Looking for solo female travel tips? look no further.
The detailed solo female travel advice in this guide has been written by an experienced solo female traveler and Travel Writer that has traveled alone to over 53 countries over the last 10 years (me!). I have never let my gender or physical appearance deter me from traveling anywhere and I have never considered anywhere as being out of bounds.
Here you will find 53 great solo female travel tips to help you plan for your independent adventures. They should come in useful whether you’re a complete beginner, or you have been on a few trips by yourself already.
Solo female travel is something that all women should try at least once in their lives. You should never let being a woman put you off anything you want to do.
53 Solo Female Travel Tips to Help You Plan a Trip in 2023
Start with an “easy” destination
It is a good idea to start simple when you head out on your first trip as a solo female traveler. You may prefer to spend a week or a long weekend traveling somewhere domestically within your own country so that you can get your proverbial solo female travel legs.
Alternatively, you can consider planning a solo trip along a well-trodden route where you will meet other people effortlessly. For example, interrailing in Europe, backpacking through Southeast Asia, and solo travelling to Greece.
In these places, you may find that you just bump into other travelers without having to make any major effort to do so. E.g. you just see other people while you are out sightseeing, on a bus, at a hostel, etc.
For your first trip, it is reassuring to know that you can easily meet other people in the same boat as you. If you enjoy traveling solo, then you can go on to travel to more adventurous places.
For example, places like Central Asia pose a challenge due to the lack of tourism infrastructure and language barriers, or Latin America where you need to take additional safety precautions.
Don’t listen to naysayers
You have probably noticed that people share their unsolicited opinions with you on what have you chosen to do in life.
Decide not to have children? Unsolicited opinions.
Decided to date a certain person? Cue more unsolicited opinions.
Sadly this doesn’t go away when you decide to travel solo either. In fact, you’ll probably find that it is amplified because you are doing something less conventional.
When I moved to Mexico for instance, an abundance of people spoke up to tell me that Mexico was too dangerous for me, a simple little woman. Had any of these people travelled to Mexico themselves?
Hilariously, no. They knew absolutely nothing about Mexico.
If I had listened to them, I would have missed out on one of the best experiences in my life. Instead, I chose to reach out to travel bloggers that were living in Mexico or that had traveled there extensively.
I consulted useful sources of information created by people who had actually traveled there and were not using Netflix narco documentaries as the basis for their arguments. People love to share their two cents on just about everything even if they have no experience in the matter.
They also often seem to project themselves onto you. Perhaps they are not comfortable with traveling outside of their comfort zone or they are terrified of traveling independently but that doesn’t mean that you should be.
Take these people with a pinch of salt and don’t let them impact your chance to travel the world
Share your research with concerned friends and family members
People we love can often be worried about us jetting off across the big wide world by ourselves. Solo travel is more common than it has ever been and interestingly, most solo travelers are female.
There is an abundance of resources around these days to help you plan a solo trip. Plenty of bloggers and influencers choose to travel independently.
You will probably stumble across a ton of great resources and inspiring people while doing your research. Don’t hesitate to share this with your friends and family, particularly older relatives.
When your parents and grandparents can see examples like “this girl travelled to X, Y, and Z by herself and she was just fine”, they see that solo female travel is possible. (and normal!)
Nowhere is out of bounds because of your gender
When you tell people that you are planning on traveling solo, you will be met with varying degrees of enthusiasm or concern depending on where you tell them that you are going. This happens to all travelers.
However, it is more commonplace for solo female travelers. You will often hear people say things like that is not safe “for a woman”.
Going to Colombia or Mexico solo? As a woman? Are you insane?
The reality is, you can travel anywhere in the world as a solo female traveller if you plan and take precautions. I have travelled through Azerbaijan alone as a solo female traveller where I hitchhiked through rural areas and got by miming and using Google translate.
I backpacked across Colombia alone and I have driven around the deserts of Oman alone in a 4×4. Those were some of my best solo trips and I would have missed out on them if I let people tell me they were not safe “for a woman”.
Book your trip so you know you’re going
You can go back and forth in your mind forever worrying if somewhere is safe, if you will like it, if it’s a good idea, etc. Just book it.
Once you know that you are going somewhere, you can spend your time actively planning rather than worrying. When your tickets are booked and your hotel room is paid for, you know you are going then.
It is time to start getting excited.
