“I’ve taken a lot of risks through the years, but I always followed my instincts and always explored new opportunities. The biggest reward has been having an idea and being able to make it a reality. My passions always lead the way – travel and adventure, fitness, art, and home.” Cynthia Rowley
I thought I would share some of my favourite bit of travel advice for female sole travellers. The truth is, you already have the skills you need to stay safe when you travel. They’re the same skills you use at home to stay safe. But you don’t have to take my word alone for it.
It’s SO important to trust your instincts. If they tell you something is off, it probably is. And at the same time, if they tell you it’s all good, it probably is. It’s never let me down, ever.
One of my favourites: Conceal cash by rolling it up tightly and sticking it in an empty tampon applicator (unused!!). Slide it back into the wrapper and you’re set. Not many pickpockets will try to steal a tampon from your pocket!”
I wouldn’t listen to music with earbuds in while walking around in a city. It makes you less aware of your surroundings and also usually signifies to a would-be mugger that you probably have a smartphone in your pocket
Mind the booze. It is ok to have a couple of drinks but getting drunk in a foreign and unknown place could put you in danger and get you lost.
When taking a taxi, keep your stuff with you in the back seat so that you retain control over when you can get out. It can be useful if the cab is taking a longer route, tries to overcharge you, or if things feel uncomfortable.
If I’m travelling solo after dark, I’ll often walk relatively close to a couple or a family. Usually, if I shoot them a smile, they’ll see that I’m not stalking them, but instead looking to walk with people. You’re less of a target if you’re by other people. If you ever do feel like you’re bringing followed, pop into the nearest restaurant or hotel. These usually have someone who speaks English and they’re more than happy to help
I always grab the business card or ask front desk/concierge to write down the name, address, and phone number of my accommodation. That way if I get lost or am in a cab and can’t communicate with a driver, I can hand it to them and I can get back home
Let others know of your travel plans. I email people a copy of my itinerary and let them know if I change it
While you don’t have to check in with family or friends every day, it can be a good idea to regularly update some form of social media while on the road. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or even Foursquare/Swarm, these digital breadcrumbs can give peace of mind to others that you’re safe, wherever you are
Keep your passport and other important documents secure. Have backup copies on you and at home with your trusted contact.
Dress according to where you are! Maybe revealing tops and short skirts should be fine but, in reality, they can get you into trouble in many countries, including North America and Europe. You are always more vulnerable when you’re off your home turf so compensate by dressing conservatively.
Don’t tell people where you are staying blinding flash of the obvious – if you are travelling alone as a woman and you meet people, don’t mention where you are staying, especially if you feel uncomfortable.
No one really needs to know the name of your hotel, and if you make plans to meet someone, meet at a local landmark or point instead.
It’s really important as a solo female travel to learn to read situations and if you feel in any way uncomfortable or nervous, get the hell out of there.
Don’t worry about offending people or being rude, self-preservation is the most important thing and to stay safe.
One of the situations I hate being in the most while travelling is showing up in a new city or place at night with nothing booked.
I am one of those travellers who prefer to “wing it” but I am careful about booking things for when I arrive straight off the plane in a new place or if I know I will be arriving somewhere at night, just to avoid any unwanted scenarios.
One of my best tips for solo female travellers is to carry a little plastic doorstop.
It takes up no space and is great to have to shove under flimsy hotel room doors at night just in case of someone trying to come in.
Most importantly just enjoy it. Sometimes you need to be alone. To get some peace, to get space to think and to be at peace with the world and oneself. And sometimes this is only possible when there are no other people around when you have time to talk to yourself, listen to yourself and leave go of all the hectic and stress of everyday life. Enjoy this time. Take your time and do whatever YOU want. Go for a walk (in the daytime) just by yourself, sit in a café, go to a museum or do something adventurous. It can be anything. And try also not to speak to anyone. Just yourself. You will see that you actually enjoy your own company way more than you would have expected.