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When I started writing this blog post, I didn’t expect it would eventually get to 22 must know travel hacks for the female solo traveller. But ever since my first solo trip (Bali 2017), I picked up many travel and safety tips for women traveling alone.
Are you nervous about traveling alone as a woman? I have been traveling alone for quite some time and have never been in any unwanted situations. Knocking on wood. But some safety tips for travelling alone from a solo female traveller always come in handy! Right?
These 22 must-know travel hacks and safety tips for the female solo traveler have helped me stay safe on all my solo travels. Follow these tips and make your solo trip the best experience ever.
1. Pick the right destination.
The most important thing as a solo female traveler is to pick your destination wisely. If this is your first time traveling alone, feeling nervous about your adventure is okay! The best thing to calm your nerves is to be comfortable with the destination you’re going to.
It might not be the smartest to go on a solo hike through the Amazon for your first solo trip. Unless you know what you’re doing, stick with destinations safe for women traveling alone.
Destinations like Thailand, Bali, Europe and Australia are excellent for solo travellers. Asia, in general, tends to be relatively safe for women. I have never felt unsafe in places like Chiang Mai, Singapore, Bali or Seoul.
2. Buy a local SIM card.
Besides scrolling through Instagram endlessly, having a phone with working internet is super convenient. You can keep in touch with people at home, order an Uber, and check Google Maps.
There are always great local tourist sim card deals, or you can use an e-sim provider like Airalo. For all my travel, I usually buy a local SIM card. In Thailand, for example, I bought a pre-paid sim card with unlimited data for around €10.
Good 2 know! Airalo is excellent to use when you’re traveling on and off. If you have a phone that allows for e-sims, it’s super easy to set up.
There is no need to exchange sim cards, and you can still be reached on your regular phone number via Whatsapp.
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3. Arrive during day time
Arriving at your destination in the daytime saves you much more hassle than late at night. Nothing is more exhausting than arriving all tired and jetlagged.
During the day, more people are on the streets and at the airport. It’s easier to navigate than in the dark. Don’t underestimate how you can feel arriving after a long flight.
Good 2 know! Having the She’s Birdy Personal Safety Alarm on you is handy as an extra safety precaution during your travels. These whistles come with a strobe light and trigger an alarm. A little extra security measure in case you need to walk home alone.
4. Have pick-up arranged upon arrival
One of the things I found very comforting was having my transport arranged upon arrival. There is no public transport or Uber service available for some destinations, and sometimes you can’t avoid arriving when it’s dark.
Especially for these late flights, having a driver standing by is handy. You can quickly check the possibilities via Google on how to go from the airport to your destination. If it could be a hassle, look for arranged transport online.
For Bali, I just looked for “driver + Bali” and took the first option, saving me a lot of time, a lot of hassle and money. My driver was waiting for me at the arrival hall.
5. Have your first two nights booked
Exploring and travelling is one of the best things and gives you much freedom. But for your comfort, it’s wise to have the first two nights pre-booked before arriving at your destination.
With amazing apps like Booking.com, you can get awesome deals on the spot. Nothing is better than having a place to stay when arriving and immediately taking a shower and a nap. Trust me!
Good 2 know! Check out this dual portable door lock & door stop alarm for your hotel room! Sometimes, doors in hotels can’t be closed from the inside. I personally feel very uncomfortable if that’s the case. You’ll sleep much better knowing no one can get in the middle of the night.
6. Don’t keep your cash and credit cards in the same spot
Stating the obvious, this is a must in the top 22 travel hacks and safety tips for the female solo traveller. You’ll never know what could happen while travelling. But if you lose your wallet with everything, you’re f*cked!
Keep your credit cards separate and stash your cash in different spots. I always bring a debit card, a credit card and a pre-paid credit card. Bring only one of them and a certain amount of cash if you’re going out.
Good 2 know! Use this Pacsafe Hidden Travel Bra Pouch to keep a credit card underneath your clothing! Leave at least one card and some cash in your hotel room, preferably in a safe. If there’s no safe, ensure it’s locked away in your luggage.
7. Keep copies of your passport with you
Having a few copies is handy if you’re so unlucky to lose your passport. Keep one of them on you when you leave the room, and keep your passport in the safe.
