I’ve been traveling solo around the world for the past eight months. In those eight months, I visited all six continents and 70 countries. Here are some practical tips for female solo travelers to inspire you to go on a solo adventure!
Confidence is essential
As a solo female traveler, the worst thing you can do for yourself, both internally and externally, appears worried or fearful. Even if you’re lost or in trouble, stay assertive and attentive at all times – no matter how difficult it can be during difficult times. Just keep in mind that everything will be fine in the end; it just takes a little longer or has a few more hiccups than usual. This is all part of the difficulty of traveling alone.
Think, behave, and dress like a local
It’s one thing to think and act like a local; it’s quite another to dress the part. If you truly want to blend in, observe what others are wearing and mimic it. While it may be hot and humid in Hong Kong in the spring, you will notice that the locals are still wearing pants and/or jackets.
Get to your destination before it gets dark
When traveling for an extended period of time, it can be difficult to keep track of time because each day, week, and month blend into one. It has not, however, always been a smooth ride. That way, you can ensure that A) you are aware of your surroundings, B) you can obtain emergency supplies before it becomes dark and unsafe, and C) you are not walking the streets with all your luggage and an invisible ‘tourist target’ on your forehead.
Leave a trail
When traveling alone, social media, with all of its benefits and drawbacks, can be a valuable tool. A quick check-in at a new location or a quick photo upload will keep your family and friends back home informed of your whereabouts. Before you leave, try to set a ‘time frame’ – for example, if you don’t see me post anything for 5 days straight, you know something is wrong.
Create a new persona. Remember to have a “second self” or alter ego in case of emergency. This is a fabricated version of yourself that you will use as a backup story in the event of a major emergency. Consider yourself out for lunch when a creepy middle-aged man (you’ll meet plenty of them) asks where you’re from and how long you’ve been in town. You obviously don’t want to pass up the opportunity to speak with him, so you’ll have to think quickly – and be convincing at the same time. A simple “I’m just here for the day with my boyfriend, who’s probably looking for me (laugh)” will suffice!
We recommend Sprinter van rentals Scottsdale for a more enjoyable experience, a more comfortable place to stay, and a less expensive way to travel.
Enjoy this period of your life
But most importantly, don’t be afraid; the world is inherently good (just with a few bad people in it).
It’s important not to let fear stop you from traveling alone because this is just as important a time in your life as others – marriage, family, a house, etc. – if you see those in your future. Standing on your own two feet as an independent woman is JUST AS IMPORTANT as it is at other times in your life. Don’t be put off by what others are doing – settling down, starting a family, marrying. Those can be put off. This is your time in life, and you will be a much stronger, more independent person as a result.
This tip has two parts. Yes, you should prepare for your trip by organizing your belongings, obtaining all necessary documents, and so on. However, you must be mentally prepared in case something goes wrong. Make a plan for dealing with the most likely bad situations, such as being stolen or misplaced.
Put on a wedding ring
This advice came from other women who enjoy traveling alone. Before you leave, purchase a cheap ring that can pass for a wedding ring.
It’s disgusting that as women, we have to consider such things, but it does help. However, if you buy anything too flashy, you will attract the attention of thieves.
Relax while you eat
Meals are also an excellent opportunity to unwind and be yourself. Yes, you can strike up a conversation with the waiter or bartender, but your meal can also be used to reflect. Perhaps you’ll use the time to plan the rest of your day, catch up on emails if the establishment provides free wifi, or read a book. If you don’t want to look out of place, consider going to a cafe, where the casual atmosphere attracts both singles and groups looking for a break. If you want more privacy, choose a restaurant booth. Either setting can provide the anonymity you seek, and the food and atmosphere can be more enjoyable than a fast-food restaurant.