Women travelling the world alone!?
You are probably imagining an exotic tribe of dauntless Amazons journeying the adventurous paths of the wide world and fearlessly conquering new exotic territories! Are you right?
Data published online paints a curious picture. This tribe of solo travellers seems to consist mainly of American and British women, with an additional mix of Canadians, Australians, etc. I myself have met Slovenian, Polish, Hungarian, Italian, and Dutch.
They are well organized too. If you go to the webpage of Women Welcome Women World Wide, you will see photos from Tokyo, Morocco and Canterbury. There is also a post from Alaska!
Their average age? 54! The tribe seems to be a mix of mostly Baby Boomers (women born between 1946 and 1964) and Millenials (early 1980s to mid-1990s). I personally know some women journeying the world solo from the in-between Generation X too.
They are (mostly) highly educated backpackers with a taste for adventure holidays.
Why do they wander alone? They want to see more of the world and are not willing to wait for others. Their favourite destinations are in Europe, the USA and Australia or New Zealand. Yet they also visit exotic locations in Iceland, Thailand or India.
And their tribe is growing!
You are not alone! Among solo globetrotters, women outnumber men 2:1!
Google word searches for solo trips for women have been growing steadily in the last five years. They mark a trend that both tour operators and travel bloggers have clearly seen.
Holiday companies tout Solo female friendly tours. Travel blogs advertise unmissable destinations for solo travellers and share sound advice and inspiring personal stories.
Discovered your travel muse yet? Sri Lanka is on your bucket list and you’re planning a journey alone? Read on and you’ll find some travel tips for your next road trip or adventure time solo.
If you’re still thinking about it, don’t be afraid and don’t hesitate! Exploring the world alone comes with great advantages and every woman should try it!
Benefits of Solo Female Travel
Gain freedom and independence
When you hit the road alone, you get a taste of total freedom! There is no need for a second opinion. No compromises!
You want to walk the Path of the Gods in both directions and then have a long late lunch? It’s your choice! You can walk when you feel like walking, until you are utterly exhausted. Then you can start your lunch with the dessert! Or reward yourself with a nice early cocktail for a challenge well-conquered! You are free to enjoy things! No fear of being judged!
Just remember: Be alert! Drink to enjoy, not to get drunk!
Solo travel will help you discover how sweet independence is and enhance your relationship with yourself!
Meet new people
Solo travel does not have to be lonely!
If you are travelling independently, simply prepare well so that you can feel confident and enjoy your journey! Smile! Talk to people! Meet the locals! Pick up a few phrases of the language - they will appreciate it and you will have great stories to share after!
Alternatively, if this is your first time travelling alone, you can join one of the female friendly tours. They offer an amazing opportunity to meet like-minded travellers while exploring amazing destinations! Hearing their stories may help you gain confidence to try an independent solo trip next time.
Learn more about yourself
A solo journey is the perfect time to do some soul-searching. Especially if you are in a bad place in life. It’s an opportunity to disconnect from your environment and surround yourself with new stimuli. Visiting new places and meeting new people can help you gain a new perspective - both on your life and yourself. You can focus on your desires and rediscover your strength!
Grab this opportunity to evolve as a human being and gain unforgettable positive experiences. What could be better than this?
Learn to be resourceful. Test your skills.
Exploring the world alone means that you have nothing but your own knowledge and skills to rely on. Facing various challenges on your own will put your thinking skills to the test. You will learn to trust your instincts and this will further strengthen your intuition.
Remember that helplines are there to support you! Make sure you have the numbers for the local police, hospitals, etc. handy and call if you need help!
Gain a confidence boost.
Travelling without the trusted company of friends or family members, can surely seem daunting. You will have to leave your comfort zone. However, once you take the first step, you will find out how strong and resilient you are. You will discover your ability to tackle difficult situations. You will feel in control. And this is an unforgettable feeling, especially for women who are generally seen as more vulnerable.
Tips for solo female travellers
It is always a good idea to research a bit about the country you’re going to visit. Try to learn more about the local culture, customs and attitudes to women.
Also read online about possible scams you should avoid. Make a list of important helpline numbers.
Book a few things in advance - like accommodation for the first few nights. Also look into possible transfer options from the airport to your hotel/hostel. Look at maps and research local transport. Which is cheaper? Which is safer?
It takes some time and effort, but being well-prepared will help you feel more confident once you arrive.
Reassure your loved ones.
This is probably the most difficult part of the preparation process. People react differently to the idea of women travelling alone. Some will accept your decision and support you, others will need reassurance.
Try to demonstrate that you are well-prepared. Be confident and positive. And promise to keep in touch. Regularly!
Keep your documents and cash safe.
This brings about images of women stashing rolls of cash in their bras (if you haven’t heard of the Brassiere brigade from the 1950s, look it up :).
The modern option of a bra stash (or money belt) is not too different yet much more discreet.
However, if you’re not looking for the movie thrill, you can simply follow your common sense. Keep your documents and some cash on you at all times, in an inner pocket. It is always a good idea to make photos/copies of your documents and have these with a trusted friend and on the cloud just in case.
Most travellers keep their money stashed in a few different places to avoid losing all of it at once.
Travel during the day.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? You will see more, be more alert and be able to reach out for help if you need to.
Bonus tip: try to arrive at your destination during the day or in the early afternoon. You will be able to use public transport (and find your way if you get lost). You will also get a chance to check out your accommodation and the surrounding neighbourhood (and change it if you decide it’s not safe enough).
Dress like a local
You probably want to look amazing for those selfies you’re planning to upload on social media! However, if you want to stay safe, you should try to blend in. If you don’t want to attract too much attention and look like a tourist, try and dress like the locals.
A fun tip I learnt: Once you arrive, buy something from a local shop to get
Don’t tell people where you are staying
You are definitely bound to meet some very friendly people during your adventures. Yet always stay alert. To avoid unwanted attention, look confident, be friendly but also set clear boundaries.
Never tell unfamiliar people where you’re staying. This is information you should trust with your family back home!
If someone asks you, be ambiguous (You can simply say ‘Not far from the market/post office/police station’).
Keeping in touch with your friends and family will help you feel safe. As already mentioned, your support group back home should have a back-up copy of your documents, plus your contacts and itinerary.
And as they are the ones you need to reassure about your safety, keep in touch. Uploading photos of your smiling face against scenic background is the best proof you are safe and having a blast!
Alternatively you can make a routine of calling in the evenings to share the impressions of your adventurous day!
Trust your intuition.
When facing a different culture, especially if you don’t know the language, it is sometimes difficult to understand what’s happening. However, when travelling alone, it is very important to learn to read situations. Trust your gut and if you feel something is wrong, leave or try to get to a place where you can reach out for help.
Talk to people.
Talk to people on the train, share stories with other women in the hostel. Say ‘Good morning’ to the staff at the market stall or kiosk near your accommodation where you buy fruit or your morning coffee. It’s all about creating a small network of people who know you and will help in case of need.
It will also help you feel less lonely, make great memories or maybe even friendships for life!
Solo travel is an amazing opportunity to discover the world and reconnect with yourself!
There’s no age limit. No time limit. No requirements.
The tribe of solo female travellers brings together women of all nationalities and backgrounds. Women who are single or married. Women who are mothers or caregivers. Women who have careers or no longer work.
Women who are united by their desire to explore and experience the world on their own terms!