Guide to Solo Women Traveling the World

Even in these days, where many things have changed in the world, for many, it is still taboo to see solo women traveling alone around the world.

For many women is something unthinkable. Many fears, assumptions, and uncertainties are around this topic.

For those who have the spirit and wish to travel the world, there are no limits in terms of gender, age or background if you like to travel and have that travel bug just go and travel!

Take proper precautions, but do it!

Do not let fear stop you from conquering your dreams.

There are different type of travelers, as different people and personalities. There are those who love to solo travel and others who love to do it in groups (I never understood and admire the tremendous patience and ability of those traveling in those massive tourists groups).IMG_7692

Traveling alone has its benefits for those who love it.

When you travel alone you have a lot of independence. You can travel at your own pace, giving you the freedom to easily move and the opportunity to meet new people…. and then you also have that unmistakable thrill of being in an unfamiliar place, finding out where to go, what to do and how to stay safe. This will make you feel strong and powerful as you will be out there solving the many little  (or big) issues that will come to you every day.

This will make you feel strong and powerful as you will be out there solving the many little  (or big) issues that will come to you every day.

I traveled alone for more than 15 years and thanks to certain cautions (and being very lucky when I was younger) I’ve never had a really bad experience or serious accident during my travels.

Basically, I keep doing what I was doing in my country to keep me safe. I believe it is each traveler responsibility to stay safe and ultimately be a responsible traveler.

It is undeniable that, as women, we are generally more exposed to certain hazards or harassment, basically because we are seen as an easier target for robbery or sexual assault. Rarely a woman wants to grab the private parts of an unknown man in the streets …. but that’s a topic for another post. To avoid this situation and others while traveling is necessary to be aware of this and take some tips in mind when traveling alone to an unknown location.

To avoid this situation and others while traveling is necessary to be aware of this and take some tips in mind when traveling alone to an unknown location.

 

Anyway, people try to help you normally and you will even find help in most random places. I’ve got this pic thanks to the Taj Mahal guard that carefully took this pic for me and with nobody at my back! (Click here to know how to get that awesome shot!)

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My basic rules to survive on the road and to enjoy the journey:

– Trust no one:

This could sound rude but Hey! It is very helpful too. Do not trust anyone 100% you met on the road.

Think that you only know your new cool friends only a few minutes ago, even if sometimes it feels that you have known them for a lifetime.

Being over trusting could lead you to ridiculous or dangerous situations you might want to avoid, especially if you are traveling alone. Don’t be an asshole but don’t be over-friendly either.

– Choose carefully who you tell that you’re traveling alone:

Although you might be proud of it, do not shout from the rooftops that you are traveling by yourself and alone. A smart move to do it is to not tell everyone with whom you talk to about this, or at least not in your train journey across India for example.

I always tell I’m meeting someone in my next destination, waiting for my boyfriend or whatever to not show I’m traveling alone to random people. Better to keep this low profile can avoid you some troubles.

– Adapt your wardrobe to local style:

This can save you from many bad times. If you travel to a country where women do not usually show much of their bodies, it’s hot and you go out walking with mini shorts … might be not be the best experience of your life.

Adjust to the local culture, and show your respect and avoid excessive eye on you and appear as a target for those who think that being a tourist is like to have a lot of money.

Stereotypes abound throughout the world and we, as women are part of them.

nomadicchica india

– Stay informed and connected:

Try to keep someone of your confidence aware on where you are going to be. If you do a risky activity or some place have more risks than usual there, calculate how many days you should be reported and let them know.

My recent trips have been much easier since it is now possible almost anywhere in the world access to a local chip + internet on your phone , so you can stay connected in case of any “emergency”, also you can have maps very easy!

– Looking for a safe sleeping area:

No matter how much you like to party and want to sleep in a Backpacker Hostel, try staying in one that is in a safe area of the city. Something I always worry about is that they have lockers or compartments where you can leave your stuff locked up.

Generally travelers are always like and respect each other, and nobody is taking other travelers stuff, but you never know who may be sleeping in the cabin next door.

– Read the experiences of other travelers:

It is not the same to know about a place through a big brand company that from the experience of other travelers like you. You’ll have many more chances to learn about the reality of the place/hotel you plan to visit in the voice of other travel fellows.

Many blogs (like this one, ehem!) are responsible for this, to share experiences so that for other travelers might be easier to visit a place or get to the hotel that most suits them according to their travel style.

– DON’T GET DRUNK UNTIL YOU (OR ALMOST) LOSE CONSCIOUSNESS.

Needless to say something on this point for me, but I’ve seen so many girls wasted, sitting (or lying) on the streets of some party neighborhood in many cities in the world that I have to touch it.

Being drunk in a country you don’t know, with people you’ve met a few days/hours ago is one of the many ways to expose yourself to the risk of being robbed or raped, and it is the most stupid thing on earth to do!

You lose control and the notion of reality, then, even you know martial arts or self-defense, if you are almost unconscious on the floor you become a very easy target for these or other actions that could threaten your health and safety.

