Solo Female Travel

 

Solo travel allows you to step outside your comfort zone, gives you confidence, and allows you to move on your own terms. Men and women both need to worry about personal safety while traveling but there are things that tend to happen exclusively to women. This doesn’t mean we can’t travel alone. It means we have to take more precautions. I understand the frustration of having to keep a voice in the back of my head, of having to keep my guard up. Where for men, safety isn’t as big of an issue. Some women say we project these problems, but the honest reality is we do need to take more precautions than men. But the happy reality is we can do solo travel and look out for each other.

On our trip I was assaulted by a man. It wasn’t in a seedy alleyway it was in broad day light in a street packed with hundreds of people and I wasn’t even by myself! I was walking down the most popular section of town when a man came up from behind me and grabbed my breast. I was carrying a grocery bag and I swung that bag around and hit him back and forth across the face several times. Then I yelled that he isn’t allowed to touch me and in all honesty I may have called him a F###er. EVERYONE on the sidewalk stopped and stared. Then I turned and continued walking. That was the whole encounter.

The encounter didn’t scare me. It made me think, and I want it to make you think too. Because this (and much worse) can happen and is probably more likely to happen when we’re out exploring someplace new.

 

 Top 7 Tips

 

 

  1. Whenever taking an Uber or Taxi never give away that you are alone, especially if they ask. Always pretend like you are about to meet someone at your designated destination.  If you are feeling really uneasy about a ride pull out your phone and pretend to be talking to the person you are meeting. Talk about places you are passing and things you are seeing as if you are letting them know how close you are to arriving. Or just ask them stop and get out right then. Alexandra -our nanny – always pretended like she was going to meet someone when off on her own. Once a taxi driver in Portugal said it was a shame she is meeting someone because he would love to kidnap her. He probably just had a weird sense of humor but honestly who knows.
  2. Be careful when following Google Maps and other navigation apps. There are so many countries where these apps will take you down some pretty weird roads. Try to look at a map yourself to have a better understanding of the area you will end up in.
  3. Find out what the local dress customs are for women. I know you want to dress how you want but if you don’t fall in line with local customs you are painting a target on your back and asking for unwanted attention.
  4. Always find out what your nearest subway stop/public transport stop is. Memorize it! That way if your phone dies or is stolen you can still make your way back to your accommodations.
  5. Ask local women (like an employee at the place you are staying) if it is safe to walk around the area at night. They often provide insightful information.
  6. One of the best parts of traveling is meeting new people. When you are  on your own you should always take precautions. When Alexandra (our nanny) would meet people and go on outings with them she would always get all their contact details, the address to where they would be, their phone number (make sure to text them to confirm everything) and we would often connect on Facebook. You can always send these details to a friend or family member. Remember that anyone with good intentions won’t mind sharing their detail with you at all, it’s not weird and always better safe than sorry.
  7. Follow your intuition! Always!

 

 

Countries Great for beginner Solo Travel

 

 

New Zealand

Australia

Italy

France

Germany

Ireland

Scotland

England

Iceland

Norway

Denmark

Hungary

Croatia

Japan

Canada

Spain

Portugal

Switzerland

 

 

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8 Comments
  • Danielle W.
    Posted at 20:26h, 23 August Reply

    Can I also add something about using Uber? When your car pulls up, don’t ask them their name to confirm that they’re your driver. Instead, ask them “who are you here to pick up?” If it is your driver, then they’ll say the name you gave them. If it’s not your driver, then they either won’t have a name, or it’ll be an incorrect name.

  • Allie
    Posted at 00:20h, 24 August Reply

    Love this! I’m hoping on going on a solo around the world trip in the next few years and have never traveled alone. I will definitely be using these tips when I go!

    • Kenzie Tillotson
      Posted at 11:17h, 26 August Reply

      Everyone is in shock when something like this happens. That’s the most normal response in the world. ❤️

  • Tabitha
    Posted at 03:53h, 25 August Reply

    Exact same thing happened to me when I was living abroad. But,I was in shock and just froze. Thanks for sharing. ☺️

  • Marium Suliman
    Posted at 03:54h, 25 August Reply

    Your blogs are always so insightful, and yes we’re a little alike in the fact that I too wouldn’t hesitate to punch anyone in the face or anywhere else for that matter if they overstepped their boundaries.
    Honestly I’m confident enough to travel on my own but I wouldn’t do it because of the stigma attached to muslim women these days, I’m more afraid of being a target of abuse or harassment on top of being a woman.
    However within my own country I have and do travel alone and if you’re Street smart then you shouldn’t have any problems.

  • Clara Bo
    Posted at 03:55h, 25 August Reply

    Thanks McKenzie ! It’s super helpful..
    terrible right to have to take more precautions .. but better be safe !!

  • Maria Saraiva
    Posted at 11:16h, 26 August Reply

    Im sorry Alexandra had that experience with the taxi driver in Portugal.

    • Kenzie Tillotson
      Posted at 11:17h, 26 August Reply

      It could have been in any country -honestly – it’s not the country I think it’s more being female

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