8 Improtant Solo Travel Tips for Women
You have a destination in mind: a place you’ve always dreamed of visiting. But, you’re waiting. Waiting for schedules, budgets, and timing to sync up with someone else.
You constantly talk about traveling to this destination, but you haven’t purchased the flight yet. It seems like you’ll never get there. Suddenly you think . . . What if I just went alone?
Can I be a solo female traveler?
Will I have fun by myself?
Will I get lonely?
How will I eat alone?
Is it safe?
Who will take my photos?!
Does this sound familiar? Because it’s all too familiar for me. I waited and waited for the right person, the right time, and the stars to align so I could visit my dream destination. Until one day I realized it might never happen if I kept waiting.
So, I booked a flight – solo. I ended up having an amazing time and this trip led me to my current full-time solo travel adventure. I’ve been at it for seven months now, and I want to share with you all my best solo travel tips.
Here Are 8 Solo Travel Tips Women Should Know
Here’s how I prepared mentally for my first solo adventure.
1. Learn to Do Things Solo
The best thing you can do to prepare for your solo adventure is to start being a tourist in your own city. Pick out tourist destinations that you haven’t explored yet and start visiting them.
A big aspect of solo travel is eating by yourself. It can be uncomfortable at first, so start small. Take a book to a coffee shop. Then treat yourself to lunch or dinner at a place you’ve always wanted to try.
Focus on how the food tastes or make up stories about the other people in the restaurant. Sitting at the bar is a good option as well. Bartenders are usually chatty and perhaps you can even chat up another person eating solo at the bar.
2. Take a Short, Easy Solo Trip
As the date for your trip nears, test yourself. Book a solo weekend getaway in a place that is within driving distance or easy to access by public transportation.
Spend the weekend doing activities you love. Eat at restaurants that sound delicious to you. Take your time, you’ve got nowhere else to go and no one else’s schedule to adhere to.
The best thing about the weekend getaway is you’ll realize you can navigate your way around a foreign place. You can find places to eat, activities to do, places to stay – all on your own. And you will have the comfort of knowing that if you hate it, it’s only a few hours drive home.
Starting to do activities solo in the comfort of your own city will help you get comfortable being alone. It will teach you that it’s not that awkward to enjoy a meal or activity by yourself. You’ll see that there are plenty of people doing these things solo!
3. Learn to Meet New People
It can be scary to walk into a new place without knowing anyone. This is another thing to learn in the comfort of your hometown before hopping on a flight!
A good starting place is to join a Meetup group that interests you. There will be other people in attendance that are solo as well, and you’ll have a shared interest, which makes it easier to strike up a conversation.
It’s up to you how to structure your time – that’s the beauty of solo travel!
You can combine this with the first tip as well. When you’re eating out, pick a spot at the bar next to a friendly solo person. Say hello as you sit down, and begin talking about the game on TV or something similar. From there, let the conversation flow, or die, naturally.
Know that once you’re on the road, it’s actually easier to meet people. There are plenty of activities geared toward tourists, many of whom are solo. Free walking tours are an excellent way to meet people on the road. There are usually a few solo female travelers in the group looking for a friend – just like you!
Break the ice and introduce yourself. You may just end up spending the rest of your day together.
Now that you’ve built up the confidence to walk into a room solo and make new friends, it’s time to plan your trip! These planning tactics will build your confidence even more so, when your plane lands, you’ll know exactly what you’re doing.
Preparing boosts your confidence and makes you feel secure. There are a few ways you can plan your trip – it’s all up to your style of travel. You can plan everything in advance, or let it flow naturally.
5. Get Organized and Share Your Itinerary
Here are a few things I highly recommend you do prior to leaving:
- Write down the emergency phone numbers of your destination and phone numbers of those at home in a notebook. If your phone is lost, you can still contact people
- Create copies of all your travel documents, save them as PDFs, and give a copy to someone you trust
- Create a shareable spreadsheet of your itinerary. If you planned everything in advance, fill it out. If not, update it as you go and share it with your friends and family
- From your smartphone, share your location with people you trust. All they have to do is look up your location to see if it matches your itinerary. They can reach out if something seems off
- This might seem extreme, but it could help to have a safe word with those same people. If you contact them using that word, they’ll know you need help. And they already have your shared location, your itinerary, and other documents to help you
6. Find Safe and Reliable Accommodation
Hostels are a budget-friendly place to stay while traveling and a great way to meet people. They generally offer everything from private rooms to 15-bed dorms.
How do you choose a safe and clean option? Check out Hostelworld.
Be sure to pay attention to:
- Overall rating
Once you find a hostel that suits your needs, look for the hostel on Google Maps or TripAdvisor to see the photos. These photos are taken by guests and are generally more honest.
Not sure exactly how to make travel fit in with your life? Read: Here’s How I Quit My Job to Travel + 5 Reasons You Should Too
7. Determine Your Transit
Booking a hostel in advance means you can plan your transit to the location. So when you land at your dream destination, you can walk with confidence and purpose.
Know that once you’re on the road, it’s actually easier to meet people.
Find the best transit options to your hostel from your arrival location. It’s also a good idea to research the specific destination to find cost-effective and safe ways to get into the city center before you arrive.
8. Plan Your Itinerary . . . or Don’t
Tours are an excellent way to meet people as a first-time solo female traveler. However, it’s up to you how to structure your time – that’s the beauty of solo travel! If you’re a planner and it makes you feel more secure to know what and where you’ll be doing activities, then plan away. If you’re not a planner, this may be exhausting for you before the trip even begins.
Either way, consult a guidebook for the top attractions and pick the ones that you want to see most. Then you can leave room for locals to give you advice on places to visit or for simply sitting in a cafe and watching the world go by.
A mixture of both could be ideal as well: maybe plan one or two group tours to get your feet wet and leave the rest up to spontaneity. Either way, an excellent starting point is a free walking tour. It will give you a general overview, introduce places you want to explore more, and help you meet other travelers.
Final Solo Travel Tip: Go Out There and Travel!
So, do you feel ready to push purchase or cash in on those reward miles for your first solo adventure? You’re now armed with how to get comfortable with this endeavour and planning tactics so you feel secure.
But one thing I want to leave you with is to know that there are many solo female travelers out there. Simply anecdotally, the majority of solo travelers that I meet in hostels are women. Each has her own way of traveling that suits her style and comfort level.
There is no right or wrong way to travel solo and these solo travel tips are just brushing the surface. Stop waiting for the right person to travel with and go for it on your own! If I can do it, why not you?
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