Traveling solo for the first time can be scary, and as a woman even more so. Even if you’re not worried about venturing out on your own, chances are your mum is worried about you. Here are some safety tips for your first female solo trip – follow these and your parents won’t feel so anxious hugging you goodbye at the airport.
Download an app that tracks where you are
If you’re worried about walking around a new place on your own, there are lots of apps out there that will allow your friends (or mum!) to track your movements.
For example, Safeture will track your GPS coordinates, wherever you are in the world. It will also link you to local emergency services if you need to quickly call the police.
Another great safety app is a Companion. A companion will let your friends and family follow you as you make your journey. If it takes you longer than usual to walk the route, the app will alert your nominated friend and tell them that something is up. Even if your friends don’t have the app, they will be alerted.
Both of these apps are free and available on iOS and Android.
Join groups and forums for solo female travelers
We’re a fan of many of these groups – whether on Facebook or other social media platforms – and follow their advice regularly.
Some favorites are The Travelettes, Wonderful and Pink Pangea. Some of these groups hold meetups around the world and they can be fun to go along to if you are traveling on your own and want to make some new friends.
Sometimes the advice given in these forums has led to us staying in safer areas or avoiding dodgy ones.
Schedule your movements and share them
One thing we like to do to make sure we stay safe is enter in our itinerary on to our Google Calendar and then share it with friends and family.
We always include the address of our accommodation and its phone number. This helps because if our family doesn’t hear from us for longer than usual, they know where to contact first.
Consider pretending you’re married
Although it’s not something we really like to do, some governments, like the US State Department, recommend wearing a fake wedding.
Areas, where this is helpful, is throughout countries in the Middle East where it’s commonplace to be harassed by men who may think you’re single.
Get friendly with the female hostel and hotel workers
Befriending the women who work where you’re staying can be very useful, as they can tell you the areas that aren’t safe to visit in town. They will also get used to seeing you around and will notice if you don’t turn up when you’re meant to.
Asking staff to help you order legitimate and trustworthy taxis is a good idea too. This allows you to avoid being scammed, while also protecting your safety. Always write down your hotel’s address if you are staying in a country where English isn’t the first language. It is not easy to travel solo as a woman. However, The bottom line is to always inform people you trust know of your whereabouts and make yourself contactable.