A Girls Guide to Solo Travel

2nd July 2017

“You’re doing what”?

“Solo traveling”?

“Are you crazy”?

“Girl!! that’s no safe, with all the crazy sh*t going on in the world”

“Do you want to get killed”?

These and much more are reactions and statements I get when I tell people I am a solo traveler.

Skógafoss waterfall in Iceland

You’re reading this either because you love to travel, and/or you want to travel but there’s just no one to go with. Your friends either don’t have the funds, time, or even the passion to explore the world and you’re left contemplating on whether or not to say f**k it and go alone. I started my solo travel adventure for the reasons I mentioned. I had put off trips in the past because I had no one to travel with. The idea of doing it alone was something that took a lot courage but I did it and will continue to because it honestly has become my favorite way of exploring the world. You are in charge of your decisions, you decide or not to do something, change itineraries as you wish and a host of other privileges. Since returning from my six weeks Euro-trip, I have gotten a little less crazy reactions and statements and more people seeking advice, tips and hacks on traveling alone which is why I wrote this post to hopefully encourage you to get up and solo travel:)

                                        How to Solo Travel as a Woman 

  1. START SMALL

    My very first solo travel trip was to Los Angeles in summer of 2015. I remember being super excited and uneasy at the same time. I booked my flight,  accommodation and researched everything I would do while in LA. Small but mighty steps like going out to dinner, the movies, museums etc alone helped me get use to spending time by myself in a place or scene I haven’t before which slowly built up the courage to take the big(ger) step.

  2. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, AND RESEARCH AGAIN

    The saying “knowledge is power” is vital when traveling. Researching a place should be the very first thing you should and must do before booking a plane ticket, it gives you insight on the place, what to expect, places to avoid, cultural differences(this is a huge one), finding hidden gems, staying safe especially as you solo travel, and many more which in return helps ease your fears and those unsettling feelings. In shorts, research is a solo traveler’s best friend.

  3. HOSTEL instead of HOTEL

    Please debunk all the negative myths you have heard about hostels because staying at hostels instead of hotels is great for solo travel. You get to meet other like-minded travelers who are more than likely traveling solo as well. Check out the blog abroad’s post on “hosteling” for some inspirations on why hostels can be awesome.

enjoying a gorgeous day at Malagueta beach in Malaga, Spain

 4.  LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCTS. ALWAYS. 

Your travel instincts (read: voice) becomes louder and clearer when you solo travel. This voice is your survival instincts, listen to it. Always! If something doesn’t feel right to you, it probably isn’t. If you wouldn’t do it in your home Country, you probably shouldn’t abroad.

5.  SIGN UP FOR STEP (SMART TRAVEL ENROLLMENT PROGRAM)

STEP is a free service for U.S Citizens and Nationals that you can sign up for prior to your trip. This allows the U.S embassy to contact you in the case of an emergency and they will help you make informed decisions. You can sign up here.

6.  KEEP IN TOUCH/EMAIL ITINERARY TO LOVED ONES

To ease the fears of your friends and family back home, you should stay connected to them as much as possible, and let them know of your plans when and if it changes. This is also a great way for you to leave a trail in the case of an emergency, they will know your whereabouts. In addition, email/text your itineraries to your best friend or a close family; this could be emergency contacts of the hostel/hotel you’re staying, the address of where you will be staying, flight itineraries etc. This is also beneficial for you, in case you lose anything, they could always email it back a copy to you.

7.  LEARN SOME TYPE OF SELF-DEFENSE

Look, I’m not trying to scare ya, and you probably won’t need to use your self-defense skill (knock on wood) but I am sure you know crime can happen anywhere to just about anyone, and as a woman especially one solo traveling we are more susceptible to it and knowing one or two-way to save yourself or give yourself more time before help is on its way is a good idea.

Tip 1: if someone is bothering you, and won’t leave you the f**k alone. Scream!!!!

Tip 2: get you a pocket knife or pepper spray but be sure to check the laws on possessing either weapon in the country you are visiting.

8.  MOST IMPORTANTLY, HAVE FUN!!

This is why you decided to travel in the first place right? Or one of the reasons? Let go of the worries, the fear, let loose, eat that extra croissant, stuff yo face with ice cream, do whatever is fun for you, and have a great trip!!

Are you a solo female traveler? Do you have any tips not mentioned that could help new solo travelers? Please comment below;-)

Bonus: Need a suggestion on a solo friendly destination? Check out my 2- weeks itinerary in Spain to help you plan a trip around the country:)

If you loved this post, please share and pin this image😉A GIRLS GUIDE TO SOLO TRAVEL

20 thoughts on “A Girls Guide to Solo Travel

  1. Jasmine

    omg you are so brave!! I want to solo travel especially since its hard to find people that are interested in the same things as I. Like you stated, I have to let go of that fear, and my parents fear lol. Just curious, did you meet friends along the way in any of the places you have visited? Does that become a common occurrence? I was thinking about solo traveling to places where I know people who reside there and can catch up with them on a whim and it will help me explore. Idk if that still counts as solo travel though? Great tips! I will def be using them as I muster up the courage to travel solo! Love your hair btw! That’s how you #PRIMPLIFE!

    Reply
    1. Jackie Roams World Post author

      I met many friends at my hostels, and I also did lots of group tours and chatted up with random people who later became friends. I think I will write a post on how to make friends when solo traveling, I bet that will be helpful. Thank you for reading and commenting:)

      Reply
  2. Maelysia

    This has been so helpful and inspiring to read. I’ve always wanted to travel but I felt like I couldn’t do it by myself. It’s weird because I think I actually prefer being alone anyways

    Reply
    1. Jackie Roams World Post author

      Haha, it definitely feels like you can’t when you haven’t; as soon as you break into it, you will love it and if you love being alone, hey this just might be a great idea to travel alone;) Thanks for reading.

      Reply
  3. Patrice Bryan

    I just tried a hostel for a recent trip to Miami Beach and honestly, it was everything. Because of a hotels.com error I actually ended up in a “co-ed” room which ended up being myself and two other guys. At first I was bummed but it was actually quite nice. They seemed to be travelling from abroad and were so courteous to me. Even waited patiently while I beat my face in our little bathroom for my adventures lol. I told my friends I’d definitely do it again and I paid 40 bucks a night. They also had a really light continental breakfast available in the mornings. It was really a great experience for the price I paid.

    Reply
  4. Tracey Crockett

    I was dying laughing the responses you received to traveling solo. Sadly, they are all typical. I love that you included learning self-defense and trusting one’s instincts. Great post!

    Reply
    1. Jackie Roams World Post author

      I totally understand, my family still do not approve of me traveling alone, I still do it and just keep them in the loop and try to ease their worries as much as I can:)

      Reply
  5. Arlene

    Love this article! I’m a female who has traveled quite a bit my myself. I used to get a lot of shocked responses from people, even friends and family, when I told them I was traveling by myself. But I’ve always felt that if I waited for the right travel partner to have the time off from work, the funds to travel, and the interest to travel, then I would be waiting forever. And when you travel solo staying in hostels and places like it, you meet so many wonderful people who might travel along with you for a bit. Glad I found your site.

    Reply
    1. Jackie Roams World Post author

      I’m so happy to hear you travel even with all the shocked responses, it’s a decision that takes lots of courage to make. Thank you for reading, I hope to chat with you a lot more:)

      Reply
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