A couple blogposts ago I already gave tips for traveling solo. But this article will be about what you need to know when you travel solo as a female.
Is traveling alone as a woman safe?
Whether you are traveling alone or with a travel companion, there will be risks everywhere in the world. However, there are a number of ways to reduce the chance that something bad will happen while you are abroad. In many countries it is unusual for women to travel alone and it is normal for a woman to be dependent on a man. When you then walk down the street alone, you will sometimes be looked at strangely. In many cases, local people will take care of you, but if you’re walking around alone and something goes wrong, it will be seen as your own fault.
Choose a safe country for solo female travelers
While you can travel wherever you want, these are some of the safest countries for solo female travelers:
- Costa Rica
Show respect for the culture and remain friendly
So as a woman you sometimes have to act slightly differently than as a man. There are other safety precautions to take and certain situations to be wary of. Where as a man you can just dress normally on the street, as a woman you will have to buy other clothes to respect the local clothing rules. Ask the people at the hotel where you’re staying for information about things to avoid and other tips. Sit next to another woman on public transport and try to strike up a conversation. Are you traveling in a conservative country? Then it is only natural to dress like the locals, especially when it comes to covering arms, legs and shoulders.
Tip: always take a lightweight shawl with you. It can be used as a scarf, skirt or headscarf in no time at all.
Stay in touch with the home front
Don’t forget your phone (and your power bank) and arrange a subscription with a data bundle for abroad before departure or upon arrival. With your mobile phone you can easily find your way, download local transport apps and call a hotel, taxi or emergency service if necessary. Moreover, you can easily keep in touch with the home front with your mobile. For example, we recommend that you always inform the home front or someone in your accommodation if you are going out alone for a day.
• Always walk with your back straight and in a firm stride
• Wear an anti-theft pouch around your bra for your valuables
• Look up the dress code for women in your destination country in advance
• Explore unknown paths in a group – discover more and stay safe
• Put a ring on your left ring finger: this way you can frighten off pushy men abroad by saying you’re married
• Do not tell where you are staying
• Try not to wear flashy clothes
• Never turn off your mobile phone (and make sure it is always charged)
• Think carefully about going with a local to see ‘the best spots’ – and when in doubt, don’t
• Do not stay in your sleeping place if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Reviews on Tripadvisor, Booking.com and Airbnb can be useful, so you can find out in advance which hotels or hostels are located in a safe neighborhood. Be sure to check the reviews of your Airbnb host as well.
Don’t save on your travel insurance
Whether you travel alone or not: always take out good travel insurance before departure. Compare insurance policies, read the fine print, learn about medical coverage and check whether the insurance covers all the activities you want to do in your destination.
Be Self Assured
By walking upright, by raising your head and by simply looking people in the eye, you appear confident. Don’t look away, don’t look at the ground, just walk towards your situation with your head held high. See what’s there, see where you’re headed and evaluate your environment. By looking away you miss certain nuances that allow you to make a correct assessment of the situation in which you find yourself. You can really apply fake it until you make it. See how people react to you when you pretend to be super confident. You are approached differently, as if people show more respect for the place you occupy on earth.
If you react shyly or insecurely, taking on some kind of submissive role, the other person will see you more in a victim role. They are more likely to assume that you are easy to control.
Last but not least, always follow your guts girl!
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