Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

The Her Campus National Editors write about products we love and think you’ll love too. Her Campus has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase. All products are in stock and all prices are accurate as of publication.

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Would you trust yourself to live in the unknown? Because they fear what might happen during a trip and develop lifelong trauma, many women have never experienced what it’s like to travel alone. Faced with so much bad news in the media about what can happen on a solo trip, the first option for women is always to look for a companion before even choosing the destination. 

But, the truth is that there are many things beyond our control that happen around us, in unknown places or not. Therefore, taking the risk of traveling alone at least once in your life can be a transformative experience. In addition to discovering new places based on your own experiences, this generates in anyone a feeling of autonomy, self-knowledge and self-confidence, after all, traveling requires much more than just knowing where you want to go. 

Therefore, to avoid possible accidents and return from your trip with good memories, we have gathered tips and advice from experienced travelers when planning trips, as you can’t be too careful when your life and your trip could be at stake.

RESEARCH ABOUT YOUR DESTINATION

Accompanied by the desire to visit, there must always come first the curiosity to discover your destination. Read recent blogs and social media profiles about the location, research the latest news and reviews about the region and accommodation options. Read all travel advisories, be informed and prefer areas that are safe for visitors. When you arrive, ask if there is anything you need to know (e.g. where to go/not to go) with local staff and official sources (like police) for information.

The research will not only help you discover good tourist spots, but it will also help you identify which government agencies you can ask for help in an emergency, the best means of transport, and, most importantly, the local culture.

One way to increase your sense of security is by blending into the crowd and losing your “tourist face”. To do this, you need to know the customs and even wear clothes that are similar to those of the local population.

Carry out searches like: 

  • What to know before going to X”
  • “Is it safe to travel to X as a solo traveler?”
  • “What are the important laws to know in County X?”
  • “What are the main cultural habits of X?”

MAKE A TOURISM AND FINANCIAL PLAN IN ADVANCE

Before concluding any contract, evaluate your financial income. The ideal is to carry a larger amount of money than you need, but never walk down the street with large amounts of money or leave it stored in the same place.

Plan your trip and calculate costs with travel apps or a trusted agency, especially those that have proposals for a single person. One example is Single Trips, a travel agency focused on travelers who want to explore the world alone and meet new people. Furthermore, once you have chosen the location and the package has been finalized, taking out travel insurance is always the best option. 

CHOOSE A GOOD ACCOMMODATION 

Starting a trip alone doesn’t mean you need to isolate yourself for the entire journey. For those who are willing to venture out, in some accommodations, such as hostels, there is the possibility of making new friends by sharing a room with strangers. Preferably, look for agencies that separate men and women into different rooms for greater security.

As mentioned in the first topic, find out if the hotel or hostel is trustworthy, read reviews from people who have stayed there (especially testimonials from women) and consult applications that have various features when choosing your accommodation.

After defining your type of accommodation, analyze the distance from the places you intend to visit and make your choice based on stays that do not leave you far from your goals.

ALWAYS HAVE YOUR DOCUMENTS AT HAND

Have all personal travel documents up to date, in good condition and always carry them with you, even if it is a copy or receipt. The passport has become a standard document in many countries, being an almost mandatory item for international travel. In some South American countries, only ID is requested. 

Check the validity of your documents and consult the rules of your destination, as in some countries it is common for a passport to be valid for at least 6 months. Not only the passport and ID, but also international proof of vaccination may be required. 

INFORM TRUSTED PEOPLE ABOUT YOUR TRIP

Never travel without first sharing your itinerary with friends and family. Only send your tour itinerary and cell phone GPS to people you trust. Keeping them informed about your location won’t stop you from having fun, but it will help in case an accident happens and you can be located more easily. If your plans change during your stay, remember to let them know so they don’t get scared by the change in your route.

Also have the contact details of useful people memorized, who can be called at any time, in addition to numbers of the country’s official bodies registered on your cell phone for emergencies

TRAVEL LIGHT

Taking care of your luggage will not always be an easy task when alone. Therefore, only take the essentials in a quantity of travel bags that you can carry alone and feel more comfortable. Especially at airports, it is very common for travel bags to be stolen or lost. Pay special attention to your travel bags when transporting it from one place to another. If you prefer, include baggage coverage in your travel insurance.

During your tours, always choose to have a backpack, so you can discreetly carry souvenirs and cameras, without giving away that you are a tourist. It will also be useful for carrying precious items, electronic devices and emergency kits that should be kept with you for safekeeping.

STAY CONNECTED

Whether it’s an international trip or not, the ideal is to have access to the internet at any time, as your cell phone will serve as a guide at many times, whether to find your way around, order transport or even communicate with other people. So make a plan, buy a local SIM card if necessary and stay connected. 

Remember to bring portable chargers so you don’t run out of battery. Still, carry a paper map too, as no cell phone is infallible. If you feel safer, go into an establishment to use your cell phone and avoid theft.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR DIET, HEALTH AND WELL-BEING 

Being away from home can be difficult, especially for people with delicate health, but this won’t be a problem if you consult a doctor before traveling and get a check-up to avoid surprises.

Prepare a toiletry bag with your emergency kit, including medicines that you usually take (research whether the medicines you are taking require a medical leaflet or prescription), as they may not be available for sale in other countries. 

Also, different cultures have different cuisines, and your stomach may not be prepared for it. Ask for recommendations on good restaurants, find out about seasonings and ingredients (especially if you have any allergies) and don’t let the fear of having a stomach ache stop you from trying different foods (that’s what you’ll also use your medicines for). 

For those who like good drinks, avoid excess alcohol and never accept free drinks. And of course, always carry your water bottle everywhere.

KNOW HOW TO ASK FOR HELP

Remember that you will be alone and may need to take walks or take public transport, which can bring a greater sense of security than using a taxi (ask for recommendations from reliable drivers at the reception of your stay and never take a ride with clandestine transport as they are cheaper). Always choose to take tours before dusk and, if you feel safer, return with people you met.

If you know someone, avoid saying that you are traveling alone. Be discreet and don’t make it clear that you are a tourist, as they are always seen as easier targets. Let them know that you have a group of friends waiting or invent a family member, a husband or wife.

For women, avoid leaving a bar alone. Sometimes men watch to see if you go out alone. You are not being a burden by asking people to accompany you to the hotel.

TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS

Although it is not always easy to recognize a dangerous situation, especially when in an unfamiliar place, always walk with confidence and with your head held high so as not to be seen as an easy target. Believe more in your intuition and less in what others will think. 

Knowing how to differentiate sensations from fear and danger to novelty and excitement can help you in decisive moments.

Above all, be prepared for spontaneous adjustments. Despite all the planning, things can get out of your control. 

Keep calm and remember: this won’t be the end of the world. Never let unforeseen events be an obstacle to stop you from having fun. With each journey, you will gain more experience and confidence to continue following your goals.

Not everything out there is as bad as the media shows, but it’s up to you to decide to find out for yourself. Just go, enjoy your trip and bring back good memories!

—————————————————————–

The article above was edited by Camila Lutfi.

Liked this type of content? Check Her Campus Cásper Líbero home page for more!

Journalism student at Faculdade Cásper Líbero. I'm a Christian girl and I love reading about Jesus and mysteries written by Agatha Christie. Fan of the geek universe, football (Corinthians since always) and History.