– Avoid walking at night or very early in the morning:

Anywhere in the world this are the hours where there are fewer people on the street and protected under low light there are more risks of attacks.

There are times where normally there are also fewer people who could help you if something happens. Above all, you do not use headphones that do not allow you to hear the footsteps of those who could walk around you.

– Keep your eyes watching behind your back:

For those who live in large/South American cities this is something we are used to. But if you come from a country where crime rates are almost zero having this in mind can really help you to avoid some problems.

Always keep track of who walks behind you, if someone does it for many blocks or stops where you stop, be suspicious.

Coming from certain cultures makes you be aware of this since you are a kid (wanna know how is it to travel as a Chilean? Check here!)

– Watch your belongings:

Always keep a free hand as you walk down the street, keep your money divided up into bags, keep your important stuff  always close to you.

A backpack or bag with them that you can use as a pillow when traveling on trains or buses, thieves usually act when no one is watching and they go for bags that are far from you.

– Do not wear flashy or expensive jewelry:

It may sound pretty obvious, but cultures are different in each country.

If you have nothing to draw attention to you are avoiding being a possible target for an assault, no one will want to steal something that has no value to be sold again.

– Stay healthy:

Avoid drinking local water, find out about the weather of the place where you will go,  take extra care on not accept food from strangers and you have not seen where it comes from, never leave your drink/ food (and your credit card) out of your sight.

– Trust your intuition:

Women usually have more naturally developed intuition than men. If at any place or situation you feel you could be in danger, trust yourself! You are probably right!

 

Check more about Solo Female travels here in Bloggers tell you why You can Travel alone too! or

A guide for solo traveling in India as a woman

This is the most common Travel Scams around the world and how to avoid them How to avoid travel scams

Have you had any experience of danger in your travels?

What do you do to stay healthy and safe while traveling?

Do you have a tip you’d like to share?

Nomadic Chica

Gloria, the Nomadic Chica, is a native of Santiago Chile. Growing up dreaming of travel and international exploration, Gloria set out to make her dreams come true. Having traveled through Asia, Europe, and South America, Gloria has a wealth of travel knowledge and experience to share. NomadicChica.com was created to inspire others to travel and empower solo female travels with knowledge. Follow Gloria as she brings the world of travel to you.

15 Comments:

  1. Great advice for the solo traveler. This is a very nice Blog for female travellers.
    Thank you …
    Anita Bhattacharya
    http://footprintsforever.com

  2. Great post Gloria – you have covered all the important things. I do hope that other young women are encouraged by your experiences. You are amazing!!!

  3. I hope we can work towards a world in which all travelers, regardless of their gender, sexuality, race, nationality, religion or age can explore the planet without threats to their well-being.

  4. Humour helps. I was once (long time ago) threatened by a driver who had picked me up when I was hitch hiking in Norway. He held me over a huge cliff and said “I think I’m going to throw you over”. I laughed and said “Don’t be silly, you’ll break my camera”. He relaxed his grip, and I jumped back in his car (we were kilometres from anything. When he finally pulled over to refuel, I grabbed my pack and ran to a backpackers’ over the road. They hid me.
    Next day, I was back on the road. Would be horrified if one of my adult children told me a similar story.

  5. Hi Gloria! Fellow solo female traveler here. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your well thought out points. I’ve met so many solo lady travelers on the road who could really use reading this list!

    • Hey Melanie!
      Many thanks for your kind words! That’s the idea, to share with others my experience so I can prevent them to have a not so happy experience and only have great memories on the road! Keep having happy travels!

  6. Great post. I would say avoid alcohol all together if you are in a new place and with new people. It’s too easy for one drink to lead to another and/or for someone to slip something in your drink. That’s a very conservative approach but I think it’s appropriate.
    Another piece of advice that I swear by is to travel light and avoid putting your luggage in the taxi trunk. Keep it with you in case you have to bolt. Once, I stayed in a taxi long after my comfort with the situation passed because I knew I had my stuff in the trunk and I didn’t want to lose it. Lesson learned.

    • Many thank’s @Laura for reading me! I love your tip about traveling light. Is hard for girls sometimes to do it! To me it’s getting more difficult within the years, lol

  7. Great advice. These are pretty much the same guidelines I’d give to anyone myself. It’s sad not to trust people but it’s just the way you have to be to keep safe!

  8. I love other solo traveling females! Great advice, keep it up!

  9. Genial! Me encanta este post. Hay muchos post animando a las mujeres a viajar y es increible y hermoso, pero también es importante dar más información al respecto para asegurarnos mejores experiencias, y las recomendaciones que das son muy sensatas. 🙂

    • Muchas gracias @Rihla, si creo que es muy importante saber cómo viajar seguras para así poder recorrer este bello planeta sólo acumulando bellas experiencias. Lo que comento es lo que yo he ido realizando durante mis años de viaje…como me he mantenido sin tener casi nunca un problema (parece que soy bastante juiciosita y sensata jajajaja)

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