19 Tips for Solo Female Travellers

The internet has become a platform for the world to vicariously enjoy the stories of nomads, backpackers, adventure-seekers, and cultural explorers. Access to information has opened doors for many people and still there are many who aren’t ready (yet) to take the leap because of safety concerns, especially for women.

I’ve learned as a (mostly) lone, female, traveller, with a limited budget (sometimes under US$10 a day) that you can create safety for yourself. This list is mostly for curious people who like to walk around local areas in developing countries but is useful everywhere, even at home. These basic principles give me confidence to go to India alone, do solo long-distance cycling trips, and take public transportation with no announcements and signs. Most importantly, these habits help me enjoy, or at least learn from, life on the road.

I’m going to be blunt: being (read as) female, you can be a potential target no matter what you do. Accept that, but don’t let it scare you.

  1. Choose female hosts and/or well-rated ones. I highly encourage Couchsurfing even for first-time travellers, and AirBnB as a paid alternative. You can custom search your hosts based on gender, age, ratings, and other safety filters. It is far too difficult for someone to fake 25+ positive reviews (all those 25+ reviewers probably have extensive profiles and reviews themselves too). The benefits include free accommodation, an informal local guide or advisor, insights into what living somewhere is really like, and someone who understands travelling and cultural exchange as well.

Acknowledge risk, but risk doesn’t mean reality.

After all these items, you may be wondering, is travelling solo even worth it?! Yes, because bad situations rarely happen, and instead you have so much to gain.

Going to 100+ places in the past 5 years, I’ve walked down countless small alleys, explored ‘sketchy’ areas, gone home late at night alone, and taken crumbling trains — all with unique personal stories and encounters. Because I am solo, I am open to meeting wonderfully kind people — street-side fruit sellers, hostel receptionists, friends of friends for a place to stay, free rides. It is an incredible diversity of kindness that you should experience yourself.

If you found these tips useful, please share and help your friends plan a great trip! Thanks!

Next Article: 10 Steps from Weekend Friend Visits to Cycling Solo

Do you have any tips to share?

I’d love to hear your stories, tips, and advice to help women stay safe while going out to explore and experience the places and things they want!

Content strategist. Product junkie. CBC. QPOC / Queer Asian. Portfolio: www.piccoloportfolios.com / Blog: www.thecupandtheroad.com / Community: b3p0.org

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