Solo travel is the most liberating adventure I’ve ever experienced. Being able to find my way in a foreign country was definitely a confidence boost. Now that I’ve gone through the experience, I can honestly say that booking my ticket was the scariest part of it all.
It’s absolutely reasonable to be concerned about your safety while traveling especially if you’re a woman; hence my tips on how to maintain it while abroad:
Leave Your Itinerary with Family and Friends
Create an itinerary that you can leave behind. I kept in touch with my family and friends daily but I knew it would be wise to leave my flight schedules and the addresses and contact information for the hostels I had reserved.
Learn how I organized my trip.
Opt for Conservative Wear
Research the city beforehand to see what the women there normally wear. You wouldn’t want to wait until your arrival to realize that you may have packed one too many leather skirts.
This also applies to features of yours that might seem unique. Hats are an insult to my curly mane which is why I rarely wear them. However, they do come in handy to detract attention from yourself in the event you come across unfavorable people.
Confidence is Power
Remember RBF? Don’t reserve it just for NYC subways. By demonstrating a firm, self-assured composure, you’re warding off attention from predators.
Avoid evening flights. It’s difficult to find your way at night. I normally try to explore a city during the day time before venturing out at night. Weekends are unique because you can expect to find intoxicated groups. So be careful.
It is important to always be alert during every stage of your travels. Read this article on sexual assault on airplanes.
Download Google Translate
Google Translate allows you to download translations for languages which you can then access offline. You can always impress a local with a greeting or a “thank you” in their culturally spoken language.
“Trust Instinct to the End”
Instincts are an evolutionary mechanism that makes our survival possible. Never ignore them.
Important Information to Know
Visit travel.state.gov to find important information on where to find U.S. Embassies and what to do if you’ve lost your passport.
Have a Plan B
- Hold photocopies of your passport.
- Keep extra cash and/or cards in your luggage. Ensure that your luggage is secured.
- Note important contact information, hostel addresses, and directions in your planner or journal in case you’ve lost access to your phone.