Tips For Solo Female Travelers

Lucky us. We weren’t born in an era when it was difficult, if not unthinkable, for a woman to travel on her own. If the idea of heading out on your own appeals to you, here are some handy things to know.

Tips For Solo Female Travelers

Lucky us. We weren’t born in an era when it was difficult – if not unthinkable – for a woman to travel on her own. An elaborate system of chaperones, traveling companions and even servants meant that American ladies in bygone days did not get to experience the rewards of traveling solo.

These days, women from 18 to 88 are traveling solo. Many do so because their budgets, schedules, or traveling styles don’t mesh with those of their spouses, partners, or friends for a particular trip. Others enjoy the sense of freedom and self-sufficiency it fosters. If you like the idea of heading out on your own, here are some handy things to know.

SOLO DOESN’T HAVE TO MEAN ALONE

If you want a social life on your vacation, you might consider a getaway to an all-inclusive resort. They are a wonderful way to meet other people in a casual, friendly setting. Ask your travel advisor to recommend a resort which has activities you love (e.g. yoga, golf, scuba, gourmet dining, wine tastings…) and you’ll have a natural way to connect with people.

By the same token, a planned tour catering to single travelers or a cruise may suit your needs. Tours range from small group immersive sightseeing-focused trips to active cycling, hiking or rafting adventures. Cruise lines are increasingly including single cabins in their design. As a bonus, cruises often have tables where single travelers can dine together and countless activities that offer natural socializing.

Wherever you go, you can enrich your trip by connecting with locals. You’re headed to Berlin, and your dentist has a sister there? Your friend’s parents live in Australia? Don’t be shy; reach out before you travel, and then perhaps, bring a small gift from home when you visit. If you set this up for the first day or two of your trip, it may give shape to your vacation and connect you with other locals as well.

Another way to meet locals is to find a social or activity group where you can meet fellow walkers, gardeners, amateur chefs, or art lovers. Or enlist in a course where you meet and learn with people who share your interests. Take conversational Spanish in Mexico City, or perfect your pasta in Florence. Your travel advisor can help with these and other options such as supper clubs and restaurants with communal tables. Or, visit the same restaurant, café or pub each day and you’ll start to feel like a local.

PACK YOUR COMMON SENSE

Ask your travel advisor or hotel to direct you to safe neighborhoods and don’t wander around alone late at night. Carry the minimum of cash and one credit/debit card and keep them in a small wallet on your person. Know local customs, including dress. If local women dress modestly, so should you.

Embrace the “more is less” style of packing. Chances are at some point, you’ll be responsible for carrying your own luggage. Travel light and you will bless yourself, whether you are wrangling your suitcase up 60 stairs from the Paris Metro or squashing yourself and your suitcase into a washroom cubicle at an airport or train station.

Of course, not everyone wants to meet other people when they travel. For many women, traveling with minimal socializing provides a wonderful opportunity for reflection, dreaming and escaping the constant noise of our everyday lives.

Whether you choose to socialize or spend time alone, one thing is guaranteed: as a solo traveler, you will have experiences you never would have had if you were traveling with a companion. A travel advisor can help you find the travel experience you’re seeking. Don’t be shy about sharing your hopes, dreams and wishes for your next trip!

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