Traveling without a companion or partner can be completely treacherous,especially for a female. But going solo as a woman is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling styles of travel. And like most types of travel, it has ups and downs. Here are 10 tips to help keep solo women travelers safe:
1. Do the basics
Scan your driver’s license, passport, and health card and email them to yourself and a friend or family member. If you lose your passport, it makes getting a new one much easier. Always let your family or friends know where you are going, when you expect to arrive, and where you are staying. When you arrive, confirm those details. If something should happen, at least one person knows where you are. And also always learn key words in the language of the country where you are traveling – particularly ‘Help me!”
2. Stay in social accommodation
If you’re a backpacker on a budget and looking for cheap accommodation, shared dorm rooms in hostels will certainly introduce you to people; or you can stay in a “luxury” one. But whatever kind of hostels you prefer, try to meet people oftentimes. Spend time in the common room or communal areas to meet people or participate in hostel group activities. AirBnB and other similar accommodation rentals are a great way to meet the locals and get to see a different side of a destination.
3. Don’t tell people where you are staying
No one except your family really needs to know the name of your hotel, and if you make plans to meet someone, meet at a local landmark or point instead. The majority of the time, nothing will happen, but a little self-preservation never went amiss.
4. Take transportation wisely
Study a map before you go. Use Google Maps to locate not only fun restaurants and shops, but local police stations or the US Embassy. You can also download maps straight to your iPod or phone that way you avoid signaling potential predators that you are lost or a tourist – no giant paper maps!
5. Dress like a local
It’s often good to not draw attention to yourself on the road if you want to be left alone. So it’s important to do some research before traveling and check out what the local customs are. One of the best experiences by senior travelers is how to blend in, and that means dressing like a local when necessary like covering your hair, cover your hair or wearing long sleeves or loose clothes, etc. Never wear a camera in front of you!
6. Hop on a tour
If you’re traveling to a country where you’re either not comfortable traveling alone or you’re looking for a different kind or unique travel experience, just book and join a tour. Usually there are a range of tours that meet every type of need and interest. Day tours or multi-day tours, photography tours and budget tours even pub crawls , there’re many types to choose from. Depending on your trip, your travel style and where you are going you might consider hopping on a tour.
7. Join in group activities
If you love having hands-on travel experience, a great way is to stay social and meet people on the road to participate in group activities. You can gravitate towards activities like cooking classes, food and market tours, and lots and lots of adventure activities, like bike tours, boat outings, and scenic flights.
8. Make a travel buddy on the road
There’re a lots other solo travelers, so if you have hung out a few times or have similar interests or want to go to the same place, sometimes it’s easy to just travel along together for a while. This happens a lot on the well-trodden backpackers trails in Europe and Southeast Asia but also works in other parts of the world too.
9. Carry a whistle and a door stop
Carry a whistle in your purse. If you’re in danger, blow the whistle – it’s an alert signal recognized in every country. And also a door stop, it takes up no space and is great to have to shove under flimsy hotel room doors at night just in case of someone trying to come in.
10. Trust your instincts
If someone approaches you and you feel uncomfortable, do not worry about being rude. Keep walking and ignore them. You may sometimes be wrong, but it’s not a chance you’re prepared to take.
11. Be friendly
When you appear to be friendly, other people will reach out to you to help you. A simple smile may save you from being hurt or even robbed.