Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Travel

Flying Solo: The Ultimate Female Traveler’s Guide

Find out the best tips and tricks to solo female traveling.

Credit: Shutterstock/lzf

There is nothing quite like the rush of landing in a new destination and knowing no one as a solo traveler. Just another face in the crowd; the world is yours for the taking.

As a young woman who has done most of my traveling by myself, I’m often met with the same inquisitive looks when I share my stories. “You did that all ALONE?” And my answer is “kind of!”

The biggest part of solo traveling is putting yourself out there. Throughout all my travels, I never met a stranger, only a potential friend. It’s all about pushing yourself past the invisible boundaries and testing the unknown. Unknown places, cultures, and people. There is so much to discover about the world and yourself in the process.

Woman sat in camp chair in front of tent, overlooking lake scenery
Credit: Shutterstock/soft_light

That being said, with solo traveling there comes an immense sense of freedom, but also responsibility. It’s nice to be able to do whatever you want with only your emotions to manage, but it also means you only have yourself looking out for you. Read on to learn the best ways to balance the two.

Dos and don’ts

World map. Two hands pointing at a location.
Credit: Shutterstock/Iryna Kalamurza

If you’re new to solo traveling, there are a couple of tips you won’t want to miss.

Dos

  1. STAY IN A HOSTEL! This is very important. I know that it’s tempting to find a nice little Air B&B to stay cozy in, but solo travel is not about being cozy! It’s about seeking adventure. I recommend finding a youth hostel to meet lots of people your age. As a woman, I always booked the female-only dorms and met the most beautiful women from all over the world. If you’re not a planner (like me) it’s the best way to jump onto someone else’s plans. You never know who you’ll meet and where you’ll end up when you leave it all open to chance. Check out hostelworld.com for quick bookings and easy finds.
  2. DO A WALKING TOUR RIGHT AWAY. Walking tours are perfect for getting your bearings in a new city. They’re also good for meeting people that speak the same language as you. For more information about walking tours, check out my recent article on Trillmag: A City In A Day: The Traveler’s Guide To Efficient Sightseeing
  3. STAY OPEN. A plan is good to some extent, but try not to get so set in your own ways when you’re solo traveling. It’s important to be open to change and trying new things and the best way to do that is to take whatever opportunities arise. Be able to bounce back too if what you thought your plan was doesn’t work out. One time when I was in Cinque Terre, I had a kayak tour booked that I was really looking forward to. The waves happened to be too big that day, so the tour was cancelled. I suddenly found myself with my whole day free, so I asked the kayak tour guide what to do, and he gave me a map and a bottle of water and told me to go to the mountains. Twenty two miles and a sunburn later, I had seen the most beautiful views that I had ever laid my eyes on and breathed the freshest air my lungs have ever felt. Adaptability!

Don’ts

Two people sat on a cliff edge watching several hot air balloons in the sky.
Credit: Shutterstock/goffkein.pro

A few things to make sure you do NOT do:

  1. HAVE HEADPHONES IN. This is a big one for my fellow Gen Zers. I know how lovely it is to wander about with your favorite song blasting in your ears, but if you’re not careful you’ll miss the world around you! With taking in a new destination there comes a duty to experience it in its full glory- use all five senses. See it all, taste it all, touch the earth, breathe in the new scents, and listen to what’s happening in the streets and in nature.
  2. USE YOUR PHONE IN PUBLIC. It’s difficult to walk up to a restaurant and ask for a table for one, and most of our immediate responses would be to sit down and go on our phones to save ourselves from any awkwardness or discomfort. It takes a learning curve, but it’s an important part of the solo travel experience to just be. Ask your waiters questions about themselves, watch all the other people in the restaurant, and reflect on the thoughts in your mind. Hang out with yourself, not with your phone. That’s what it’s all about!
  3. STICK TO CONVENTION. This is mostly in regard to meeting new people. Forget the small talk! These conversations and the people you will encounter are so fleeting during travel that it’s important to let go of any social convention to learn from these new people. There is nothing conventional about being completely alone in a new country anyway! For instance,”Hi I’m Catherine. What do you really want to do with your life that you’re avoiding out of fear?” That’s usually a good starter. Also, don’t be afraid to insert yourself. If the girls in your hostel room are having a conversation, join in. If there’s not a vibe, chances are you won’t see them again! It’s always worth a shot.

