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- Posted:Thursday, March 19, 2015
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Why solo travel as a woman needn't be a scary experience
When planning a trip, one of your first questions will be whether to travel alone or in a group. Some people would never dream of going to far flung destinations on their own, especially if there are cultural and language barriers. Certainly if you are a woman thinking of solo travel, it can be very hard to see through the barrage of reasons why you shouldn't do it. However, with as bit of common sense and confidence, there needn't be anything to be scared of.
Safety is a priority for everyone, but it’s a particular concern for female travellers. A single woman travelling alone can invite unwanted attention, more so in some countries than others. In those cases it’s best to ignore the admirer and carry on casually as if they don't exist. A lot of things are common sense, like not going out late at night on your own in a quiet area. Also be careful if you are drinking alcohol, as this can impair your judgement and land you in dangerous situations. Be confident in yourself. Always know where you are and have some cash handy should you feel the need to stop walking around and jump on some public transport. Keep your hostel's telephone number on you too in case you get lost and need some help with directions. Most places will be happy to help and may even come get you if required!
Freedom & Confidence
Just because you are a woman travelling on her own it doesn't mean you will be alone all the time. It simply means you have the freedom to choose what you do, when you do it and who you do it with. When staying in hostels you will not be able to avoid meeting other travellers along the way - whether you want to or not! You may also be surprised by how many other solo female travellers you meet. Being forced out of your comfort zone and meeting new people makes you more confident and may help you to discover a whole new 'you'. After a day of walking around seeing the sites you will probably want to share experiences with someone over a cold beer. Your fellow travellers can also be a useful source of local tips and insider information. It can often be more cost effective to book group tours or activities with other people – yet more motivation to get you talking to people and feeling more confident.
A lot of the advice for female travellers is common sense. Depending on where you are, if you don't want to attract unwanted attention, it’s best to avoid wearing anything overly revealing. It’s important to always be aware of the culture and traditions of the places you visit. Cover your shoulders or knees if that is what is required. Don't wear expensive jewelry or designer items – these could make you a target for thieves.
Keep in touch
Before I went travelling on my own, I made sure I checked my embassy for news about the countries I was travelling to. You can also register that you will be travelling to certain destinations so your embassy has a record. It’s also a good idea to give your family a copy of your passport, itinerary and insurance details. That way they know where you are at any time and you have a back-up copy of all your details in case they get lost or stolen. Most importantly, keep in touch with people from home and let them know how you are - and where you are! Internet cafes are everywhere and while people do not like being reminded that you may be in sunnier climates, they will still want to hear that you are safe, happy and having the time of your life! So don't let anything hold you back and go for it – solo female travel needn't be a scary experience!