Solo trips can be the best thing that could happen to a person – even more, for a woman. Scary? Of course! Women generally appear more vulnerable than men while traveling by themselves. If you’re a woman attempting your first solo trip, here are some things that you should keep in mind.
- Arrive at your destination before dark
Time zones can be tricky. Make sure you plan your trip so that you reach at a decent hour. That will give you enough time to find your hotel in peace, without having the additional burden of worrying about your safety. If the hotel isn’t up to your expectations, you can always look around for another one. This wouldn’t have been possible at 2 am, now would it?
- Blend in with the rest
Research well on the place you’re visiting – the weather, clothing, culture, etc. The less attention you draw to yourself, the safer you’ll stay.
- Drop the bling
Dress casually and do not carry around very expensive luggage. Drop the flashy jewelry.
- Do not accept food/drinks from strangers
Be wary of strangers and do not accept anything that’s offered to you unless it’s from a sealed, tamper proof container.
- Hide your money smartly
Whether it’s stashing a few notes in your sock or your underwear or your makeup case, make sure all your money isn’t kept together in one place. Keep a little in your wallet for spending and stash the rest.
- Pretend like you’re traveling with people
If anyone asks whether it’s your first time visiting, just smile and say “Oh we’ve been here a few times before. We really love this place!”. Remember, it’s always “we”.
- Choose your hotel wisely
Research is key. Ask around and get opinions from people who have visited that place before. Look for online reviews, especially by other single women travelers.
- Know how to defend yourself
Whether it’s a pepper spray, pocketknife or plain old martial arts – know how to use your weapon. Keep your pepper spray or pocketknife in a place that is easily accessible to you. Wear flats and travel light – you may have to make a run for it. If at all a thief confronts you, do not put up a fight – surrender your valuables. Your life is most important.
- Tell people where you’re staying
Keep sending home postcards from wherever you are. Every time you check in at a different hotel, send the details to at least 5 of your friends.
- Lastly, act like you belong
It may sometimes be hard to hide your excitement and fascination in a new place, but do your best. Walking around with your head buried in a map or looking lost or confused will surely make you an easy target.
Yes, traveling solo for a woman can be a daunting thought. But that warm sense of accomplishing something so brave can make you feel invincible!
Do you have any more tips to add? Share them with us in the comments below.