safety women solo travel

10 Essential Safety Tips for Women Who Travel Solo

Now more than ever, are more courageous women who embark on their first solo travel. Women are usually the target of scams, mugging and other related crimes. Unfortunately, chances of being a victim to these negative elements is higher for women who travel solo.

Here are 10 essential safety tips you need to remember when planning for your upcoming adventure and avoid being a part of the statistics while travelling.

Safe travels!

Research. And More Research.

Research about your destination. Read about the places that you plan to go to. Keep yourself informed of the current political situation or any political unrest going on. Avoid choosing a travel destination where there’s a log of women being kidnapped and raped on the news.

You can ask on solo travel groups or forums too about your travel plans and destination. The internet is a great source of information. Nothing beats being informed. Nothing.

Weigh your transportation options carefully

Part of your research about your travel destination should also include transportation options. Is it safer to take public commute? Is it safe to take a taxi? Is it safe to walk part of the route? Rome2rio.com website is great starting place for searching on how to get to point A to point B.

solo travel packing

Also there’s a hundred of forums on the internet where you can ask questions about your travel destination. You cannot be more obsessive with your research when it comes to your safety.

Don’t Skimp for A Bit More

Compare your accommodations before hitting that “BOOK NOW” button. Compare locations, accessibility and the host. If one location is pricier because it’s nearer to a bus station or metro, then book for that one instead of a cheaper accommodation that may make you walk thru a dark alley when going home.

Take note of security within the place too. If you need to compare between having your own room instead of sharing with other groups, book the one where you can have security and peace of mind. It might be pricier by a few dollars but at least you have peace of mind especially when asleep or when you go out for the day.

Join Day Tours

Aside from being fun and gaining new friends, joining day tours keep you safe while touring those out of the way places or exotic places that takes much effort to reach. Do not opt to go island hopping around Thailand on your own or go on a walking tour alone in India. 

Best to tackle these types of destinations with another travel group. Plus you can get your photo taken by your new friends!

Wear Less Blings

Leave those sparkling shiny diamonds at home. I know they’re your best friend, but when travelling solo, it might be the one that will cause you harm. No need to show off those jewelries because no one knows you here. Wear less of it because you do not want to look like a walking christmas tree full or ornaments.

You do not want to attract those robbers and scammers to approach you, right?

travel packing women solo

Never Announce That You Travel Solo

Never. Take care also that you do not post this information on social media. You do not want to attract scammers looking for solo travellers to prey on. And those selfies, yes you can still post them, but post also photos taken from your day tour or taken by other travellers in your group. Mix it up.

Let your photo be taken by other tourist too and post this. It’s perfectly fine to ask other tourist to take your photos but observe around first, which traveller to approach to take your photo. And no, you do not have to announce  that you’re travelling solo to every person that you meet.

Drink Moderately and Responsively

Made new friends and they invite you out for a drink? Yes, why not. But be very careful about the amount of alcohol you drink. A glass of beer should be fine. Hold the hard liquor please. Trust your gut. Remember, if you feel that something is not right or a situation is getting out of hand for you, simply get out. Just go.

Trust your guts. #safety #solotravel Click To Tweet

Also watch your drink, never let it out of your sight. Bring it with you even inside the toilet if you have to. Rape drugs are rampant especially in bars and clubs and the usual victims? Women who travel solo who got too much to drink.

Dress Appropriately

This one’s a no brainer. Dress appropriately for any occasion or for the type of day activity you are joining. Dress down and blend in. No need to bring you strappy Jimmy Choo’s for a walking tour around Helsinki.

Avoid skimpy dresses and tank tops that almost show your cleavage and much of your chest area. Simply dress down and appropriately.

Trust Your Gut and Maybe Lie

If something is not right, maybe it is not right. Do not dismiss it outright. Trust your judgement. If something is not right or out-of-place, get out of the situation immediately. You do not have to make a big deal out of it. Just quietly walk away.

When dining alone, get a table near to the bar or in well lighted place of the restaurant. If someone approaches you while you are dining alone and cooly or arrogantly introduces himself to you, smile and nicely say that you are waiting for your boyfriend. This is one of those situations where it is legal to lie. Or you can finish your meal quickly and quietly leave the place.

