Any kind of travel requires common sense and cultural awareness, this is just the way of the world when we’re heading somewhere we’re not familiar. So, how is female solo travel different?
Well, it’s probably a little un-PC to say that it is at all different, but the truth of the matter is that a female travelling on her own will attract more attention than a man, and sometimes this attention isn’t of the positive kind. Because of this it’s important to have your wits about you much more than you would back home.
Despite all this, you shouldn’t let this put you off heading out there and seeing the world, because it’s perfectly safe as long as you follow a bit of advice.
Think about safety
This all boils down to common sense, which we all have, it’s just a matter of how often we choose to listen to it! Don’t walk around with valuables in your hand, in fact don’t travel with any valuables that you don’t desperately need. Keep cash to a minimum, don’t flash it around when paying for your coffee, and keep away from dimly lit areas. This is what you would do at home, right? Travelling solo is no different in this respect.
Research the place you’re going beforehand
It’s good to have a bit of head’s up knowledge about where you’re going ahead of time, even if it’s just a bit of information about the layout of the city, the places to avoid, and what is around the place you’re staying. Forewarned is forearmed!
Trust your instincts
Whether you’re male or female, instincts are key, but for us girls, ours are fine-tuned and we should listen to them! If something doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t, and if that kind stranger gives you an unnerving feeling, then he or she is probably not at all kind. Keep people at arm’s length, and don’t trust until it is earned.
Keep in touch
Be sure to check in back home with someone on a daily basis, or at least every two days. This can be easily done in most places with a Wi-Fi connection, so there’s no excuse!
Be culturally aware
Again, this is down to research. Make sure you have a little knowledge about the culture of the place you’re visiting. Are you visiting a country where women generally cover their heads? If so, then maybe it would be a good idea to take a pashmina to put over your head when visiting particularly rural parts, away from the major cities, to help you blend in and not to attract the wrong kind of attention.
Following on from the above point, it’s not a good idea to wear tight clothing in general, because you’ll be attracting the unwanted glances of that strange man who’s been staring at you all night, is not particularly good looking, and could possibly be dangerous. Dress modestly. I’m not suggesting you have to be unfashionable, but your safety is more important.
Carry some kind of alarm
If it gives you some reassurance then an alarm will help you appear more confident, which is always a good deterrent against trouble.
And finally, don’t be afraid!
Don’t let worries about safety put you off solo travel. All of the above are simple tips to help you have a safe and uneventful trip, not things to put you off ever leaving the country! Use your common sense, keep your wits about you, and put your safety first, and that way you will have the best experience you could wish for.