covers several that are worth downloading before your trip.
Research The Area In Advance
Research each area before visiting, and certainly before booking your accommodations. Don’t simply choose based on the best price and proximity to things you want to do. You can do a Google search on safety and see what comes up, as well as read guides and travel logs that break down neighborhood. There are also apps like SpotCrime that allow you to review crime reports and general criminal activity levels in different areas.
Share Your Itinerary With Others
Solo female travelers should make sure that at least one person you know and trust has your full itinerary. That will include your full schedule, as well as the addresses and phone numbers of places you’re staying, transportation information and names of individuals you are visiting.
Book A Hotel With Private Access
If you plan on staying at a hotel, look for one with guarded access and not open up to the public. Choose lodging where guests must enter through a lobby and use a key-activated elevator to get to the guest floors. These are much safer than hotels with open access, especially for solo female travelers.
Travel light and travel right by incorporating these solo travel tips that are beneficial to your journey as independent global citizen.
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