Nowadays there are a lot more women taking the plunge to travel solo and I am so HERE FOR IT. I’ve been traveling solo since I was 15 and have absolutely enjoyed these adventures. They have taught me so much about others, but more importantly, so much about myself. As a woman, safety was and is always top of mind. That’s why I’ve put together my top solo female traveler safety tips to make sure you feel confident before going out on your own.
Safety can look very different around the world. It’s important to do additional research on the destination you’ll be visiting to make sure you’re fully aware of any cultural differences.
If being too far from home is what is keeping you from traveling on your own, then don’t go far! Travel can happen 1000 miles from your home, but also just 10 miles away. It’s all about exploring a new place and fulfilling that growing curiosity within you about the world.
Don’t go to a place just because everyone is going and it’ll look cool on your Instagram. Go because you’re actually interested in the place and you know you’ll feel comfortable. You won’t enjoy being in a new place if you feel uncomfortable going outside of your hotel room. Feeling comfortable can also be going to a place that speaks the same language as you do.
No matter where you’re going, try and blend in. Walk with all the confidence you have because you are less likely to be targeted as a tourist if you look like you’re from there. You could do research on what people wear so your clothes don’t make you stand out as much. It’ll be hard to have your clothes blend in perfectly, but attempting to minimize the differences will help you.
I will always say that women should wear whatever they want without being judged or attacked for it, but unfortunately the rest of the world isn’t fully there yet. This is why I am adding this section. Dressing more, as many would call it, provocatively will attract more attention anywhere in the world, but even more so in certain regions. I don’t want to name specific countries because women in them sometimes say and feel the opposite, but as a foreigner you may feel uncomfortable. Entering religious sites may require you to cover your shoulders and knees. It’s good to be aware of this before you pack so you make sure you have something on hand if needed.
Don’t post on socials in real time
Safety is so important whether you’re by yourself or not. You don’t know who’s looking at your account and where they may be located. If you feel you must post where you’re at, make sure you give a vague location tag. Avoid noticeable landmarks in any real time posts to pinpoint exactly where you are. I recommend posting the next day, days later or after you’ve left that location.
Share your itinerary with loved ones
This one is key! You don’t want to post about this to your socials, but you do want to let your family know where you’ll be. Google Docs is a great tool to keep everyone in the loop. Once you have your itinerary written out, email the link or copy/paste it to anyone who should have it. If Google Docs isn’t cutting it for you, use my Trip Planner to better organize everything and then share it with friends!
Don’t be flashy
By nature some people are more flashy than others. If you’re not too flashy at home then this may not apply to you. If you do tend to be more on the showy off side, then you’ll want to listen up. Avoid wearing expensive looking jewelry or lots of jewelry in general. Even if it may not be the most expensive kind, you’ll still attract unwanted attention by having too many shiny objects. Also don’t wear your finest threads or fanciest handbags. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Block the door
Whenever I know I’ll be staying in a room by myself or with a friend or two, I block the door. Depending on what’s available to me I may use a chair, a door stopper, my suitcase, anything. Even if it may not fully keep someone from breaking in, it will make enough noise to wake me up. That way I can prepare by grabbing anything if necessary.
Be aware of your surroundings
When you’re walking, make sure you pay attention to the people around you and even the places you walk by. Pickpockets are everywhere so it’s good to notice if people are scoping you or anyone else out because they could be closer than you’d want them to be. Be sure that your backpack is closed and that your bag is always in view to avoid any unwanted situations.
Act as if you know where you’re going
Confidence is the most important thing you’ll have when walking around the streets of the city you’re visiting. It shows in the way you walk and carry yourself, so act like you own it. Come off as if you know where you’re going at all times and you’ll have people asking you for directions in no time.
Carry important documents safely
I’ve recently started carrying a fanny pack. Yes, I did jump on the bandwagon with the fanny pack. It’s great to keep close to you at all times and perfect for staying hands free. You’re able to see your important things at all times. Alter between your shoulder or waist.
Carry a portable charger
Not saying to bring everything you plan to spend in cash, don’t be like me in Colombia. But do bring some! Maybe a machine is down or your card isn’t working properly or your bank thinks it’s stolen. Better to have something than nothing. Have enough to cover at least 2 days of food expenses.
Looking to start traveling solo?
All of these safety tips are important for all levels of travelers but I’ve found them extra helpful for solo female travelers just as we can be more vulnerable. For more solo female traveler safety tips and stories, check out these posts.
Have you gone on a solo trip yet or are you planning to? Let me know where you have gone or where you’d like to go in the comments.
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