If you ever want unsolicited advice, tell friends and family you’re traveling alone.
The idea of a woman traveling alone brings out the best and worst in people. You’ll get some of the best tips on how to make your trip memorable. You’ll also hear stories that will make you wonder if you should give up and find a partner.
Eighty-six percent of women who travel say they aren’t afraid to go solo. Join them instead of listening to the naysayers. Learn how you can enjoy a safe and fun trip by reading our 6 tips for women traveling alone.
1. Share Your Itinerary
Safety begins at home. Share your itinerary with a friend or family member back home. Include the airline(s), flight numbers, and flight times. Don’t forget your hotel reservations.
Be spontaneous but let someone know where you’ll be sightseeing if possible.
2. Copy Your Travel Documents
People lose passports all the time while traveling. Without proper travel documents, you could get stuck at another country’s border. Or worse, denied entry into your own country.
Avoid problems and make two copies of your passport ID page. Give one copy to your emergency contact back home. Keep the other copy in your carry-on bag.
Hint: You can scan the document and email it to your contact person. The format doesn’t matter as long as you can access it when you need it.
3. Don’t Drink and Travel
By that, we don’t mean drink. Have fun—have a drink—but stay aware of what’s happening around you.
Traveling alone doesn’t mean you can’t join a pub crawl, or get together with other travelers in a hostel bar. As far as what you drink, don’t accept drinks from anyone other than the bartender. Pace yourself and drink a glass of water between drinks.
In short, use the same precautions you do when drinking at home.
4. Act Like a Local
Do your best to fit in with the locals. Don’t draw attention to yourself by flashing money around. Leave the expensive jewelry at home.
You may visit places where people have little material wealth. Why make yourself a target for a thief? Also, be aware of local customs, especially as they pertain to women. You don’t want to act in a way that’s socially unacceptable.
5. Join with Other Travelers
Taking a solo trip offers many opportunities to meet amazing new friends—whether they’re locals or fellow travelers. If you’re nervous about your first experience traveling alone, consider volunteering. When you volunteer you can experience the adventure and build friendships within the safe structure of a volunteer organization. Volunteering is a great way to ease into travel, especially if you’re new to the travel experience. Here in Costa Rica, you can even volunteer to help at sea turtle conservancies.
6. Don’t Believe Everything You Hear
We live in a world of cable news where drama sells stories. Every night we hear about the horrors going on in cities all over the world. Of course, you should be cautious when traveling alone but don’t believe everything you hear on the news. People who pay too much attention to news reports often end up afraid to go anywhere more than a few blocks from home. The more you travel, the more comfortable you’ll be and as a bonus, you’ll discover the world is full of good people.