Traveling the world can feel exciting, stressful, and gratifying at the same time, especially if you're a woman and you're making the trip by yourself. Fortunately, there are tons of tips and hacks for solo female travelers that will make your trip that much more fun, safe, and adventurous. Incorporating just a few of these hacks into your next journey will put your mind at ease, ensuring you can properly focus on the task at hand: making some truly incredible memories.
1. Look at What Older Women Do
If you're anxious about traveling alone, sometimes looking to see how older women around you act will put you at ease – or at the very least give you a glimpse of local customs. One experienced traveler says that this can go a long way: “If you are not sure about a location or safety, look to what the older women are doing, how they carry their purses and definitely approach one if you need help,” they advised.
2. Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Help
This is a life hack for everyday life, but it also applies to solo traveling as a woman. If you don't know something, ask. People like hotel front desk clerks or hostel managers can be an invaluable tool in feeling generally more safe and secure in an unfamiliar country. One person said to always confirm with hotel staff “that your immediate surrounding area is safe, they'll be happy to help.”
3. Use Turn-By-Turn Navigation Via Headphones
Here's a brilliant hack that we can envision ourselves using whenever we're walking by foot in an unfamiliar area, even in our home country! “If you’re using maps for walking somewhere-use ear buds and listen to directions that way instead of looking like a foreigner that doesn’t know her way around the city,” one traveler advised.
4. Pack a Small Doorstop
It's true: packing a small doorstop in your backpack or luggage can be the difference between feeling anxious of sleeping in a new room for the night and getting a great night's sleep. It's all about feeling safe, after all. “I always pack a small doorstop in my bag for rooms. Light and easy added security if you need it,” one woman revealed.
5. Research Local Customs
By researching local customs of the country you're visiting, you're ensuring that you are getting the most out of your trip – and that you won't have a blinking neon sign over your head that says “foreigner here!”
“Learn some phrases in the local language, look up local customs and things that are considered polite or rude, never demand that anyone speak your language if they don’t speak yours,” a female world traveler-extraordinaire said. There's really just too much upside to not do this before you arrive.
6. Pack Lightly
The vast majority of solo travelers suggest that less is more when it comes to packing for your trip. Trust us: your back and shoulders will thank you for it. Also, we know it may be hard, but try to heed this particular piece of advise from an experienced traveler: “Don’t buy souvenirs.” This could be the toughest rule to stick to, but when your comfort is involved, it's best to pass on the little souvenirs to bring back home.
7. Keep Your Head on a Swivel
Tunnel vision can be your worst enemy on a solo trip. Whenever you're walking in public, keep your head up – and stop looking down at your phone! As many travelers pointed out, not only will this give you an added layer of personal security since you'll be acutely aware of everything around you, but you'll never miss some truly amazing sights around you, either!
8. Trust Your Instincts
During your travels, you'll never know when you'll find yourself in a questionable, uncomfortable, or straight-up sketchy situation. It happens to the best of us. Arguably the single most valuable piece of advise that travelers had for solo females is to trust your instincts.
“Trust your gut EVERY time,” one person warned. “Even if you think it’s a weird, small thing. If your gut says you’re uncomfortable don’t be polite. Just leave, say no, tell someone. You don’t have to make sense of it or have proof or anything. Just trust it.”
9. Never Look Lost
Just like in many aspects in life, the perception of confidence can go a long way. “Never look lost. Fake it till you make it. Go with confidence.” one particularly enthusiastic traveler recommended.
You never want to stick out like a sore thumb in a foreign country, so by simply acting like you know what you're doing (even if you don't!) will ensure that your trip is in your hands, not anyone else's.
10. Share Your Itinerary
We understand that in 2023, the thought of somebody being able to track your every move can be unsettling. However, many travelers suggested simply sharing your planned itinerary with your family. “I share my itinerary with my parents and have life360 with my family so they can see where I am at all times,” one person said. “Even if they're thousands of miles away, they could see if something looks amiss and contact the appropriate people, such as lodging hosts.” This hack gives peace of mind to you and your family. It's a win-win proposition!
This thread inspired this post.