7 Tips to Stay Safe While Traveling Solo as a Woman
Traveling solo can be a rewarding experience yet a challenging thing to do, especially for women, who may feel more uneasy about their safety. However, there are certain measures you can take to mitigate these fears and make the most out of your adventure.
5-Minute Crafts has compiled some practical tips to help you prepare for your next trip on your own.
❗Important: This article has been created for informative purposes only and does not replace professional advice. For more detailed guidelines about travel safety, check the corresponding travel advisories for each country.
1. Be informed about the risks at your destination.
The more informed you are about your destination, the safer your trip will be. Therefore, make sure to research the place you’re going, in order to be familiar with the possible risks you may face. Once you understand these, you can prepare yourself to handle them, as well as decide whether or not that destination would be a good place to visit.
You can check travel books, magazines, newsletters, and websites that have been created for women travelers only. Some of the aspects you may want to include in your risk assessment are:
- Safety and security
- The political and economic environment
- Health conditions
- Local laws
- Cultural norms (especially the role of women)
❗If you think you won’t be able to deal with the difficulties and hazards of a specific destination, remove it from your list.
2. Leave your itinerary with a trusted person.
It can be someone who can get in touch with you daily, like your partner, a best friend, or your parents. Include all your reservations and places where you’re going to be.
Even if you enjoy spending time on your own, doing this will not just contribute to your safety, but you will also be informed about anything that happens back at home.
✅ It may also be a good idea to leave your passwords with someone you trust, in case you’re out of reach. This way, that person will be able to know your last online movements and interactions or help you resolve a problem if you have no internet access.
3. Don’t travel with a lot of luggage.
✅ Always leave one hand free as you walk. It may be a good idea to wear pants or jackets with multiple pockets where you can keep items like documents and travel gear.
✅ Keep all the items that you cannot replace and that are essential for your trip arrangements in a money belt, like your passport, plane or train tickets, credit cards, cash, insurance documents, and medical prescriptions.
❗Use luggage tags that don’t show your contact information.
4. Arrive before dark.
Always plan your arrival at your new destination during the daylight hours, as this will allow you to change accommodations if you don’t feel comfortable in your hostel or hotel.
If you arrive at night, book a place to stay in advance to avoid having to look for a hotel in the dark streets of a foreign city.
❗Don’t open a map in a public place. If you do so, hide it by using a newspaper. If you’re lost, try to get directions from a shopkeeper, a police officer, or another woman.
5. Check your room before booking it.
You should feel comfortable about the place where you’ll be staying, as well as its location. Therefore, before you take the room, ask if you can see it and pay attention to the following aspects:
- Can you lock the door properly?
- Can you see any holes on the walls or on the door that could be used for peeping?
- Can you spot escape routes and fire alarms?
- Do you feel safe?
If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable at your hotel or hostel, don’t stay there. At the same time, it’s advisable to avoid accommodations at ground level or any room that someone could easily access from the exterior, like from fire escapes and balconies.
6. Know how to use transportation safely.
When taking a taxi, agree on the fare before you get into the car. If you notice anything weird about the driver as you talk, don’t take the ride. Use your phone to track the route and let the driver know you’re doing so by turning on the sound. Get into the back seat, where the driver can’t reach you.
✅ If you can’t use your phone in a particular foreign country, ask your hotel to order a taxi for you. They’re likely to know trustworthy companies.
🚫 Don’t hitchhike and don’t accept any rides offered by strangers.
7. Avoid oversharing.
Although it’s okay to make new friends, make sure not to share too much information. For instance, wherever you’re staying, avoid sharing these details with strangers. If someone seems to be asking too many questions and they’re making you feel uncomfortable, remember that you don’t have to tell them anything that you don’t want to.
At the same time, it’s not advisable to post everything you do on social media. You can always post your pictures once you’ve moved to a different place or when you’re finally home.
💡Get an inexpensive ring that looks like a wedding band and wear it during your trip. This will help you avoid attention from men.