Are you finally embarking on your trip? It’s great that you would be able to travel the places that you always wanted. You will be able to see new sights, taste new delicacies and experience a different culture. There will be a lot of new experiences that you will go through. And if you are a single woman, the thrill and anticipation of traveling alone will never disappear.
There are many things that could determine how enjoyable your travels will be. For single women, there will be several things that they need to consider before going on a solo trip and during their travels. Solo travel is one of the most challenging adventures you can do if it is your first time. People who have experienced it will be able to share what the advantages and disadvantages of solo travel are especially for single women.
Right now, I will be listing down eleven helpful tips for single women travelers. These things are important in ensuring that you stay safe while traveling and have an enjoyable time. Solo female travelers may be more vulnerable regarding the rules in certain countries. Take note though that some of these tips may be applicable in all counties in the world or may only be applicable in parts. The reason for this is because each country has different rules and culture. Be sure to check specific rules about the country where you are headed to first. Each country has their specific rules regarding appropriate behavior for women. You opinions about these rules may be different but it will always be better to abide by the guidelines of that country. It is for you own comfort as well.
1. Secure your documents
Securing your documents is always important while traveling. When you are getting ready to travel, make sure that your passport is still valid. If not, apply for a new one long before your plan to travel. There are some countries that may not allow you to go in their country if the expiration date is only six months or less.
Make sure that you have the right travel documents and visas for your destination. Check for Foreign Entry Requirements before setting out to your trip.
2. Do your research
Make sure to learn about the places where you plan to visit. Make it an effort to learn about the rules of the country. Always do your research. If there are problems occurring in that country, then you know if you should avoid that place altogether or to just try again when things have calmed down.
3. Things to leave behind
Before you leave, make sure to leave a copy of your detailed itinerary and a copy of your passport’s identification page. You can leave these things to a trusted friend or family. You must also leave information such as names, addresses and telephone numbers of the place where you will be staying. If possible, also include your flight and ticket information.
4. Establish check in dates
To ensure that your loved ones or friends are up to date regarding your status while traveling abroad, you can establish check in dates. These are specific days and times when you will be either calling, e-mailing, faxing or texting to let someone know that you are alright. This is especially important if you are going into countries that currently experience conflict. Just remember that if there will be no calls or delays in the communications, your friend may assume that you have encountered some trouble and are in need of help.
5. Leave valuables at home
If it is not necessary, as much as possible, leave any valuables at home. You can also leave behind extra credit cards and jewelry. My advice would be to use fake jewelry if you use them instead of real ones while traveling. In case your jewelry gets stolen, it would not be such a loss because it was only fake jewelry. That would be because thieves may not know the difference between original and fake jewelry. But of course, it would be best to hope that nothing of that sort happens.
6. Watch your health
Check your health before starting your trip and ensure that you are in good condition to travel. If you have health insurance, make sure that you have adequate coverage while abroad. Check as well if it includes medical evacuations in case of emergency. Some policies may not cover overseas and additional traveler’s insurance may be required for purchase. Always review your insurance policy.
If you have any condition that might develop certain complications, be sure to check first with your doctor before you go abroad. This is applicable especially for pregnant women. You can secure a fit for travel medical certificate just in case. And if you do experience complications, note that a medical evacuation may still take several hours to arrange.
If you are under prescription medication, make sure to carry adequate amount of medication for the whole duration of your trip. If possible, bring extra medication with you. Bring you prescriptions in their labeled containers. Some countries have strict rules against drug trafficking and may be suspicious of unlabeled medicines. Also bring your prescription with you in case you need to run to the nearest pharmacy for an emergency.
7. Use common sense
There will be many instances where common sense will be most useful and safe for you. Use common sense and always be alert of your surroundings. If you are unsure about the local situation (and have read news about unrest in the country you are currently visiting), you can check with your embassy or consulate for the latest security information. One example would be the American Citizens Services section of the local U.S. Embassy.
8. Don’t announce that you are going solo
For safety reasons, it would be best not to announce that you are a solo traveler. You will never know what could happen in that case. For example, it is advised for solo women travelers (especially those that go to the Middle East) to wear wedding bands. Even if you are not attached or single, it is one of the best ways to ward off unwanted attention. If you think or feel that someone is following you, go inside a store or a safe place and wait to check if that person you think is following you has already passed or is still waiting for you. If that person is waiting, then report it to the authorities immediately.
9. Ask questions
Never be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be embarrassed. Everyone needs to ask a question to get an answer to the things that they need. You can always double check to see if everything is safe. Make sure to maintain confidence at all times. Try to look and act as if you know where you are going.
Be sure to ask for directions before you set out if you are not sure of the information that you have. The best people to ask would be the hotel concierge or other hotel staff. If you are lost, don’t be afraid to ask for directions. You may find talking to families or women with children are the safest people to ask. If you have the right information, it could go a long way in ensuring your safety.
10. Choose the right hotel
Get a hotel that has a good security and transportation available nearly. Inspect the doors and windows in your room to verify that they work. If you feel necessary, you can ask the hotel security to escort you to and from parking lots or your room at night. Always use the peephole in your hotel room’s door before admitting anyone into your room.
11. Wear the right clothes
Clothes make a woman. And fashion always makes a statement. Be sure to avoid any misinterpretations by dressing casually. Just be guided though that it is most recommended to avoid wearing clothes that are provocative or inappropriate for other cultures. It is best to avoid any type of harassment caused by provocative clothing. Try to take your cues on the clothes of the local women if possible.
These are just a few of the things you need to take note of if you are a solo, female traveler. This travel guide will let you enjoy more of your life and discover what you can do by traveling solo. Have fun!