If you were here last week, you’ll have seen the 5 best countries for female solo travelers to explore. Still not read that blog post? You can find it right here. Today we’re giving you solo traveling ladies the 10 best tips and pieces of advice that we’ve got, so grab yourself a drink and a snack, and find yourself the comfiest spot in the house, and get ready to learn a few tips to get you prepared for your next adventure.
💡Research, research, research your destination, then research a little bit more.
Traveling alone isn’t something that you can just wing. Well, you could, of course, but you’re more likely to end up in sticky situations that you’re not prepared for.
For your own peace of mind (and your family and friends who’ll be waiting to hear from you all day every day when you’re away), research your destination thoroughly.
Start by researching the general area. Google is your friend – as is Google Maps. You can Google everything nowadays, and even use street view to find out exactly where certain spots are, so you never have to find yourself completely lost with no idea of where to head next.
Next? Hotels, great places to eat, all the ‘must-dos’ on your trip. Are they close to each other? Will you need to take a taxi or public transport to get to certain spots safely? Doing the research before you’re in the middle of a new city in a new country can help keep you from panicking.
💡Plan your arrival as best you can
Landing in a brand new city or country can be intimidating, but it really doesn’t have to be if you plan your arrival.
Arrivals don’t always run smoothly, so we’d suggest having a back-up plan should plan A not work, but first, you should definitely work on a plan A.
It doesn’t have to be over-the-top crazy either. Take note of the time you arrive, whether that be by plane, bus, or car, and work from there.
Arriving in the evening? Probably best to sort a place to stay for your first night so that A) you get a great night’s sleep without traipsing across the country, and B) wake up refreshed the next day when you can travel by light. Stay close to the airport or IN the airport if there’s a hotel.
Arriving during daylight hours? Make sure you know exactly what the public transport is like & where it leaves from, or book yourself a taxi in advance so you can just hop in and whizz off to your accommodation immediately.
Look, you’re going on an adventure! And no adventurers travel with a suitcase built for an entire family.
Packing light will save you time, energy, and money (it’s not cheap to check-in that massive suitcase you know). You won’t be lugging heavy gear everywhere you go, and you won’t be left worrying about what to wear when each day rolls around.
Sure, packing light is a skill, and it’s not shared by everyone, but it can be learnt. Firstly, you’ll need to think about where you’re headed and what you’re planning on doing while you’re there. Are you visiting a hot or cold country? You’ll need the essentials to keep you warm or cool. Are you planning on doing hikes every day or hitting the beach with a book? You’ll need to decide whether you need your bikini or hiking boots… or both. Planning your outfits, shoes and accessories needs to be done.
Let’s face it, everyone overpacks when they’re going on holiday. If you can live without it, don’t pack it.
💡Don’t tell strangers where you’re staying…
It might be tempting to tell your new pal where you’re staying, but don’t do it, especially if you get the gut feeling that you shouldn’t. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to be vague when you need to be, but never hand out the address, and definitely don’t tell them your room number.
Your hotel, B&B, tent or hostel is your safe space – don’t compromise that.
💡…but do tell your family where you’re staying
On the other side of the coin – tell your loved ones at home exactly where you’re staying and give them all the numbers and addresses they’ll need should they need to get in contact.
Should anything go wrong (which isn’t the happiest subject but it needs to be addressed) your family will need those details to be able to get to you ASAP.
💡Heading out alone? Let people know where you’re going
Whether you’ve researched your trip enough to have a full itinerary or you’re seeing where each day takes you, it’s important to leave any important information behind at your accommodation and with your family or friends back home.
Why? Whilst you’re a kick-ass solo traveling female, you can’t always prepare for those worst case scenarios, which, while very unlikely to happen, shouldn’t be ruled out completely. Giving people your destination, as well as the time you’re expecting to be back by could save your life.
If you get stuck, trapped, or even if your phone simply runs out of battery or signal, you may find yourself unable to get back to your accommodation or worse – unable to leave your current location.
Having someone on the other end waiting for your return means that they can alert the authorities when you don’t come back. That means there’ll be people looking for you immediately, and your problem doesn’t become a nightmare.
💡Keep all your important documents safe and sealed
You’re going to have plenty of documents on you during your travels; a visa, your passport, itineraries, accommodation documents, and probably cash. Keeping these safe is really important.
If you’re staying in a hotel, you should find a lockable safe inside your room, where you can keep your documents safe, and similarly, hostels will usually have safes locked away with staff members who can keep an eye on your belongings. Make sure you make use of these.
Another great piece of advice would be to make doubles of your important documents. This can easily be done with a scanner and a printer before you leave. Always scan a copy of your credit/debit cards and passport too – you never know when you’re going to need it.
💡Get to know other travelers
Traveling alone can be great for building your confidence, and having the adventure of a lifetime, but it can be lonely, especially if you’re out there for a number of weeks.
Getting to know other solo travelers, or small groups of travelers on their trip together can help keep loneliness at bay, and create friendships you never thought you’d have.
You don’t have to attach yourself to their plans every day, or at all – but having someone to eat out with of an evening, or someone to chat to when you get back to your accommodation after a long day of traveling can really help boost your mood whilst you’re in completely unfamiliar territory.
💡Meet the locals
Meeting the locals can get you ahead on your travels.
Being friendly with the people in your accommodation, or heading to the same local corner store each evening and chatting with the person behind the counter whilst you buy your evening snacks can help give you a full taste of your chosen destination, plus you might find them giving you insider tips on where to head for the best of everything.
That’s not all though. Shopping locally, and trying local cuisine cooked by locals can also help keep them in business, whilst you get a real feel for the culture and cuisine of the area of the world you’re exploring. Most travelers admit that getting in with the locals makes their trip even more worthwhile, so keep your eyes peeled and get into the spirit like a local.
💡Take photos and journal about your adventure
One of the reasons you’re going off alone is to make unique memories. Don’t forget to capture them and keep those memories preserved.
Pack a camera, or use your phone if you’re packing light. Pack a journal and a pen. Collect mementos wherever you land, and stick them all together to make a scrapbook of your journey that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
Most importantly – live in the moment and enjoy every last second of your amazing journey into the unknown. You never know what you might find.