Solo traveling as a female may look frightening particularly its potential risk, but with proper preparation and girl power attitude, you will see how rewarding and fun it is!
If I was able to successfully score an out-of-the-country solo trip at the age of 20, I’m pretty sure you can make it as well!
Throw away your hesitation and doubt and read these tips for your safe and wise solo traveling:
Before traveling solo
1. Guarantee your loved ones that you’d be safe
Don’t just inform your parents, friends or your partner but guarantee them that you’d be safe. When you blow up the news about traveling solo, expect that they’ll get worried. They may not tell it, but you can easily read it on their initial reaction.
When I had my first solo backpacking trip abroad – two weeks ago as of writing this – and informed my parents and friends about my plan, their response: “Are you sure?” “Ibang bansa ‘yon, baka mapahamak ka. (It’s another country, you might be in danger.)”
When you heard these kinds of statements, never get discouraged! It does not mean they don’t believe you; it’s just that they want to hear it directly from you that you’d be safe. So have that confidence answering them and say, “I can.”
2. Avoid “Bahala na” (Whatever will be) attitude
Researching is the key! Never go to an unknown territory without doing your prior assignment, this make you more vulnerable to danger and possibly have unexpected expenses. Ignorance can cause you so much! And may kill your budget.
What you need to research:
· Mode of transportation
· Best places to eat, visit, shop
· How to go from point a to point b
· Laws, culture, and tradition
3. 2PS (Plan, Prepare, Strategize)
You need a strategic planning and preparation. Seek for wisdom and guidance for your trip.
Plan on how you will spend your entire day. Time is gold especially when you only have a limited time to roam around a country or a city. Create an itinerary for your whole trip. This will serve as your guidelines or an idea on how you could spend your whole day.
Pack less! The less the better! If you’re taking a three-day vacation, better to just have backpack or a hiker’s bag. But it still depends on your lifestyle.
What you need to prepare
· Hotel bookings or online tickets you can buy prior your trip (ie: amusement ticket)
· Emergency kit
· Most importantly, your budget!
During your solo traveling trip
4. Trust your instinct
Be vigilant. When you sense that there’s something wrong, there’s a probability that it could have. (Note: there’s a fine line between being vigilant and being paranoid.)
- When conversing with men
As a woman, you know what I mean, right? We have that kind of instinct when we can feel that this guy can’t be trusted. But it doesn’t mean we have to snob every man we meet along our trip. If a guy is sending a not-so-good message, you should back off already.When a creepy guy asks you if you’re single, better tell him that you’re in a relationship or engaged. Other female backpackers even advised wearing a fake ring to prove that you are already engaged. But I didn’t do that. Haha. It’s still up to you. For example, I met a guy in a train station along my trip in Singapore as I was asking for the right way. When he found out that I’m traveling solo, he insisted on helping me and to tour me around. He even gave his cell phone number without me asking him. Though I declined his offer and told him that I have friends who’d tour me around (even there were none), he keeps on telling me that he’d love to tour me. Gladly, we separated ways.
- Places at night
Don’t make yourself vulnerable especially if you’re out of the country. Research before going to places at night. This may avoid you from the potential risk. Never ever risk your safety!
- In nightclub or bar
Be mindful when someone offered you a drink. Don’t drink too much if you’re alone going there.
5. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Your itinerary is just your guideline; it shouldn’t dictate your day! It’s part of your preparation, but when you’re there already what matters is your discovery and enjoyment.
If you really wanted to reach all destinations you listed on your itinerary, make sure you’ll wake up early. Go out as early as 6 or 7 in the morning.
When I was in Singapore, I was the first person to wake up in our hostel. And it’s lovely to be in the city as early as morning and knowing that I only have limited time so why not make the most out of the time that I have.
6. Never hesitate to ask the locals
It’s not bad to ask the locals. In fact, you can learn a lot from them. Make sure you maximize your conversation with them. Ask them for best places where you can eat, shop, and visit.
For safety, you can ask local women or local people in a group. Just put your presence of mind when asking them.
In Singapore, the local people were helpful. They even used Google map for me to better understand the directions.
7. Join other female solo travelers!
In your new trip, it’s impossible for you not to meet fellow female solo travelers or backpackers. You’d be surprised that there are lots of women doing the solo journey.
It’s still up to you if you would join them mainly if you have different plan from them. Don’t compromise your plan just because they have different itinerary.
I met a 23-year-old backpacker from Germany who started travelling when she’s 18. She’s been to like 20 countries from Europe, Asia, and Australia. And her passport was like an ultimate #travelgoal. Haha
We’re both in budget so we our personality easily jived with one another despite our cultural differences.
Nothing beats learning from their experiences as solo traveler. It widens your perspective in travelling and makes you more excited to have your next trip.
We’re both on a budget so our personality easily jived with one another despite our cultural differences.
Nothing beats learning from their experiences as a solo traveler. It widens your perspective in traveling and makes you more excited to have your next trip.
8. Embrace and enjoy the freedom
The fun thing about traveling solo is self-discovery. You’d discover something you have never done before and I’m sure you’d be proud of yourself.
I will never forget how I managed to walk three kilometers every morning in Singapore just strolling and enjoying the scenery around. Though my feet badly hurt, I extremely enjoyed it.
These are essential things I learned from my backpacking solo. I hope this helps for you. If you are an expert backpacker, perhaps you have some point to add. Feel free to put it in the comment section.