For so many, solo female travel is a daunting idea. But the truth is, there are few things more empowering, more liberating, or more delightful than a solo trip! Whether it’s a “maybe someday” idea or a “I just booked a flight for next month!” reality, here are some tried and true tips to help you feel comfortable on your solo female travels.
Before You Go
- Practice makes perfect – one of the easiest ways to start feeling comfortable in your own solo skin is to start doing things solo before you go – at home. Head to the theater to see a movie solo. Try grabbing a table at your favorite restaurant for a solo lunch.
- Choose your destination carefully and then do your research. While it’s best not to over-plan, it is a good idea to build familiarity with the destination, both for safety and for enriching your solo female travel experience.
- Visit your home country’s state department website to check for entry requirements, travel alerts, limitations, etc. And, in many cases, you can also register while your trip there, too. For example, US travelers can visit travel.state.gov and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) – not just to receive updates and alerts about the destination, but also to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate there.
- Make sure you have your first night’s stay booked in advance, and make sure you’ll arrive during daylight hours.
- Make two copies your travel documents in case of emergency. Leave one set with a trusted friend or relative, along with a copy of your general itinerary and information about how to reach you. Take the other set with you and keep them safe and separate in case you lose the originals.
- Pack lightly and appropriately. The less luggage you have to haul, the more nimbly you’ll be able to move around.
- Pack only as much as you can easily carry yourself – without a cart or needing others to help you lift it in the overhead compartment, etc.
- Keep cultural norms in mind and pack accordingly.
- Think in terms of layers – start with neutral colors you can mix and match easily and add a just few pieces you can swap in and out for extra color.
- Leave the flashy or expensive looking jewelry and designer handbags at home, as these can draw the attention of petty thefts.
- And, many women take a ring – it is a slightly unfortunate truth that in many places, this is still a way to garner a little more respect and little less catcalling. Just be sure, again, to avoid one that’s flashy or looks expensive – a plastic band will do the job.
On the Road
- Check in with friends or family back home (especially the one who has the other set of travel documents) early and often. Let them know you’ve arrived. Then, stay in touch often throughout your travels. Make sure they know where you are and where you’re going throughout the trip.
- Never share with others where you’re staying, even if they ask. Answer only vaguely or pretend you don’t remember the name of the hotel, if you’re asked directly.
- When it’s time to eat, request a table with a view so you have something to stare at. Or sit at the bar instead of in a booth so you can chat with other diners and the bartenders.
- Not ready to eat alone yet? Look for a food tour or a cooking class, or even themed dinner. There are many creative ways to eat with a group.
- Build your network of women travelers. You can find several female travel groups on Facebook (e.g. Single Women Who Travel Solo, Solo Women Travel Tribe, Women Who Love to Travel Solo) where women bond over travel and form a close-knit community. And, in some cases, you can find a fellow traveler in your destination and meet up.
- Connect with local women, too. Talk with them and learn about them and their home. In most cases, you’ll find a supportive community that will help you if you need it, and probably a new lifelong friend or two.
- And, most importantly, remember to allow yourself to sit back and take it all in, and just enjoy it. Solo female travel is an experience like no other, so don’t forget to revel in it!
Rise & Rove is a modern group travel company with curated, led trips across the globe for like-minded, rad women. Small group size, unique activities, boutique accommodations, experiences with locals. Come solo, leave with new friends!
Check out our upcoming destinations! We will be rolling out new trips regularly and have some exciting things in the works!