Party of One! My Top Tips for Women Traveling Solo
Whether partnered and parenting or single and childfree, women across the United States are becoming more and more interested in traveling on their own.
In fact, more than 32 million American women embarked on a solo journey last year. And for good reason: the experience of traveling alone presents prime opportunities for indulging your desires, immersing yourself in another culture, engaging in self-reflection, and gaining confidence in yourself.
You’d be amazed at how much more you learn about your destination (and yourself!) when you’re guided solely by your own thoughts and wishes.
Keep reading for my advice on how to make the most of your solo vacation.
While the freedom to travel on your terms (and your terms only) may seem thrilling, my solo travel clients sometimes simultaneously express hesitation about the risks associated with stepping outside of their comfort zones alone. My advice is to prepare, prepare, prepare. Solo travelers equipped with knowledge and invested in their own safety are sure to overcome any fears of encountering a difficult situation and will no doubt have a fantastic trip.
1. Research: Research your destination before your departure, including not only the sites on your itinerary but the local language, cultural dress codes and customs, and common dangers and scams in the area.
2. Get Connected: Register with the local embassy in case of an emergency evacuation or problems with your passport. Share your plans on social media in case your networks have connections in the area you’re traveling to. Check out Women Welcome Women to link up with women at your destination. Ensure your phone will work internationally, and keep someone back home updated regularly.
3. Pack Well: Before departing, make copies of your important documents and memorize your credit card information. Divide your cash and credit cards in multiple locations across your person and your purse. And lastly, pack hairspray or bug spray to act as pepper spray would on the off chance that you find yourself in an unsafe situation.
4. Blend In: When you’re on the ground, do your best to put your research to work by blending in and being respectful of cultural norms. Project confidence and walk with a purpose. You might consider buying something small at a market or drugstore so that you can reuse the branded bag, which will instantly mark you as a local. Try to avoid distractions (especially your phone and headphones!) so that you can be aware of your surroundings, and step into nearby businesses if you’re lost or need help.
Once you arrive at your destination, fully prepared and equipped for your solo vacation, my advice is to lean into engaging in every way possible. Traveling alone doesn’t have to be lonely! Engaging the culture, people, and sites you encounter on your trip will make you and those that you meet excellent company.
1. Converse: This may seem obvious, but just in case, it bears repeating: talk! Talk to everyone you can. In my experience, a smile and an attempt to say a few words in the language can go a long way to building goodwill with locals, who are normally more than happy to show you around, give you recommendations, and tell you about themselves. Listening, then, is just as important as talking! You’ll be touched by what you discover about what’s important to people across the globe.
2. Go Device Free: I recommend putting down your phone whenever possible. When you’re eating alone without staring at a screen, strangers will be eager to chat with you. And when you’re not obsessed with taking photos, you’re able to immerse yourself in the moment more fully (not to mention the people-watching opportunities!). Bring along a journal and write down your favorite memories at the end of each day. Rereading these thoughts can be an even more meaningful form of reminiscing about your trip.
3. Keep an Open Mind: Step out of your comfort zone and let go of your insecurities. Nobody knows you here, so it doesn’t matter what you look like! Visit some non-touristy areas to live like a true local. And don’t just watch culture in action, but engage in culture yourself by dining, listening to music, or dancing!
If reading my tips has you excited to design your next solo vacation, get in touch with me today so that we can get started planning. As a woman business owner, I couldn’t be more delighted to be able to help women make their travel dreams come true. Wherever your solo travels take you, I’m wishing you the satisfaction of being your own best travel companion.