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Top 10 safety tips for solo female traveller whilst you're abroad

Travelling solo as a woman can be THE most liberating experience – but it can also flag some issues when it comes to safety.

solo female traveller tips

This is nothing new for women and the truth is you already have the skills you need to stay safe when you #travel. They’re the same skills you use to stay safe at home. The difference is – at home you already know your neighbourhood, what local people are like, and what to look out for. The danger in travelling abroad is that you just don’t know what’s out there.


There’s also the issue of economic disparity. That’s just a fancy way of saying that where you come from is probably richer than where you are going, given that some of the best sunny destinations in the world are also some of the poorest. This means there are people for whom your smartphone, for instance, can represent several months income.


Nevertheless, if you follow some fairly simple rules you should be fine. Here are our Top 10 tips for staying safe when you’re travelling solo.


1. Do Your Research

First and foremost, do your research. Learn everything you can about a country before visiting. Read some blogs, ask questions on forums and in Facebook travel groups. As a solo female traveller, it’s best to ask other solo female travellers about their experience when visiting a country.


2. Trust Your Instincts

Travelling alone means you’ll find yourself relying on strangers more than you normally would, whether it’s asking for directions or looking for help. Generally, people are helpful, but then we all know that some people don’t have the best intentions. If you get the feeling that someone has ulterior motives then they probably do. Remember: it’s easier to get yourself out of a situation sooner rather than later.


3. Be Aware

If you live in a city, you’ll be familiar with the idea of ignoring those around you. It’s one way of not attracting undue attention on the commute to work. But if you’re abroad, the opposite is true. You should be aware of what’s going on. Look at the people in your immediate vicinity. This shows any potential predators that you are conscious of the dangers. Avoid walking with your head down and your earphones in. This will mark you out as a potential target. It’s better to be a bit paranoid than to be harassed, robbed, or worse.


4. Guard Your Phone

We’ve mentioned it before but it’s good to revisit this. Don’t walk around waving your phone in your hand. It marks you out as a tourist who is likely to have other valuables (cash, an expensive camera etc) on them. People will ride by or even walk by to snatch your phone right out of your hand. Step inside a store if you need to take a look at your maps or use your phone quickly. It may be a good idea to carry a cheap phone as a backup in case anything happens.


5. Connect With Other Women

Women look out for each other around the world. If you're wary about trusting random men, it may be best to reach out to a woman if you need some help. Consider joining a group tour like WE Walking Tours XX. Stay in all-female dorms or hotels. Sleep in the all-female train cart if you’re heading for somewhere like Morocco, or simply sit next to other women on public transport. Make a conscious effort to connect with other solo female travellers because they get it.


6. Be Careful At Night

Again, obvious, but vital for staying safe. There’s more likelihood of danger at night than during the daytime. Try to arrive in a city during the daytime so you can get your bearings. Know that places like airports (especially right outside) are prime spots for predators to check out vulnerable travellers. Join a group if you want to go out at night. Ask about dangerous areas or bars that may have a history. Let someone know where you are going. Join a pub crawl, a walking tour or some other group activity. There’s safety in numbers.


7. Get Travel Insurance

It's tempting to skip the extra cost of travel insurance when a trip is already expensive, but in the long run, it could end up saving you thousands on potential health risks, emergencies, theft and more. Check online for the most popular options – prices for travel insurance have come down a lot in recent years. Make use of it.


8. Know Your Limits

Travelling alone is all about adventure, and no one wants to miss out. It’s tempting to step outside of your comfort zone and push the limits, but be aware that our bodies can only take so much. Have fun, but make sure you are always aware of what’s happening. Spiked drinks are one thing to be especially aware of. Make sure you take care of your drink and watch it being made. It’s also important to ensure your body is well nourished as it’s easy to overlook the simple things – like food! And remember: clean water is your friend.


9. Eat Smart

Sampling the local cuisine in many parts of the world is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have when travelling solo. Be aware however that your body may not have adjusted itself to the local cuisine. It’s not unusual to pick up a mild bug after eating street food in Asia, for instance, so choose your food stalls carefully. Pick popular local restaurants, not deserted. Watch out for spicy chillies and make sure your diet is healthy and clean.


10. Be Open To Positivity

Not everyone is out to get you! There’s no point travelling solo if you are not already looking to stretch your limits, and it’s important to know that generally people – even men – are often generous and gracious. Be open to positivity when it presents itself. You are here for new experiences, after all.


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