This is a question I get asked quite often and it is also something I wondered myself when I first started travelling alone.
Everybody’s experiences are of course different but for me personally… my answer is
I have never had a single problem in all of my solo travels including cities that are known to be notorious for pickpockets and crime such as Athens, Barcelona, Jakarta, Phnom Penh etc. However, I did witness incidences, so they certainly are places to be alert in for a reason, as you should be for wherever you travel.
I thought recently, surely after four months travelling mostly solo around Southeast Asia, something bad was bound to happen. But, nope. I have never even missed a flight or had my bags misplaced. (Thank goodness!).
Again, it could be due to being in the right place at the right time and it could also be due to the fact that I would say I’m a smart traveller.
I’m not ever worried about travelling alone, but I am always aware of my surroundings and never let my guard down.
Through experience and common sense, I’ve learned easy ways to help stay safer, not get my stuff stolen and therefore just have a bloody good time and not have to worry about dealing with those consequences.
That doesn’t mean I’ve never had anything bad at all happen to me while travelling.
Oh yes, nobody is perfect! I have had people try to scam me, I’ve been so lost in a foreign place I’ve almost broken down, I’ve had my credit card details stolen, I’ve stayed in some horrid rat and drug infested places… but bad times such as these are only temporary and lead to future learning and funny stories.
Yes, bad things can happen, but you don’t need to be afraid or be put off travelling alone as a female because of it. The truth is, the majority of local people are extremely friendly and welcoming and would rather help you than harm you.
As they say, you are more likely to have a crime done against you in your own country. (This is true for me!). You just need to travel smart.
Below are some handy travel and safety tips that I always use myself:
⚫ If you have a long-strapped bag always carry it across your body, zipped and tightly secure. If you have a spare hand, hold on to it too whenever possible.
⚫ When using your phone out walking on the street, hold it close to your body and always with two hands.
⚫ If you don’t have data available, download the city you are in prior on Google Maps offline so you will never get lost.
⚫ Don’t trust strangers even if they seem nice. Never get in a car or go somewhere with them by yourself.
⚫ Make sure at least one person has your current travel itinerary and always knows where you are staying and where you should be.
⚫ Always keep sight of your belongings at train stations, airports etc.
⚫ Don’t go out walking alone late at night.
⚫ Don’t get too drunk. Always be in control.
⚫ Don’t carry more cash than you would need for the day and always have a spare EFTPOS/credit card located separately from the one you carry.
⚫ Dress conservatively, especially in places where it is customary.
⚫ Where you can, travelling by Uber is a smart way to get around. The app tracks the driver and you, keeping both of your information in the system and the payment is done through the app via credit card so no money is exchanged.
⚫ Grab the business card of your accommodation to take around with you, even most hostels have them. That way you always have the address and phone number of where you are staying in case you get lost and can’t communicate with a driver.
⚫ Trust your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t.
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Hopefully these tips can help you to feel more confident and stay safe when travelling solo as a female. Just remember there are so many of us out there doing it so you aren’t really alone!
Travelling solo opens up a whole new world of experiences as you learn to navigate situations on your own, make new friendships and basically do whatever you want!
Do you have any other tips to add to this list? Comment below, I’d love to read them.