Consider any budget constraints
Will you have a tight budget during your trip or have you saved a lot so that money is not an issue? Your money goes a lot further in certain countries.
A week in the US or Australia could easily cost as much as a month in Latin America or Southeast Asia, for example.
Keep an offline map stored on your phone
You can save an area from Google maps to your phone so that you can use it offline. Maps Me is another great offline map alternative that allows you to navigate using offline GPS.
Break everything down into baby steps
It is easy to get overwhelmed and freaked out before setting out on your first trip. Break everything down into small, manageable steps.
For example, rather than thinking “oh my God I just arrived in Vietnam by myself and I don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m going! Ahhhh!!” Break it down into little steps.
The first step is going through immigration and getting your luggage. The next step is finding a bus stop, or taxi in Vietnam etc.
If you break it down like this, your first few solo trips feel a lot less overwhelming.
Solo travel tips for packing and preparing for your trip
Carry a power bank so your phone is always charged
If you are using your phone to navigate on Google maps, take photos, message people, and listen to music while you are out exploring, you can soon guzzle up your battery. Some phone batteries can be really, really terrible.
You can buy a cheap power bank for as little as $15. Always carry this with you and charge it overnight.
Then, when you are out sightseeing, you can just plug your phone in and charge it to the maximum while you are having lunch or dinner. That way, you don’t find yourself out and about with a phone on 8% battery while you are frantically looking for a Starbucks that has power outlets.
Consider purchasing an alarmed door stopper
An alarmed door stop is a useful safety device for solo female travellers, wherever you go. You can push it against your door in a hotel room/Airbnb.
If someone tries to force their way in, an alarm will sound that can be heard up to several thousand feet away. This may be enough to scare the person away.
(Or at least give you plenty of time to up and move rooms). You can purchase these for a couple of dollars from Amazon.)
Reusable period products are a lifesaver
Carrying sanitary pads and tampons, or worrying about where to find them overseas can be a nightmare. (A lot of countries in Southern Europe for example don’t really use tampons, so you will only find pads).
Period products are a great alternative. You can reusable period panties that are super-absorbant which you rinse out after each day.
Alternatively, you can get a silicone cup like the Diva cup. (I use Thinx period panties and love that I can hike, roll around in bed, etc and they never shift or leak).
Solo travel tips for managing your budget and finances
Travelling solo can help you become an expert in managing your finances and sticking to a budget. Some of the most important solo travel tips for managing your money are detailed below.
Carry multiple bank cards in case one gets lost/stolen
It is a good idea to carry multiple bank cards just in case one should ever get lost or stolen. You can carry the majority of them with you in your purse while you travel.
Keep one hidden deep in your luggage. That way, you will not get stuck without access to your money if you happen to lose your purse or have it stolen.
Trying to work out the logistics of getting a bank card sent overseas can be a nightmare. At best, it may take days for your car to arrive which is not ideal if you are traveling solo.
At worst, your bank may not be able to send your card to your current location.
Manage your bank accounts using apps on your phone
In addition to making sure that you always have multiple bank cards to hand, it is a good idea to manage your banking using an app on your phone. This way, you can easily see how much money you have in your account as well as the details of the latest transactions that you have made.
If a suspicious transaction should pop up while you are traveling, you can easily flag it and contact your bank’s customer support via the app. You can also temporarily freeze your cards.
If you want to keep a spare card in your luggage but you are anxious about leaving it by itself, simply freeze the card in your app. This way, nobody else could use it if they found it.
It has to be unfrozen first. (And besides, you would know straight away if someone did try anything as you have the app on your phone.)
Open a borderless bank account
It is essential to have a borderless bank account if you want to minimize conversion and foreign transaction fees overseas. If you are in the UK or Europe, you may be able to open a borderless bank account with wise (formerly Transferwise) or Revolut.
If you are in the United States, you can open a borderless bank account with Charles Schwab.
Different borderless bank accounts come with different perks. However, at the very base level, having one means that you are not charged foreign transaction fees every time you use your card overseas.
If you use a regular debit or credit card overseas, you may be surprised by how much foreign transaction fees add up. $2-3 here and there every time you eat out at a restaurant or go shopping can quickly accumulate if you are using your card a lot.
ATM fees can often be exorbitant.
Separate the cash that you have in your bag
When you withdraw money overseas, it sometimes makes sense to withdraw a couple of hundred dollars at once. That way, you don’t have to keep making repeat trips to the ATM or keep incurring ATM fees.
However, it is less than ideal to be wandering around with a big wad of notes in your purse. This is especially true if you are traveling in developing nations or in countries that have a reputation for not being that safe.
One nice idea is to separate your money into two different purses. Keep most of the money that you have withdrawn in your purse at the bottom of your bag.
Then, carry a small coin purse with just a little money based on what you think you will need for the day. That way, when you go to pay for something at a market or in a restaurant, you can just take out the coin purse.
You won’t have loads of notes sprouting out of your bag like a tube of crazy snakes.
Solo travel tips for meeting other people
One of the biggest myths about travelling alone is that solo travel is lonely. Honestly, you are only ever alone when you specifically want to be.
Some of my best solo female travel tips for meeting people when you travel are detailed below.
Couchsurfing hangouts are a great way to meet people
Couchsurfing is perhaps best known as an app where you can get free accommodation by staying on someone’s sofa or in their spare room. However, this isn’t the only way that you can use the app.
Couchsurfing hangouts are a great way to meet people when you are traveling. They use GPS to show all the travellers and locals in your area.
Using this feature, you can set your status to “available” and share an update on what you would like to do. For instance, you could write “Melissa wants to go for lunch” or “Melissa wants to go and see the Acropolis”.
People that are in the area can then respond and you can make plans together. This feature is pretty good as, at least in major cities and towns around the world, it is pretty active.
You can easily find someone to hang out with within 30 minutes. Multiple people can join one hangout so occasionally you can find that you have a big fun group of people.
You can click on people’s profiles to see their photos, information, and past reviews. Since you are still meeting a stranger on the internet, it is always good to check their profile.
Similarly, you should always meet your hangout buddies in a public place.
Organise your own Couchsurfing events
Another way to meet people through Couchsurfing without actually Couchsurfing is to attend events. You can search for the name of a town or city that you are going to and see if there are any meetings scheduled to take place.
In many large cities around the world, there are active Couchsurfing communities that meet every week. If there is nothing scheduled, it is free to organize your own event.
Even if you don’t know a town or city well, you can do a little bit of research to find a good cafe or bar to meet at. Choose a time and start point and then when your attendees arrive, you can all discuss where you would like the night to take you.
For the best turnout, it is always a good idea to organize an event two or three weeks in advance.
Meetup, Internations, and other ways to meet people
Meetup.com is another great way to meet people. You can simply go to the website, create a profile, and then search for events in whichever destination you are heading to.
In large cities, you may find an abundance of different meetup groups for various different interests. For instance, Digital Nomad co-working meetup groups, painting and drawing groups, yoga groups, hiking groups, etc.
The only thing to note in terms of the difference between Meetup.com and Couchsurfing is that you need to pay to set up a group and organize events on Meetup whereas you do not need to do that on Couchsurfing. It is generally free to attend a meetup event unless the host has specified otherwise.
Dome hosts May request that you pay two or three dollars to attend to help them cover the annual costs of running their group. Internations is another international event platform.
It tends to attract a mostly older, professional crowd.
Join Travel Facebook groups
Travel and expat Facebook groups are an underrated source of travel information and a way to meet people. If you are looking for information, you can use the search bar in the group to search for a specific topic and it will pull up past discussions.
For instance, you can search for the best restaurants, best coffee bars, etc.
Organise meetups through Facebook groups
You can also create a post asking if other people want to meet up or hang out. This is perhaps particularly useful if you are a Digital Nomad/ You are going to be somewhere for an extended period of time.
For example, you could use a Greece expat Facebook group while you’re in Athens and create a post with a photo of yourself introducing yourself, discussing your hobbies and interests, and suggesting going for coffee or organizing a picnic on a specific date.
You may be surprised by precisely how many people respond and are active in these groups!
It is okay to enjoy alone time
You will find a million travel articles and social media reels online that talk about how easy it is to meet other people when traveling solo. They assert that you are only ever alone if you want to be.
While that is completely true, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being alone either. It is great to enjoy your own company from time to time.
Being alone in a remote beach town somewhere, reading a good book, and simply listening to the sound of the sea waves while you set your phone on “Do Not Disturb” for a few days is the ultimate self-care. Being comfortable with your own company is an important life skill.
There is absolutely nothing “weird” about it.
Date but use the same common sense you would at home
Dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, etc, are used around the world. They are no more dangerous to use internationally than they are in your home country.
Meeting someone from a different country or culture can be fun. You never know where it may lead!
Solo female travel tips for enjoying your trip
Walking tours can be a great way to get your bearings
You will find walking tours in virtually every town and city around the world. Many are free to attend on the basis that you give tips.
You can simply do a Google search for “best walking tours in X’” and no doubt it will come up with an abundance of options.
Do these tours early on in your trip so that you can get your bearings. Exploring the city that you are in with a local will help you gain more information and context into the various historical sites and landmarks that you see around the destination.
Not to mention, you will have an expert on hand to ask for recommendations on the best places to eat, drink, stay, and hang out. If you have any concerns or safety questions, you can pose these to your guide too.
Organised tours and excursions that I get another way that you can meet other people when traveling solo. Get your guide and Viator are two great platforms to use when searching for organized tours.
Pick up a local sim card when you arrive
It is always a good idea to pick up a local sim card. In most countries, you can get tourist sims with decent data plans for as little as $10-$15 per month.
Travelling can be a good way to detach. But even if you are on a social media detox, you will probably need to use the internet at some points to check directions on Google maps, make hotel bookings, send emails, check things to do in a certain place, etc.
For that reason, it is a good idea to pick up a sim card as soon as you arrive. In a lot of countries, wifi can be patchy at best, even in hotels, and free wifi is not widely available
Always keep movies and TV shows downloaded on your computer
Long train, bus, and plane journeys can be boring. Sometimes you may travel on an airline that doesn’t have in-flight entertainment.
Other times, you may find yourself in accommodation where the Wi-Fi doesn’t work and there is no tv. Having a couple of TV shows, documentaries and movies downloaded on Netflix or whatever other streaming platform you use is a great boredom killer for times when you may have a long wait at an airport/bus station, etc.
Know that social media is not reality
If you are pretty new to traveling alone, one of the best solo female travel tips that I can give you is to ignore the perfect view of travel that is often portrayed on social media. Travel is wonderful and wherever you choose to go and for however long, chances are that you will remember your trip for the rest of your life.
However, travel is also unpredictable and challenging at times. Bags get lost, you may get scammed despite your best efforts not to, sticking to a travel budget can be hard and you might have days where everything seems to go wrong.
When this happens, it can make you feel like you are not doing something right because your travel experience is not the same as the flawless experience that is portrayed by women in long-flowing dresses on social media. Social media is not reality, it is a highlight reel.
It often portrays an unrealistic image of travel and it is important to remember that.
Allow for flexibility in your schedule
There are times when you travel when you need to book all of your flights and accommodation in advance. for instance, you are planning on island hopping in the Greek Cyclades in the middle of August.
But for the most part, you can afford some flexibility in your schedule. Sometimes, as cheesy as it sounds, the best things that happen to us when we travel are things that aren’t planned.
So, for instance, if you’re planning on spending a couple of weeks in Mexico, instead of planning everything down to a tee, go with a rough idea of the places that you would like to see.
Book at least the first night or two’s accommodation and then be open to changes. Sometimes, you might find that you completely love a certain place and want to stick around for longer.
You may meet other travelers who recommend places that you haven’t previously thought of and that you would like to take a detour to. Conversely, you might absolutely despise somewhere and decide to skip out of there early.
If you plan your entire trip too stringently, you may regret that you did.
Hiking and camping alone can be fun with precautions
Hiking alone as a woman can be a lot of fun. However, as with solo female travel in general, it is a good idea to start small and work your way up from there.
For your first hike, it is perhaps best to go on a track that just takes a couple of hours rather than to try and conquer some things super challenging like the Camino or the PCT. Choose a well-marked, popular trail where you know you will bump into other hikers.
One of the biggest risks of hiking or camping alone is the risk of being injured in a remote place where you cannot contact anybody. You need to make sure that your devices are fully charged and that you have a power bank to charge them further.
Always carry plenty of snacks and water. If you are heading out into a remote area with no signal, you should consider buying a GPS spot device.
Let yourself get excited about your trip
Traveling alone is always going to be different for women compared to men. There are simply always additional precautions that we need to take and things that we need to contend with.
