Everyone loves traveling and solo traveling is our dream. However, traveling solo as a woman can be great fun, provided you’re able to plan well. It is important to know that you want to travel solo.
The following 15 tips will help you make your trip safe and comfortable:
Choose the right location
Book your hotel in a central or popular location.
This is a dual-edged sword. A centrally located hotel means that you are always in the middle of activities and people, and it is safe well into the night. There will always be a crowd outside. As a solo woman traveler, I am comfortable in a group. If something is not expected, I feel that I can shout and scream at the crowd and someone will help me.
Living in the heart of downtown can have its downsides. To avoid traffic and public noise, it is important to insist on a higher floor room.
Ask the hotel to pick up
Make sure your hotel arranges for a taxi to pick you up at the airport. This saves so much time trying to figure out how your hotel is accessible in a new city. If you ask for directions to the hotel from a taxi driver at the airport, you are sending out signals that your travel companion is not with you. This is a risky way to travel.
The tourism industry is so competitive that a hotel can send a private taxi to you. Ladies, personal safety cannot be priced. So it’s okay to pay a little more.
Arrive at your destination in the daylight
Book your ticket so that you reach your destination in daylight.
This can be tricky, I know. It seems that the cheapest plane tickets almost always leave at odd hours of the night and arrive at an ungodly hour in the morning. This is crucial.
Get to know the area around you
After you have checked in to your hotel, take a short walk around the neighborhood. This way, you can easily find the place. If it’s in the daylight, it is the best. That’s key.
Ask the staff at the hotel if there are any areas that could be considered unsafe. It is important to get to know the area that will be your home for the next few nights.
Book your hotel room with a locker
When you check in, ensure that your passport (if applicable) and any other important items are stored in the locker.
Always, always change your default locker code (usually 0000 or 1234). You will usually find clear instructions on how you can change the key code. So do it. Never use your birth year as your code. Every hotel will scan or make a copy of your passport’s information page. This will include your birth year. Keep a four-digit number that is not your birth year in mind and have it memorized.
Find out about safe and unattractive locations; appropriate dress code
While you research the cities and countries that you are interested in, always ask the staff at the hotel about the safe and unexplored areas. It’s crucial to be safe as a solo traveler. Avoid unsafe places entirely.
Dress according to your country and the culture in which you live. Cover up if it’s a conservative nation. It is important to blend in, not draw attention to yourself as a solo female traveler.
Be aware of Pickpockets
Pickpockets can be a problem in many parts of Asia and Europe. It is very common to lose your phones and wallets. The money and credit cards should be usually kept in a cloth purse that can be pinned to your handbag. It’s important to be cautious and aware that even the slightest mistake could result in your belongings being lost.
Keep headphones on, but don’t listen to anything
It is controversial because many bloggers advise against wearing headphones while traveling alone. It is a bad idea to listen to music or podcasts while traveling solo.
That’s a valid point. For me, however, I find that headphones are the best way to stay sharp and focused in my environment.
The trick is that I don’t listen to any music. I use the headphones to pretend that I’m a dummy. This way, I don’t get bothered by anyone but I am aware of everything around me. While it may not be always necessary, keep this option in mind.
Return to your hotel by sunset
Unless you are part of a package where you will be dropped off at any hour, return to your hotel between 6.30 and 7 pm.
Although partying and dancing are okay. But accepting drinks from strangers can be risky. People mix drugs and other stuff in drinks and can loot you or do other things.
Keep copies of important documents on you and the originals in your locker
When you go sightseeing, don’t carry your passport. Instead, scan photographs of your passport and carry photocopies with you when you travel. Keep the original in your hotel room safe.
It is a good idea to keep your passport details handy in case you need them. Keep a copy of your itinerary, including details about your hotel and flight bookings. They may not be needed. You might.
Split your money and spread it
Keep your money with you and not in one place. Divide them into three pieces. One of them stays in the room locker. The second is in the luggage, keep it LOCKED. When you go out sightseeing, the third one is always with me.
It may seem strange that I would carry cash in a world where credit cards are all the rage. But, no. It’s true. It is mind-boggling to see how many countries still refuse international credit cards. Carry cash. Be safe.
If you must, lie
When it comes to protecting myself, I have no ethics whatsoever. If that means I have to create an imaginary husband for the Vietnamese taxi driver who is talking to me about “where is your family?” or Turkish men who flirt obsessively with each other, then I will do what I can to help the situation. If it means that I create an imaginary partner to help them get off my back, then I do it.
To be safe, everything is fair!
Keep important numbers on your smartphone and a printed copy of them
My hotel phone numbers, my email IDs, my local contacts, and my family’s numbers are always with me.
I am also terrified of losing or getting my phone stolen. I make a hard copy and keep it in my bag. These details are always handy.
Every day, check in with your family and friends
It is important that someone has a daily overview of your schedule and itinerary. Do the same. This way, if anything happens, there is always someone who can help you. If you ask, some hotels will give you a printed copy of your itinerary to help you find your way around.
When you’re traveling, don’t use social media.
This is a controversial topic, but it is my opinion. I don’t have the desire to share daily updates on my travels via social media. I am not a social media influencer. So I don’t post hourly updates on where I am at any particular time.
However, in every place I visit, I take photos and videos. I then sort them and catalog them at night. However, I only post the photos after I have returned from my travels. It tells people exactly where you are (and is dangerous), and it tells them where you are not (also dangerous).
These tips will help you solo travel, ladies.
In the end, solo traveling is always fun as you meet new people, visit new places and have a great time. Traveling safely is important.
Pooja Chandak is an avid reader and an experienced content writer. Apart from blogs, she writes quotes and poems. She started writing when she was in school. Pooja currently works as a Content Development Executive for a Mumbai-based company.