A Guide to Staying Safe as a Solo Female Traveler

Once you've set your sights on getting out of your daily routine and embarking on a new adventure — look out! The allure of exploring new travel destinations is intoxicating, but it can lead you to ignore some key safety tips as a solo female traveler. Add these tips to your traveling checklist as a reminder of some smart practices for staying safe while enjoying your destination.


01 Do your homework

Rear view image of a young brunette woman. She is enjoying the walk and exploring the city, wearing a casual but fashionable dress, sightseeing and shopping on the Singapore street market. She is holding a large city map, checking out where to go next. lechatnoir / Getty Images

Look for blogs or social media pages that describe travels to your desired destination. If there’s a forum for you to ask questions of other solo female travelers, even better. Don’t rely on captivating Instagram posts or corporate-sponsored reviews as your sole source of information about a country or region. Bottom line: If you hear from multiple sources that the area is sketchy because of weak infrastructure, political unrest, or limited resources, then you should reconsider your plans.


02 Keep your chin up!

Shot of an attractive young woman out with her camera in a foreign city pixdeluxe / Getty Images

How often have you walked an entire block with your head buried in your phone and not realized a single thing that was around you? Being blissfully unaware of your surroundings is fine if you’re on a desert island, but not so much if you’re in a crowded square. Use your senses. Be aware of what’s around you. Avoid areas that don’t “feel” right.


03 Better safe than sorry!

Happy woman lying down at the sofa and talking on phone martin-dm / Getty Images

Did you notice that in-room safe you’ve been putting your coffee on every morning? Its true purpose is so much more than just a coaster! Set a pin number and put your passport and larger sums of money into it before you head out. The last thing you’ll want to do is replace your passport if you’re pickpocketed or it's lost or stolen.


04 Speaking of passports... make lots of copies

Cropped shot of an unrecognizable woman holding a suitcase and a passport while standing in front of a hotel reception Charday Penn / Getty Images

This is one way to use the cloud to your advantage. Make a digital copy of your passport. Then store it in a secure online dropbox for easy access if your physical one gets lost. Or stolen. This is also handy if someone needs to see a copy of your ID for a rental or excursion. Just pull up the doc on your phone! You should also leave one copy at home with a friend or family member, just in case.


05 Expand your travel comfort zone gradually

Shot of a young woman touring the city of Paris with a bicycle Charday Penn / Getty Images

When you’re just learning to ride a bike, you don’t sign up for the Tour de France a week later. The same goes for travel. You might have grand plans to backpack around Europe for a month, but if you’ve never left your home state, think smaller. Plan, pack, book flights and hotels, and experience a new destination on a much smaller scale. Think closer to home or just a few days away. If it feels great, then expand your travel horizons. If it doesn't, continue taking smaller trips. It’s easier to make this call when you’re a quick flight or drive from your home and not across an ocean.


06 Watch your social media footprint

Group of young people exploring the city on bicycle and making selfie. vgajic / Getty Images

This might sound like a revolutionary idea, but you don’t have to document every moment of your trip on social media! Sure, you’ll create some serious FOMO for your friends and colleagues, but you’re also providing people with detailed information about exactly where you are… and the fact that you’re not home. If you really have to do it for the 'Gram, wait until you’re no longer in the location to post your pics.


07 Exercise vigilance at night

Africa American Woman at a Hot Dog Stand ferrantraite / Getty Images

It sucks to say this as a solo female traveler, but you have to be so careful at night. Once the tourist crowds have dissipated for the day, nighttime can be pretty unsafe if you’re all alone. Join a group activity like an evening sightseeing tour or a pub crawl to make sure that you’ve got other people with you throughout the night. Remember what Mom says: "Nothing good happens after 10 p.m."


08 Arm yourself with self-defense

Lady paddling the kayak in the calm tropical bay mihtiander / Getty Images

It’s useful to know how to defend yourself. Taking self-defense courses before you go builds both your strength and your confidence. This is a case of being proactive, rather than reactive, to potential danger. Knowing self-defense techniques is useful in many areas of your life, and is an empowering tool.


09 Be thorough about researching your venues

Rear view of tourist in hotel looking through the window martin-dm / Getty Images

Places that seem like they’re too good to be true often are. If they have no online reviews, that’s a clear warning sign to stay away. Look for reviews written by females, and note any mentions of travelers saying that they felt unsafe or taken advantage of. Reputable rental and hotel establishments pride themselves on great customer service and providing a welcoming and safe atmosphere for everyone.


10 Balance your budget with your best interests

Woman pushing her suitcase at an airport Photo by Atoms on Unsplash

You sleep on 800-thread count sheets at home, so why would you try to cheap out on your vacation digs? It feels great to save some cash when you’re on holiday. Yet you don't want to end up in a dicey neighborhood or with rowdy guests. It’s okay to spend a little more to upgrade where you’re staying or save for a few months extra to afford something that meets your standards.


11 All things in moderation

Woman using credit card on a vacation martin-dm / Getty Images

Want to indulge in a few cocktails? Treat yourself! Can’t stand up by the end of the evening? That’s a huge problem. You’re on vacation to relax, but if you completely lose control, you’re in a potentially terrifying situation. Know your limits, and be okay with saying “no” to extra booze.


12 Make connections with other women

Two women friends sitting at a cafe, doing a celebratory toast together. They are drinking beer and cocktails. They are having fun together. Hispanic and caucasian ethnicities. FilippoBacci / Getty Images

Look into local groups that meet at your destination, especially if they’re specifically for women. That’s a great place to meet other females and learn about the greatest parts of their city or region. If you have a specific interest or hobby, search your message boards for a meetup while you’re in town. Meeting up with other “Schitt’s Creek” fans means you can be a little bit Alexis, even if just for one evening.


13 Invest in a good purse or fanny pack

Vita Mir after MARCO DE VINCENZO show during Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 eversummerphoto /

If you haven’t thought about the words “fanny pack” since you were in middle school, you’re not alone. Good thing they’re back in style now! It's a super useful and safe way to carry your money and cards. It’s also wise to look at your purse before you depart. If it’s a big, clunky bag with lots of pockets and a wide opening, consider a sleeker option that is worn across the front of your body.


14 Give your flight info and basic itinerary to someone trusted

The Queensland Rail services most of the coastal areas in the Queensland territory. A woman works on her laptop while traveling. Matthew Micah Wright / Getty Images

You don’t need to give a minute-by-minute report of what you’re doing every day, but basic flight info, where you’re staying, and some places you want to see are good pieces of info to leave with someone trusted back home.


15 Get a TSA approved lock for your luggage

Shot of a masked young woman using a smartphone while travelling through a subway station pixdeluxe / Getty Images

Yes, they will look hideous against your perfectly paired luggage pieces, but the lock is essential for an added layer of security. It’s also a good idea to set the luggage lock when you leave your hotel room.


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