Do you love traveling but don’t always have a buddy to join you on your adventures? Do you want to challenge yourself, become more independent and meet amazing people from all around the world? If you answered yes to these questions this article is for you!
Until a few years ago, traveling the world alone as a woman wasn’t normal. You would often be met with responses like: “What if you meet the wrong people? What horrible thing could happen to you while you’re out there? As a woman, you could not defend yourself! Women are not resourceful enough to travel on their own”… WRONG!
Women are just as capable as men are to visit places they want without a buddy. Of course, some places are more recommended than others, but if you pick wisely and organize your trip well, you will be totally fine.
Here my top 4 tips for traveling solo:
Get information about the country you’re going to.
Before you go somewhere, do your research on the goldmine that is the Internet. It will help you find information about the country, the culture, the do’s and don’ts, and even some breathtaking sites to visit while you’re there! Check out YouTube videos, TripAdvisor, blogs (Wonderlost for example!), articles, Wikipedia, and the official website of the country (which is usually full of useful information such as visa, vaccines, recommendations…).
Also, please adapt to the culture and try not to offend people while you’re there. For example if you’re traveling to Malaysia, always cover your body, even at the beach (I know it’s harder to get a tan like that, but at least you will show locals that you understand and respect their culture).
Don’t book your whole trip in advance.
I recommend you to have places in mind that you want to visit, but don’t plan a full itinerary before you go. You never know who you will meet or what could happen during your travels. You might one day meet some amazing friends and want to travel with them for a bit, but if you booked all your hotels, flights and activities in advance you will miss an opportunity to spend great times with these people.
Also, when you meet people abroad, you usually talk about where you’ve been, exchange recommendations and advice, which can lead you to places you didn’t even know about before, or some well kept secrets! This is how I had one of the best days of my life doing the “Mr. Rot’s secret tour” in Dalat, Vietnam. I won’t tell you what it is about because well, it’s a secret, but I truly encourage you to do it if you’re ever there! So do not plan everything before you leave, last minute spontaneity can be key! Plus you might get cheaper accommodations and services sometimes.
Don’t be afraid to meet people.
I traveled solo mostly in Asia and Ireland. These were some of the best experiences in my life and that is 50% due to the amazing people that I met and traveled with. Whether it is meeting other foreigners traveling around or welcoming locals, everybody has something to teach you and share with you. Even if you’re just sitting at a café by yourself for half an hour, if you have the chance to have a conversation with somebody, please do it! You never know when you will make friends until you do. Plus, the people you meet can even join you on your trip and make it even more unforgettable.
If you’re willing to meet people, I recommend you stay in hostels. Check the reviews on HostelWorld, find one with a great common area and good reviews, book it and I can assure you that you will meet people in under an hour! There are some apps for backpackers that put you in contact with people around you, but I never tried it as I would rather meet people in person.
If you’re a woman or not, please be careful, wherever you are! We don’t want anything to happen to you and a bad experience can really change the vision you have of a country. It’s sad to say, but bad people have no nationality. You may get robbed in your home country rather than abroad. Make sure not to go to risky neighborhoods; if somebody warns you about a part of the city, no need to go check yourself if the average of crimes is higher there.
Don’t jump off a cliff that isn’t safe; if you’re canyoning with a professional guide, enjoy this time to get a dose of adrenaline, but don’t jump off any cliff you encounter if there’s no sign saying that you’re allowed to. Don’t do anything illegal, ending up in jail would be a bummer and definitely change your plans. Have fun, discover a lot, meet amazing people, but stay safe and come back with many beautiful stories to share with us!
I hope these tips will help you if you’re planning to travel solo. Have you ever traveled solo? Do you have any tips?
See you next week, where I give suggestions on how to pack as a solo traveler!
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