Home » Women Traveling Solo-Do it!

Updated March 2023

Why Women Should Get Out There

This is one of those very personal decisions that women have to make for themselves and often do so in spite of concerns from those around them. I‘ll admit, it can be intimidating thinking about being in a new place solo. Loved ones expressing fear about your travel plans won’t help. If you can get over that fear, the rewards are far greater than you could ever imagine. I don’t suggest every woman travel solo to the most unfamiliar location they can find and throw caution to the wind. However, I know the kind of growth one can gain from traveling solo. I have traveled with friends, without friends, and more often than not, on my own.

Safety

It’s still strange to some people that a woman would choose to travel solo. For some travelers, well meaning friends and family recoil at the thought of a woman or anyone for that matter, traveling alone for safety reasons. Totally understandable and it’s a valid concern. The nightly news is enough to make anyone want to hide in a bunker and never leave. That said, as an American, I can admit that my own country is terrifying to some. I say this from conversations I’ve had while traveling overseas and people asking me if what they see on their nightly news is true. Traveling has risks for everyone. It’s a personal decision for everyone to weigh the risks vs. the rewards. 

My Experiences Traveling Solo

One reason I loved to travel solo is because you are completely free to travel based solely on your interests and instincts. Numerous times during my travels, I’d set out for a two or three day excursion to a destination only to end up staying longer because it felt right and I wasn’t ready to leave yet. Simple as that. I set out for the Cinque Terre for a three day trip and stayed almost two weeks! Cinque Terre can be covered in a matter of days but I got to know the locals a bit and enjoyed becoming a temporary local. I also hooked up with other ladies who just wanted to hike, eat, and enjoy the Italian beaches, just like me.

Women I met Traveling Solo

When I was in Florence, I met two American women who left their lives in the States behind, and moved to Florence. They didn’t know each other but met randomly as two women traveling solo in Italy. After chatting, they decided to get an apartment together. One taught English at the local language school and the other was leading bike tours through Tuscany. The apartment they rented was a tiny 2-bedroom unit, with the added bonus of being centrally located in the heart of Florence. Those ladies stated they simply wanted to add to their life experiences.

These are the validating encounters and conversations that make you appreciate where you are at that moment. Meeting other brave, adventurous women reaffirms your decision to put yourself out in the world and participate in life. 

My Checklist for Traveling Solo

When traveling solo, aside from my own mistakes and miscalculations here and there, I’ve had primarily positive experiences and have never encountered some of the horror stories that are found, well…in horror stories. Far be it for me to dish out rock solid advice on life, but for traveling solo, this has been a tried and true formula for me:

  • The best way to arrive with a bit of confidence is to arm yourself with a game plan. Some travelers just wing it. Kudos to them but I am too much of a trip planner. I felt more at ease arriving to unfamiliar destinations with good maps, apps, and a proper guide book about my destination, and a booked accommodation for my first night’s stay.
  • I found that a hotel concierge can be your best friend.
  • Have confidence in yourself. You, let me introduce you to…you. Meet the person who will be resourceful enough to ask for help when needed. Traveling solo doesn’t mean you throw yourself to the wolves and wander aimlessly through a city new to you. Look up tourist offices, consulates, hospitals, any resources you might need during your travels. Use the Trip Planning tab to assist you
  • Depending on the destination, I would get a small amount of local currency at the airport upon arrival. In case the local transportation system didn’t work out, I’d have enough currency for a taxi ride. I still do this.

Please note: Uber and Lyft are not available world wide. Do your research ahead of time. This is why I still like to be prepared with local currency for cab fare.

  • Don’t be afraid to talk to people. One reason I loved traveling solo was because it forced me to approach people and have memorable conversations.
  • Made 2 copies of my passport, which I still do. One goes into my carry-on bag in case I lose my passport or it’s stolen and I can report it. If you do lose your passport or if it’s stolen, be sure to report it to prevent identity theft. You don’t want someone doing something shady with your passport! I’ve always given the other copy to a loved one at home just as a backup. 
  • I got in the habit of checking the U.S. State Department website for clients traveling to areas considered high risk. It just became a habit for me to stay informed so I still do it. You can easily find everything you need from health requirements to travel risk information. Use the Trip Planning resource to help you with this.
  • Always have a wrap or scarf of some kind for the plane and to use as an extra cover in drafty rooms or destinations. A wrap or scarf is also great to have in some parts of the world where churches and temples require shoulders to be covered.  Many are architectural masterpieces that you won’t see at home.
  • Going out at night totally depends on where you’re going, your comfort level, and sometimes, the season you’re traveling. Again, plan ahead. Take precautions, check on festivals going on, tour groups you can join, and plan how you will get back to your hotel or vacation rental. Common sense prevails. 
  • Call or email those concerned about you. That’s only fair. Whether you’re celebrating your graduation, birthday, or just traveling, check in if anyone is worried about you. Celebrate that you’re the one who is brave enough to bungee jump off of a bridge in New Zealand for your 40th birthday. Just send a text or email saying, “I’m still alive,” and then go jump off again. (I didn’t do this but had a client who did. I spent my 40th happily in a hot tub with girlfriends in Lake Tahoe.)
  • I traveled to Australia and Europe solo and went on guided tour groups. These tours were trips that changed my life, making life-long friendships I cherish to this day. These are my soulmates, as we all met doing something we all love. Exploring the world. 

There is so much to be gained for anyone willing to trust themselves, take precautions, and open themselves to the experience. For me, traveling is a passion. If people were able to join me on my trips, great! If not, adios! The thought of traveling solo can be intimidating but the sense of accomplishment you feel after you’ve done it is immeasurable. It’s a different experience for everybody and something that nobody can ever take from you because it’s YOUR experience. 

Do it! There’s a world out there waiting for you to see it! And be sure to share your experience. You’ll be an inspiration to others!

You’re never spending time by yourself. You’re spending time WITH yourself.”

~ Mel Robbins

View from the Jaguar Temple, Belize