Biking VersaillesThe Frugal Traveler (NY Times) posted an interesting Q&A with Beth Whitman, from Wanderlust & Lipstick about solo, female travel. I agree with her on most of her advice, except I’ve definitely thought “Oh God, I wish I was a man in this situation!” Some of the comments from NYT readers are getting a little nasty though. Ouch! Anyway, here are a few of my tips for traveling solo as a young[er] female.

  • Do your traveling during daylight hours. Arriving into town on a train at midnight isn’t the safest bet.
  • Treat solo travel as you would your own city. I wouldn’t walk around parts of Portland at night, so why would I abroad?
  • Don’t dress like a hooker. OK, maybe more useful to say dress appropriately for the region you’re in. Modesty goes a long way.
  • Know where you’re hotel is on a map, before you even arrive at the airport. You’ll know if the the taxi is leading you astray.
  • Keep a hotel/hostel business card with you at all times.
  • Master the “Don’t Mess With Me” walk, at some point you’ll need it.
  • When looking for hostels online ( etc), sort by location. Location is a huge deal when traveling solo. Example: my hostel in Madrid was on a pedestrian street, and I could go out at night alone. In Barcelona, it was down by the port, so I made sure to not be solo after dark.
  • Use your “sixth sense” to differentiate between danger and simple curiosity. Many cultures are just curious as to why you’re alone, or why you have blond hair, or why you have blond arm hairs. :)
  • Do small group tours for countries you want to experience without the hassle (like Morocco and Turkey).

Ladies, what are your tips for solo travel?