Do's and Don’ts for a Solo Female Travel

As summer rolls around the corner, so does our desire to hop on a plane and visit a place we’ve never been. Images of blissful days spent in the sun exploring a new city or trying new foods flood your mind, and the excitement is too great to ignore. After working hard all semester, you’re in dire need of a break, and it’s well deserved. No matter if you prefer a real local/authentic experience or like to travel in luxurious style, the most important thing to remember about having a good time on a trip is to be logical and safe. Being a solo female traveler can seem daunting at times, especially if you’re traveling to a place you’ve never been to. It’s so important to make your safety a priority, but it shouldn’t take away from your ability to have fun. Below I’ve provided a list of some essential tips and tricks to remember when planning your solo trip this summer.

1. The first thing you should do if you’re going to be traveling internationally, check to make sure whether your destination country requires a visa for entry.

2. When you’re at the airport getting ready to leave for your big trip, make sure your name on your boarding pass matches your name on your ID (passport or license). No nicknames!

3. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help! I know as females traveling alone, we may feel intimidated and want to keep more to ourselves to prevent drawing attention, but most people are nice and will help you out. If you’re more introverted (like me), ask the hotel employees or your Airbnb hosts for help on getting around well.

4. Don’t be an ignorant tourist! If the country you’re traveling to doesn’t primarily speak a language you’re fluent in, try to learn a few words or phrases in that language. Don’t be that person that just assumes everyone speaks English. For the most part, if people recognize your effort, they’re more likely to help you out.

5. If you need help surviving the plane ride: bring a good book to read on board. It serves two purposes: it helps you relax, and the time will go by quickly. Secondly, if you’re more introverted, books are a good and nice way to let the person next to you know that you don’t feel like being chatty.

6. Do as the locals do! You don’t want to draw so much attention to yourself where people know you’re a tourist. Doing some research ahead of time on the local customs and practices will help you to blend in.

7. Try to be aware of the culture before you go. Take the time to research things such as what they wear, how they act and other practices. Being respectful of other cultures is so important. Overall, just remember to be aware of the social cues in order to remain respectful.

8. Travel light. It saves time, money and aggravation.

9. Save everything in advance on your phone! This includes all transportation tickets and routes for your activities while on your trip. It’s important to bring 2-3 portable chargers so that way you don’t have to worry about your phone dying.

10. When in Europe and some Latin America countries such as Brazil, you will need adapters to plug into the electrical outlets. You can pick up a multi-tap that covers most countries. It’s important to do your research before your trip so you know which adapter you’ll need. If you forget, you can always pick it up at the airport.

11. Call your bank to let them know that you will be leaving the country so that your card doesn’t get canceled. The worst thing that could happen is having an emergency and not being able to pay for anything, so always make sure they know where you’ll be going and for how long.

12. Act confident! Even if you’re lost, always act like you know where you’re going. If you get stuck somewhere and need to reorient yourself, step into a local café or store so that you can figure out your next move.

13. Before you embark on your excursions for the day, always let someone know where you’re going. Most accommodation places will have Wi-Fi, and if you’re abroad, you can send a message to someone back home of what you’re doing for the day in case of an emergency.

14. Listen to your gut. If something feels off or you’re just not comfortable, you’re probably right. It’s okay to say no to things that don’t sit right with you. Please try to get out of that situation as quickly and safely as possible. Remember, safety is the number one priority here.

15. Unfortunately, we travel in a day and age where things can be a little dangerous for a female tourist. Although we want to have fun, it’s essential to keep your guard up at all times. A tip my dad always told me was to wear my purse towards my front. Simple things like that will help to keep you and your personal items safe.

16. If you’re worried about local transportation in a foreign country, be sure to use the taxis that are authorized by the hotel where you’re staying. You can always arrange a round-trip fare with your hotel. It may cost you a few dollars more, but, in the end, it’s well worth it for peace of mind.

17. Don’t be afraid to try new foods when you travel! This is the fun part, and what’s the point of eating foods you could have at home anytime anyway? Exploring different cuisines makes for a better experience.

18. Lastly, my female traveler, use this time to get in tune with yourself. You’ll be exposed to new cultures and experiences, and it’s a great time for growth, reflection and to develop self-reliance.

Solo trips offer so many opportunities to reflect and foster self-awareness. This is such a wonderful time to really learn not only more about the world but about yourself. Enjoy every moment of your travel and remember that being safe while having fun will make for the greatest trip.

All images courtesy of Unsplash.