Travelling alone can be one of the best experiences in the world. By visiting exotic places solo, you are more likely to meet people and to be able to truly immerse yourself in the local culture. Travelling on your own also gives you complete freedom to do whatever you want and go wherever you want, without needing to consider the wishes of someone else.
However, women can often be put off from the idea of travelling alone, due to safety and other concerns. Follow these top tips for solo female travellers and you’ll find it an overwhelmingly rewarding experience, and one you will remember for the rest of your life!
Take Reasonable Safety Precautions
There is no doubt that travel anywhere requires a certain level as risk. Often these risks are somewhat amplified for women on their own. However, don’t let fear hold you back from enjoying experiences. In most parts of the world, exercising the same level of precaution as you would in a big city in your home country will be more than sufficient to keep you safe. For example, don’t walk down poorly-lit streets by yourself at night, and don’t leave your bag unattended, but you wouldn’t do that at home either.
Certain countries or specific locations do require an extra degree of caution. Do your research ahead of your arrival and work out if there are specific safety measures you should take. Check for government travel warnings. It is also good practice to take certain safety precautions when travelling, such as keeping your credit cards and passport in a safe place such as a money belt, and separate to the cash you use to pay for things on a daily basis.
Be Open to Meeting People
One of the greatest benefits of travelling solo is that you will have greater opportunity to meet new people. Locals and other travellers are more likely to start a conversation with someone on their own than a couple or a group that seem wrapped up in each other.
As you travel, be as open as possible to these interactions. Take every opportunity to chat with people you meet along the way, whether locals or other foreigners. Getting to know locals, even if you have to work through a language barrier, is one of the best ways to experience the local culture. Meeting other travellers too means you’ll meet other like-minded people, and may have the opportunity to share a meal or visit an attraction together. Backpackers hostels are a great place to meet other travellers.
Search Online for Great Deals and Events
When you’re in a new place, it pays to look online for lesser-known attractions and local events. There are many sights and activities that may not be commonly known, but are a great way to get the feel for a place and meet new people.
Events sites are great for this, and you can also check social media such as Facebook for upcoming events near you. When looking for tickets to the Last Supper in Milan, or other world-famous sights, you’ll also find that you can buy tickets online even when they are officially sold out.
If you’re travelling alone, take advantage of the ultimate freedom you have and be spontaneous. You don’t need to consider the wishes or preferences of anyone else, so allow yourself complete spontaneity in your schedule. If you are walking around a city and see a sign for a museum that sounds interesting, walk in!
Similarly, if you hear about another spectacular place from other travellers that isn’t on your planned itinerary, head there instead. Not only will you discover hidden gems this way, but you’ll appreciate them even more because you have no expectations.
Ask for Single Rates
There’s no doubt that travelling solo can be more expensive, especially when it comes to accommodation prices. However, often hotels and hostels will offer reduced rates on their regular room prices for solo guests. They don’t always publicise these rates though, you need to ask. So every time you make an inquiry, be sure to ask if they have a singles rate: it never hurts to ask!
Fight Loneliness With Virtual Contact
Although travelling solo is a very rewarding experience, there’s no doubt that it can get lonely. You’re seeing all these incredible things every day, and you want to be able to tell someone about them. Fortunately, in our modern, high-tech age there are plenty of ways you can stay in touch with friends and family virtually and fight this loneliness.
Send messages to your loved ones updating them on your travels and sharing pictures. Set up times to video call them on Skype or Facetime. Share your pictures and stories on social media, and stay connected that way. There are also some great social media groups for female travellers you can join, such as the Digital Nomad Girls Community Facebook group.