Women Traveling Alone - 10 Tips

by Janice Waugh /
Janice Waugh's picture
Jun 15, 2010 / 0 comments

crazy high heel shoes totally inappropriate for travel.

shoes aren't made for walking. Tip #9, take care of your feet.

I’ve written all sorts of posts on how to travel alone.
Posts on solo
safety, eating alone, how to spend evenings… This post could
cover all those again because they all apply to women traveling alone.
However, I’m not going to try to say everything. This time I am writing
about things specific to women – serious issues and girly things.

  1. Have patience. Even as an experienced solo
    , every time I start a new trip it takes me a day or two to
    get solo stable — to shed those initial nerves of being out there on my
    own managing all the details, logistics and documents. Be patient.
    You’ll find your strength.
  2. Be cautious. If you are a young woman you need to
    be far more careful about unsavory characters than us more mature women.
    At least, that certainly is my experience. Please, (PLEASE) read the
    post this Saturday where I share a very dangerous situation that I found
    myself in when younger. Then read the Solo
    Travel Safety
    section for lots of tips on staying safe.
  3. Pack light. You’re going to save money and be more
    mobile if you pack light. It requires a bit more planning to have a
    wardrobe that stretches from hiking boots to high heels but it can be
    done. Choose a base color (black, brown, beige, navy), a contrast color
    (white, beige…) and a color or two to accessorize and pull it all
    together. Watch the videos in my
    post on packing light
  4. Dress conservatively. Maybe revealing tops and
    short skirts should be fine but, in reality, they can get you into
    trouble in many countries, including North America and Europe. You are
    always more vulnerable when you’re off your home turf so compensate by
    dressing conservatively. Read 10
    Tips to Survive Culture Shock
    for more on this topic.
  5. Don’t make your hair an issue. Before I left on my
    long term trip I had long hair that was colored blond. It took too
    long to dry and the roots showed every five weeks. It was going to be a
    hassle that I didn’t need so I had it cut less than an inch long and
    let it go gray. Your situation need not be this extreme but it is worth
    having easy hair options so your travel time is not consumed with such a
    mundane task as your hair.
  6. Plan your first night well. At minimum, have a
    place to rest your head on the first night and plan to arrive by mid
    afternoon. It’s important to have the time to find your hotel or hostel
    in daylight and time to change your accommodation if you determine that
    this is not the place for you.
  7. Other women are not necessarily safe. Women often
    feel safer with other women. And, when it comes to small time danger, we
    probably are. But there are also dangerous women who are just as
    capable of luring you into bad situations as men. Be cautious.
  8. Choose your purse carefully. While a day pack
    designed with  security features is ideal for travel you may prefer to
    carry a purse. If you do I recommend purses that you wear across your
    shoulders. In Naples a few years back I was the victim of a “scooter
    bandit”. What’s that? Two guys on a scooter. The driver charges through a
    cross walk against the light and behind a woman. The passenger grabs
    her purse. In my case, all he got was the strap.
  9. Take care of your feet. Nothing will ruin a trip
    faster than sore feet. Women’s shoes are notoriously bad for feet.
    Choose comfort over fashion.
  10. Pamper yourself. Women traveling alone are, just
    that, alone. No kisses from family. No hugs from friends. A manicure,
    pedicure, massage… are all safe ways to get a little human touch.
    Everyone needs that once in a while.