Solo Travel for Women Spells Adventure, Freedom and Independence
Solo travel for women has become immensely popular with many ladies finding the time spent alone a rewarding way to see the world.
Whilst traveling alone is empowering. Solo travel, however, is hard for women.
The most adventurous trips are those that you make from your head to your heart. The distance is about a foot.
Solo Travel for Women vs Group Travel.
According to a survey on the Solo Travel Society on Facebook, women are traveling solo far more often than men. Often women take their vacations without their partner. They might start off traveling with a group of women friends.
When I started traveling, I went off with a group of 4 women classmates from high school. Sometimes due to our schedules, we started to travel with other people. Eventually, I started taking off alone.
I meet many women traveling solo far more often than men.
Why do women travel alone?
There are many reasons that some women prefer to take off by themselves. For me, having a travel mate companion with different interests is quite a challenge.
I remember a trip to London taken with a girlfriend. I wanted to watch a musical, she didn’t. in the end, I didn’t either as she kicked up such a fuss of waiting outside in the cold.
Solo travel for women spells adventure, freedom, and independence.
Let’s list down more whys
- taking charge
- starting over
If you get a chance to speak to a solo traveler, you will hear the joy in their voices.
Is it safe for a woman to travel alone?
“Traveling solo is as safe as traveling with others as long as you plan for safety and follow your instincts,” says – Janice Waugh, author of The Solo Traveller’s Handbook and the Solo Traveller Blog.
When I tell people I’m traveling solo, that’s the most common response I get.
“YOU’RE SO BRAVE!”
When I take a trip by myself, my senses are acutely tuned in to my environment. Instantly I shy away from certain people that I meet or stay away from the streets I would walk down.
Millennial women are more at ease traveling by themselves. For older ladies, if they haven’t started, it may take a bit of a challenge to make their first solo trip.
For peace of mind, you may want to take self-defense classes – in reality, women of all ages face certain vulnerabilities on the road. Staying safe for female travelers on the road is very important.
Both men and women have health and personal safety issues of our own to worry about; the same fear of all that nasty stuff – falling sick on the road, snatch thief, robbery, sexual assault, kidnappings.
We have the same issues in our home countries, so we shouldn’t be paralyzed with fear.
The fear factor of being alone when you travel
Traveling by yourself is not easy, having to do things alone, in an unfamiliar environment can be scary.
Overcoming fear is part of the experience.
For extroverts, eating or sightseeing alone can be exciting for them.
It’s a good time to befriend the locals. I enjoy going to the wet markets and eating where the locals’ hangout.
Unavoidable – alone and fearful
The first time I traveled to the airport in Jakarta was 4.30 am for a 6.00 am flight.
Part of staying safe is booking your flights at a decent hour, not the cheapest flight.
In my case, that was the only flight that was available the day I wanted to leave.
I booked a Grab, but the car that came was not the same as shown on the App.
I asked the security and after some fast decision making, the driver, security guard and I agreed that since I couldn’t log into the Grab App; I would just take this ride.
I was a little apprehensive at first, but it turned out that the driver was a nice responsible young man who got me safely to the airport and on time.
Learn how to be safe
Travel solo, and you’ll need to have your own back, so to speak.
If you like to spend your time in the outdoors – hiking remote area and exploring national parks, you will need serious prep work.
Solo treks are dangerous. I would not recommend anyone to go trekking alone under any circumstance.
It is recommended that you go with an experienced guide who knows the forest, hill, or areas.
For trekkers, you will need to be ready for weather changes and to carry adequate water and a first-aid kit.
I was in Pala-U Waterfall (Kaeng Krachan) and the forest rangers take their job seriously to make sure you get in and out safely.
Traveling solo doesn’t have to mean you’re completely alone.
Many tour companies cater to women looking for individualized experiences with a little help from local naturalists or guides.
Tip: If you’re traveling to an area without cellular service, a satellite GPS lets you keep in touch with friends and family and call for help if needed. Know when to seek pro help.
Number one, safety first. Number two, just go!
Flying solo is Liberating
Is traveling alone liberating? Yes, I am proud of the little things I do on my own when I first started. It was booking my flight and hotel.
Checking in alone was a sense of accomplishment.
Breaking Barriers when you travel solo
People are used to seeing families or groups of friends traveling together.
Until today, a single woman without a man is still unusual. I have airline staff ask me, why my children allow me to travel by myself.
You need to speak to solo women travelers and get some top tips if you’re planning a trip by yourself.
Will I be lonely with a party of one?
When I tell people I’m traveling solo, most people will tell me, “don’t you feel isolated or lonely”. Being alone and loneliness are two different things.
I tell them loneliness is a choice, whether they stay at home or even when they are on the road.
I travel alone in cars, taxi, bus, train, boats, ferry, and on flights.
On these trips, I am not alone but surrounded by other people.
Making friends, staying safe while you discover the local culture is a fantastic boon of traveling solo.
Solo female travel isn’t courageous (or even to some) defiant. It is simply a personal preference.
Tip: Join a woman-only group tour and you’ll probably find yourself in the company of like-minded travelers and potential friends.
Be open to meeting people who are also alone.
New friendships are forged over coffee at your snack stop with a travel companion you just met.
You could be chatting with locals and other travelers.
How do you do that?
Have an open attitude and who knows you may find female travel companions with the same interest to hang out with.
Be the traveler that you would want to meet on the road.
Tip: Most cities offer free or cheap walking tours. You can check out with the local tourism office for advice.
Remember, no matter who reaches out to you on an app, exercise good judgment, and meet people only in public spaces.
How to stay safe by traveling alone?
Get to know people, dress to fit in, walk confidently, and not staying out past midnight in unfamiliar surroundings seems like a lot of common sense.
Precautionary measures you may want to take include
- Use a slash-proof bag
- Carry a pepper spray
- One doorstop alarm for the door and
- another for the sliding glass door
However, more and more women are choosing to break these barriers and expectations by choosing to travel alone.
Here’s what they have to say about their experiences.
I welcome a conversation about how women can more freely navigate international travel.