Traveling alone as a woman can be a daunting, anxiety-provoking thought.
There are the typical perils and risks of travel to worry about, like missing your plane, losing your passport, pickpocketing, mugging, and more. And traveling solo can make you a bigger target.
Then solo female travel? That can increase your risk even more, especially for things like catcalling and harassment. And if you’re in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, you can be even more vulnerable.
These are my tips for solo female travelers, learned though my own experiences, to help you feel more confident and less stressed while traveling alone as a woman. The point of travel is to enjoy it!
A lot of these are safety-based, but safety is a major concern for any solo female traveler. And if you want more safety tips, click here.
Before my first trip as a solo female traveler, I did not want to go by myself. But I had time off while living in Asia that my friends didn’t. So I went anyway. Since then, I have worked my way up to traveling across Europe by myself for ~10 weeks this summer.
I’m not here to tell you that traveling alone as a woman is completely safe, 100% of the time in 100% of the world. It simply isn’t. There are risks anywhere, whether by yourself or in a group.
On top of that, how much of a target you are absolutely varies based on your demographics and characteristics, as well as the destinations you visit. Obviously, when I’m in Japan, I am very clearly not Japanese and thus extremely likely to be a tourist. When I’m in England? I blend in much more (until they hear my American accent).
What I am here to tell you is that you shouldn’t be deathly afraid of traveling by yourself as a woman. Just travel somewhere you feel comfortable in ways you comfortable, while also taking sensible precautions, and you, too, can be a solo female traveler.
1. Give some thought to your destination
2. Send your itinerary to someone
3. Check in with people regularly
4. Have data for your phone
5. Carry a power bank
6. Bring safety gear
Depending on where you’re going and what you’ll be doing, you’ll want to bring different safety gear.
For many trips, it’s a good idea to bring a travel pouch that you can wear under your clothing, especially if you’re traveling internationally.
If you’re staying in a hostel, bring a lock for your locker and a lock for your luggage (if there isn’t one on it already).
If you’re staying in a private room by yourself, there are a few different safety devices you could bring. For instance, there are door stoppers with alarms you can put up against the door. These are supposed to stymie attempts to open the door and alert you if someone does.
There are also portable door locks that you can put in between the door and the door frame for some added protection (for doors that swing inward).
Related to room safety, you can also consider asking for a room that’s not on the ground floor (where it’s easier to break in).
7. Stay in a private room in a hostel or a female-only dorm room
8. Research the areas you might stay in
9. Stay somewhere more central, near public transportation stops
10. If going somewhere is complicated or sketchy on your own, go with a tour
Let’s say you want to visit some attractions that are a bit of a nuisance to get to via public transportation. Or they border a neighborhood that you don’t want to traverse by yourself.
You don’t actually have to go alone! There could be many different tours available that visit where you want to be going.
And I don’t mean whole days-long affairs, though those exist too. There are day trips and day-long tours, half-day tours, and even tours that last 1-3 hours. Walking tours, bike tours, tours by car.
The nice thing about going on a tour is that you can learn a lot from the guides. You might even be able to make connections with fellow travelers.