Traveling solo for the first time is one of the most liberating yet daunting experiences one can ever do, and even more so if you’re a woman. Various cultures around the globe view women differently, and not to mention, safety can still be an issue. But don’t let that stop you from exploring the world and seeing what it has to offer—whether you’ve decided to soak in some vitamin sea on the islands of Thailand or witness the natural wonder that is aurora borealis in Iceland!
We asked real female travelers their top-of-mind travel tips for women who will be flying solo for the first time—here’s what they have to say:
“Before your trip, take some of your time to read up on the culture and traditions of the country you are visiting. If possible, learn some basic conversational phrases and sentences so you can easily communicate with locals. Also, as much as possible, don’t stay out late alone.”
“Make sure you have a list of contact persons you can easily reach out to in times of emergency. Do keep in touch with them, too, throughout your trip just so they can rest assured knowing you’re okay.”
“Make friends with other female solo travelers because women help other women out, even if they’re strangers.”
“Pack light! Look up the capsule wardrobe method or use packing cubes to save space in your luggage. You’ll have so much more freedom to move and go from one place to another if you don’t have a lot of stuff with you.”
“Comfort over cute! Wear comfy shoes that can get you walking around the city rather than pretty shoes that look good on photos but don’t work for your exploring needs.”
“Get travel insurance. I can’t stress this enough. It’s a definite must for any traveler—not just females—because traveling also comes with many mishaps. From trip cancellations to lost luggage to medical emergencies—there are travel insurance policies for these and they don’t really cost that much. While it’s good to think positively about your trip, it’s always better to plan ahead.”
“They say don’t talk to strangers, but if you’re traveling solo, you will be approaching strangers a lot. If you get lost, asses your location, and if you’re in a safe area, don’t hesitate to ask someone for directions. You might be surprised by how willing locals are to help!”
“Practice how to take selfies! Since you won’t be having a friend around to click photos of you during your trip, learn how to take selfies by trying out various angles and knowing which one works best for you. And if you’re shy, just get over it! Everyone takes selfies these days, anyway!”
“Know your alcohol limit. If you’re gonna go out drinking, do so responsibly. And keep watch of your drink!”
*Disclaimer: Respondents’ answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.
*Featured image by Song_about_summer on Shutterstock