One of the biggest questions I’m asked about traveling alone is : “Aren’t you nervous traveling alone as a woman?”
My first response used to be, yes. Sometimes I am nervous about diving into new places and experiences outside of my comfort zone, who wouldn’t be? I soon realize after being asked this question that this wasn’t what is being implied. The undertone of that question is bigger than simply nerves of the unknown, it comes down to safety; safety as a woman traveling alone.
I am very aware of the risks and dangers that are presented when I travel alone as a solo female traveler. I never let these fears stop me. And I will take certain precautions to mitigate the risks.
Here are 10 Safety Tips I Use For Solo Female Travel:
1) Always Let Someone Know Where You Are
I always make sure someone back home has a copy of my itinerary and check in regularly. Even if they aren’t in the same country, they will notice if something is wrong. It might be extreme, but I always message someone back home when I am in for the night as well. It helps them feel at ease with me being so far away and I know that someone knows where I am.
2) Walk With a Purpose
When I’m alone, I try to look like I know where I’m going. For all anyone knows I am a local on my way to work. You’re much less likely to be bothered if people think you live where ever you are. If you need to check a map or gps, go into a bathroom or somewhere private.
3) Don’t Tell People That You Are Alone
This seems pretty straight forward, but don’t advertise the fact that you are alone. If someone is a little too persistent asking if you are alone, you could let it ” slip” that you’re meeting a fictional friend later that night.
4) Have a Plan to Get Home
No matter where I am, I make sure I know how I’m getting home to avoid walking alone in any areas that I might not feel safe being in. Have the address of your hotel or airbnb written down somewhere that you can show a taxi driver just in case.
5) Ask Your Hotel for Safety Tips
When in doubt, as a local. I always check in with the front desk or air bnb host about safety tips, places to avoid and local customs I might not know about.
6) Watch Your Drink
Again, this seems like common sense, but it’s easy to get comfortable with a situation and forget about keeping a close eye on your drink. It only takes a second for something to be slipped into it. I
7) Know Who Your Driver Is
I love Uber, but with my mom’s voice echoing in my head telling me not to get into cars with strangers, I try to be extra aware of double checking the licence plate and driver before I get into a car. Also, if you get a call or text that your car has been changed, don’t get into it. Why take the risk? Arrange another one.
With taxi’s I always take marked cars , check identifications and make note of their badge numbers just in case.
If I’m staying at an airbnb alone, I have drivers drop me off a few doors down so that they don’t know exactly where I’m staying. I worry less in a hotel setting because I will be with other people. This might be over kill, but it helps me sleep better at night.
8) Secure Your Door
All hotels and airbnbs have extra keys for the owners and managers, meaning that there is always another way to access your room. This is extremely unlikely, but it’s a possibility. I always make sure the door is locked and bolted, and bring a simple door jam to help prevent any unwanted visitors.
9) Adjust to Local Customs
Adjusting to local customs not only will help you to enjoy your trip more, but it will also help you to blend in. This applies to fashion customs as well, if you are visiting a more conservative location, perhaps consider dressing more conservatively to avoid unwanted attention.
10) Trust Your Instincts
Finally, trust your gut. If anything feels off, or if someone seems a little too friendly, get yourself out of the situation. Too many times, we as women are too worried about being rude and let ourselves stay in situations that were not comfortable in because we don’t want to raise a fuss. Be rude if you need to. You’re never going to see these people again and your safety and comfort is more important than running the risk of seeming impolite.
99.9% of the time the world is an amazing, beautiful place. People are generally kind and generous, but taking a few precautions will help you and those who love you feel more secure about being so far away.
I am a big believer in never letting fear stop you from doing something that you are passionate about. Simply prepare the best you can, don’t take unnecisary risks and enjoy every minute of it.
Looking for more safety tips for solo female travel? Here are 8 hiking tips for solo travel.
Do you have any safety tips for solo travel? If so, share below!