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Tips for Solo Travel as a Young Woman

Updated: May 26


Air plane wing in the clouds

As a young woman, it can be incredibly daunting to go out exploring on your own, but that shouldn't stop you from seeing the world. There are ways to stay safe while traveling solo.


Here are 4 things I do to keep myself safe when traveling solo.


 

1. Start Local

Frau Hannah next to the CN Tower

When you're just starting your solo traveling journey as a young woman, I recommend starting locally. Try visiting a new city for a weekend.


Through my series A New City Every Month, I went to many cities within Canada.


Traveling around my home country came with a lot of benefits. I didn't have to stress about language or cultural barriers, I didn't need to exchange my currency, my friends and family weren't too far if I needed them, and I didn't need a foreign SIM card for my phone.


There was less stress and less worries, but still something new to explore and a change of pace.


Starting small and working your way up to bigger adventures is good way to build up your travel knowledge, confidence in your own abilities, and push yourself out of your comfort zone slowly.


2. Curfew

A taxi driving down a street during night life

Another way I keep safe while solo traveling as a young woman is through a self imposed curfew.


Typically, I don't go out once the sun has gone down. There are risks, as with everything, to being a young woman traveling solo, but there are even more risks when out late at night in a foreign place.


Keeping my exploring to broad daylight makes me feel safer when traveling solo. Since I've never really been one for nightlife activities, this curfew works well for me. However, I recognize that the idea of a curfew may not appeal to all. If you are a young woman who would like to enjoy nightlife while traveling solo, it's important you have an emergency plan.



3. Emergency Plan

Woman typing on a laptop on a balcony

Things may not always go as you expect when traveling. Having an emergency plan for these unforeseen events is an important precaution to take, especially as a young women traveling solo.


I remember, the first time I flew on my own was my first trip to Austin, Texas. Before going, I had a chat with my dad and he recommended I put together an emergency plan in case things went sideways.


He told me that because I'll be so far from my family, how they can help me will be somewhat limited, so it's important that I take the responsibility of my own safety seriously. Thus, I did some brainstorming.


I thought of what could go wrong and what I could do in those situations. If there was something wrong or odd with my accommodations, where would I go? If my ride didn't pick me up at the airport, how would I get around? If something happened with my flights, what could I do (especially in a foreign airport)? What if I got injured or sick while abroad?


Many more questions went through my head when making this emergency plan. One important part of this plan is money. Getting a last minute flight home, going to the hospital abroad, or finding new accommodations can be expensive. Make sure you leave room for these unexpected instances in your travel budget when making your emergency plan.


It's important to be aware of what could happen and prepare in the ways you can. I don't say any of this to scare you or discourage you from traveling solo as a young woman, but rather to encourage you to take control of your own safety. Trust yourself and your intuition as well as common sense, you are capable of protecting yourself.


4. Blend In

Closet with clothes and shoes

As a young woman traveling solo, a good way to stay safe is to blend in and not look like a tourist.


Wearing valuables or wearing clothing that does not fit the cultural setting can draw a lot of attention in certain situations.


It's important to keep your safety as your first priority, so while it might be nice wear the new watch you got for your birthday, or a crop top during the summer, it might be better to wear these back home than in a foreign place. Do your research and take note from the locals around you.


This extends to your actions as well. How you behave can make it obvious that you are not from where you're visiting. What I did while walking the streets of New York was pick a New Yorker in front of me and behaved as they did.


For example, back home, I only cross the street when the traffic light says to do so. However, it's well known that New Yorkers rarely ever follow traffic light when crossing the street. They simply cross whenever it seems safe to do so.


So, I crossed whenever the New Yorker in front of me did, so long as we were traveling in the same direction. If I had waited for the light instead, I would've stood out as a tourist.


Essentially "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."


 

As a solo traveler you are solely responsible for your safety and so taking every precaution you can to keep yourself safe is crucial.


Do you have any solo travel tips? Share them in the comment below!


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