For women travelling solo for the first time, it can seem extremely daunting. You will start having millions of questions, your mind will get filled with worried, and in times like this making, a choice can get difficult. The situation gets even more challenging since there are very few places where you will find the answers to all those questions that have been bothering you.
While solo traveling can be scary for both men and women, there are certain things that women have to be a little more careful about.
However, there are very few more liberating and amazing activities than travelling alone. Hence, to keep your worries away we have answered some of the most common questions asked before you embark on your journey:
At some point in our lives, we all just want to pack a bag, forget our worries and head off to the sunset to visit any place that our heart desires. Yet, in the real world, this utopia might be a little hard for females!
Before even embarking on a solo trip women are often found wondering how safe is it really to be alone girl traveling around the big bad world?
While it may sound daunting at first, solo travelling for females isn’t as scary as the world makes it out to be. While women certainly have to be more careful and actually actively stay safe; something that men travelling doesn’t have to do; yet over the years, it is becoming easier.
More and more women are venturing out and claiming their independence. This has pushed many countries, hotels and even travel agencies like Memorable India to actively make things safer for women. More hotels, restaurants, and bars are now taking extra care of ensuring that a woman traveller is safe and comfortable.
However, a lot depends on where you are going, what kind of culture, place, and location it is at. Before actually travelling out you need to engage yourself into a lot of research, to ensure that the place is safe enough for you to travel alone.
Some factors to keep in mind while researching are:
All of these will allow you to somewhat ascertain how safe the place is. Then you can wash the worry off your face and travel away! Also remember, travelling solo for the first time is hard for everyone regardless of gender.
There is no magical or golden age for you to be ready enough or mature enough to travel alone. The interesting part is, travelling solo will make you more independent and mature, and you will come back to a different and better person.
Everyone at every age can travel solo. You do. Not have to worry about that part. All you need is confidence, curiosity, desire and an open mind. Age is nothing but a number!
The next very important step is how to break the news to your near and dear ones who may not be so open to a solo girl travelling abroad. This problem is more common than people think, and many females do not travel alone due to this.
The most important thing to remember is that – the no.1 reason why your near and dear ones are against the idea is that they are worried about your safety. You need to thus, ensure them that you will take proper precautions to keep yourself safe.
Talk them through the process: Explain to them why you want to go out. Be confident yourself and tell them you will ensure that everything is in place before venturing out.
Make them a part of the planning: When you do start planning your trip let your family also be a part of it. Let them check out the place you want to travel to, the hotel you want to stay in and where all you want to go to.
Make a communication plan: When you are travelling alone it is a great habit to continuously be in touch with your family and friends. This will tell them that you are safe and happy. So just make a plan and discuss how you will keep in touch with them while you are out exploring the wilderness.
The great part about the internet is that it allows you to get in touch with people who are also facing the same jitters as you are. Several personal networks are active and running.
If you want you can easily put up a Facebook post and wait to see if your friends know someone from that area- or someone who is also going to that area.
Join Facebook Group Indian Solo Travellers to find Fellow Female Travellers.
There are also several online platforms for solo female travellers where they share their experiences, plans, and tips.
This is the best way not only to connect to females who have already done this before, but this will also make you a smart traveller, as you will learn their tips and tricks.
The networks are also a great way to talk to like-minded people and ask them any questions you might be having before your trip.
The best news is that most of the countries, especially those that are tourist reliant are extremely friendly and safe towards women. You will have no problems whatsoever.
But, just to be on the safer side, you should check and research about the place you are going to and get a wholesome picture. You can also ask any of your friends and family if they have visited the place you have in mind.
A simple google search for places safe for solo female travellers in India will also give you more ideas and help you plan better.
Another extremely frequently asked question is where to say in said place. Once you have finalized your travel destination, your next job is to find a suitable hotel or Airbnb to stay at.
Before choosing a hotel or Airbnb or any other accommodation you must make sure the place, location, and area are safe.
