Solo travel can be a life-changing experience. You can not only see amazing places and meet a wide range of different people along the way, but solo travel can also empower you, force you out of your comfort zone and make you more independent. This is especially true for women. Did you know that they represent the majority of solo travelers? If you, too, want to experience what it’s like exploring the world by yourself, you mustn’t forget about safety, though. Here are a few useful tips you should always keep in mind!
Choose your destination wisely
The first step to a successful solo trip is choosing the right destination. If this is going to be your first trip, choosing a country that is known to be safe can make the experience much less stressful and you can get into the swing of things. Also, picking a country where you can communicate with locals at least to a degree and can read the signs will also provide you with peace of mind.
Mind the accommodation
Next, there a few considerations regarding accommodation that are paramount for female travelers. Firstly, don’t try to save money here. Avoid sketchy places and neighborhoods and go for a place with 24-hour reception. Still, even with 24-hour reception, you want to avoid arriving late at night. Firstly, it’s not recommended to take transport alone after dark. Secondly, if you arrive during the daytime and find some problems with the accommodation, you can still move to another place.
While it might feel good to fall off the face of the Earth for the duration of your solo trip, it’s not exactly safe to do so. You should certainly not be glued to your phone and post hourly updates on social media, but checking in with your friends or family is recommended. You should give your itinerary to a trusted person and always let them know about the details when you’re headed somewhere so that they know where you are at all times.
Get safety gear
As a woman, you’re probably already familiar with must-have safety items. Firstly, protect yourself against theft with appropriate bags that don’t allow pickpocketing. A money belt might also be a good investment, but make sure you don’t keep all your money in one place. As for self-defense, you should know that pepper spray is not allowed everywhere. You can substitute it with another kind of spray, such as a mini deodorant or hair spray. You can also carry a personal alarm on yourself, and pack a portable door lock, door wedge, or anything of the sort.
Making friends but staying safe
One of the best parts of traveling alone is the opportunity to meet people. When you’re at a foreign destination, connect with locals – it will make your experience more authentic. When you’re getting bored walking alone, don’t hesitate to sign up for tours or classes where you can meet like-minded individuals. Nowadays, there are tours specifically for solo travelers, which are a great place to make friends. However, don’t lower your guard. When moving around, don’t make it explicitly clear that you’re traveling alone. Stay wary of strangers’ questions and know when not to answer.
Those seeking out solo travel probably want a liberating experience. There is nothing liberating about hauling tons of baggage. For a female solo traveler, packing light is important for several reasons. First of all, it’s much safer and more convenient. You won’t have to watch a lot of stuff while waiting at airports, and you won’t have trouble carrying your baggage yourself. Anyone with ill intentions will have a harder time getting hold of your belongings, and you won’t need anyone’s help getting on the train, etc. It will also make it easier to get away from potentially dangerous situations. Once you learn how to fit everything into a single backpack, you will never go back to checked luggage!
Carry your necessities
When packing lightly, you might be tempted to leave the things at home that you can buy at your destination anyway. For the most part, this is true, but there are things you might not want to leave to chance. Some of those things are feminine hygiene products. Unless you know the country you are headed to well, you might want to take your own products. It will give you peace of mind, knowing that you won’t be in a pinch when there is a small selection in a developing country or you have trouble understanding labels.
Looking good on the road
Naturally, you want to look good on all your selfies you take while traveling, but carrying your makeup kit is impractical. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to go out entirely bare-faced. When packing, make sure you only take products you absolutely use every day. 2-in-1 products are your friends as well. A foundation that moisturizes your skin and has SPF is, for instance, a great way to minimize your baggage. Another practical way to look great without having to bother with makeup is preparing beforehand: mink lash extensions will allow you to skip eye makeup while getting your brows done will save you a ton of time.
Trusting your instincts
Finally, one last tip that can save you in ambiguous situations is simply trusting your instincts. Women have sharp instincts, so don’t ignore your gut when you feel like something is off. Safety always comes before politeness, so don’t feel bad for being rude if you need to. It’s okay to lie, too, if you don’t feel comfortable in a situation.
Hopefully, the aforementioned tips will help you out while you’re juggling safety and fun on your solo journey. Traveling alone always comes with risks, but if you’re prepared, you will have a positive experience. Good luck!