More and more women in recent times have taken to traveling alone, whether it is for business or pleasure. Reason being that not only this lets them move around on their own terms, but also helps in instilling in them a sense of liberation against the backdrop of a new country.
While there are inherent perils for any traveler, male or female, a woman when taking a leap for a trip on her own, they say, is certainly exposed to more dangers than men. After many solo escapades, I would have to agree with this. To get past these misconceptions, here is some solid solo female advice from a fellow solo female traveler (yours truly) which will ensure you are safe throughout your escapades.
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Safety Tips for First time Female Solo Travelers
Try to travel during the day
Since I live in New Delhi, I hear this advice from my parents every time I go out at night. I didn’t really pay any head to it until I started traveling solo and had my first few misadventures. So, whenever you plan to take a journey, particularly a long one, make sure you travel during the day. This is because it is a known fact that most untoward incidents happen during night. In case this is unavoidable, travel by a trusted mode of transport and ensure that is sufficiently occupied.
Keeping people back home informed of your whereabouts acts as an excellent security measure when on a trip. While you are free to do what you please, sending a message on a family WhatsApp group or through Facebook, is the perfect way to keep friends and families reassured. As a blogger, being active on social media is part of the job and I feel this is one thing I excel at , provided there is good internet connectivity where I go.
This also allows you to connect with like minded travelers on your journeys which is another great way to stay safe and have fun on the way.
Make caution your watchword
Everybody, these days, travels with a camera, a smartphone, laptop, credit cards and even cash. All these items make attractive targets for thieves. It is best to never flash any of your precious possessions and only take them out when needed.
A smart thing to do is to always keep such items within reach if not within eyesight, along with important documents like passport and purse. I use pick pocket proof clothing while traveling solo which has concealed zips and hidden pockets, this has helped me safeguard my valuables at all times. After being pick pocketed in Bali and left with nothing, I have been extra careful with my belongings.
Use a reliable online transfer booking service
If you are contemplating traveling on your own, then you will surely at some time or the other be needing a transfer from your port of arrival. A new country with a language barrier, problems in exchanging currency or waiting in a long taxi line can cause untold inconvenience, and more so when alone.
It is advisable therefore to choose a comfortable and reliable travel option online, like KiwiTaxi. Their user friendly site allows you to book a vehicle in 82 countries and nearly 500 airports around the world. Clients can opt for any class of car, at extremely reasonable prices, when making the prepayment. An instant receipt, with trip information and contact details of driver is generated by email ensuring a hassle free service.
Always book Hostels or CouchSurf
Staying in hostels or Couchsurfing can pretty much guarantee that you make new friends easily , have fun and stay safe in a group. If you do proper research and planning, you will come across popular hostels with same sex dormitories and even private rooms which you can share with mates. Then there are women’s only guest houses and YMCA to fall back on in most countries.
Be street smart
In a new country, try not to depend on anyone unduly. Carry a map, guidebook, cash and a phrasebook and walk forward purposefully as if you know your way around. In case you land up in unfamiliar territory, seek directions from another woman, or ask a shopkeeper for the way.When using the ATM, withdraw cash during the day in a busy area with plenty of people around.
Traveling alone can become quite daunting at times, but by using common sense and having confidence in your abilities, you can return home with great stories and rich experiences. Personally, I find solo travel to be extremely rewarding and I would highly recommend women to venture out on their own as long as they follow these solo travel tips and are cautious at all times.