Are you thinking of a solo international trip but worried if you will be ok on your own? The good news is that YES you will be totally ok travelling alone.
According to Marybeth Bond (National Geographic author), the number of women-only travel companies has risen by 230% in the past six years. Visa Global Travel Intentions Study has shown between 2013 and 2015 the number of single travelers has risen from 15% to 24%, so you are not alone.
As a solo traveler the thought that crosses your mind is safety, and you are tempted to drag a group of friends who will disrupt your travel plans, if they don’t abandon them entirely at last minute.
But do you really need to go through all the hassle? Is the only way you get to travel with a travel group? Absolutely not! Travelling alone is one of the most fulfilling experiences that you will encounter. Granted, it is scary to do it the first time but to make sure that you have nothing to worry about, here are my best travel tips.
-> Check this out: 8 practical tips for women travelling alone
Have a Street Map when Travelling Alone
When traveling alone always walk straight up with your head high like you know where you are going. Have a map, a guide book and carry some cash with you. Be self-reliant and well prepared, in case you lose your way in an unfriendly neighborhood. Maps and guides are great because you won’t have to keep asking strangers for directions and making you vulnerable to being defrauded or taken advantage of.
Buy an International Phone Plan
Keeping in touch with people back home while travelling alone will make you feel calmer as you travel the world. Many of us full time travelers worry about leaving the people we love behind. But if you are able to constantly stay in touch then you’ll feel closer to them. International calls are expensive especially when using roaming services or calling abroad using a local sim-card.
Nowadays the international phone plan is not that expensive. It’s a safe way to keep your loved ones back at home updated on your travels. If you plan to go off grid, schedule a check in time with them either through email, Skype, or a call. Let someone know where you are for your own peace of mind and theirs too.
Avoid too much Luggage if Traveling Solo
This might be the toughest tip to implement, especially for us ladies, but trust me there is nothing attractive to a thief than a single woman dragging two or three heavy bags through a train station or in the streets. You are a magnet for street hustlers who will be more than willing to help you but in reality they simply want to steal your luggage.
Too much luggage when travelling alone is not only a huge hassle for you because you need to carry all those bags but also you will end up paying so much more money for the checkin baggage for that in the end you won’t even use half of your stuff. Imagine getting into a new town, you have no idea where your hotel is, it’s at night and you have to drag your three bags to the taxi area a couple of meters away. Save yourself the hassle and pack light. Real simple has a stellar guide if you need tips on packing light.
Share your Travel Itinerary with Someone back at Home
It’s always good to have someone who knows where you are at all times. Share your travel itinerary with someone back at home whom you trust would help you out should you find yourself in a fix. It’s also good to have someone keeping tabs on you because should anything happen where you are they will know to contact you asap.
A lot of the times you will go abroad and come back safely bit from experience, one thing that keeps most people from traveling is family and friends worrying too much about them. Put them at ease by letting them know everywhere you go at all times. This way you get to travel in peace and have someone look out for you.
Do what the Locals Do as a Solo Traveler
The best advice for women travelling solo (or solo traveler in general) is to blend in with the locals to avoid looking like a tourist and avoid being taken advantage of. Ditch the Disney T–Shirt, instead dress in what locals wear. If they dress in sarongs or kaftans, go for that too. Also, avoid walking around with your face on the guide book.
Yes you need to figure out where to go but don’t make it too obvious that you’re lost. This will keep all the attention away from you and will fit in with the locals. For safety too, when you are all covered it will spare you the unwanted male attention. Check out this awesome post on 10 Things You Should Never Wear Abroad for more insights on how to dress when traveling abroad.
Learn how to Deal with Men
You will receive a lot of attention from men when travelling alone. There are several things you can do if you want to deflect this kind of unwanted attention. For instance you could wear a real or fake ring and carry a real or fake picture of a husband in your wallet. This will ensure that you are safe from men whose flirting is irritating or even men who lure women with fake love to rob them. This might sound a little over the top but unfortunately it does occur, more often than you’d imagine.
Conservative cultures view a single woman travelling alone as someone open to less savory interaction. Fake husband story will dissuade the ‘what’s a woman like you doing in a place like this alone’ kind of question. Be careful when talking to men. Make sure your body language doesn’t lead him on and make him assume that you want more than you are ready for. If you don’t want any sort of relationship or sexual interaction with anyone, let them know. Don’t be shy, just let them know that you’re not interested.
Bottom line the best advice is to rely on your instincts, if you find yourself in a situation that doesn’t feel right, leave the scene, and be ok with saying no. Never compromise your safety out of a sense of politeness find an exit strategy. I hope you find this post helpful. Safe travels.
Are you a single women travelling by yourself? Tell us about your experience! Do you get a lot of attention because of that? Leave your comment in the box below.