One thing I am frequently asked by other women is about safety while traveling alone. Whether you are worried if you’ll be a target, or if your family may be right about all the dangers while traveling on your own, or if your brain is putting all these worries in your head of worst-case scenarios.
Stop thinking that!
I have been traveling alone for the past few years and have had little to no issues. How? As long as you are aware of your surroundings and remain confident you should have no issues at all. Many times when I am traveling alone, locals are actually willing to help you more than harm you.
If it’s your first time traveling solo or if you’re just checking for more useful tips, I have put together twenty of the top safety tips for solo female travel.
1). Give someone a copy of your itinerary
Before leaving on your trip make sure you give someone close to you a copy so they know where you’ll be throughout your entire stay.
2). Book accommodations in advance
Make sure and have your accommodations booked before arriving at your destination. By having the research done beforehand, you are able to see the ratings and how safe a location is to stay in rather than trying to figure it all out once you arrive.
3). Have copies of your important travel documents
Nothing can be more stressful than losing your passport or ID, so get copies of each before heading to the airport for your trip.
4). Keep valuable items hidden
There are some awesome ways to conceal money from underneath your shoe sole, in an unused tampon in your pocket, and so many other places. Definitely check out some of the videos on youtube before your trip and you’re all set!
Always make sure and lock up your passport and other valuables. Do not ever carry those around with you unless you’re boarding a plane or heading home.
5). Keep emergency phone numbers on your phone
It is always a good decision to put important numbers in your phone and have them accessible. Find out what the local police line is and have that in your phone in case of emergency. Although international phone use can be expensive, look into options with your carrier before you go so you are able to use your phone while abroad.
6). Befriend your hotel or hostel staff
The employees in hotels are also locals who know the area well. Make sure and befriend them because they will know the safe locations as well as the places you should avoid during your stay.
7). Join a group tour
If you are worried about touring a city alone, always look for a foot or bus tour. While on the tour, the guide will inform you of the popular parts of town, great restaurants, where the best night life is, etc. This is a great way to see your destination without having to do it on your own which is perfectly okay!
8). Dress like a local
To avoid unwanted attention, wear clothes similar to the locals rather than standing out by wearing revealing clothing. Every place is slightly different, so look up what is normal for that particular location.
9). Avoid going to non populated areas at night
Night is definitely the time most solo travelers worry about, so instead of walking back to your hotel, arrange for a taxi to take you back.
If you happen to have overnight transportation, make sure your valuables are locked up and in your arms since you are more prone to theft than during the day time.
10). Stay Confident
One thing I was taught when I was young was to always walk with your back straight and head up high. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, just act like it. Maintaining eye contact with those who you talk to is another way of showing confidence.
11). Connect with other women
There are so many other solo female travelers and one of my favorite groups to join is Girls Love Travel on Facebook. Many women post about an upcoming trip and try and connect with other women along the way. There are thousands of members in this group and each one is extremely supportive so make sure and check it out.
12). Be alert always
It is easy to put headphones in and zone the world out, but this makes you a perfect target and also signals to a potential thief that you probably have a smart phone at the end of those earbuds.
13). Always trust your gut
It is extremely important to trust your instincts. If something feels off, then it most likely is. Same thing goes for a positive feeling! If you feel like you’ll be fine, then you will be. So far, it has proven to be right.
14). Watch your alcohol intake
Limit yourself to only a few drinks at a time. Getting drunk in a foreign place could put you in real danger, risk you getting lost or losing your important belongings.
15). Be aware of typical travel scams
It is important to research the top travel scams in the country you’re visiting so you can be aware of what people may try. Don’t let this scare you from visiting, just take it into consideration so you’re prepared just in case.
16). Don’t tell people where you’re staying
If you are worried about your safety, do not tell people you encounter where you are staying. If they hound you about it, just tell them you’re staying at a different location just in case.
17). Be smart on social media
If you really want to be safe, wait a few days or until after your trip to post on social media sites. I know it’ll be difficult, but you never know who is out there on the internet.
18). Know how to ask for help and directions in the language spoken
Just in case something bad happens, you might have to ask for help from a stranger. In this situation it is vital to know at least a little bit of the language to help benefit you.
19). Wear a wedding ring/band
Even if you aren’t married or engaged, just wear an inexpensive ring on your finger and pretend you are. Although you can’t avoid every guy, many will see that and end up not coming up to you. I have personally done this a few nights even in my home town and it really does work.
20). Bring a plastic doorstop and whistle
Invest in a 99 cent doorstop from Walmart or Home Depot and use it inside your hotel room to ensure the door can’t open from the inside. It weighs basically nothing and is small enough to throw in your backpack or purse but will help keep you safe inside your room. Many backpacks or survival bracelets come with a whistle. You never know when you may need it but it is a good thing to have on you.