Ready to do the same? I’ve put together a comprehensive guide to solo female travel to make it simple to navigate your fears, dreams, savings, plans, and everything in-between:
Traveling alone has so many benefits:
Commit to Your Decision to Travel Alone
I was really surprised to find that traveling on my own would be so beneficial to not just “finding myself,” but really, getting to know myself. I realized I’m brave, I can be quick on my feet, and that I wanted to be a writer and to follow that dream.
Don’t worry too much about the times when you are alone, because it will happen and that’s okay. It’s a gift to get you all to yourself. We are influenced by those who know us, usually without even realizing it – the sum of the 5 people we’re around the most. As social creatures it’s what we do!
Pick Your Travel Destination
I’ve covered it all in Conquering Mountains, How to Solo Travel the World Fearlessly, plus case studies and advice from dozens of other solo female travelers. It’s basically this guide on steroids. If you found the info helpful here, imagine 80 more pages of specific advice designed to get you from idea to action.
How to Prepare for a Solo Trip
My biggest fear of traveling solo wasn’t whether I’d be safe (although that certainly mattered too!), it was actually that I’d be lonely. I had no idea how many, if any, other girls were out there traveling alone and how easy it would be to meet people. It was actually SO MUCH easier than I thought, and it made me a more social and confident person as a result.
What to Pack for Your Solo Trip?
That was 10 years ago, when solo female travel was nowhere near as common as now; today, 84% of solo travelers are women. My blog, which dedicates to solo female travel, receives 5 million visits annually. Take it from us – it’s one of the most empowering decision you can make for yourself. It will be scary, and at some point, lonely, but that’s also precisely the zone where greatness happens, and everyone deserves to feel that way.
Traveling solo triggered all kinds of growth for me, what could it do for you?
Meeting Others as a Solo Female Traveler
Planning a long-term solo trip? Here are my best tips that helped me prepare for a 6-month long solo trip around Southeast Asia:
Almost 10 years on, I continue to find empowerment in solo travel – I’ve traveled to over 60 countries, mostly on my own, and have no plans on ever stopping.
- Join a group activity as a solo female traveler. When arriving in a new city, my favorite thing to do is to join one of those free walking tour (your hostel will likely have recommendations) to get a first-hand experience of the area and meet other travelers.
- Stay in places that are have high ratings for being social online, like hostels and backpackers accommodation. They usually have private rooms too if you’re not interested in dorms.
- Connect with other solo female travelers on social apps and Facebook groups prior to your trip.
How to Enjoy Being Alone
My biggest tip for choosing your solo destination is to be honest and realistic. There’s a lot to think about: price, vibe, activities, weather, safety, and so on, but here are a few lists to help you out:
Why are you taking a solo trip? For me, the decision was made after recognizing an overall dissatisfaction with life, despite a high-flying job, a beach-front apartment and a stable relationship. I had fears of failure and loneliness, but was determined to give it a shot.
Tips for Safety
- Make up your own mind without anyone coercing you when it comes to anything you are doing or might not want to do.
- If/when it feels wrong, stop and leave. You’re allowed to change your mind.
- Listen to your intuition.
- Know your surroundings – Read up on customs, the appropriate dress code, and dangers before you go
- Do what you do at home to stay safe – Don’t get intoxicated on a night out alone, don’t walk dark city streets alone at night, don’t be flashy.
I hope this solo female travel guide has helped you to get started on your journey, though I know there are still a lot of details that you might be wondering about things like your resume, how to handle working on the road or a sabbatical, what exactly to say to your concerned friends and parents, and how to handle things like mail forwarding and immunizations.
Embrace the Chance to Grow
Now that you have decided where to go, it’s time to get to work. You may follow this fool-proof, step-by-step guide to plan a solo trip that I’ve used to plan over 100 trips around the world.
If there’s one incredibly valuable thing I’ve done during 75% of my nomadic existence since 2012, it’s packing carry on only. Honestly, I’ve done it for years! It is one of the best decisions I made to never have to pay extra baggage fees, worry that the airline lost my bag, and wait for them to put it on the carousel. It also gave me freedom to hoof it when I had to, take cheaper motorbike taxis, and easily keep track of everything.
- It makes you confident in yourself and your abilities. If you can travel the world alone, what can’t you do?
- You tend to get better at problem solving because when there’s no sense in sulking and you can’t pass the buck, you become really good at making decisions.
- Your become more outgoing because travelers are friendly people and they’re easy to talk to.
- You grow so much, learning about yourself and the world (here are a few favorite spiritual reads of mine to help that along.)
During my first year of solo travel, I was too self-conscious to take selfies and did not have the courage to ask for help from others. Then I went home and realized I had almost nothing to look back on, and decided to change that. After years of practice, I now take 99% of my own travel photos, make money out of travel photography and even launched a travel photography masterclass! Traveling solo doesn’t mean that you have to come back with a bunch of photos that don’t have you in them, or are super crappy because someone else took them who didn’t put in the effort. Here’s a detailed blog post on how to take beautiful travel photos of yourself.
How to Take Your Own Photos as a Solo Female Traveler
Even as an introvert, I find it easy to meet others as a solo traveler. Somehow, being alone in a foreign country seems to give me courage to approach others! That being said, there are days I spend completely by myself, which brings me to the next point:
Happy travels, ladies, the world’s our oyster.
I learned a lot about how to connect with people, and this is how I approach the social aspect of solo female travel now:
Here are a few more of my favorite packing lists for different climates and trips: