Venturing off all by yourself can sometimes feel daunting, but it’s one of those things that once you gain a little confidence you will fall in love with having quality time with yourself. I work as cabin crew and although we work as part of a team onboard the aircraft, in the destination itself we spend a lot of time alone in our hotel rooms or adventuring off on our own. Sometimes we go out as a group and other times we all go off and do our own things, it varies depending on the trip and crew. Personally I love to go off exploring on my own and going at my own pace, and I’ve had some of the best experiences on my own. Travelling all around the world really makes you feel empowered and teaches you so many life lessons.
As a female there are a few things to consider with regards to your safety. I’ve luckily never had any really bad experiences on my travels, however there has been the odd occasion where I’ve had unwanted attention, and had to keep my wits about me. When travelling solo as a female it’s always good to be prepared, act on any gut instincts and always put your safety first.
I wrote a blog on Essential Health and Safety Travel Tips, but thought I would put a more focused blog together for solo female travel safety tips. So when your on your next trip you feel a little more confident, and aware of any issues that could arise and how to not put yourself at risk. Its all about finding a good balance of being cautious and being open.
Always Carry A Scarf: Always have a pashmina, scarf or jacket on you incase you need to go to the toilet and leave your seated spot. So you can save your spot and not need to leave any valuables unattended, leave a scarf on the seat so people know someone is sitting there, and take your bag/valuables with you. It’s also handy to have in case you need to cover up too.
Combination Lock: Take a spare combination lock especially when travelling long term. Most hostels have lockers and safe places to store bags, but incase they don’t it’s always good to have a lock to secure your luggage.
Personal Alarm: It may also be worth purchasing a personal alarm to carry with you as you never know when you might need it, even if it just give you that extra peace of mind.
Arrive During The Day: When arriving into your destination if possible try and arrive during the day, so you don’t have to find your bearings at night. If your backpacking or travelling around, book your accommodation in advance for at least the first night or two, so you have a plan and can get adjusted .
Check Your Room: If your checking into a private room or hotel room, check around the room first. As cabin crew we are advised to always have a glance around the room to make sure there is nothing suspicious or anyone in the room. It sounds a bit paranoid I know, but there has been rare cases of where someone has been hiding in a room, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Female Only Dorms: If you want to meet people and make friends but don’t feel comfortable sleeping in mixed dorms, then search for hostels that have female only dorms.
Keep In Touch: Keeping in touch with back home is probably the last thing you will think about while away, but every now and then drop your loved ones a message. Before heading off on your trip leave your emergency contact the details of your itinerary and where your staying. When going out for the day while away you could leave a note either in your room, with hostel or hotel staff or let someone know back at home your intended plans. If anything were to open then it’s documented where you were going.
Speak To Staff: Ask the accommodation staff if there is anything you should be aware of and any areas to avoid. Hostel/Hotel staff are always knowledgeable about the local area and can give you lots of advice.
Taxis: Use reputable taxi and transfer companies, when at the airport book a transfer at one of the licensed desks, and from your hotel ask them to call you one. Ask your hotel what the main licensed taxis look like so you can flag one down if you need to. In cities all around the world taxis have certain colours for example New York has yellow cabs, London has black, Thailand has bright pink or green and yellow etc. If your travelling solo I would suggest downloading the maps.me app on your phone as it works offline, and you can check that the taxi is taking you to the correct destination you asked for.
While Out & About
Alcohol: Limit your alcohol or try not to get too drunk that you have no control, and always watch your drink and never accept a drink off a stranger unless you saw it being poured.
Carrying Cash & Valuables: Never let any valuables leave your sight, even if sat in a restaurant be careful when leaving your bag hung on a chair or by your feet, as it’s easy to grab without you noticing. Leave any sentimental valuables at home if you are visiting somewhere with high crime rates. When carrying cash try and carry smaller amounts and don’t carry it all in your purse/wallet, maybe keep some in a pocket or hidden compartment in your bag. I’ve heard of some people that make a fake wallet with old expired credit and gift cards, and a small amount of cash to make it look realistic, and if someone asks you for your purse/wallet you can just give them the fake one.
Handbag: If your in a restaurant or cafe always hook your handbag/backpack over your knee or under the chair leg so that its harder to be snatched or stolen.
Look Confident: Look confident and be smart and informed, blend in with the locals. Remember to not trust too easily and try not to be too vocal about travelling on your own. Don’t walk alone at night in secluded areas, and always remember if you don’t feel comfortable leave straight away. Try and get back to a public/crowded area, or pay to get a taxi back safely to your accommodation.
Offline Mapping: Download maps.me app as it is great to help you navigate around a destination offline, and has helped me on so many occasions not to get lost and has given me a confidence boost that I know I can find my way around a place with ease.
Sim Card: Buying a sim while your away incase you need to make any phone calls is a good idea, especially if your travelling for a while. Always have a fully charged battery pack as back up, so your never without charge for your phone. It’s always worth taking note of the local police number too.
Social Media: Try and delay posting on social media with locations of where you are, as you never know who can see your photos or posts, post any pictures etc after you have left the location.
Unwanted Attention: Avoid unwanted attention by dressing conservatively, or at least having certain parts of your body covered. Be firm and confident but don’t come across rude. If you have someone pestering you stay calm and just tell them you have a boyfriend. I’ve had this several times and normally as soon as I say I have a husband they tend to loose interest or take the hint. If a situation escalates and your feel really uncomfortable get to the nearest public area such as a restaurant, cafe, shop, busy street etc and speak to a member of staff as they may be able to help you.
Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful, if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx