Today we have a fabulous guest post on travel tips for the solo female traveller from Caro at talesoftravelers.com. Caro is a coffee-loving nanny by day and wine-loving blogger by night. Her obsession with travel is almost as real as her obsession with whales. Caro has lived in London, Uk for 27 years so far and is happy as can be. Her goal is to share inspirational stories of travellers around the world.
8 Tips for the Female Solo Traveller
1. Be alert, but not close- minded
Trust me, I understand paranoia. I know what it’s like to have your thoughts spiral out of control and truly believe that you are going to be robbed or taken. I also know what it’s like to miss out on amazing experiences because of this constant gnawing fear. Yes, as a solo female traveler in 2019, you need to stay constantly alert and vigilant. But that does not mean you should avoid every person you come in contact with! Sit with your fear for a few minutes and try to understand where it is coming from. If you need to take a step back, do it. But then jump back into the world and live your best solo travel dreams!
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
There have been countless times where I have walked in circles in a new location or held back from a latest interest because I was confused. My hesitation with asking for help was that I did not want to look like a stupid, blonde, American solo female traveler with no knowledge of different cultures. I was scared that these local strangers would judge me. But you know what? Who cares! Be open and honest about your confusion and ask for help! The worst that can happen is that someone points and laughs in your face and tells you they cannot help you. I have been pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of strangers abroad and have no doubt that you will be, too.
3. Have an emergency fund
Honestly, just do it. Let me tell you a quick story of my latest 2019 adventure as a solo female traveler. I took a week off of work to travel to Bratislava and Budapest. Budapest had always been my dream travel destination and I was excited to check it off of my bucket list! Unfortunately, I never made it there.
The second I touched down in Bratislava, I darted for the cheap beer and a burger to soak it up. About an hour later, I projectile vomited on the beautiful, cobble-stoned streets of the city. From there, I continuously threw up for the next 48 hours. I had booked a bed in a 10-person hostel room with one bathroom. There was no way in the world I was going to stay there! Thankfully, my past self started an emergency savings and I had enough money to book a hotel room for the next couple of nights.
Crap happens when you least expect it! When you are traveling solo, you don’t want to be left in a vulnerable situation. Saving a few extra hundred dollars for your solo female travel trip could be your savior!
4. Put yourself out there!
Do not be afraid to put yourself out there! As a solo female traveler, I have met incredible people around the world that have changed my experiences. Sparking up a conversation at a bar could be the start of a new lifelong friendship. I know that it’s a terrifying thought for many people, including myself. But it gets easier the more you practice! Even if the conversation leads nowhere, put yourself back out there and show off your solo female travel bravery!
We’re living in 2019, folks. We are lucky! Social media is here to save us from our loneliness abroad. Two of my favorite friendships were made thanks to the app Bumble BFF and a Facebook group. Yes, it can be a little awkward. But it can also be worth it! If you’re nervous about meeting someone one-on-one, create a meetup abroad. It’s so easy to find other solo travelers today! All it takes is a few minutes of bravery and you can change your whole day!
5. Go with your gut!
This one is important. There will be times where something does not feel right, and you cannot explain why. Maybe you ate a questionable meal. Or maybe it’s your gut telling you to avoid a situation. But learning to go with your gut is not as easy as it sounds! There have been a few times where I was convinced my gut was telling me to do something and it turned out to be a horrible decision. I learned from these mistakes and now have a better understanding of my gut instincts. One of my top tips for any solo female traveller is that your intuition is there for a reason and it is best not to ignore it!
It is a good idea to make sure that someone you trust always knows where you are. If, god forbid, something happens to you abroad, you need to have someone know your location! When I travel abroad as a solo female traveler, one of the first things I do is turn on my Find Friends app. I share my location with all of my sisters and one of my best friends. Again, we live in the year 2019. It’s so easy to do this!
Not only do I share my location via my phone, but I also send my itinerary to these same trusted people. There are times abroad when you don’t have any internet or phone signal, so the Find Friends app will not be ideal. But, if you have someone with your itinerary, you are good to go! Before every trip, I write out an email of each travel destination, hostel, and transportation route and send it off to my group. If you are a solo female traveler that does not plan in advance, just send along the information when you make your plan!
7. Do your research!
There is no excuse to not research your destination before your solo female travels! And I don’t just mean what you want to do and where you want to eat. I mean do your research on the culture and what the environment is like for a solo female traveller. Learn about the current scams in the country and areas in the city to avoid when you’re alone. The internet will be your best friend! There are endless articles and blogs dedicated to solo female travelers that are constantly being updated. You can also find great Facebook travel groups for women that are filled with advice. My personal favorite is Girls Love Travel. I’ve posted on the page multiple times and have received incredible advice and support.
8. You will get lonely. But that’s the point!
Loneliness is inevitable when you are traveling by yourself. As a solo female traveler, you are destined to have those moments of anxiety. Especially in 2019! Here is my advice: learn how to wallow without feeling guilty.
It is okay to skip your tour one day and sit in your hostel bed with ice cream and Netflix. It’s okay to take a day and sleep in until noon. It’s okay to call your mom and cry on the phone for hours! It’s your trip and no one else’s. If you need to wallow and refuel, then just do it!
Loneliness is a delicate emotion. I’ve learned the most about myself when I was in an unfamiliar country alone. But I gave myself the self-love that I needed, the time to refuel, and ended up pushing through the anxiety. As a result, I felt stronger and proud of what I had gone through. Just remember, the museums, tours, and excursions will still be there the next day! Sometimes you need to put yourself first.
Further Reading on Solo Travel
If you enjoying this blog on tips for the solo female traveller, check out this blog on Solo female travel destinations – 10 countries to start with. You might also like to read about solo travel Asia (including the top Asian destinations), and also more tips for travelling alone.