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Travel Secrets for Females Travelling Solo

“Quick Fact: According to a 2015 TripAdvisor survey, with more than 9,000 women surveyed from around the world, 41% indicated they had travelled alone and 74% planned to travel alone in the future.”

If you are like me, and travelling solo is in your bucket list, then you’re reading the right blog post. Are you worried something might happen while you are miles away from family and friends? Don’t overthink it. Travelling solo is the most liberating feeling that you can get. It’s the most effective way to “find yourself,” and not to mention, a big eye-opener.

I started travelling at the age of 19 and funny enough, I was alone. To be fair, I ended up meeting a friend for a few days upon arrival at my destination. At that time, I was in a part of my life where I was trying to challenge myself in doing things I did not think I can do. Ever since then, whenever I tell people I was going away to Cuba or Europe by myself, everybody’s reactions were very similar: Wow, you’re brave! Aren’t you scared? Why? Do you not have friends? I could never do that! I have so many stories on people’s reactions, but let’s save that for the future blog post! Hint: Funny Reactions When You Say You Are Travelling Solo!

Most of the time, you don’t always find yourself alone. You meet amazing people along the way and learn so much about their culture, and simultaneously about yourself. However, it is completely normal to feel anxious, scared, excited and driven to plan for your trip.

Tweet Me: Travelling Solo is the easiest way to connect with yourself.

The best tip is to prepare yourself for what could happen while travelling. Don’t plan everything to the tee though; it’s best to familiarize yourself about your destination, bring the right items while travelling, wearing the most comfortable attire, and to feel safe.

Get-to-Know Your Destination

The most important part of travelling solo is being spontaneous. However, that is not an excuse to be reckless and put yourself in danger. Two weeks before you leave, grab every book you can see about your destination or read many articles about the language, culture, local gestures, food, dining and attractions. Learn as much as you can to understand the norm in your destination. For example, when I went to Amsterdam, I learned that coffee shops are not the typical coffee shops I see in North America. The coffee shops there mean alcohol-free establishments, where cannabis are consumed and sold.

It’s also better to find out the top recommended restaurants serving your favourite cuisines. For me, I prefer to look up must-have foods to eat in {Destination of your choice} and I lean more towards grab-and-go options and less fine dining. I’d rather enjoy my meal while appreciating the beautiful scenery at a park, beach or lakeside. Do the same thing with attractions, shopping and galleries — familiarize yourself.

Moving on to the crucial part: transportation and directions. The last thing you want to do is “get lost all the time” unless you are like me who loves to wander. But, it is important to always have a sense of direction. The best way is to search on Google Maps for the top Attractions on your phone and place a star on them.

Quick Google Maps Trick: Once you are able to search the location on your phone and placed a star, you can see the map even if you are not connected to the internet. However, this won’t give you the step-by-step directions and the live “my location” feature.

As for accommodations, make sure you abide to your own criteria of a hostel or hotel to stay at. Don’t listen to other traveller’s suggestions until you looked it up and it passed your own “must have.” Trust me; I learned this the hard way. I normally looked at three things: 1) cleanest hostel 2) proximity to main attractions or transportation and 3) hostel with personality. My favourite from my recent European trip was Ecomama. Why? Well, let’s just say it has an indoor swing in the common kitchen and massive camp tent in the movie room. Yes! Best hostel ever.

Pack the Right Things

The most important part when travelling solo is packing the right things. For me, I made sure that my items are lightweight and travel-safe since I am only carrying one 10L backpack. If you are backpacking, make sure to find the most comfortable backpack. For females, there are several backpacks (specifically geared for women) that will protect your back. Whether it’s a backpack or luggage, it’s always good to bring one that offer packing options with a capability to expand. If you’ve decided on luggage, try to get one with an extended zipper; if it’s a backpack, flexible straps are recommended.

Make sure to look up weather conditions in your destinations, but it’s best to bring neutral outfits and varying accessories such as scarves and hats to mix up your outfits. It’s best to bring at least one sweater, flip flops, running shoes, black dress and a swimsuit wherever you go, no matter where in the world.

The most important part for me is your technology. You want to capture all the great memories and views during your travel, especially when you are going to be out there facing your fears with pride and bravery. Bring an SLR, Go Pro, point and shoot, and your cellphone. Alternate using them depending on where you are. However, make sure to keep them safe. Always put it inside a carry-on and never leave it unlocked.

Packing Hacks: Invest money on purchasing travel safe locks in all sizes, camera cases, hidden wallets, and RFID card covers. It’s worth every penny.

Face Your Fears and Have Fun!

Let go of what you think will happen to you. Don’t listen to anyone telling you it’s dangerous. It’s not as scary as what everyone makes it seem like. As long as you are cautious, having fun and willing to brave it out there, then you are good to go!

Don’t watch Hostel or Taken movies. It’s too exaggerated compared to real life.

Since you are going to travel alone, might as well take it a step further. Opt-in for safe hostels. This is the best way to meet people and be part of the culture.

Keep wanderlusting…

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If you are still scared, just familiarize yourself. Read as much articles as possible even if they all say the same thing.

 

Bonus: Travel Hacks

  • Grab pocket Tylenol or Gravol cases and put your money there. No one will guess it!
  • Buy the foldable day backpack. It’s spacious and you never know you need an extra bag.
  • Skip the bulky fluffy towels; purchase absorbent ultra -lite towels from camping stores.
  • If you are going to Europe, take the night bus rather than night trains. It’s safe and more comfortable. Plus, it’s extremely inexpensive.
  • Forget those fluffy neck pillows; go with pocket neck pillows. It’s easier to pack and more comfortable. You can even use it as an extra pillow if you decided to stay at hostel rather than hotels.

 

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