by Olivia Jones
Solo female travelers don’t have it easy. Traveling alone as a woman can seem quite intimidating. It is hardly the safest way to explore the world because unlike males, we are exposed to some additional risks. Yet, taking precautions, adopting a certain behavior, and following the best practices goes a long way in preserving your safety and well-being. You do not need to wrap yourself up in cotton wool and be in constant fear. However, getting cocky and overconfident is even worse. So it’s important to find the middle ground.
Not having a travel companion should not stop you. Traveling alone allows you to learn new things and meet a lot of amazing people. Stand up for yourself and become more confident and independent! You are free as a bird to choose your own adventure.
With so many things happening, there is not enough time for loneliness to take hold. But, as you cannot seek safety in numbers, the responsibility is resting on your shoulders. Therefore, you need to stay vigilant if you want to be out of harm’s way. The world is full of incredible people, but we cannot ignore the fact that there are quite a bit of those who are not.
First off, learn the basics of the local language so that you can ask for help and directions. It will also allow you to deal with everyday activities and challenges. For example, being ripped off! Next, always pay attention to who you strike conversations with. Do not let others invade your personal space–be firm and assertive.
Strive to act as a local as well. Discover hidden gems by venturing out into places where you can find affordable food, take public transportation, and sleep at a private apartment. Think about renting a private space via platforms such as Airbnb. Know where you are situated and ingrain the address in your head (or smartphone).
Try not to look drastically different than the locals, even if you have strong feelings about women dressing conservatively, for instance. Outfits that scream “tourist” are never such a splendid idea. On the other hand, blending in is a way to stay on the safe side. Simply put, when in doubt, cover up.
Furthermore, be careful with alcohol. When we are drunk, we tend to lower our guard and put ourselves at unnecessary risk. Going out on your own can be a dicey situation as well. If you ask me, meeting strangers in a bar can be skating on thin ice, even in our home country, so why risk it abroad.
In any event, avoid coming across lost and confused as a damsel in distress. Attracting the wrong kind of attention can single you out as a vulnerable target. Avoid this by doing your homework ahead of time, educating yourself, and seeking recommendations. For example, when traveling to L.A. for the first time, it pays off to rely on DMC California services.
Travel during the day as much as possible. Preferably, you should also arrive at your destination during the daytime as well. Many incidents occur in the dead of the night, when darkness and shadows reign. Nevertheless, keep a close eye on your valuables, especially gadgets that are attractive to thieves.
Do not flash them around or take them out of the bag unless it’s absolutely necessary. I would also consider a fanny pack. No, it is not the most stylish thing, but it does keep your stuff out of the hoodlums’ reach. Note that it is recommended to have some extra cash around just in case, and to possess travel insurance.
Read forums and reach out to other fellow travelers to figure out the risks, typical tourist scams, as well as no-go areas. Finally, stay in touch with people through social media, chat, and communication apps. Let others know where you are and what you are doing, which is a great safety blanket. Oh, and make sure you can always call someone in case an emergency strikes.
When traveling solo, you hope for the best, but prepare for the worst-case scenarios. Therefore, watch your step and mind the behavior. Research your destination and do not trust people too quickly. Blend in seamlessly in the local ecosystem and you should be able to have those footloose-and-fancy-free moments. Make the journey your own and give yourself the ultimate gift of freedom and independence: Have the time of your life without throwing caution to the wind!