Safety tips

Travel rucksack, hat and camera
Credit: Shutterstock/GP PIXSTOCK

Now it’s time for the specifics of traveling solo as a woman. As disappointing as it is, being a young woman adds a level of danger that other solo travelers don’t have to experience. It’s important to balance fun with safety. Below are a few tips and reminders to make your travels smoother.

  • Share your location with someone you trust in the same time zone if possible. It’s just good to have someone knowing where you are.
  • Update your loved ones! It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, but shoot a text every once in a while when you’re changing locations.
  • Keep a charger with you. Although I did suggest not going on your phone, it’s necessary to have it ready to be used just in case.
  • Try not to go out alone at night. It’s tempting to experience the nightlife of new places, but make sure you find a good group of girls beforehand. During my travels, if I hadn’t made friends that day, I would simply go out to dinner myself and try to be back in my hostel before it was very dark. If you’re in a good hostel, chances are there will be activities going on in the common areas anyway.
  • Don’t be afraid to be mean. Heavy on this one as a woman. It’s so ingrained in us to be polite, but if someone is making you uncomfortable it is more than okay to abruptly end an encounter or simply say no. It’s tempting to let the moment pass and laugh awkwardly at a gross joke, but let this part of the article serve as your reminder not to. If you feel safe enough to do so, call them out. If you don’t feel safe, YOU OWE THEM NOTHING. Simply remove yourself from the situation as fast as possible.

Last summer I had a man say to me “Are you alone? You’re brave.” To which I responded “Yes, but also smart.” The implication behind the word brave was unsettling to me, and reminded me that it’s important to be firm and keep my wits about me. You know yourself. Be brave AND smart.

Influencer testimony

Solo Traveler influencer Kasey Dellapenna also offers some insight into the world of solo traveling. In a brief online interview, she touched on safety as well, in addition to the joys of her experiences. Let’s read what she has to say.

Pay more for safety. I used to do whatever it took to save the most money but now I will pay a bit more for comfort and safety.

Kasey

She went on to say, “I don’t often feel unsafe when I travel because the world is actually a very kind and loving place but when I am, I always make sure that I have data whether it’s e-sims or my T-Mobile plan so I can always contact someone if I need to. Again, I pay more for safety. If that’s staying in a better part of town or taking a taxi home instead of walking, etc.”

Kasey brings up a good point. Budgeting is an important part of traveling, but it is necessary to pay more for safety, it’s not something that you should skip out on to save money. If it comes to giving up takeout and cooking in your hostel, then do that instead.

Growth!

Kasey also described the growth that comes with solo traveling as a woman. She said:

I think solo traveling is incredibly life changing and teaches you skills beyond what you think you are capable of. When you’re solo, no one but you is responsible for booking the plane ticket, making sure you get to the train station on time, navigating a foreign subway station, etc. It’s an empowering feeling to know you can make all this happen with no one’s help and it gives you the courage in all aspects of your life.

Kasey

The freedom and learned independence! After all, you are you for the rest of your life. It’s a beautiful thing to know that you can do anything you put your mind to. Check out her link tree for some more insight on solo travel: Kasey’s Links and scan the QR code below to watch one of her videos:

If you want to hear more from Kasey, follow her Instagram account @kaseymeetsworld and her Tik Tok @kaseymeetsworld. She offers endless tips and stories!

Your turn

Female sat in train. Looking out window.
Credit: Shutterstock/Natee Meepian

I hope you can walk away from this article feeling more knowledge about the trials and tribulations of solo traveling as a woman. Most importantly, I hope you feel inspired! There is no better time than now to go out and see the world, so start booking those trips. You never know where the wind will blow you…

In conclusion, the world is yours fellow travelers!

Written By

Hello! My name is Katie and I'm a travel writer for Trill Mag. I'm from Chicago, but currently living in Dublin, Ireland for college at TCD. I'm OBSESSED with traveling and experiencing all the world has to offer, and writing is a wonderful outlet for all that life on the road has taught me. It's beautiful to be alive!

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement
Advertisement

You May Also Like

Health & Wellbeing

Edging can be fun but your emotions are not supposed to be toyed with.

Health & Wellbeing

“It Girl”, a phrase describing the best of the best is taking over this summer. The term “It Girl” is known as being successful,...

Entertainment

Six of the greatest hits to add to your summer list: Twin Peaks, The O.C., Bridgerton, Sex and The City, The Bear, and Gravity...

Art

The Walker Art Center's new exhibit on Keith Haring remembers what we may have forgotten of the pop artist nearly 40 years after his...

Copyright © 2024 Trill Mag