As a Solo Women Traveller safety is often a hot topic for us. It is something we hear a lot about from family, friends and often from the media too…
I will never forget, whilst planning my first big OE to Europe, Canada and the US, I decided to invest in a good camera. I went to a local electronics store for advice and told the guy who helped me what I was wanting it for (my first big overseas adventure). This guy’s response was, “have you seen the movie Taken? I hope that doesn’t happen to you”.
I was horrified!! Why the heck would he say something like that?! Needless to say I did NOT buy the camera from him…
So, let’s talk about safety as a Solo Women Traveller.
I want to start by saying – trust your instincts. Don’t do anything stupid. And respect your life.
Here are my tips and advice for safety as a Solo Women Traveller:
- Get travel insurance. This is like having a safety net or back-up plan in place for the worst case scenarios. If something unexpected does happen then this will be an absolute asset.
- Stay sober. The most unwanted attention I have ever received has been in bars/clubs and usually on the dance floor. Staying sober and aware of your surroundings makes it much easier to deal with any of these situations. Always be careful of any drinks that you do have and keep them within your sight. I have been the victim of a spiked drink and it was a horrible experience! Luckily I was out with friends at the time and they were able to look after me.
- Stay up-to-date with travel warnings and information on the destination/s you are travelling to. A simple google search or visit to embassy websites can help with this. In New Zealand we also have www.safetravel.govt.nz where you can stay up to date with this information. You can also register yourself through this site as being out of the country and let them know the places you are visiting in case anything does happen whilst you are overseas. I used this site and registered on it when I travelled through Egypt and Turkey in 2015.
- Do your research. This is a broad tip but I feel it’s a super important one. I like to ask Google for any common scams in the towns/cities I am visiting. You can also ask when you check in at your hotel/hostel for any advice or scams they are aware of. You can search things like areas to avoid or safety tips for this city. Also it can be a good idea to do some research on the culture of the places you are visiting so that you understand what to expect and some of there local customs. I will also research and book a hotel that is central and within walking distance to public transport etc. This way I am not faced with being in backstreet alleyways and dark and scary places late at night(insert scary movie music!)
- Smile (appear friendly). Hopefully you will be smiling because you are having a great time! Smiling also makes you appear confident and friendly. This makes people more likely to help you if you need it.
- Don’t take unnecessary risks. As I said in the beginning, ‘respect your life’. Don’t do anything stupid. If it feels ‘off’ to you then trust your instincts, it probably is off!
- Always let someone know where you are and what your plans are. I usually email back home or tell friends and let them know what my plans are for the day. I also leave copies of my flight itineraries, hotel details and any other travel plans that I have with a family member.
- You can not live from a place of fear. Trust in yourself and the goodness and kindness of human beings. Remember to enjoy the amazing adventure that you are on.
And lastly, I want to ask, what advice would you give to a friend setting off on a solo travel adventure? Give this great advice to your self…
I would love to hear from you! Please add any other tips in the comments below and feel free to ask questions or post advice for other Solo Women Travellers below.
If you are interested in joining our Solo Women Travel Tribe then head on over to: https://www.facebook.com/groups/solowomentraveltribe/ and request to join us!
Until next time… Travel safe!