Always ensure a photocopy is stored on your phone and email account.
Good 2 know! Get this Infinity Scarf Secret Zipper to keep some of your belongings safe. You can stash some extra cash, a credit card or even your phone! It also comes in handy when you don’t want to carry a purse but must bring essentials for a quick errand run.
This hidden pocket infinity scarf is super handy as a blanket for the plane too!
8. Only use ATMs inside a bank
Getting skimmed is one of the biggest scams when travelling. To avoid being skimmed, it’s best to use ATMs inside a bank.
Never use stand-alone ATMs on the streets. Not only do these machines charge you insane fees, but chances are higher that these machines are corrupted.
Good 2 know! Check out this Travelambo RFID Blocking Wallet that protects the cards in your wallet. This card blocks unwanted NFC signals, preventing getting skimmed. Technology these days is impressive!
9. Don’t overdo it on the alcohol
I’m all for happy hour, late-night GT drinking and clubbing until sunrise. But the truth is that you’re an easier target if you’re drunk. Let’s not talk about all those horrible things happening to women when intoxicated.
Bad people are everywhere, including on your solo trip. Partying is great, but keep your common sense at all times. You would look out for the same things at home, do them on your trip, and more.
10. Never leave your drinks unattended
Not leaving your drinks unattended is something we should always do, not only when travelling. But since it is essential, I’ve included it in these 22 must-know travel hacks and safety tips for the female solo traveller—plenty of stories about spiked drinks with women ending up in situations you don’t wish on anybody.
11. Bring padlocks and a bike lock
Have a few TSA-approved Padlocks with you to keep your belongings safe. If you’re taking a night train, you will sleep much better knowing your bag is locked and attached to something.
Keeping your bag locked will also ensure that nobody can put things in your bag. Safety goes both ways. Most airports can wrap your bag fully in plastic; otherwise, there is the Pacsafe Bag Protector.
12. Don’t use shady exchange offices
In some destinations, the exchange rate is better if you exchange your currency for local currency. This is rarely the case; most of the time, using an ATM is the best option.
But if you need to exchange currency, use an official exchange office. Look them up on the internet before you leave. Most shady exchange offices have high desks, so you can’t see what happens.
When they count the money before you, always count it again while standing there.
13. Keep in touch with your homefront
Keeping in touch with somebody at home is essential. We all know how relaxing a holiday can be; sometimes, you forget to check-in.
However, keeping your family or a friend updated on your travel is essential, especially when travelling alone to different locations. Send them a quick, short message if you’re leaving for another place, and send them any flight, train or hotel details if applicable.
14. Use an Uber or Grab.
First of all, you should always use an official taxi. Even in safe cities, some taxis love to extort helpless tourists. Follow the signs to the official taxi stand when arriving at the airport.
Using an Uber or Grab is easy, and your ride is tracked. You’ll also know the price upfront, saving you from unwanted costs. I also like connecting my Uber app to my credit card. So you don’t have to hassle with any cash.
15. Don’t go home with strangers
Solo travelling is a great way to meet people, but always use your common sense. Hooking up while travelling happens. You’re travelling and should feel free to do whatever you want! But going home with a stranger in a strange country can turn out wrong.
Trust your instincts and think twice before going home with someone you don’t know.
16. Research your travel destination
Planning and researching your travel destination will give you peace of mind. Look up everything about your destination, like things to do, places to stay and restaurants to eat. The internet and Travel Guides are your friends.
You can never be over-prepared. Knowing how far your hotel is from the airport, the average local currency exchange rate, or how to use public transport will help you travel more confidently.
It might also help to check out your destination’s common local tourist scams. Learn from the mistakes of other travellers.
17. Book active tours with a group
Maybe you’re interested in turning your trip into something more active and adventurous at some point during your travel. Perhaps you want to go hiking or mountain climbing. Unless you know what you’re doing, you should always make these trips with a professional guide.
Just recently, there was a story of a girl who went for a short solo hike into the winter wonderland of Canada. Long story short. The poor girl got lost and couldn’t find her way back before nightfall without any provision.😢
We’re all confident and independent women, but we don’t need to be heroes to prove that!
If you’re looking for a professional place to book tours, check out Get Your Guide. They have excellent tours worldwide with a great cancellation policy, and you can skip any queues!
