Traveling to another country can be intimidating as a solo female traveler, especially if you haven’t done it before. Of course, many things can happen throughout your trip and if you’re not ready, then you may simply end up ruining the whole experience. Planning your trip doesn’t end with booking your flights and making a hotel reservation. There are a lot of things that make up a well-planned trip to make it safe and successful. As a female traveler, and also a solo one, it is completely normal to feel a little bit anxious and to get rid of that anxiety doing research and preparation is a must. So, to help you with that, this article contains useful tips for solo female travelers in order to guarantee safe travel to remember.
1) SETTING THE BUDGET
As a first time solo traveler, the first important thing you have to consider is the budget you will have for your trip. First of all, check your bank account and know how much you are willing and able to spend on your trip. Of course, you don’t want to plan a trip you know you would not be able to pay for. By knowing your budget, you will be able to discover the best destination for you. Keep in mind that travel expenses vary from city to city.
2) CHOOSING THE DESTINATION
As a first time solo traveler, I’d suggest for you to not go too far. For a first time traveler, going locally would be recommended. However, if you really want to go internationally, then I’d suggest for you to go to a country where English is their first language or a country where it is widely spoken (if you also are English speaking!). This way, you can easily communicate in case you need help from the locals.
It is also important to consider your interests. Do you like museums, beach, extreme activities, parties, cultures, nature, food, or shopping? Make a list of what interests you and narrow downs the destinations that offer those until you decide on which one to choose. And as mentioned earlier, the budget also has a big part in deciding which destination you should go to. Know the average daily expenses of the place you are planning to go and see whether you can afford it or not.
3) BOOKING THE FLIGHTS
One of the common mistakes done by first-time solo travelers is to book right away after deciding on the destination to go. I’m guilty of this! But because I don’t want you to commit the same mistake, let me tell you that there are many hacks for booking cheap flights. One of which is booking through third-party websites like Skyscanner. From there, you can see which airline offers the lowest fare. You may also wait for some promos, so it will be a smart idea to find flight a couple of months before your intended trip.
4) BOOK THE ACCOMMODATIONS
Booking your reservation depends on what kind of person you are in terms of your social skills. As a solo traveler, the ideal place to stay is at a hostel. This is where you’ll have to sleep in a dorm together with other travelers, normally those who also travel solo. Hostels are generally safe and affordable. Additionally, hostels are the best places to stay if you want to meet interesting people.
But then again, not everyone is outgoing or used to sleeping in the same room with strangers, so perhaps staying at a hotel would be a better option. Just like booking your flight, there are dedicated third-party websites where you can book a room. TripAdvisor would be a great place to start.
5) PLANNING THE ITINERARY
When it comes to planning for the itinerary, you have to know that this should involve a lot of research. First, decide on how long you are going to travel for, and then look for all the activities your destination offers. Be realistic, though! You cannot always do everything within 2 days. Consider also how far one location is from another when you are planning to do multiple activities in one day.
On the other hand, if the idea of planning is still stressful for you, there are many tour agencies that are ready to set up your itinerary for you. Normally, these tours include the transport and entrance fee to certain locations.
When you travel alone for the first time, your main concern is probably your safety, and this is completely understandable. Here are some tips to keep you safe no matter where in the world you are.
1) LEARN THE LAW AND CULTURE
This is crucial. You have to know that every country applies different law and beliefs. So, make sure to check your destination’s dos and don’ts in order to keep yourself away from trouble. From dress code to dining etiquettes, it is best to familiarize yourself with these things.
2) KEEP IT LOW-KEY
Don’t show off your gadgets or jewelry when you travel especially when you are at a crowded place where you are prone to pickpockets.
3) HAVE SAFETY DEVICES
You can find a lot of safety devices on the market that work as good self-defense weapons. You can bring pepper spray, a rape alarm, and a stun gun, but of course, make sure you get them through the airport security.
4) INFORM YOUR LOVED ONES
No matter where you go and what you do, it is important to inform your loved ones back home about your whereabouts. It is also important for you to always have contact numbers of local police in case you need their assistance.
A lot of first-time travelers’ biggest mistake is to not pack properly for their trip. Here are useful hacks you can follow when packing for your trip.
1) CHOOSING THE BEST LUGGAGE
First of all, you have to choose the luggage best suited for your trip. You have to choose between a suitcase and a backpack. But then again, this should depend on your preference and destination. Some people want the convenience of simply lugging their luggage around, so they will simply use a suitcase with trolleys. On the other hand, some people find it convenient to use a backpack especially if their itinerary includes riding different types of transport such as ferry or bus. There are also locations that are not suitcase friendly such as those places with rough roads.
2) CHOOSING YOUR CLOTHING
A lot of frequent travelers rely on the travel packing hack of rolling clothing before putting it into suitcases, rather than doing the traditional method of folding them. Firmly rolling the pieces of clothing cannot just reduce the space needed inside your luggage; it could also reduce the wrinkling that you’d usually see when you choose to fold your clothes.
When you choose your clothing to pack, you may want to plan your travel clothing around neutral color, in order for you to easily mix and match them. Don’t forget to bring an article of clothing that you can use to layer your clothing. Bringing a cardigan or jacket would be recommended. You must also know the temperature of the place you are going to go. If you are planning to go to the beach, then make sure to bring a proper swimsuit and flip flops. Unless you are going to a cold country, you may want to leave your boots and thick jacket at home because they will just consume a lot of space in your bag and make it heavier.
3) USE AN ORGANIZER
Packing cubes are a game changer. Whether you are using a backpack or a suitcase, it is worth to invest in a set of packing cubes because it will make packing and getting your stuff from your bag easier than ever. If there’s one thing I regret about my travels, it is not using packing cubes earlier, as they could have saved me from a lot of trouble with packing my stuff.
4) USE TRAVEL-SIZED TOILETRIES
This is very important. Airlines don’t allow their passengers to carry bottles with more than 100 ml of liquid in it. In order to keep your beauty and hygiene products from being confiscated, invest in travel-sized toiletries. You can buy empty travel bottles made of silicon or plastic which are truly useful.
5) LEAVE YOUR HAIR IRON AND HAIR DRYER
First of all, not all countries have the same voltage, so bringing these appliances would be risky. Secondly, most hotels have them, so you don’t have to worry about not getting your hair dry right away after taking a shower.
6) BRING A UNIVERSAL ADAPTER
Save yourself from the trouble of finding an adapter to charge your electronics and bring a universal adapter with you. Not all countries have the same wall plug, so having an adapter would be a smart move.
7) MAKE A CHECKLIST
Make a checklist of everything you want to bring. Then check it again, consider the ones you think you would not need because traveling light is always better. You must also consider if you are planning to buy stuff while you are traveling, so make sure to leave space in your bag.
There’s no need to sweat about traveling as a female solo traveler for the first time. You are able to have a relaxing and fun trip with minimal hassle as long as you plan and prepare yourself. Following the tips mentioned in this article will help you concentrate on what’s important: having a good time and enjoying every moment of it.
Do you have any of your own solo female travel tips? Please share your own tips and questions in the comments below. Read Next > 9 Tips for Solo Female Travel