Traveling Solo For Women – 6 Tips
While many posts on Mr Google will either scare you out of your wits with all the things that “might” happen or lead you to a lengthy post about all the safety precautions you should take, I’ll be focusing on the positive aspects of why traveling solo for women is such a fantastic experience.
You may have already taken a short trip by yourself, perhaps to visit family and friends interstate, maybe even met at the airport or train and bus stations. The type of solo travel I’m talking about is more along the lines of when you don’t know a soul and it’s a rather a long journey for either business or pleasure.
If you’ve been reading the blog or are already a part of the community on the Facebook you’ll already know I’ve taken two short trips recently, one a local road trip to Bryon Bay and one internationally, to Chicago.
It’s been a while since I’ve traveled solo (2006) so I had to admit when Kevin asked me on the way to the airport was I scared? Not nervous, scared!
I thought about faking it for a nano second and saying I wasn’t (and he knows me too well anyway so who was I fooling?!) and it was out of my mouth before I could stop the answer anyway, YEP, I sure was.! Ah well there was no turning back as we were 5 minutes from the airport!
Now it’s not really cool to start blubbering in public, although we were at the airport where I have witnessed this often, which is OK for others, but not for me! After a long hug and farewell “good time” wishes, I was off on my own after a hasty “thanks for driving me” to pull myself together, I WAS going to do this!
Here’s what I leant and remembered about traveling solo for women on both of my trips.
1. It’s Not As Scary As You Think!
Unless you are traveling to some far-flung place with curfews and bizarre cultural differences, I believe world travel is safe for women solo travelers. Let’s face it (I said to myself on a few occasions) you are pretty much surrounded by people night and day unless you venture down a dark alley, which I wouldn’t recommend!
Airports, ferry terminals, train and bus stations are full of people and whether you are in a queue waiting for your transport to arrive everybody has something in common, they are all traveling! Perfect way to forge new friendships or just pass the time while you wait, I’ve done this a lot and have found out local information, ideas about things to do, favorite places to eat and the best markets to mix it with the locals.
2. Traveling Forces You Out Of Your Comfort Zone
You won’t learn much, see much or experience much inside of your comfort zone. There’s no escaping it being comfortable is easy and breaking out and doing something like traveling solo can be confronting and hard for some people! But I ask you, what’s the alternative? If you have travel in your soul it will be like an itch you can’t scratch until you do, so go do it!
3. Plan. Plan. Plan.
Plan where you are going to stay, plan to arrive at your new destination within daylight hours to spare, so you are not fumbling round at night in a strange place trying to find your accommodation for the night.
Plan what you will take and keep it light as possible, preferably to a carry-on bag. I have a free video packing series here that you can use.
Use Google and learn about the local customs, culture, religious beliefs, etc of the country you are traveling to. You don’t want to be caught out and it will cushion any culture shocks!
4. Choose Smaller Hotels and Accommodations
Smaller hotels, etc are more intimate and are more likely to have activities to bring their guests together. The Kimpton Hotel where I stayed recently had “Wine Hour” where they served wine from various regions from around the country, how very civilized!
You’ll meet new people and learn about local tours, places to go, food and lots of other tips too!
5. Blend In Like A Local
Blending in is easier than you think! When you really think about it, most countries are multicultural with a blend of people living and working in the city where you are visiting. Dress how you would usually dress, yes wear comfortable shoes but keep in mind there is nothing like a pair of Nikes and a bag slung around your waist (yes people still use them!) that screams TOURIST!!!
I still wear my jewellery, take the same handbags and purses with me and clothes that I would wear at home. No that doesn’t include stilletto’s and my favorite pair of wedges on the streets of Bali (yes I have seen this!!!) but seriously don’t believe all you read about creating a whole new wardrobe to travel, you don’t need it and there will be more room to buy some there!
6. You Learn About Yourself
There’s nothing like traveling solo for women to boost their confidence! There’s a certain sense of achievement that accompanies you after you done anything in life that moves you out of your comfort zones, and traveling solo is no different.
On my recent road trip I learnt that I need to be around MORE people not less. I work predominantly from home and have done for the past 5 years while I’ve learnt to (kind of) master this online world.
You also learn you can please yourself, do what you want to do, when you want to do it. You don’t have to fit in with anybody else’s plans, eat when and where you want to eat, it’s a total feeling of freedom, which is what we are ultimately chasing when we travel anyway!
Have you traveled solo or are planning a trip? Share your solo travel tips or your trips below!