However, don’t let your worry about what could happen, or all the things that you need to prepare before your trip, detract from the fact that you’re about to set out on a life-changing adventure.
Let yourself get excited about your trip and don’t worry too much. Even if you are the most anxious person in the world, you may be surprised by how calm you feel when you finally arrive at your destination.
Nowhere is weird or “too romantic” to go solo
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that somewhere was “weird” for me to travel alone. Well, I’d have a whole bunch of dollars!
When it comes to travelling to places like Santorini or the Maldives which are known for being romantic destinations, I know that some people start to feel a little anxious.
Trust me, no one is going to think that you are some weird or creepy woman who prowls around honeymoon destinations by herself and cries into her wine about not having a husband. Heck, I’ve been to plenty of “romantic” places alone.
I only got looks because I WAS crying into my wine. (Kidding).
Most people are too preoccupied with themselves and what they are doing to be concerned about random strangers. Plus at this point, most people have seen solo female travellers 1,000 times before.
You are not isolating yourself if you stay in hotels
A lot of solo travellers will often book themselves into backpackers’ hostels when they travel. This is mostly for the social aspect and the ease of meeting others.
When I first started travelling, I did this a lot too.
Now I’ve gotten a bit older, I prefer paying more for privacy and comfort. Don’t think that choosing to stay in a hotel or a private Airbnb apartment means that you will be isolated.
I always do this and still manage to meet plenty of people. As mentioned above, you can easily meet people via Couchsurfing, Meetup, etc
Solo travel tips for staying safe
Never share your location in real-time
Traveling is exciting and it is understandable that you want to share updates from your trip with friends and family at home. However, it is best to save all of your photos and social media posts in your drafts folder and share them when you have left the location.
You can never really be sure of who is watching your social media. This is especially true if you have a public account.
You may have followers that you don’t know in real life that watching what you are doing.
In some countries like Greece and the Balkans, people often social media platforms like Instagram as a dating app. Local men will often find women through hashtags and geotags and reach out to them from there.
It’s super creepy but it is not unheard of for someone to find you via a geotag after seeing you at a certain location. To prevent any weirdness with people from social media trying to find you in real life, don’t post updates until after you have left a certain place.
It is particularly important to avoid sharing details of which hotel you are staying in. Don’t share any updates from places that you regularly hang out at either.
Create a Google doc to share your itinerary with friends and family
If you want to share details of your itinerary with your friends and family so that they are not beside themselves with worry while you are away, one nice way to do that is to create a shareable Google doc. You can create an itinerary in a Google document that shares where you will be each day and the address of your hotel or accommodation.
You can set this document to read-only so that your mom or other family members can’t accidentally edit or delete something. Then, if you decide to change your schedule, stay somewhere a little longer, or take a detour, you can easily edit the document to reflect that.
This is also a great idea as it means that you don’t have to send emails or Whatsapp updates to various different people. if people want to know where you are during your trip, they can simply check the document.
Try learning a few helpful phrases in the local language
Obviously, it isn’t realistic to think that you could become by any means conversational in a new language just a few weeks before a trip. But it is helpful to try and learn a handful of phrases in the local language before you go.
Learning how to say hello, goodbye, please, thank you, and some basic sentences like “Can I have… please” will go a long way. These phrases will make your life easier and they will be appreciated by the locals.
Duolingo is a fun way to learn more than 40 languages with various games and activities.
Ridesharing apps can be safer than street cabs
In some countries like Mexico, Colombia, and other parts of South America, riding apps like uber and Didi are considered safer than street taxis. This is interesting as in some countries people have the opposite opinion.
The truth is that if you order a taxi via Uber, there is more accountability than there is if you get into a random taxi on the street. With Uber and other ride-sharing apps, you can see all of the details of the driver who will be transporting you as well as the vehicle that you will be traveling in.
You can also check the driver’s rating, past reviews, and the number of years they have been on Uber. Uber will of course have the driver’s name, address, ID, and contact details.
You simply do not have any of this when you get into a random street taxi. With ride-sharing apps, you can also see an estimate of how much the journey will cost before you get in.
When you hail a random street taxi, you are at the mercy of the driver. He/she may well make up a price on the spot and assume that as a tourist you do not know the going rate.
