Aug 23, 2018 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Follow your intuition! Always!
Countries Great for beginner Solo Travel