- Travel and Places
10 Tips for Female Solo Travelers
I recently concluded my solo travel going to three countries in one go. The experience was absolutely surreal and fun and with it are lessons learned that I would like to share some tips to other travelers. This time, these tips are more for hesitant females like myself who would like to try traveling solo.
I can still recall the shock in my dear husband’s face when I discussed about my plan of solo travel. We were supposed to go together but due to some unforeseen circumstances, plans needed to be canceled… but some flight tickets were already bought! And since I could practically work anywhere with internet access, I rallied all my courage and desire for adventure and decided to go on my own little escapade. Naturally, I understand the husband’s hesitation. I know he only has my safety in mind hence I calmed him down with a promise to always and absolutely keep my well-being a priority. Now, recalling my experiences with a smile, I would like to share these tips if you’re planning your own little solo adventure.
1. Determine your objectives of traveling
Why do you want to travel at this time of the year? What are your main objectives during your trip? Considering the number of days you’ll be on your trip, knowing what you want to accomplish would make your travel more meaningful and rewarding. Do you want to go sight-seeing? Do you want to spend time with family members who have been away for too long? Do you want to learn more of the culture and live like a native? Know and understand your travel goals and you will come home happy and fulfilled.
2. Prepare your itinerary
Where do you want to go and how many days is your trip? If you already have a city in mind or the spots you want to visit, will you have enough time? How much is your budget? How about your accommodation? These are the important considerations you need to iron out ahead of time. You will not be able to control everything but a well-planned vacation would certainly lessen the chances of dealing with hassles and glitches along the way.
3. Complete all documentary requirements
If you will be flying international, make sure to secure and complete all documentary requirements needed for the country where you are going. Your passport should be valid for at least six more months on the date of your departure. Secure a valid Visa if applicable. If you will be staying with family or friends, it might help for them to send you a document or a letter for you to show and prove to immigration that you will be staying with them, with a copy of their ID and other documents to support their current work and residential status. You might also be asked by the immigration officer to present your return ticket.
4. Choose your accommodation wisely
These days, choosing your accommodation when traveling is just at the tip of your fingertips. As long as you have the financial capacity to pay for the place, you could book it in as easy as 1, 2, 3. However, being a solo female traveler puts you in a more complicated position. You cannot just book the fanciest or most affordable place without considering your utmost security. If you will be staying with family, a trusted friend or you could afford a well-known guarded and lavish hotel, then this could be the least of your worries.
On the other hand, if you will be staying in a hostel, a capsule hotel, a transient house and other more affordable options for backpackers, your safety is not something you can disregard. Is the place safe and secure? Would you prefer a common room or exclusive dorm for ladies only? Is it near the spots you want to visit or at least accessible to public transportation?
In choosing your accommodation, first, scrutinize the photos on its website. It should show a photo of the actual room where you will be staying, the restroom and the common rooms and not just close up photos of the bed or the appliances you will be allowed to use. Second, utilize a map and identify how far it is to the nearest public transport. Most importantly, read the reviews of the guests. You might find something useful there that could help you decide on which one to book.
5. Be ready with your emergency cash or globally accepted ATM card
When traveling, it is essential to have your allotted budget to avoid or at least minimize over spending. This budget is for your food, hygiene kit, transportation, tour and maybe shopping. However, aside from this budget, you should always have your extra cash or source of cash in case of emergency. Despite careful planning, you will never know what might happen along the way. You need to be ready especially if you’ll be traveling alone and do not have any family or friends in the city you will be exploring. And remember not to put your cash in one place!
6. Pack lite and be aware of the dress code
The sad reality is, you do not have the super powers to bring your closet with you hence a crucial reminder for all solo female travelers; pack lite! You will not have an extra strong hands to help you so the lighter your bags, the better. Plan your outfit for the day based on your itinerary and bring only the essentials. Furthermore, keep the country’s dress code in mind while packing. This will surely make things easier for you.
7. Do not bring or wear any valuables
While touring, you will be spending most of your time outside; on the road or in various tourists’ spots. If you will be exploring alone, avoid wearing expensive things that might attract the attention of thieves and scammers who are just waiting to prey on their next vulnerable victim. As you are discovering a country’s history, culture, people, the streets and way of life, the fact remains that behind the colors and flashes that attracts the tourists, there is the dark side to every city. You can always wear your outfit of the day and look good in photos less the risk. Be fashionable but avoid putting yourself in a dangerous position.
8. Choose your friends well
Often times, solo travelers could meet other travelers in hostels and other accommodation common for backpackers. And unless you absolutely prefer and strongly keep to yourself all throughout your trip, it is unavoidable to meet new people and gain new friends usually of other nationality. Some of these friends you might keep for years, some just for the duration of your trip and others might not mean well. Be friendly but always have the right amount of caution; when traveling alone, protect yourself at all times.
9. Learn a little bit of the language
Language is one of the fundamental things that identify a society, a country. And traveling solo in the midst of a chaotic street speaking in total gibberish, at least to your ear, to be able to deliver even just the very basic words to be understood could be liberating. You could start with numbers and money since that’s how you get around and get things done. Then you can proceed to learn polite greetings, basic directions and so on. If this is something you find easy, feel free to learn more and practice while you explore.
10. Enjoy Your Trip
To be able to travel is a gift in itself. You will be given the chance to learn and experience different things, meet new people, observe another society diverse from your own. Not everyone will have the same privilege. So savor the moment, celebrate the good times, and learn from the not-so-good experiences. Again, enjoy your trip.