The Jet Set Life: Essential Tips For Women Traveling Solo

April 1, 2015  |  
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Dying to go abroad but not so sure about traveling alone? There’s no reason to defer your jet-setting dreams — as long as you know these essential tips for women traveling solo before you hit the friendly skies.

Get Inspired

If you announce your plans to travel solo, be prepared for naysayers. But have they ever tried it? Lots of women have. Follow the blogs of solo female travelers, including this one (or these), and you will get all the inspiration, insider tips and confidence you need to buy those tickets.

Do A Risk Assessment

Before you go to any country you should always know what’s what — especially when it comes to safety. Check your destination for travel warnings frequently. If the place doesn’t sound safe, consider changing your destination or relying on the best of human nature to help you on your way.

Trust Your Gut

Women were given great intuition for a reason. Always keep an eye on your surroundings. If it doesn’t feel right, keep it moving.

Don’t Turn Up

A few drinks is fine, but stumbling out of a bar at night, by yourself, in a foreign country, is not. Always keep your wits about you when you’re alone — or you’ll be asking for trouble.

Stay Connected

Sure, you’re on vacation, but don’t completely disconnect. Whenever you change locations, let your friends and family know with a call, text or email. Don’t have international minutes? Update your Instagram with photos of your passport stamps or tweet your location!

Join Tour Groups

It can get lonely out there on the road. Tour groups, workshops, and courses are a great way to meet other friendly travelers from all over the world.

Stay At A Hostel

Not every locale has tour groups, but most places have hostels. They’re great places to meet fellow travelers, get inside tips on hidden gems in your chosen destination, and find group activities to keep you connected.

Avoid The Thrill Of The Night

Plan to get where you’re going before nightfall. Know when your plane/train/automobile is arriving and make sure it’s at least a few hours before nightfall. If you get settled in before nightfall, you won’t be caught wandering around in the dark with a “target me I’m a tourist” sign flashing above your head.

Remember Brokedown Palace

You know, the movie where Claire Danes goes to Thailand, trusts some random backpacker and ends up sentenced to 33 years in a Thai prison? Always pack your own bags before a flight and never carry anything for anyone else — especially over a border.

Don’t Be A Bag Lady

Pack light. You’ll feel less vulnerable if you’re not weighed down with luggage. And leave expensive items like flashy jewelry and big, expensive cameras at home — or at least keep them out of sight in sketchy places.

Keep Your Important Documents From Getting Lost

The best way to do that is to have two sets of copies. Leave one at home with someone who can email or fax them to you if necessary. Tuck another in a bag that’s not the one the original document is kept in. That way you’re not stranded if your travel documents disappear.

Fly Under The Radar

When in doubt, dress conservatively–or at least as conservative as the locals do. You’ll avoid a lot of unwanted attention that way.

Avoid Negative Attention

Ignore it and it usually goes away. If it doesn’t? Pack a whistle just in case. Blow it and you’ll draw unwanted attention that will likely scare the obnoxious individual away. Want to feel really confident? Take a few self-defense classes before you go on your trip. You’ll feel better equipped to handle any situation.

Look Confident

Walk with purpose, put the map away and look like you’re right where you belong. If you need directions, ask someone who looks knowledgeable. Eating alone? Bring a book so you don’t look uncomfortable. Look like you have everything under control and people will treat you that way.

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