A lot of experts suggest traveling alone even at least once in a lifetime—girls included—as it is extremely good for the mind and the soul. However, the ladies are of a special lot when it comes to topics such as this. For one, women are more prone to danger.
As a woman, you should not stop the different kinds of violence and tragedies happening all over the world from traveling alone. But you can take some precautions to ensure your safety and enjoy traveling:
1. Avoid being spontaneous. It is okay to be spontaneous or “not plan” where to go and what to do. But do this only when you are quite familiar with the place. Otherwise, plan ahead. Of course, you will never know what to expect regardless of how many times you have been there, but it is still a lot better to come prepared. Find out more about your chosen locations: the best times to walk around, the ideal modes of transport for solo travelers, the areas you should avoid as much as possible, etc.
2. Travel light. This is going to be quite hard to do for you, as you probably do not want to leave a lot of your great clothes behind. But there are many benefits of having only a few bags to tag along. First, you worry less since you do not need to keep an eye on a lot of things. Second, when you have to leave a hotel or a place as soon as possible because you do not feel safe anymore, you can do so.
3. Dress appropriately. Contrary to popular belief, tourists are often very easy to spot by the locals. You just do not move or act the way they do. However, it is still more recommendable if you can try to blend in. One of the best ways is to dress accordingly. Some countries are pretty conservative, and they are uncomfortable seeing women who walk around in shorts and spaghetti straps. In Thailand, you are not allowed to enter any of their temples wearing sleeveless tees and blouses. Dressing right also makes you harder to spot by the local criminals.
4. Keep those hotline numbers on speed dial. One of the things you should research before you land or travel is numbers of the police, fire, and a number of hospitals that are close to where you are staying or planning to visit. Again, you will never know what is going to happen. It’s best if you can ask for help at any time. You can even save them on speed dial since you’re likely to forget long numbers when in a state of panic or worry.
5. Find a companion. Traveling alone doesn’t have to mean all by your lonesome all throughout. There are a lot of great Internet boards and sites where you can find travel companions who live in the area you’re going to visit. They can act as your local guides and provide another kind of experience—traveling with a new found friend, that is.
Raivis Binde is founder and chief editor of SoloTurist. He writes a travel dating blog to help people find each other who hate to travel alone.