Tips for staying safe as a solo female traveler are effective everywhere not just while solo traveling. These are useful even by walking in your own city. For example, I work and hang out mostly in Manhattan but I commute outside of NYC. Sometimes, after dinner with a friend, I find myself late at night taking public transportation on my way home. Also, my favorite thing to do is to explore the city on foot discovering architectural corners and places by myself. Avoiding life because of fear is not an option. But being a smart careful woman who enjoys life? Definitely.
If you have a place in your mind where you would like to visit next, the first thing to do before booking that flight is to research safety in the area. I’m planning a special solo-trip in 2020. A country in my bucket list, which I will visit for the first time and I already started researching safety, prices, day tours, and activities. It especially is important to try finding real-life stories from another solo female who has traveled alone to the same place. Did they have a great time and enjoyed their vacation? Great start. If they didn’t? Find out why.
SOLO FEMALE TRAVELER – PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS
As a solo female traveler, stay away from your cellphone. Avoid wearing your headphones while you are at an unfamiliar location. Be aware of your surroundings. Many things could be avoided and prevented just by observation. Keep your cellphone in your pockets in case of needing to make a phone call. Research Google map before stepping out from your hotel that way you look less of a tourist asking for directions.
Get a tour of your hotel and become familiar with your surroundings. Find out where is the nearest public transportation or taxi stop in big cities. In my case, I prefer taking an Uber which track locations, over a regular local taxi. Also, memorize some of the names of the hotel personnel, they could give you tips on the local places and alert you about which streets not to get lost.
KEEP YOUR LOCATION AWAY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
In real-time, share the country and the city that you are visiting, but as a solo female traveler never never never disclose the name of the hotel where you are currently staying while on a solo traveling vacation. For example, on this trip, I shared that I was at Bavaro Punta Cana, but I didn’t share where I was staying in Punta Cana until later when I came back to the States.
STAY AWAY FROM DRINKING
This advice is universal and the most important. But sometimes while having a great time on vacation, drinking becomes part of having fun. If you are solo traveling and would like to enjoy your favorite glass then bring the drink to your hotel room and enjoy it under the safety of your own environment and behind closed doors. Drinking reduces your alertness. If you are visibly drunk then you might have a problem noticing who is watching or following you.
SHARE YOUR ITINERARY
In my family, we are used to sharing our itinerary before traveling. A courtesy call to a friend/family member on the first day, saying that you have arrived well is a good idea. They will be at peace knowing that you are okay and you will also confirm your location with them. My sister usually gets messages, photos, and videos from me through WhatsApp.
HOTEL SAFETY AS A SOLO FEMALE TRAVELER
Never share your hotel room number while solo traveling. If someone asks you if you are traveling alone then just tell them that you are waiting for the rest of the family members to arrive. Be aware of your surroundings. All-inclusive resorts are tricky because you are surrounded by families; but also by those who enjoy drinking sometimes across their daily limits of alcohol intake. All-inclusive resorts have free drinks but also drunk men during the night. Stay sober or drink only in your room.
Personally, while solo traveling I plan on staying away from small and private places as an Airbnb. Those options are great and affordable when traveling with a group of friends or family. But I don’t recommend for a solo female traveler alone. There is a level of isolation sometimes on these beautiful private home turned into Airbnb. Also, while doing the research on Airbnbs and the risk on women, I discovered that there is an alarming increase of Airbnb owners keeping cameras all around inside their Airbnb rental properties, while not telling the guests about these cameras. Here, is my way of thinking: if I can’t afford to pay for a good location and hotel where I’m going to feel safer then I won’t travel. My safety comes first.
TRAVEL SAFETY PRODUCTS
A great recommendation from another solo female traveler was to bring a portable travel door stop. Especially this Travel Door Stop because it comes with an alarm. If someone tries to open your door while you are sleeping, the doorstop will hold the door semi-open and on top of that, it will initiate a loud alarm automatically. I also discovered another doorstop, this one is more modern and could be placed on doors, windows or balcony doors, also with a loud alarm. I will definitely try them!
Last summer, I started following Naty Michelle on social media and by coincidence, it was her first day starting a solo trip of several days around Italy. Naty described and shared so many details of her trip with her followers that we were all in love with the whole experience. Naty is now one of my favorite lifestyle content creators. She has traveled to several countries alone and in a couple of weeks, she will be going to Amsterdam and Belgium as a solo female traveler. Recently, she published a helpful article on her website about “10 Safety Tips For Female Solo Travelers” which I thought was important to share here as well.
Thank you for following!
WITH LOVE, WEN