Updated: Jan 3, 2020
Solo travel is high on the list of priorities for a lot of people these days. The thought of stepping out of the comfort zone, travelling in a new place, and making new friends is an exciting trend. With this new found confidence, a lot of women have packed their bags and explored new lands all on their own. And there seems to be nothing that can stop them from living life on their own terms.
Tourism adds a lot of revenue to the economy. With this in mind, local government bodies have stepped up security at tourist locales these days. It is a welcome relief to travelers, especially female solo travelers to spread their wings and discover new places on their own without depending on anybody.
A lot of businesses are conscious about the safety of their guests which has made solo female travel worth the adventure.
While the new age woman has a lot of courage to conquer the world, what needs to be exercised at all times during a holiday are safety precautions. No matter where we travel, being safe is better than sorry. Here are a few tips to bear in mind before you step outside your home to travel solo:
1. Keep your friends and family informed
No matter where you travel, the thumb rule is to keep somebody close to you always informed about your whereabouts.Most of us might be craving for some digital detox but a phone call, an email or a whatsapp message informing your family or friends once a day can be forgiven.
2. Offline maps
Always have access to maps. In case, you do not have continuous or not internet access at all, then please save offline maps in your phone. It comes a long way in figuring your way back to your hotel or hostel. You can also download the travel app from (https://talktravelapp.com/) to connect to locals and destination experts while travelling or planning your travel.
3. Do not keep all your cash or cards in one place
Robbery, pick pocketing or losing cash while traveling is a universal problem. It can happen anywhere, be it Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona or Phuket. To avoid losing cash, always carry some in your wallet/ purse. Carry some in your backpack and some in your trousers’ inner pocket.
Another tip shared by police personnel is, if you are being robbed at knife point, it is always recommended that you part with your cash. It is better to lose cash than to get yourself harmed.
4. Be confident in your gait and body language
Confidence matters. Be it at work, while dating or even while traveling solo. Do not look scared or intimidated as this will make you look vulnerable while you are strolling through the streets in a new place.
5. Use public transport
Always public transport as you might not necessarily be alone. You will be in the company of many locals and it feels safer. Also, its cheaper to use public transport.
6. Have a list of emergency numbers of the places you are visiting
Have all the numbers handy. The hotel desk, police station, and hospital phone numbers in case you are caught in any untoward incident. These are the most reliable people to count on in case you got lost.
7. Couch surfing
Credit Couchsurfing blog
If you love to stay with a local to have an authentic experience, then stay with a female host who has good reviews from previous travelers on the site. Always stay in a house which has easy access to the bus stop or closer to the main road. Do not stay in isolated places at any cost.
8. Do not arrive at a destination in the night
Ask your hotel to arrange for a pick up from the airport or railway station. In case you are couch surfing or staying in a hostel, arrange for transport beforehand from a reliable service provider.
I recently read an answer on Quora where a girl got off the bus at an undesignated bus stop to reach the railway station by foot after 10 pm. There was no street light and there was a makeshift shop and drivers on the highway. The girl was traveling solo and relied on two caring strangers to figure out her way to the railway station. In my honest opinion, this is a big no no. I would rather miss my train rather than risk my life to such a degree just to catch a train.
9. What to do in the night
If you are in a city which is progressive in nature then partying is of course a great idea. But if you are in a beach town with secluded parties or in some part of the world which have conservative values, please go back to your hotel before 9 pm in the night.
There are unfortunate incidents of eve teasing being shared by women even at 8 pm in some big cities. This is woefully inevitable, so it’s better to walk in well lit area at all costs.
Dress like a local! This is the best way to befriend locals and enjoy the authentic experience.
If dressing like a local is not an easy proposition, then dress in a manner that doesn’t attract untoward attention. Not every place in the world is progressive. While wearing shorts is a great choice in Mumbai, might not be a good decision to wear the same in Rishikesh.
Covering your legs with trousers or long skirts and wear a comfortable t-shirt to keep it simple and easy. Carrying a stole is a must have in your bag. Comes in handy in almost every occasion.
11. Meeting new people
What’s a vacation without meeting or befriending a local or fellow tourists. After all they are the best destination expert you can ever find. Not all of us are bold enough to sit at the cocktail bar and start conversing.
One way to meet new friends is to join a Facebook group for that destination. You can talk to anybody who is traveling in that direction and plan to meet. Another great idea is to go on a walking tour, that’s the best place to find like-minded people.
A lot of girls are experimenting with Tinder. Depending on your necessities, Tinder is a great way to meet new people. You can always meet a crowded bar or restaurant for your first meeting.
A few people might turn out to be very flirty and if you are uncomfortable at any moment, you can politely call it a day and move on. On a positive note, there are generous people out there who are willing to show you around. My friend has had a great time in Goa and Florence where locals have showed her locations which most mainstream tourists do not go to. Check out this Talk Travel blog on how to use Tinder while you are traveling.
12. At the club or Concert
We all love to experience the nightlife of a place. There are dance floors, concerts, clubs, and bars that are open until dawn in many cities. While it is fun to let one’s hair down and have unlimited fun, always remember not to leave your drink unattended. Always ensure, your drink is with you and even if you have to excuse yourself to the restroom, finish your drink and then go or buy yourself a new drink. Never compromise in this aspect no matter where you are in this world.
Always read up about the destination online and reach to a travel group on FB to cross check if a place is safe to visit. Do not let your fears overtake your thoughts.
The first solo travel is always the most challenging one, but after 2 days into your travel, you will realize that it was the best decision ever. Check out few more solo female travel guides compiled by Talk Travel specifically for India, France, and Spain. These guides will help you with destination specific travel tips.
If you are looking for a solo trip , Contact Wovoyage: firstname.lastname@example.org 9911194194 or visit the website www.wovoyage.com to see the packages available.