Make sure you check the following before making a chose about your accommodation.
Location: Do a quick google maps search and see what kind of a place it is. Read all the possible reviews, and quickly identify all the public transport, restaurants and hotel nearby. You need to stay in an area that is even safe at night, so opt to stay at a busy street rather than a remote quiet neighborhood.
Safety: Except for the area also look into the hotel amenities. Check whether the hotel has 25 hours of reception or lockers or other such facilities.
The best advice for every traveller whether travelling in a group or solo is- TRAVEL LIGHT. Even if you are travelling alone just pack basic clothes and accessories and don’t overburden yourself. For female solo travellers especially it is best to keep your luggage as light as possible, as you will have to take it off the conveyor belt in the airport and move it around.
This part of your packing will solely depend on which country or place you are going to. You need to understand the culture, tradition and appreciate the dress code of that place before you pack. Even the weather condition of the place matters a lot
For example: If you are going to Qatar then carry more covered clothes rather than those sleeveless tops. However, if you are going to Hawaii you can bring out your bikinis and keep your jackets at home.
Women often tend to carry a lot of expensive jewellery when they travel. However, if you are going out on a solo journey then it is best to leave the jewellery away.
Also, keep your cash in different places. You can roll your cash in your socks or shoes. Make sure you do not carry a lot of cash and be more dependent on credit cards.
Try and avoid extremely expensive things and stick to the necessities. Just be aware of your documents like – Visa, Passport, Healthcare insurance, cash, cards, and other such documents. Have a lot of photocopies of documents like Visa, Passport, Healthcare insurance and photo id and put one in all of your suitcases.
The harsh reality is that when you are travelling alone without a male, you will be getting a lot of stares and eyes following you around. While the best way to move forward is to stick to crowded tourist places and ignore them.
However, at times it can get too much. In times like this stick to a tourist place and get into any of the sightseeing groups. This will deflect much of the attention from you as it makes it seem like you are with a group.
You must also be careful as to what you wear or what kind of gestures are appropriate in the country. For example: If you wearing shorts in Varanasi in India, then you will surely attract a lot more attention than you need to.
You need to keep your knees, shoulders, and chests covered in most of the countries you are travelling alone to.
Also, do not go out at night or get too drunk as this again will attract a lot of unwarranted attention.
Dress like locals: You need to make sure that you dress as the locals do. This way you will blend in easily and you can avoid unwanted stairs.
Do not get too drunk or behave in an outlandish manner. Just be respectful to everyone and be alert.
Do not indulge in too much flirtation: When approaching men to make sure that you do not engage in flirting or lead anyone on in any way. This can get you unwanted attention. However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot at all talk to men or you should stay away from them. On the contrary, most of the men will be extremely cordial and helpful and you might even make great friends along the way.
While a lot of solo female travellers believe that asking help or talking to locals can be difficult, the opposite is true. It is pretty easy to chat up with a local and talk to them.
Most of the time you will find locals are really warm and they even find it enchanting and excited to talk to tourists. You can get some of the best travelling tips from them.
Just be aware to not share too many private and personal details like where you are staying or that you are travelling alone.
When you are travelling to a new place then being alone all the time can get awkward. You might feel weird to go into restaurants and ask for a table for one. While it is not so easy to do away with these feelings, but you can certainly make it better.
Just hold your head up high, ask for help if you need to understand anything and take a book to the restaurant.
Always remember that you aren’t alone and there are several people around you. These people re also strangers whom you might never might again, so their judgments won’t matter. Take this time out to introspect and fall in love with yourself- a thing that women are seldom taught.
Loneliness gets to me about as often as it used to get to me before I started travelling.
I think it comes down to remembering that life is still life and there are up days and there are down days. It can’t all just be perfect all the time, and travelling won’t change the nature of being alive. It’s a great chance to get to love the time spent with yourself, and that’s the benefit of solo travelling at times.