You’re scared. I get it. Traveling alone can be daunting, even for an experienced traveler. Some of the best advice I can give you is to go into your adventure with full confidence in yourself and an expectation that anything can happen. You won’t get very far if you’re narrow minded and lacking confidence. Don’t forget to walk with a purpose! I can’t tell you the amount of people that have asked me for directions in other countries just because I looked like I knew where I was going (even when I didn’t). If you don’t have confidence in yourself that you can do it, then who will?
I’m going to be blunt; don’t look like a tourist. Leave your fanny packs, gigantic cameras and obvious maps at home. Your goal should be to resemble a local as best as possible. Do research on your destination prior to your trip. Figure out how the locals dress, specific customs they may have and how to respect them. You will be less of a target to greedy pickpockets or sleazy men if you don’t stick out like a sore thumb. Don’t be the girl that stops in the middle of a busy city street to pull out a map or the girl trying to get into the Vatican in a tube top.
Use common sense.
Don’t put yourself in a bad situation. If you are mature enough to travel solo, I am hoping you have enough common sense to keep yourself safe. Try to avoid walking long distances and taking public transportation during the night, especially if there is a chance you will get lost. Do not, and I repeat, do not get drunk. You are setting yourself up to be taken advantage of. A drunk, female tourist has a big fat target on her back. I’m not saying not to indulge in that delicious glass of Italian wine at dinner, just don’t drink the whole bottle.
Embrace the unknown.
Eat like a local. Drink like a local. Act like a local. Personally, I believe traveling is about completely immersing yourself in the culture. The unknown is the most exciting part of discovering a new place. This is your chance to try new things and face your fears without judgment. I promise that if you dig deep enough, you will uncover your true self. Go all in.
Ignore the negativity.
Unfortunately, if you are a solo female traveler, you will probably face negativity now and again. There is a good chance the people you are close to will try to talk you out of your adventures. Don’t let them! Traveling solo is a life changing experience. You will learn so much about yourself and surprise yourself each and every day you are going at it alone. Don’t let your bucket list go unchecked and end up with a bunch of regrets.
And for my fellow wanderlust moms out there…you will face even more negativity when you tell people you are traveling solo with your children. I sure have, but I sure as heck am not letting it stop me from showing my daughter the world. Read why I believe you should travel with your kids here. Need help getting started planning your trip? Read this.
Traveling solo is the greatest gift you can give to yourself.