Check the profiles of your Uber drivers before you get in the car
If you are a little apprehensive about using ride-sharing apps when you travel, there is a good process that you can follow for keeping safe. When you share the details of your ride in search of a driver, you can choose to only accept drivers that have been on the platform for a couple of years, have completed thousands of journeys, and have a rating of 4.5 or above.
If a driver is new to the app or hasn’t completed many journeys, you can cancel and look for a new driver. As long as you do this quite quickly, Uber will not charge you for canceling the fair and searching for a new driver.
Always check the license plate before getting in an Uber/rideshare car
Make sure that the license plate for your Uber corresponds with the license plate you can see on the app. It isn’t completely out of the question for weird opportunists to just randomly pull up in a popular Uber spot.
If the car doesn’t match the license plate, don’t get in.
Catcalling and Street harassment can be a major annoyance when traveling alone as a woman. (Just like it is an annoyance in everyday life wherever we are in the world!)
I’m not going to tell you that you need to wear a burlap sack and dress as unattractively as possible. Sometimes, whatever we do and however we dress, we can find ourselves the subject of unwanted male attention.
This can often be the case in countries where we look different from everyone else and are considered exotic. It can also happen anywhere because, quite frankly, some people are creepy and weird.
Obviously, as women, we should feel that we are able to go wherever we want and wear whatever we like and be free from harassment. However, sadly that isn’t the reality of the world that we live in some of the time.
While stupid noises, whistles, and silly comments can be annoying, they are best ignored. Honestly, the person doing the harassing is not worth even a smidge of your time or attention.
Hold your head high and don’t even acknowledge them. If you find yourself getting upset or offended by the silly advances, the only person whose day and trip you are ruining is your own.
Don’t give these things the importance to let them detract from an otherwise wonderful solo female travel experience.
Know the protocol if you are being followed
Without wanting to worry you, it is good to be prepared for every scenario. Should you find yourself being bothered by someone that keeps following you, stay in a public place and consider going to tell somebody.
It is always important to be aware of your surroundings when traveling alone. If you find that someone is trailing behind you, don’t panic or let on that you are anxious and you have noticed them there.
Continue walking calmly and remain in a public place. Do not lead them to your accommodation or hotel or anywhere where the person may find you later.
If you cannot lose them in a crowded street, go into a store and tell the shopkeeper that you are being followed. In some archaeological sites and tourist cities, you will find dedicated tourist police.
Don’t feel you have to tell everyone you are alone
You can be proud of being a fearless and adventurous solo female traveler and you definitely don’t have to pretend that you are married in order to be treated with respect. However, by the same token, you don’t need to tell every person that you encounter that you are traveling alone.
This is particularly true when local men ask questions about where you were staying, what you are doing, or who you are traveling with. For all they know, you could be out for a walk by yourself for the day while your boyfriend or your friends are resting at the hotel.
If someone gives you weird vibes, you can tell them just that. “Oh my 6ft rugby player boyfriend is waiting at the hotel. He has a bit of a headache.”
You know the drill.
Don’t worry about being rude
Do you know those odd people that approach you and start conversations on the train? You can get a lot of those travelling.
This especially happens with local men that act concerned and want to help you find x, y, whatever. Or men that see you at a restaurant, in a queue, on a plane, etc, and start making nonsense small talk.
Don’t be afraid to say you are not interested, or politely remove yourself from the situation. As women, we often feel bad about being rude to people.
But you don’t owe anyone anything. Is this person really being that polite to you by encroaching on your personal space and asking nosy questions?
Exactly! If you don’t want to speak to someone or they are making you uncomfortable, just leave.
In some countries and cultures, smiling and making small talk with local men is almost considered an invitation. When we are thinking “I am just responding to this person’s question because I am polite”, they see it as them being in with a chance.
Don’t arrive at night
Everything is more stressful at night. From a safety perspective, you are more vulnerable if you are dragging your suitcase around empty streets while lost. It is not really a position that you want to be in.
This is also important from a coordinating perspective. Trains, buses, and public transport may not run after a certain time.
This can cause you to incur additional costs if you wind up having to take a cab. Besides, everything looks different at night and it can be hard to get your bearings when everything is closed and it’s dark.
Always watch your alcohol intake
Be careful about how much you drink when you travel alone as a woman. This isn’t just restricted to going out by yourself and having a drink at a local bar or with dinner.
Be mindful of your alcohol intake if you go out with your newfound travel friends or if you attend an event. How well do you really know these people?
