Travel advice for single women

Women are travelling alone more and more. Going solo comes with some obvious perks – you can make your own itinerary and go where your heart desires without having to accommodate anyone else. But if you aren't prepared, travelling on your own can also open the door to both small-scale headaches and serious safety threats. If you're planning to go it alone, here are a handful of wise tips to make your trips as safe as possible
Travelling alone. Photo: Shutterstock
Travelling alone. Photo: Shutterstock

1. Be mindful of what's in your suitcase

Not only does overpacking increase the risk for lost luggage, it also means you have more stuff to keep track of during your trip. Aim to take just one carry-on bag whenever possible. On your packing list, be sure to throw in an international phone card for emergencies, as well as an old-school paper map in case you lose your phone or the battery dies unexpectedly. While asking for directions and chatting to locals can be a fun way to meet people, you'll feel on edge if you have no way of knowing where you are.

2. Share your trip itinerary

Even if you're itching to hit the road and get out of town, let someone at home know about your travel plans. Share information like your holiday itinerary, flight numbers and hotel reservations with someone you trust so that you're always within reach – even if you happen to be on the other side of the world. This also means they know where or how to contact you if there's an emergency back home. 

3. Invest in the help of a local expert

Going it alone can be a daunting prospect, especially when you're travelling independently and without plans. Instead, get your holiday organised with the help a local tour operator before your depart. Insight Guides' local experts are based in destinations around the world and will help you plan and book your trip from start to finish. Meaning when you arrive all you have to do is enjoy yourself!

4. Protect important documents

A traveller's most valuable possession is her passport. Taking the extra steps to safeguard important documents like tickets, reservations numbers and the like might be something you thank yourself for later. Photograph these crucial docs before your trip, then email them to yourself so you have an electronic copy in case they go missing.

5. Plan transportation ahead of time

Even if you're travelling to a popular destination that's thought to be safe, searching for a cab with suitcase in hand isn't the most secure way to get around. Plan your journey to your accommodation before you get going. It might pay to drop a little more money on private transfers. If you can, try to avoid departing or arriving while it's dark.

6. Split up your money

This little hack is a simple one that goes a long way. Upon arriving at a new destination, take a minute to split up your cash. Leave some in your hotel safe and some in your wallet. Some female solo travellers even advise stashing large bills in your bra. In case you get pick-pocketed, at least you won't find yourself broke.

7. Know where you're going

Before leaving home, do a little bit of research. Check to see if there are any travel advisories or newsworthy things going on. You'll also want to find out about any entry requirements that may affect your travel plans. In addition to knowing your hotel address, take it a step further and jot down the location of your country's embassy. In the event of a real emergency, this bit of information will come in handy.

8. Be sensible and trust your instincts

Finally, it pays to be aware and use your common sense while you're on the road. This applies to travelling in groups just as much as travelling on your own, however. Be sure to keep your wits about you and trust your gut: if anything feels off, it probably is. 

Ready to travel solo and have an adventure? Insight Guides is here to help:

Browse our ready-made trip itineraries to over 100 destinations worldwide (all of which you can go on alone) or talk to a local expert today to create a tailor-made itinerary exclusively for you