Hello, females! I hope you’re somewhere adventurous or in the planning stages of changing your life. Because that’s what travelling does, it changes your life. If I never made that jump, if I never travelled, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. And I like that person. She’s tolerant and open-minded because she’s seen so much.
I’m also not an idiot and I understand the dangers that us women face every single day of our lives. We’re in a constant alert mode when we’re on our own. Sexual harassment and assault are gaining more attention of late, but has it gotten better when you’re out there on your own? Is it worth it to travel the world on your own when there are such obvious threats?
That’s why I decided to write this blog post on safety tips for solo female travellers because the answer isn’t readily available. People aren’t quick to guarantee your safety and you don’t need to search far to hear horror stories on human trafficking and rape. You start to wonder if your wanderlust can be treated with a simple weekend trip to a (safe) vacation spot.
Do I still recommend solo female travel? What do you think?
Safety Tips for Solo Female Travellers
Do your research before travelling
This is so real and I can’t stress it enough, would you go to a new job without knowingly looking into the working conditions? Would you buy a house without looking around the neighbourhood first? I doubt it. The same rules need to apply to travel. You can’t expect the world to be perfect and safe, it isn’t. It’s tough our ‘there’ and you have to be smart – end of story. We all have dreams of a safe world but it’s not the case and we need to protect ourselves first.
Educate yourself before heading to a new country; check online to see how safe it is for women by reading blogs and watching YouTube videos. People are fairly honest and usually, tell the truth about the necessary safety precautions in that particular country. I am currently working on a few myself, I think it’s important to look after my sisters when they’re travelling.
Try refrain from going to unknown places alone at night
People get taken during the day as well, but because of the visibility, you’re more likely to find help when the area is more populated. Humans have hearts (most of them) and there is help out there – there just need to be people about in order to help you. Try being smart and allowing yourself enough time to get to a populated area safely before the light goes. Plan your day so you get back in time, make sure the tour/adventure doesn’t end at a time when it will make getting back to your accommodation too late. On that note…
Book accommodation close to populated areas
I know you might end up paying a little more but isn’t your safety worth it? Staying in a busy area makes it easier to lose those who might be following you or watching your movements. It also makes it a lot easier to get help if you find yourself needing some. Learn the area you’re staying in and mark out the nearest police station or hospital. In addition to that, know where your embassy is or just the number of your embassy so you can call on them if you find yourself in a bind.
Always have a map
Oh yeah, to get around! Yes, that’s correct, but also if someone wants to ‘guide’ you to a location and abuses your kindness. Have a printed map so you can accept their help by allowing them to mark the location on the map or show you directions on paper. We all want to see the best in people, but we have to be street smart when it comes to accepting help from strangers that might lead you to something bad.
Be smart when you hook up
You’re on an adventure and 9 times out of 10 there’s a hot Australian looking for a good time. I’m not mad at this, but you need to keep your wits about you if you want to have a good time. For starters, always wear protection. If pregnancy isn’t a worry, an STD should be. Also, make sure you don’t go down any dark alleys or into unsafe territory. If you change your mind halfway through (you’re allowed to do this – they will get over their blue balls) have an exit strategy so you don’t land yourself in an unsafe situation. Humans reveal their true natures when their egos are in the mix.
Connect with other solo female travellers on Social Media
There are awesome Facebook groups out there that can help you connect with other female travellers whilst on your adventures. We are here to help each other! The other day, a traveller coming to Korea asked me about such a group and I immediately pointed her in the right direction. If something happens in a foreign country: rape, a worrying medical issue, mental health, fears for your life – reach out and find help.
This post is not meant to scare you; it is simply a reality check. The world is a beautiful place with so much to offer – you would just be doing yourself a disservice by not being vigilant and street smart.
If you have any more you’d like to add, please pop them into the comments below.
Be safe out there, ladies!