Often, at Couchsurfing meetings and events and meet-up events, people can seem very friendly, but there are still plenty of men that are looking to hook up. I have often seen women that are traveling by themselves and that are paralytically drunk and end up depending on random travellers that they have just met to help them get home safely.
This is an incredibly vulnerable position to be in. Always be mindful of how much you drink and never leave your drink unattended.
Don’t flash your electronics
When you travel alone, you want to minimise the amount of attention you draw to yourself and your chances of being a target. Never walk around with your expensive DSLR camera hanging around your neck or other expensive electronics on display.
Leave the Designer labels at home
Leave the Designer labels and expensive accessories and sunglasses at home if you can. It’s always a good idea to ask yourself “would I be okay if I lost this?” and if the answer is no, leave it behind.
Watch your personal belongings
Make sure that you have eyes on your personal belongings at all times. Never leave your computer unattended in a coffee shop, even for a moment.
In crowded marketplaces and metro stations, consider walking with your backpack in front of you. Never leave valuable items like your purse, your money, or your phone just hanging out of your back pocket.
Most petty crimes are opportunistic. You may also want to consider investing in a theft-proof backpack like those offered by Pacsafe.
Theft-proof bags are slash-proof, and water-proof and come with TSA-approved locking devices. They are a little more expensive than regular backpacks.
However, most come with long-term or lifetime warranties.
Never resist a thief
If you ever find yourself in the worst-case scenario where someone demands that you hand over your phone/laptop/etc, it is better to comply. Obviously losing your personal items sucks.
But you can never know if someone has a weapon, is going to get violent, or what their mental state is. Nothing is worth your life or your safety.
Walk with confidence
You could be an expat well versed in the local area for all people know. Act confident in what you are doing and where you are going and people will be less likely to bother you.
Carry a business card from your hotel/hostel
One of the best solo female travel tips if you’re worried about getting lost or getting back to your hotel? Always carry a business card from the hotel/hostel or have your host write it down.
If you get really lost, you can just show the address to a cab driver. This is especially helpful if you are in places where English is not commonly spoken (hello Japan!).
Solo female travel tips on how to dress
Knowing how to dress so that you can be comfortable while adhering to cultural expectations and not drawing any unnecessary unwanted attention to yourself is important. The tips for solo female travellers in this section discuss just that.
Dress how the local women dress
If you are unsure how to dress in a certain destination, the local women are often a good example to follow. For example, in Mexico City, Puebla, and other Mexican cities, you will find that women prefer to wear jeans and t-shirts, even when it is hot so that they do not draw attention to themselves.
Read up on any cultural norms
Some places around the globe are more conservative as compared to what you may be used to at home.
If the local customs or dress code dictates that you should do certain things (for example, cover your hair or dress conservatively) then please ensure that you do so. Not only does this show that you respect the citizens of the country that you are travelling in. But it also aids you in not attracting negative attention to yourself and highlighting the fact that you are alone.
This may sound a little like common sense. However, you would not believe the number of people that ignore this advice.
When I was in Egypt for example, I saw a lot of women wearing shorts and then they wondered why they were getting a lot of stares.
You’re doing that to yourself!
Don’t buy into the “fake wedding ring” drama
In some countries, a woman travelling alone is an uncommon sight. One widespread piece of solo female travel advice that I don’t buy into is the notion that you need to wear a fake wedding band.
You will see a lot of “reputable” sources telling you that you should do this – including famous guidebooks and travel magazines. Personally, I have never done this in any of the 53 countries I’ve travelled to and I think the sheer suggestion that you should is a joke.
It gives out the wrong opinion that women are more deserving of respect if they are perceived as being some guy’s property. A wedding ring isn’t necessarily going to deter weirdos.
If someone is crazy, they probably don’t care what your relationship status is. Being unmarried is not something to be ashamed of.
I’ve travelled to a lot of countries with vastly different cultures to my own. When travelling solo in Uzbekistan for example, I am considered super old to be unmarried in my late twenties.
However, I was open with the locals I met and we discussed the differences in marriage expectations. Nobody was rude or judgemental.
Let’s be open about our cultural differences, rather than ashamed of them.
Final thoughts on the best solo female travel tips
Have any further questions and concerns about these solo female travel tips or planning your first independent trip?
You are welcome to reach out to me by email or by Instagram. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Safe travels! Melissa xo