Check in with your Family

Check in with your family and let them know you arrived safely. Even if you’re travelling long term, do not lose ties with your family. In fact this is the first thing I do when I check in to my accommodation. Connect to a wifi and email them or chat with them that I’m already in Paris and that the host I’m staying with is a lovely family of musicians. In this way they are also aware of your current situation and who you are staying with at your current location.

Of course before I left, I shared with them a copy of my itinerary and contact details of my hosts. This way they are at ease and worry less about your safety while you travel. Remember, family is the bestest (the best of the best in my dictionary) support system there is.

Weigh your options and put your own safety a top priority. Always. Click To Tweet

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  1. Reply

    I’m no girl hahah but this is a good guide to know the reality for solo girl travelers and probably the reason why they avoid talking to me (even though I’m with my wife). I wish they would talk to me because I’m pretty much harmless :p and just want to make travel friends. I guess caucasian guys are easier to trust?

    But doesn’t this whole thing take away from “taking risks” and grabbing life by the horns when traveling?

    1. Reply

      Well it depends. If I ever meet you when you’re with your wife, I would gladly greet you both and happy to make your acquaintance. To me, it’s my call, if something doesn’t feel right, caucasian or not, I get out of it. I maybe missing out on something if I get it wrongly but I’d rather feel safe and secure when Im all alone and there’s no one to depend on.

      Thanks for dropping by and visit again soon! Happy travels to you both!

  2. Reply

    The “don’t skimp” tip is something I could use more often. One time I skimped on a hotel by probably $5 without looking at reviews, and my poor (now) husband got so many bed bug bites. This was for his birthday too 🙁 Spending the extra few dollars on safety or cleanliness is so much smarter for the future.

  3. Reply

    I agree with most of this, especially wearing less bling and being moderate with alcohol. I also feel like people can be over-cautious. Yes, it’s absolutely important to stay safe, but it’s also important to relax and not dwell on the fact that you’re on your own. I travelled around South America on my own for 2 months with minimal planning involved. I was 22 and maybe a bit naive, but I survived without any incidents 🙂

  4. Reply

    There is some good advice in here. Thanks for sharing. I have pinned for future reference. I don’t think anybody should be put off of solo travel by safety concerns, but it does make sense to plan appropriately to ensure you don’t put yourself at unnecessary risk.

      • carlaabanes@justtravellingsolo.com
      • April 7, 2016
      Reply

      totally agree with you! thanks for the pin too!

  5. Reply

    These are great tips. I never thought to keep it a secret that I’m alone or to disguise it via social media with group photos. Interesting points! And I agree with the last one, always let your mom know you’re safe!

  6. Reply

    Don’t skimp! Yes, that’s something I really do follow myself! It takes me a few weeks to decide on which accommodation I’d take because I will always do a list of pros and cons of all the properties I’ve shortlisted.

    I’ve long graduated from the solo female traveler category but I think considering that tip made my travels hassle-free. 🙂

  7. Reply

    Good tips. I really appreciate your don’t skimp tip. I ALWAYS try to stay close to public transit to minimize the amount of time that I need to walk by myself at night. I always end up carefully looking into the neighborhoods now after ending up in a central, but sketchy, neighborhood in Rome. Hope more ladies read this!.

  8. Reply

    Great tips, I’m going to check out the rome2rio website as that sounds like it would be really useful for planning how to get around when I do more extensive solo travelling next year. It is definitely important to be aware of what the definitions of appropriately dressed are in the place that you are travelling in as those can vary so much. I’m living in a mining town in the north and just wearing a dress and black leggings gets me way more attention than I want because 1. they aren’t a lot of women here and 2. The women don’t dress up in a feminine way at all.

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    • LISA
    • September 17, 2016
    Reply

    Great post and great tips! I travel solo and I know how important it is to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Sometimes I will change plans when I get to a place, no matter how research you do you can still get stuck. Be flexible Be careful!

      • carlaabanes@justtravellingsolo.com
      • September 18, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you for your comments and dropping by! Safe travels to you!

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