Being a solo female traveller myself, I know first-hand that it can be pretty daunting travelling on your own. You may be a seasoned traveller or it may be your first time abroad, but don’t worry as there are so many travel tips for female travellers out there, including my top tips that I’ve composed over the years that I’ve been travelling solo.
Thousands of women travel solo around the world, and as a result many feel more independent and confident after doing so, including me.
You may have pressure from friends and/or family who are discouraging you from travelling solo, you may have fears that you’re an easier target, or your inner self may be playing mind tricks with you. Don’t worry, this is completely normal and nothing to be ashamed of! I still get this a little, but the reality is far from that. You’re awesome, and you already have the skills to be a solo female traveller!
This should never stop you from exploring the world!
Travel Tips For Female Travellers
Buy Travel Insurance In Advance
This should be mandatory for any trip whether you’re a solo female traveller or not. I would NEVER fly to another destination without taking adequate, good quality travel insurance out.
There are many travel insurance companies out there, so which one is the best? My advice is to shop around for the best deal. Make sure to read what is covered, what activities you will be doing and which countries it covers you for. Read the small print!
Many travellers surprisingly don’t take out travel insurance as they believe ‘it won’t happen to me, I’m sensible’… well guess what, it might not be your fault that an accident occurs and you need medical attention! Always be safe rather than sorry.
I recommend using SafetyWing. I stumbled across them when searching for competitively priced insurance for digital nomads, and their policies start at just US$37 for 4 weeks, with over 180 countries covered!
What I love is their flexibility. For nomads and long-term travellers, it works like a subscription, you can choose your start date and cancel any time. There is no cap on the duration of a trip and no need to know how long you’ll be travelling in advance or what destinations you’ll visit. You can set up monthly auto-renewal payments to avoid having your coverage expire and forgetting to renew in time. For short-term travellers with fixed dates, you can also take up the insurance the classic way for a specific duration, starting from 5 days.
Research And Google Where You’ll Be Travelling
It’s always good to know where you’ll be travelling and roughly what areas and places you want to see whilst you’re there. I’m a huge planner before any trip, I love researching things to do, safety tips and places to eat etc before I head off. Think of it as a fun part to your trip instead of a daunting necessary requirement.
Researching the destination will depend on where you are travelling too, but some good things to look up are: Which are the areas to avoid? Any specific taxi companies that are recommended? Best areas for going out as a backpacker? What are the reviews like for the accommodation I’m staying in? Best hostels for solo female travellers? Is public transportation easy and safe?
I usually make a Word Document before I leave of all the necessary information I need including good restaurants, hostels/hotels, top sights in each place, currency, language, exchange rate etc. I’ll then print it off and take it with me. Trust me, it really does come in handy!
Keep Valuables To A Minimum
It doesn’t matter if you’re visiting a city in Europe for the weekend or headed off on a backpacking trip around South America, crime can happen anywhere, and with flashy jewellery on show you’re already a larger target for pick pockets and unwanted attention.
I understand that some of you will want to take electronic items like a DSLR camera, drone, GoPro etc with you. That’s totally fine, I do too! However, I suggest you purchase a good quality anti pick pocket camera bag. I use this bag for all my travels and cannot recommend it enough!
It is also smart to keep these possessions within your reach at all times, along with key documents such as your passport, visa, and wallet. Never put these items into your hold luggage on a bus, plane, taxi etc. If you let them out of your sight, there’s a fair chance that they could be taken away from you forever.
Stay In Touch With Family/Friends
Letting friends/family know where you are and where you’ll be staying is a good safety blanket to have. Another way is updating different forms of social media, like uploading Instagram stories. This shows your loved ones that you’re all good and having an awesome time!
In addition, as you travel and meet new people, social media is a great way to connect to others! It also is a great way to see where they are on their trip and whether you’ll cross paths again! Social media is a powerful tool when travelling, so make sure you make use of it!
Tip: If you’re on a long trip e.g. a few months or more, create a new Instagram account that is purely dedicated to your trip that your friends and family can follow!
Don’t Let People Distract You
In busy places such as large cities, it’s not uncommon for street sellers to come up and distract you whilst their counterpart unbeknownst to you will reach into your pockets to steal your phone or wallet. This is fairly common in European cities and also in Asia where innocent women come up to you and young children sneak behind your back.
