Traveling solo can be empowering and rewarding, offering moments of self-discovery and deep reflection. Understandably women are intimated to travel alone, with the key concern being safety. With careful planning however and the right mindset, you can minimize the risks to ensure a rewarding safe travel experience.
Travel expert Richelle Lavin of Soul of Africa Travel frequently travels on her own to Africa and other remote locations, exploring new destinations to share with her clients. Here is her top advice for women traveling solo, from a woman who does it time and time again:
6 Tips for Women Traveling Solo:
#1 Tip –
First and foremost, book a trip with a reputable tour operator. Even if they are a bit higher – you can’t compromise safety.
#2 Tip –
Do guided tours and better yet, private tours if you can. Not only does it provide access to unique places and people, but it supports the local economy and encourages communities to value tourism. Guided tours ensure that you are in the right places, and not a naive tourist who could potentially be taken advantage of.
#3 Tip –
Consider forgoing the larger properties and choose to stay at smaller boutique/owner run properties. This usually allows for a more attentive experience from the staff and you almost feel like you become part of the family. You may feel safer and more secure in this environment and that the property is looking out for you. In big hotels, it is easy to become lost in the crowd.
#4 Tip –
Share your full travel itinerary with someone back home in advance. Make sure they understand the potential time differences when trying to get hold of you and know where you are daily.
#5 Tip –
Consider scheduled road transfers vs Uber or public transportation unless it’s well established like in larger cities such as London, Paris or New York. Book scheduled road transfers through a reputable operator always.
#6 Tip –
Schedule “check-ins” with your loved ones back home. It helps alleviate concerns as well as making them part of your experience. It also ensures that they are on track with your whereabouts at all times.