Safety tips for women travelling solo

The popularity of travelling alone is booming, here's how to keep safe.
The popularity of travelling alone is booming, here's how to keep safe. Photo credit: Getty Images

The popularity of travelling alone is booming, especially for women. 

One in 10 women globally want to travel solo in 2020 and, according to Booking.com, more than a third of female Generation Z travellers plan to travel solo at least once within the next decade. 

While numbers are increasing, safety concerns can make many women hesitant, however, there are several ways to stay safe. 

To mark International Women's Day, Newshub has compiled a list of the top tips for the best chance at the solo trip of your dreams. 

Do your research 

While researching can be a drag, it is important to understand and respect local laws and customs. Forbes recommends finding out any cultural, religious or political events that are taking place during your trip so there aren't any surprises. It also suggests learning the differences in cultures such as hand gestures. For example, in many countries a thumbs up is a friendly gesture which means "okay" or "good job" but in other countries, it is considered rude and offensive. Part of your research should also be familiarising yourself with the local emergency numbers of the places you're travelling, that way if something goes wrong you know who to call. 

Be aware of your surroundings 

While this may seem like an obvious one, it is easy to get distracted by new sights and cities and ignore the people around you. Travel blog HeyCiara says paying close attention to the people around you makes you aware of any danger and also lets any potential predators know that you are watching them. For example, making sure you are looking around when walking and keeping one earbud out if you're listening to music will make it easier to spot any usual behaviour like someone following you. 

Trust your gut

Listening to your intuition is particularly important when travelling solo. If something doesn't feel right or you feel uneasy there is no shame in being cautious and removing yourself from the situation. Kristin Addis from Be My Travel Muse says your instincts are designed to keep you safe and will steer you in the right direction if you pay attention to them. Be mindful of any alarm bells and don't feel silly for listening to them. 

Share your itinerary 

Sharing your schedule with a friend or relative is an easy way to stay safe while travelling alone. While your friends back home have limited ways they can help, letting them know where you will be and when means if something goes wrong they can point local authorities in the right direction. It will also stop them from worrying which is an added bonus.  

Get travel insurance

Insurance, while boring, is a crucial element of safely travelling solo. If something goes wrong while travelling solo there is no one else to help, which makes insurance so much more important. Insurance covers basic things like healthcare, lost luggage, theft or scheduling changes. Better safe than sorry. 

Spend extra money on staying safe

It's easy to opt for the cheapest flights but if those flights have you landing in a dodgy city in the middle of the night, it might be worth shelling out some extra cash. This also applies to accommodation, it's better to spend more to stay in a safe hotel in a busy area than a sleazy hotel in an area where you might feel isolated or trapped. Sending the extra money is well worth the expense and will make the overall trip more enjoyable. Forbes suggests planning these extra expenses into your budget so you don't get caught out mid-trip. 

Be cautious but have fun 

Solo travel is a great opportunity to see the world, meet new people and immerse yourself in different cultures. While it can be scary, it's a great way to grow your independence and push yourself. Be mindful of your surroundings, take caution in unknown situations, but enjoy the time alone. Planning ahead, keeping friends updated on your movements and acting responsibly should give you a little time to kick your feet up too. 

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