8 Tips For Staying Safe as a Solo Female Traveller
Being a solo female traveller can be intimidating and scary. Even more so if this is your first trip away. Don’t let your fears stop you from doing what you want to do. I LOVE travelling alone, there are many advantages to it. I always say that you should experience travelling alone at least one time in your life. This pushes you out of your comfort zone and urges you to be comfortable being alone and making friends on the road.
Follow these tips so you can feel and stay safe on the road as a solo female traveller!
1. Dress appropriately and as a local
One of the most important things is to dress like the locals would. Don’t prance around in a bikini if it’s a country where the woman don’t show their shoulders and legs. Be logical and dress appropriately to the culture.
A top tip: Always take a sarong or scarf with you when you’re travelling. If you arrive somewhere and feel uncomfortable, you can quickly whip that out of your bag and put it around your shoulders or head if you feel like people are looking at you. You can also use it as a picnic blanket, beach blanket or a skirt! Win, win!
I urge you to do some research where you are thinking of travelling to about what is the dress code. For example in the middle east, I would have never worn shorts because in most countries the women are dressed from head to toe. In Asia, if you want to visit the temples you need to cover your shoulders and knees to enter.
2. Don’t let the media scare you
I get so angry at the media sometimes. They portray certain countries as wildly unsafe when in real life they are not. All the media focuses on is the bad. Listen to the news and compare how many negative stories there are compared to positive. You will soon see that all stories are portrayed in a negative way. In saying that you do need to listen to what is happening around the world to some degree to know what is happening with countries governments and politics.
Instead, I suggest you ask around what other peoples experiences were and search for blogs of people that have been to the country and can give you a real opinion. Ask the travel agents about any alerts they may have on the country you are thinking of going to as well. Usually, your own countries government website will be able to tell you if there are certain places that are deemed unsafe.
The other suggestion I have is to ONLY listen to peoples opinions if they have actually visited the country. I could cry at how many times people told me not to go to India or Albania who hadn’t actually been there. You wouldn’t trust someone’s recommendation on an ice-cream flavour if they don’t eat ice-cream, would you?
3. Be confident but not cocky
Confidence goes along way. Don’t act like you’re a push over and people won’t harass you. Put your head high and don’t look so scared. You may stick out too much if you start shaking and crying! At the same time don’t act cocky because that will get you nowhere and probably into further trouble. Just be sure with yourself and people will not mess with you as a solo female traveller.
4. Research and read up on customs
One of the MOST important tips is to research. You can never research too little when it comes to travel. The best way is to research travel blogs! We as travel bloggers give our personal opinion with practical tips on countries that we have visited. When you find a great travel blogger who has written a lot on the country you are about to travel to, why not leave a comment and ask if they have any tips?!
One of my other favourite ways to find out about customs is the Lonely Planet Guides, they are fantastic for telling you about the customs and what you should and shouldn’t do etc. Another great place is Trip Advisor. If you didn’t know already you can look in their forums and ask questions for people to answer. You can learn a lot off other people so don’t be scared to ask around for advice.
5. Watch your body language
In every culture, people have different body language. Like mentioned above, research is the best thing you can do here to learn about what you should and shouldn’t do. For example, a simple smile or staring at an Indian man can mean something totally different from the western world. Also, some body language that might be totally okay in your country might be incredibly offensive in another.
It can get confusing but don’t be afraid to ask the locals about their culture as well, you will learn a lot from them!
6. Don’t get uncontrollably drunk
If you want to go out then make sure you do it with people you trust. Don’t get so drunk you can’t remember where you are staying. Always makes sure your drink is right in front of you and you can see it at all times. You do not want something awful to happen.
Don’t be afraid to experience the nightlife on your own either but be cautious of how much alcohol you consume and ALWAYS keep an eye on your drink.
7. Your gut feeling is your warning sign to get out
Listen to your gut! Your body will tell you when you need to get out of a certain situation. I usually get an overwhelming feeling of butterflies in my stomach and feel like I’m going to throw up if I’m in a bad situation. When I get this feeling I immediately get out of that situation, I don’t overthink it. Listen to what your head and body are trying to tell you and if you get that feeling, get out now!
Some people have a stronger sense than others. There have been multiple times I’ve had this feeling while travelling and as soon as I left that location or stopped talking to that person it went away. Trust your body, it’s a marvellous thing!
8. Don’t be too naive
Unfortunately, there are bad people everywhere. The biggest mistake I see and hear solo female travellers do is trust someone too quickly. Be it a boy whos overly nice to you, or someone on the street ‘giving’ you a bracelet – please don’t be too naive. The best thing you can do is research again. There are many scams out in this world, some of which I am still learning about today. I have an article on the tourist scams in India you should watch out for here. There are similar scams all around the world.
For example, In Paris, you might bump into a man telling you he wants to give you this beautiful bracelet for free. As soon as he puts it on you he will demand money. And if you don’t give him the money you will be surrounded by a group of intimidating men. This is a prime example of being too naive!
Don’t tell anybody where you staying, and if a dodgy fella asks you if you have a boyfriend and you feel uncomfortable, it’s okay to tell a white lie and say he’s just over there and you have got to go meet him. Put a ring on your wedding finger if necessary, just do what you’ve got to do to be safe and feel comfortable.
If you have any further tips as a solo female traveller then feel free to leave them down below!
Other articles you will love:
- Travelling India: 6 Tips For Solo Female Travellers
- A girl’s guide to backpacking in Brazil
- 34 of the Best Travel Gifts For Someone Going Travelling
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