There you are: as a single lady. Take a break, that’s what you want. Leave the daily grind behind you. Unfortunately, not everyone is happy with your plans. You are a women, alone in a foreign country. Is that safe? Is that not scary? But well you want to go anyway, despite what everyone says. That is why I have the ultimate tips here, to travel alone as a single women.
1: Do research
I am not going to lie about it but not all countries are equally friendly. So do research. Go read reviews and ask other travelers but don’t by all the wild stories. Every country has his own things. Of course you will be more likely to be whistle at than in other country or you well be asked to marriage. But these two things can also happen in your own country. So if you want to go to a specifieke country, as a women alone, do research. What are the rules, what kind of clothing is there and what are the safe places.
On different Facebook forums you can ask questions about the safety in a country.
2. Trust your instinct
Never ignore your gut feelings. The gut feelings of a women is often good. Do you not trust that one taxi driver or would you rather not take that drink from that handsome guy at the bar. Just don’t do that! Note: this is not fear but a gut feeling. Follow that!
3. Don’t let fear lead you
Fear can become your biggest negative adviser if you let it. Really, believe me! You must enter in to fear to overcome it. Often enough I’ve heard the question: is it not scary to travel alone as a woman. Traveling alone through Zambia or Asia. Of course there may be a little tension, but do not let it become a fear because fear is the worst counselor there is.
4. Ignore ignore ignore
Are you being whistle by a group of men or is someone trying to pick up a conversation with you? Ignore! Often when you look or go into it, they give a reaction and they think you are interested. Would you like to take a look, to check if everything is going well. Then try to look unnoted. Grab your phone, throw your camera on, turn it into a selfie stand and you have a kind of mirror.
5. You always have a relationship
Except if there is a super nice looking man trying to hit on you. Not all men are bad! But if you don’t want that and you don’t get rid of that person, then you have a relationship! Clear! Unfortunately, this does not always work in all countries. Some men don’t care about whether you have a relationship. Then you can do the following.
6. Wear a wedding ring
Since my trip through Zambia I where a wedding ring. If you wanna read the whole story, you can do it here (only in dutch). But what it comes down to is that Mr. did not accept ‘no’ for an answer because I did not have a wedding ring. So I could just marry him. A wedding ring can command respect and hopefully men can see that you are not available.
7. Dress yourself responsibly
Of course that one red dress is super fun to wear but is it also usefull if you are in an Islamic country and what if you wanna visit a mosque? Right! Look in advance what is expected of you. After all, you are visiting that country and you are a guest. In Aquba – Jordan I saw many tourist women that walked half naked across the street. Short pants where you saw there buttocks and nail belly shirts. Okay, it’s a tourist city, but you can show some respect for there faith and culture.
Tip: take a scarf with you. Should you still cover your legs or arms. You will have this quickly available.
8. Travel with a certain attitude
Someone who is shy and insecure is more likely to be bothered. Show that you know what you doing. Do not get lost and walk with a positive strong posture (head up, shoulders back, smile on your face, look at people when you talk to them). Are getting lost, just go into a shop or hostel/hotel to find out where you are.
9. Buy a small bottle of hair spray
This thing I always have with me when traveling: a small bottle of hairspray. Pepper spray is for bitten in many countries, so thats not handy. I can tell you that hairspray works just as well. Of course pepper spray works much longer but hairspray gives you just that extra time to get away of that scary person.
Please note that hairspray is not allowed in the hand baggage in the airplane
10. Let somebody know where you are going
When you leave, let the home front know where you going. Show your travel plans. Let somebody know when your plan is landing and where. Even if you go into the jungle for 3 days, for example, without any telephone reach, let somebody know. Throw it on Facebook, Twitter or any Social Media account to let people know where you are.
11. Do not let everyone know that you are traveling alone
Do not yell from the rooftop that you are traveling alone. Of course it is not bad to tell to fellow travelers that you traveling alone through Asia, but not everyone needs to know. Some may abuse this.
12. Keep track of your luggage when you travel
Personally, I try to keep track of luggage during traveling. The reason is that I can always leave quickly and I can see what happens to my luggage. If you travel by bus for example, take care of a travel bag for your backpack and if possible take your backpack with you. In a taxi my backpack always goes on the back seat. In a hostel I always make sure there is a locker and if you have a room for yourself – hang up the not disturb card if you leave during the day.
13. Do not drink too much alcohol
Of course, a drink is not bad. I also like to have a drink with a beautiful sunset. But alcohol also makes you vulnerable and numbs you. So you are an easy prey for thieves and men who wanna do bad things to women.
Always make sure you now where your drink comes from. Do not just accept a drink from someone you don’t know. Always keep your drink insight so that you can see what happens with it. I also often keep my hand on my glass and the straw between my fingers.
14. Keep your smart phone close
Make sure you always have your mobile with you. Best is in a bag on your body. If necessary, you can make an alarm or call someone if you don’t feel safe. That is why I buy a simcard with a working number from the country where I am. For example. In Bangkok I called someone because I didn’t feel safe in that neighborhood. By calling I felt immediately safer.
A phone is also useful for the moment that you are lost. You can then find yourself where you need to go. If you are in an emergency situation, make sure that the most important numbers are programmed.
Smart phone and listen to music on the road. Try to do this with one earplug so that you can hear what’s happens around you.
15. Watch where you walk (evening hours)
It is generally known that it’s often less safe in the evening. If you are going to travel somewhere then pay attention to which parts of the city or place where you are staying are becoming more insecure. In Livingstone there was even a curfew. This meant that during the day it was just safe, but after 9 pm you were no longer allowed to drive alone and walk outside. After 9 pm it became really unsafe.
In Livingstone I had not checked on a curfew and I went for a drink while the evening clock had already started. Not my most clever action.
16. Don’t walk around for sale
Here I do not mean the clothes but all the equipment that we carry with us nowadays. I have a lot but I never take a camera bag with me. All my equipment is in a normal looking bag (especially for cameras but not the look). I also never walk open and exposed with my phone. I put the phone in my bra of in a bag that a wear on my body.
Prevention is better than cure
Therefore, these tips are for you. You are not responsible for what happens but you can have an influence on it. Do not dress to challenging, so you attract fewer men with the wrong intentions. Not go through the city with all your expensive equipment, you’ll be notice so much more. Do not say to everyone that you are traveling alone. Not everybody has to know that.
Safe traveling alone as a women?
Of course it is not so dangerous that you can never travel alone and I know enough women who travel alone on a regular basis. You do not have to do all the above tips at the same time. It is of course handy that you are aware of it. Because safety comes first. But really as a women traveling alone, it opens your world. A lot of traveling solo women will say: do it! Go and explore the adventure of your life. You have to protect yourself because not everyone had good intentions with you. But these tips can prepare and prevent you from getting into a bad situation.
Once again, if you still have doubts about traveling alone as a women. The only thing this women can say, who is traveling alone on a regular basis, it that you just have to go. Leave all nasty stories for what it is and go investigate yourself. Avoid the violent countries and look for nice safe places. You will meet your greatest adventure. SO ENJOY…
YOU GO GIRL