18. Have emergency contacts ready
The digital era has made our solo traveller’s life a lot easier regarding safety. Our smartphones are always at our disposal. It makes us forget what it’s like when we don’t have one.
I bet you don’t know the numbers of your emergency contacts by heart. Keep a list of your emergency contacts somewhere written down so that if your phone falls into a river, you can still reach your family. Or even better, learn them by heart.
Also, have the emergency contacts ready from your bank, insurance, and embassy. You never know if you might need them.
Good 2 know! Check out this cute Clever Fox Travel Journal in handy a5 format. You can use this hardcopy journal to write down important information and make travel notes. Technology is excellent, but that’s only until the battery runs out😉If you’re a travel blogger like me, you’ll love this!
19. Always be aware of your surroundings
Not partying too hard is one of the 22 must-know travel hacks and safety tips for the solo female traveller because alcohol may lower inhibitions. To travel safely, you must always know what is happening around you.
This means watching your belongings, watching your back when walking alone at night, being aware of any exit routes in buildings, and listening to your gut when something feels off.
Don’t simply trust everybody who offers you something. Don’t exchange money with strangers, don’t take that free ride, keep an eye on your belongings and don’t get distracted if a stranger comes up to you. Keep a safe distance.
20. Wear a cross-body purse and get an anti-theft backpack
I love cross-body bags! They’re safe to wear around your body while keeping your hands free. Check out this simple Leather Crossbody Clutch Bag with the perfect size and many compartments and zippers. Always wear your bag in front of you and ensure it’s closed properly. Don’t be an easy target for pickpockets.
When travelling, I always have my laptop to finish some blogging work. A proper anti-theft backpack like this Matein Anti Theft Laptop Backpack keeps my laptop and other valuables safe. This backpack is a great budget option!
If you want to take it very seriously, there is Pacsafe! Pacsafe is a brand with many anti-theft bags made from recycled plastic. Such a fantastic initiative!
The price range is higher, but they come with a 5-year warranty and are made with safe travel in mind. It’s worth checking out! The Pacsafe Women’s Citysafe and the Stylesafe Crossbody are my favourites.
21. Don’t flash your Rolex
Ok, maybe not your Rolex, but you get the point. Leave expensive or flashy jewellery at home! For some destinations, it’s best not to wear any jewellery. You don’t want to give thieves the impression that you’re a walking gold mine, and neither do you want to lose some fingers because you’re wearing a cheap but expensive-looking ring.
It’s just not worth it.
22. Travel with travel insurance
I personally never understood people travelling without travel insurance. Even at seventeen years old, I knew the importance of travel insurance. After reading these 22 travel hacks and safety tips for the female solo traveller, you must understand that travel insurance is necessary.
You never know what could happen while travelling and don’t want to find out without proper travel insurance. If you don’t know where to get one, check out Safety Wings Travel Insurance. They have fantastic travel insurance for frequent travellers.
Stay safe with these 22 must-know travel hacks and safety tips for the female solo traveller
The number of times I’ve heard women say, “I want to travel alone, but I’m scared.” It’s normal. But I have travelled alone many times, and I’ve never been in unwanted situations.
I’ll launch my ebook “Solo Female Travel Empowerment” very soon! If you’re unsure where to start, my ebook will be everything you need! Join the waitlist and get a 60% discount if you enrol on the launch!
What do you think about these 22 must-know travel hacks and safety tips for the solo female traveller? Do you use any of them when travelling by yourself? Let me know in the comments below!
If you’re looking for a great deal on flights, check out Kiwi.com! They have an amazingly flexible search engine tool for flights. Or check out Skyscanner. Skyscanner is also a flight search engine. I usually check both to compare flights!
Stop struggling with SIM cards when travelling! Use an ESIM that can be easily set up on your phone! Airalo has been great for data during my travels!
For accommodation, I highly recommend the one and only Booking.com. To make your plans flexible, consider accommodation with a free cancellation policy. Their prices are unbeatable, and the higher your Genius Level, the bigger the discount!
For tours, I recommend Get Your Guide. You can check reviews for their tours, and they come with an excellent cancellation policy, transfers, and the possibility to skip the queues.