Chelsea Capwell, our Marketing Manager, has traveled thousands of miles solo and wanted to share some of her favorite Solo Female Travel Tips, in celebration of International Women’s Day!
Being prepared for any trip starts with doing your research! I like to talk to friends and family that may have been to destinations I am interested in, put together a budget, and start looking into places I want to visit and things I want to do. I save everything in my phone in an album and notes I can easily access without WiFi.
Make sure someone you trust back home knows your travel details and schedule. With today’s technology, you can easily plan check ins with them. Make sure you have you have the name, address, and phone number of the place you’re staying written down and with you too, in case your phone dies. If someone asks where you are staying, you don’t have to be polite either – be vague sharing information like that with strangers.
Protect your belongings - especially your wallet, travel documents, and valuables like a phone or camera. Travel insurance plans can help you protect your belongings in case they are lost or stolen, but most plans have a limit – check your specific plan for details. Try to keep valuables hidden and keep copies of your documents secure and separate in case the originals are stolen. Always separate your cash and keep it in multiple places. It is best to keep it hidden on your person, and only pull out what you need, out of sight. If you need a little cash for a gratuity, keep it easily accessible and away from your larger amounts of cash. Some solo female travelers prefer to use rideshare apps over taxis, that way there is no exchange of currency, and your location is documented.
Pharmacies in other countries are not as accessible and on every street corner like here in the US. Be sure to pack your essential toiletries and medications, even those over the counter ones! You do not want to be in the situation where you need something and can’t find it nearby.
Trust your instincts – if something doesn’t feel right, take action. I once checked into a hotel that was definitely not in a safe area, or as described or pictured online. I immediately went to the front desk, cancelled my room, called a cab, and searched for a well-known hotel chain to stay at – where I would be safe and comfortable too. The added expense was well worth it. The next time I visited that city, I knew where to book a room!
Social Media is a big one for me. I personally will not post about my trip publicly until I have returned and I am safely back at home. This not only keeps you safe while you’re in a foreign place potentially tagging specific points of interest and making yourself a target there, it also keeps your belongings safe at home too. Plus, you will have more time in the moment to enjoy your experiences and then sit down and share all the experiences and amazing photos you took later on. If you do want to post in the moment, consider changing your settings so only friends or family can see where you are in realtime.
Be confident! Just appearing like you are aware of your surroundings can make all the difference. Don’t get distracted. Also doing your research and dressing like a local, rather than a tourist will make you stand out less. Keep jewelry to a minimum.
Dress appropriately for activities too – my hiking boots may not be the most photo worthy, but when I realized my guide was wearing the same kind of boots half way up a glacier, I felt pretty good about my purchase. You do not want to be the person who is told they can’t participate in something because they wore the wrong footwear!
Afraid of handing your phone or camera to a stranger to a take a photo of you at a famous landmark, or tired of selfies? Book a photo shoot with a local photographer! Their local knowledge will not only help you see the sights on less crowded off hours, they will get stunning photos that are lightyears better than anyone on the street could have taken of you. Pack a nice outfit, or better yet purchase something at your destination, to make the photos extra special. You will cherish them for a lifetime!
A Travel Insurance plan with 24 Hour Travel Assistance Services offer a wide range of help and advice that can be useful if you find yourself in an unfortunate situation. They can help with travel document and ticket replacement, emergency cash transfers, medical assistance and evacuation, and much more. If you’re in an unfamiliar place, these services can be invaluable, especially as a solo traveler.
These are just a few of my recommendations for Solo Female Travel and are in no way a guarantee for safety. However, if you’re educated on your destination, you are always better prepared to enjoy your trip. You can find the best travel insurance plan in 3 easy steps and make an educated purchase through TravelInsuranceMaster.com. Be sure to review your specific plan details for coverages!