We’ve trawled the web for the best ideas about how to stay safe as a sole female traveler, and we’ve narrowed this down for our own list of the very best top travel tips for women traveling alone.
So, we know you’re excited about your upcoming trip and are probably trawling the web for travel information until the small hours of the morning. We also know that you’re probably feeling a little apprehensive about being a solo female traveler. Don’t worry – you’re not alone. We’ve decided to put together our own list to share some of the top tips for women travelers that we’ve come across. Read on for our top 5!
Tip 1: Select the Perfect Accommodation
Always try to choose accommodation in busy areas with lots of people. A hotel or hostel close to tourist sites and places of interest is always best; that way you can avoid taking unnecessary transport with deserted carriages, with no need to walk far at night in potentially unsafe areas. Checking accommodation reviews prior to booking on sites like Tripadvisor and Booking.com is always helpful, especially if you watch out for comments about the local area which travelers are often eager to report on if found less than desirable! All-female rooms in a youth hostel can be the perfect place to meet other sole female travelers. This is a great way to feel connected with others on similar journeys, and share local tips to get the most out of your trip.
Tip 2: Always Use Reputable Services and Check I.D.
While it seems obvious, always make sure you know who you’re dealing with by checking people’s identity and using reputable services for things like transport. It’s not unheard of for kidnappers to pose as taxi drivers and other transport providers in parts of South America, so always make sure to book with a well-established company rather than taking a chance on the street. Similarly, a common scam across Europe is for thieves to pose as local police officers, with fake uniforms. These individuals will often demand to see your documents and then check your wallet for ‘fake cash’. Only later will you find that money is missing, and sometimes even your passport. Many tourist fall into this trap, as it can be very intimidating to be confronted by the authorities; thieves and scammers are aware of this and will use this to their advantage. Stay vigilant.
Tip 3: Dress Like a Local
You might have heard it time and time again, but many people advise to dress like a local, or at least take your cues from local dress. It’s always sensible to check local customs wherever you go, so it’s worth remembering that this extends to how to dress, as women are perceived and treated very differently across the world. What might seem perfectly acceptable in one country is often socially unacceptable, or even illegal, in another. It’s always sensible to cover up bare legs and shoulders when visiting religious sites, wherever you are traveling. Some places also frown upon entering religious buildings without a head scarf, so do check if this is the norm. Short-strapped shoulder bags or safety belts are a great way to ensure that your valuables stay safe too.
In some countries it might be useful to wear a fake wedding ring to ward off unwanted attention. While it may seem a little excessive, it can make navigating hectic market places and crowded streets that little bit less intimidating – especially if it makes men wary of making offers of coffee, or cat calling, both of which can make your adventure less than enjoyable! Don’t feel embarrassed to create an imaginary fiancé or husband if you feel it’s needed. Talk about plans that ‘we’ are making if the attention gets excessive, and do go as far as making imaginary arrangements on the phone with your fake beau to complete the facade. While this shouldn’t be necessary, it can make life a lot easier if you’re a sole female traveler.
Tip 4: Walk with Confidence!
Nothing screams ‘vulnerable tourist’ like someone walking nervously, struggling with a map, or stuttering over the language. It’s normal to feel nervous when in a new place, but remember that this is your adventure – and your main objective should be to enjoy it! Even if you don’t feel confident, just pretend… at least for a little while, and that confidence will begin to flow naturally. Walk confidently. If you do get lost, sit down over a coffee to check out your map and pretend it’s all part of the plan.
Make sure to learn some simple phrases in the local language with apps like Duolingo or Babbel, and enjoy chatting with the locals to get used to pronouncing the words – they’ll usually appreciate your efforts and help you along the way with gestures, or Google translate if needed!
Tip 5: Sign Up to Your Local Smart Traveler Program
Finally, many countries have a local Smart Traveler Program or equivalent, just in case of emergencies. Play it safe by signing up with your local service, and then keep your travel itinerary and contact details up to date when you travel. Here are a few examples:
Singapore: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) eRegister system
US: Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
Australia: The Australian Government's travel advisory and consular information service
And don’t forget, the TravelVoc app is the FREE mobile call app for smart travelers, allowing users to speak directly with travel and hospitality service operators worldwide, without roaming costs – covering flight cancellations, lost baggage or credit cards. Sign up now to stay safe and get updates about our launch!
We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!