Don’t be vulnerable – if anyone suddenly approaches you, be mindful that it may be a ploy to quickly divert your attention. Keep valuables secure on your body at all times!
However, be open to positivity and don’t assume everyone is out to get you.
Learn Common Phrases Of The Local Language
If you’re travelling to a country whose first language is English, this tip doesn’t apply. However, many countries have their own language and you may be stuck in a situation where both of you can’t understand one another. Therefore, if you learn key phrases like “I do not speak…” “Where is the nearest…” “Could I have…” then you’ll be in a much better position to ask for help, where to go etc.
As well as being useful for dealing with everyday queries, it can also help you to avoid being ripped off at local markets, street stalls and sights. Many locals show more respect to visitors who make the effort to learn some of their native language, meaning they’ll also be friendlier towards you.
Tip: Download the app Duolingo, which has nearly all languages on there. They offer fun and creative way to learn the basics! This is one of my favourite travel tips for female travellers, as it’s all on your phone!
Get Off The Beaten Path
Doing all the touristy sights and excursions is great! However, research the more local places, eateries, sights etc to where you are going. Most likely it will be cheaper, more traditional and the locals will be even friendlier seeing that you’re wanting to experience their real culture instead of just visiting the normal touristy places.
Some of my best travel experiences have been when I’ve ventured a little outside the main tourist areas, that either online friends or locals have suggested to me. For example, instead of just visiting the beautiful island of Bali, I travelled to Jakarta, Gorontalo, Raja Ampat, Komodo Island National Park to name a few within Indonesia. They were some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited!
You’re Never Alone
Whilst you may think you’re travelling solo to a new destination, once you arrive you’ll be guaranteed to make new travel friends as you go along. You will meet SO many people while travelling solo that, at times, you may seek solitude. It’s weird. Sometimes I find it harder to find alone time when I’m traveling alone than when I’m with friends.
Also if you are feeling lonely remember there are communities on Facebook like Girls Love Travel, who have a community of over 900,000 members! The likelihood that you’re in a city/destination that one of the members is in too is very high!
In addition, if you do feel like you get into an awkward situation with someone, it’s easy to say something along the lines of, “my boyfriend is just waiting outside for me and I’ve got to run to meet him. Great to meet you! Bye!” Or, “I’m meeting my parents here. They’ll be here any minute.”
Hostels Are A Great Way To Meet Others
If I’m travelling on my own, nearly all the time I will stay in hostels to meet other travellers. I’ve met some of my best friends this way! Hostels are also cheap, they have great nights, usually in the city centre and they can organise tours etc.
Read my blog post on the Best Hostels in Bali!
Here is the link to get the best price on hostels all around the world!
Some hostels have single sex dorms and many have private rooms. If you want a complete break from men, try a women-only hostel. If you do sleep in mixed dorms, take a T-shirt and some light trousers or shorts to double as pyjamas. If it’s hot, a sleeping-bag liner (just a cotton sheet sewn into a sleeping-bag shaped tube) keeps you cool and may feel more secure than just a sheet.
All women get periods! It’s completely natural, and the likelihood that you will have your period if you’re travelling for long periods (excuse the pun) of time is high.
Therefore, if you’re going to less developed countries, tampons and thin sanitary towels can be hard to find. Take a supply from home. Remove from their boxes and keep in a watertight container or a small bag. Don’t rely on tampons alone. It isn’t always possible to wash your hands in non-western roadside loos.
Changes in climate, diet and lifestyle can mess with your menstrual cycle. Your periods might even stop altogether.
However, I cannot recommend a menstrual cup enough. They’re great for the environment, there is no fear of TSS and you don’t need to take hauls of tampons out with you (which does take up a lot of space!). I’ve been using the MoonCup for over 5 years now and haven’t looked back! Click here to see all the reviews and buy now!
Most Importantly: HAVE FUN!
The world is full of the most incredible places! Don’t let others and your own fear stop you from seeing that – I hope these travel tips for female travellers has helped you with overcoming that.
I hope all of these travel tips for female travellers will help you stay safe and confident, and if you ever need a little encouragement, just remember how many women are out there traveling alone right now, and having an absolutely fabulous time doing it!
Have you travelled solo recently? Or thinking of travelling somewhere on your own for the first time? I’d love to know where in the comments below!
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