Traveling solo as a woman can become a challenge if you have never done it before. Here are the best time-tested safety tips for your first solo trip.
Solo female travel can be one of the most enriching experiences in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, to this day traveling as a woman can still attract unwanted attention that can escalate into various risky scenarios if not handled correctly. Here is how to travel as safely as possible as a woman, especially in less-friendly destinations.
Let Others Know About Your Itinerary
Deciding to travel solo can feel incredibly freeing, especially if you have never done anything like this before, even in your hometown. However, as exciting as it sounds to not have anyone to account for, never go on a trip without informing at least one person about your travel plans. Ideally, you would share your whole itinerary with your family and close friends, as well as keep them updated about any changes during your trip. This way there will be someone out there who knows your current location in case of emergency.
You can even use Google Maps or any other app to share your current location with your family. This way you will give your family peace of mind if they are worried type and at the same time, you will ensure that someone knows about your location if something goes go wrong.
Research Local Scams
Researching the places you plan on traveling to prior to your trip is always a good idea. It is good to know the most common local scams, so you don’t end up one of their victims. You can do so by simply doing a quick Google search or browsing dedicated travel destination groups on Facebook.
Of course, it is important to not get overly engulfed by all the crimes or accidents that happen. Sometimes people just end up in a bad situation because of their own lack of common sense or simply because of bad timing. Either way, it is good to be prepared and know which areas to avoid and what precautions to take at each destination.
Try to Blend in
One travel mistake the majority of beginner solo travelers make is being overly flashy or putting a spotlight on themselves. The best way to not attract unwanted attention is simply to try to blend in with the daily life of locals. Acting as you are one of the locals can help you stay out of sight of pickpocketers and any other small scammers.
This means keeping your expensive cameras well hidden, not using paper maps while walking or even digital maps (doing it discreetly or with earphones is a good tip). Most importantly, dress the part. While the red beret in Paris might sound like a good photo opportunity idea, most Parisians never wear it. You might as well be carrying the ‘I’m a tourist’ sign.
Listen to Your Gut
You know that feeling you get when something just doesn’t feel right? That’s your intuition telling you to not trust a person or not to get involved in certain activities. It is alright to assert yourself in certain situations or people if your gut is telling you so.
You will never regret listening to your gut when it comes to your safety because most of the time the gut is right. If you are talking with someone in an unknown destination and at any point, you start to feel uneasy or feel uncomfortable, it is alright to say no or to simply go back to the place you felt more comfortable in.
Learn Self Defence
No matter how many stories we hear about women getting attacked or taken advantage of in their travels, we never envision that it will ever happen to us. Unfortunately, you can never know in what kind of situations you will end up in the future. For those instances, you might one day need to know how to defend yourself. Maybe even in your own hometown. Learning the basics of self-defense can one day save your life or help to save others.
There has never been a better time to travel solo as a woman. But as with everything in life, staying safe and taking additional steps to ensure your own safety and comfort is never a bad idea.
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