Traveling solo is not very common. It is even rarer among women travelers. The unfortunate truth is, solo female travelers have a higher risk of running into dangers. That doesn’t mean that women are scared of traveling alone though. The rewarding experience of traveling alone outweighs the risks — and every year a huge number (sorry I wasn’t able to find the stats!) of women travels by themselves to their favorite destination.
Are you curious about traveling alone? Below are a few common questions about traveling alone as a woman and the answers. Hopefully these information will help answer some of your questions.
FAQs – Traveling Alone as a Woman
1. Are you scared?
Yes and no. I wouldn’t use the word scared though, but it’s normal for a healthy human being — male or female — to have fears.
There are many kinds of fear. The fear of danger is what keeps us safe. It helps us to stay cautious which allows us to pay more attentions to dangers that we wouldn’t otherwise notice. So it’s a good thing to have fear.
Another kind of fear commonly faced by solo travelers is the fear of the unknown. This fear is somewhat ambiguous. Sometimes it feels more like an excitement than fear. Again this is a good kind of fear. Without it, traveling alone probably wouldn’t be as exciting.
Having said that, there is nothing to fear if you use your common sense.
2. How do you keep your personal belongs safe?
When you are traveling solo, you are the bodyguard for yourself and your stuff. Try to avoid a too much luggage. The lesser the better, say one handbag and one roller or duffel bag. Keep your more valuable belongings such as your smart gadgets, wallet, and cash/cards in your bag that stays close to your at all time during travel.
Remember, the more stuff you have, the more attention it requires from you. And you don’t really want to be distracted when you travel alone.
You should not carry too much cash, if you absolutely have to, try to stash them safe other than your wallet. Lots of cash in plain sight is a danger magnet. Carry a credit card instead.
3. How do you find reputable travel agency, accommodation and perhaps cabs?
Get recommendations from you friends and family. Read online reviews. Check out travel forums.
4. Do you ever feel lonely during travel?
Some of us are more prone to feeling lonely than the others. Being alone in a strange land can be very effective at making the solo traveler feel lonely. You will want to accept this feeling of loneliness as part of the journey and learn to live with it.
Of course, there are ways to mitigate this. You can plan to meet up with friend ahead of time. Just because you’re traveling alone doesn’t mean that you have to be alone all the time.
Stay at a traveler’s hostel. Since most people staying at a traveler’s hostel shares the same common interest, i.e. traveling, it might be easier for you to meet new friends there.
5. How to stay safe?
Use common sense and be emphatic.
Dress carefully. Not so much if you’re traveling within the US or other safer countries. Even then, you will probably want to dress more conservatively in the dangerous part of town. The way you dress yourself is crucial if you’re traveling to a country that is known for being conservative. Getting too much attention could attract avoidable danger for a solo woman traveler.
Be careful with what you’re ingesting. I cannot over stress the importance of what you’re eating. Yes, do try all the local food, but be smart with what you eat. Food poisoning is no fun and can ruin your trip. Be extremely cautious with food or drinks offered to you by strangers. Go easy on the alcohol, you will want to keep a clear mind at most time.
Get travel insurance: Having a travel insurance helps to relieve some of your pain if you lost your baggage and should you have an emergency during your travel.
Bring a simple first aid kit.
6. Should you meet strangers?
This is somewhat a strange question. As an adult, you will need to use your judgement. Meeting new people and learning from their stories can be a unique and fun experience. But at the same time, you want to make sure that you’re not making friends with the wrong people.
I guess the venue where you meet plays a critical role. For example, it’s most probably safe to meet someone new in the hostel lobby and the story-rich local library, but it is riskier to meet someone in the back alley of a restaurant in the shady part of town.
7. What is the most important advice for woman solo traveler?
Have an adventure but make adequate preparation before the adventure begins. Plan your trip and make accommodation arrangements in advance. Double check your bookings before your trip. Bring a power bank or two. Use your common sense. Meet new people but always stay cautious.