The 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.
Safety Tips for Solo Female Travel:
- Do your traveling during daylight hours. Arriving into town on a train at midnight isn’t the safest bet. You’ll stress less about it during the day.
- Treat solo travel as you would your own city. I wouldn’t walk around parts of Portland solo 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. And some cultures have very different views on dress.
- Know where your hotel is on a map, before you even arrive at the airport. You’ll know if a taxi is leading you astray. You’ll know more of how to get to your destination without looking like a confused travel at the bus or metro station.
- 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 (HostelWorld.com 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).
- Have someone at home to check in with as a safety precaution. Let them know what city you plan to be in, where you’re staying, and when you will be traveling on.
Ladies, what are your tips for solo female travel?