So, you really, REALLY want to go traveling. Solo traveling that is. Your friends are busy, strapped for cash, or dare we say it, just plain boring? The good news? That makes you the fun one. (BTW – wanna show them why solo
The bottom line is that, as a sensible, sassy and independent woman, you want to make sure you’re being as safe as you can. Here, you’ll find the ultimate collection of tips for women by women that we’ve collected from all corners of the internet. Plus a bit of hard-learned, hard-earned advice of our own.
For the record – it’s awful that womxn feel the need to prepare in this way. The world shouldn’t be like this. But possible dangers will never stop us from reaching for our dreams!
Travel Safety Tips #1
Clever girls are having a moment…
Numero Uno. Do
- Where you’ll stay and how you’ll get there. Make sure you find out whether there are dodgy areas here – it goes without saying, but we’d recommend avoiding those 😉 Think TripAdvisor or join a Facebook group like Girls LOVE Travel to ask for experienced advice. We highly recommend this community of gorgeous travelling womxn.
- If you’re thinking of going for an Airbnb or couch surfing, only go for places with a lot of good reviews.
- Wherever you stay, learn the name and address of it and write it down to hand to a taxi driver if necessary. We’re not about judging your language skills but better safe than sorry!
- Asking friends. And it’s not official unless it’s on Facebook – make a fancy
colourfulpost and find out who’s been and what their advice is. Again: We recommend a community like Girls LOVE Travel.
- There’s nothing to stop you asking people when you get there. Be nice to female hotel staff and they might just clue you in on what not to do.
- Check out some travel blogs or podcasts. Here’s our
favourite(and thrifty) podcaster-blogger! Otherwisecheck out our top 9 travel bloggers or follow these 20 travelling Instagrammers.
Travel Safety Tips #2
Strut that stuff
If you need to glance at Google Maps (or even a real map), nip into a coffee shop or plan before leaving your accommodation. There’s no need to paint that red target on your forehead just yet.
And while we’re on the subject, leave your valuables at home. Home-home that is, not your hotel. Anything you absolutely must bring, try to keep it in safes or hidden on your person. Mind out though, in some places such as Argentina, it’s better to avoid having anything on your person (especially visibly – think necklaces, rings or brand names) as muggings are very common. In other places however, you should always bring a small amount of money on you in order to give to a potential mugger if necessary – better a few dollars down then hurt! Tip number 1 comes in here (research).
Travel Safety Tips #3
Nope, still not done on this one.
- Pack light and make use of lockers/safes.
- Try to keep valuables at home (home-home)
- Don’t keep all your money in one place – you’ve heard about what happened to that one basket of eggs, right? Make sure you have an emergency cash spot (emergencies only mind you!)
- Consider hanging a ‘Do not disturb’ sign on your door and keeping your TV on when you’re out if you are worried about a flimsy door and
- Get travel insurance! And while we’re at it print out any relevant documents and store them online in your email.
Travel Safety Tips #4
Feeling safe out and about
It’s all very well acting confident, but what about feeling it? Some great tips include:
- If you are ordering room service or someone knocks at your door, don’t let them know that you are alone. Say something like, oh my friend is coming right back. Or one better, yell in the general direction of the bathroom that room service is here.
- Before you get in a taxi take a snap of their registration plate. Great if you lose anything and great for peace of mind if you send it to someone (just in case). In fact, when you’re in the taxi, consider making a real or fake call to someone saying ‘I’ll see you in five minutes’ to give the impression that someone is meeting you there. Follow the taxi on Google Maps to ensure you’re going the right way.
Self-defenceproducts like Mace may make you feel safer. Keep in mind that you are unable to bring this on your carry on, but should be allowed to pack it in your check inbag.
- Wearing headphones while not listening to music can both discourage unwanted advances and allow you to listen to people’s conversation if you are worried it is about you. Make sure to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Carry a doorstop to wedge under a weak looking door.
Travel Safety Tips #5
To make friends or not to make friends
Alright, obviously it is nice to make friends. BUT, be careful and trust your instincts.
New friends and local ones at that are great for showing us the area and giving us all those hot tips. They’re what travelling is all about – truly experiencing an area and learning something new. They might even be useful in terms of safety and helping us avoid dodgy areas etc.
If you’re not sure how to make friends in person, our advice is to look on Facebook groups like Girls Gone International or websites like the Go Girl Travel Network to find some like-minded mates.
Need more info on making friends abroad? Here’s a whole bunch of tips on making your solo trip sociable!
Travel Safety Tips #6
Alcohol is not (always) your friend
Yes, yes, we said nothing obvious would be here. We lied (Oh, is there nobody left to trust!) But seriously, alcohol – though fun, granted – is undeniably bad in big doses. Traveling solo means you haven’t got your tried and tested trustees watching your back.
So take it slow,
Travel Safety Tips #7
Schedule a Skype
Or you know, a FaceTime, whatever you crazy kids are using these days 😉
Seriously though, a
(It’s definitely also sending them or a friend your travel itinerary too though.) And to be nice, a photo postcard of a smiley you can’t go wrong!
Travel Safety Tips #8
Avoid empty train carriages and try to pick spots with other women nearby. Really try to avoid night trains and absolutely avoid sleeping on the train, which can be dangerous for you and your belongings.
Travel Safety Tips #9
Trust your gut
Never ignore your gut feeling. If you want to say no, say no. Your body tells you things for a reason and it is never a good idea to ignore it simply because you feel like it could be awkward to say no or it might hurt someone’s feelings.
Once you’ve got these little tips and ways to stay safe down, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a serious solo
Or dive straight in to our country guides here…