Solo Travelling Tips For Women
Travelling solo can be one of the most exciting, liberating and eye-opening experiences, no matter your age. It offers ample opportunity for self-reflection and growth and boundless freedom.
How to Travel Alone Safely
It’s perhaps the foremost question of the solo or single traveller: “Is solo travel safe?” Without a companion to watch your back, you are more vulnerable to criminals and scam artists, as well as simple health worries. But the saying “safety in numbers” isn’t always true—a solo traveller can blend in more easily than a group, and not drawing attention to yourself as a tourist is one way to stay secure.
Here are a few safety tips for travelling alone:
Research before you arrive:
Know how long it takes and how much it costs to get from the airport to your hotel or to the city centre. Solo travellers are more likely to pay more. So ask the taxi driver for an estimated fare before you leave. If it’s considerably different from what you know to be true, take a different cab.
Be confident of what you do:
If it doesn’t feel right or if you are suspicious of something, don’t do it.
Carry authorized identification:
Wear a money belt; use it for storage and not as a purse. Constantly reaching under your shirt for money draws attention to it and defeats the purpose. Instead, keep your passport, extra stores of money, and other important documents tucked away, and use a theft-resistant bag or purse for carrying daily spending money.
Walking confidently and with direction is an effective technique for deterring unwanted attention, since appearing lost or confused can make you vulnerable. If you are lost, walk into a shop or restaurant and ask for directions there.
Leave valuables at home:
Don’t draw attention to yourself by wearing flashy clothes or jewellery.
Stay in touch:
Stay in touch regularly via phone, text, video chat, or email with a friend or family member at home
Arrive during the day:
Areas around bus and train stations can be scary and/or deserted, and small towns tend to shut down early. Arriving during the day means you’ll be able to find a place to stay and get your bearings before dark.
Trust everyone and no one:
One of the best reasons to travel alone is to meet new people, but this also makes you more vulnerable. Scam artists can often be the most charming companions you’ll find; you want to be open-minded, but keep your guard up enough to ensure your safety.
Exercise hotel safety:
At check-in, consider asking for a room near the elevator so you won’t need to walk down long, potentially ill-lit hallways to reach your room.
To avoid attracting unwanted attention, dress as conservatively as the women you see around you. This doesn’t necessarily mean donning the traditional dress, but a good rule of thumb is to dress modestly. Note which body parts the local women cover and do the same.
Combat harassment. Having a repertoire of harassment deterrents can be as important to women travellers as a sturdy pair of shoes and a passport. Not engaging with people who are bothering you can make you a less interesting target. If you want to avoid being approached during lulls in activity, such as while waiting for a train, carry a novel or keep your eyes on your phone to make yourself look busy and involved.
If a situation of harassment escalates, making a scene can sometimes be effective. Many societies place a high premium on respecting social norms, so drawing attention to harassment in a loud and clear manner may solve the problem. The sentence for “leave me alone” is a handy one to learn in the language of your destination.