The Best Solo Female Travel Tips & Advice For 2019
In the past few years, solo travel has gained popularity, especially among women who do not wish to see the world through a lens. A travel trends survey, commissioned by AIG Travel and conducted in May 2018 revealed that almost 66 percent of the women surveyed preferred to travel alone to any international or domestic destination.
As empowering as that sounds, solo travel entails safety concerns for any individual. Safety of women these days is a pressing issue with campaigns like #MeToo spreading like wildfire globally. Thus, it is essential for first-time female travelers to understand these 10 tips to ensure an unforgettable and safe experience at their chosen destination of travel.
1. Understand the culture of your place of travel
Studying the culture of your place of visit not only enhances the experience when you appreciate it with your own eyes, but it also assists you in blending with the locals of that place; be it in terms of choice of clothing, the way you greet people, etc. For example, wearing a casual white dress would be common in America during any season, however, while traveling to India in the winter season, such attire would reflect that you are a tourist, putting you on the radar of people who have criminal intent.
2. Exercise caution while drinking
Traveling alone, you do not know the people around you. A complimentary glass of wine from that guy across the bar might not be a flirtatious gesture. Since untraceable date rape drugs are widely used, it puts in question the contents of the drink you’re consuming. That guy could be looking to take advantage of you after lowering your inhibitions with a mere gesture. Getting your drink made in front of you is the best way to avoid any undesirable consequence of your visit to a local club or bar. You must also keep check of the number of drinks you’ve had as too many drinks will any way lower your inhibitions beyond the desired level. Even better, you can relish that bottle of fine red wine in the comfort and safety of your room.
3. Make friends but do not build trust
One of the purposes of solo travel is to become confident in interacting with people from a different corner of the world. You might find yourself getting into long talks with some of the locals, while other conversations end at asking someone to help you unload your luggage from a high roof rack tray. In this process, you end up connecting with these people, and these connections may develop into friendships. While it is good to make friends, trusting unknown people based on a few conversations can lead you into harm’s way.
4. Share your itinerary with someone trustworthy back home
Since this article is all about safety, a person close to you at your place of origin would want you to be safe more than anything in this world. Thus, it is essential that you share your itinerary and your plan of action with this person. In the event of a mishap, this person would be able to take immediate action if he or she has the required information to locate you at any point in time. You could make use of location tracker apps to achieve the same purpose and ensure your safety in his or her hands.
5. Carry essentials, not your whole luggage
Carrying your whole make-up kit, a bunch of cash and your jewellery not only violates the spirit of traveling, but it also puts you in danger of thieves and criminals. Such people try to get a hold of your valuable belongings by tricking you into buying certain services or products, which in fact, may be scams or frauds with the sole aim of personal gains. Instead, carry enough cash and essential stuff like gym apparel, hygiene products, first aid kit etc.
6. Carry a door jammer to avoid a break in
Most hotel or guest house owners have a duplicate key for each room in it. Being alone makes you vulnerable to them, breaking into your room and causing unnecessary harm. Thus, carrying a door jammer would ensure a safe and sound sleep at your chosen place of stay.
7. Book the upper berth while traveling by train
Traveling alone on a train with hundreds of co-passengers poses many dangers in itself, especially when it is an overnight journey. Sleeping in the lower berth makes you prey to people with malicious intent, who can use chloroform to knock you out for the whole night. Thus, you should always prefer booking the upper berth for an overnight train journey.
8. Plan your arrival during the day
If you arrive at the night, navigating around can prove to be a headache even with apps like Google Maps. Moreover, walking in narrow alleys to reach your hotel/inn puts you in the danger of gangsters who hang out in such shady places. During the day, you can seek guidance from the locals regarding such stuff or ask for a lift on sporty KTM motorcycles, while this can be dangerous at nighttime.
9. Keep emergency sprays handy
This comes as no surprise and is one of the most common safety measure adopted across the world. Emergency sprays like pepper sprays or chili sprays can be used to fend off criminals and sexual predators in the case of an emergency. You can use these sprays to cause temporary blindness as an opportunity to escape the scene.
10. Do not use headphones in public spaces
Public spaces like roads, parks, markets, etc. are the last places where you want to use your headphones while traveling alone. When you are with a group, one of your group members can signal you if an unfavorable situation arises. When alone, you need to be aware of your surroundings every second, and using headphones serves the opposite purpose. Use headphones when you have full privacy, not in public spaces.
So, if you’re a first-time female solo traveler, keep these tips in your mind so that nothing stops you from embarking on a similar journey again. Bon voyage!
Rebecca has been closely studying the travel industry trends from quite some time. Intrigued by the booming growth of this sector, she takes interest in penning down her views providing quality insight on current travel trends and also likes to write about food and beverages, particularly wine.