Backpacking adventures have become an increasingly popular type of travel – the nature of which often requires us to pack our bags and set off on a trip as a solo traveller. Enjoying your trip is of course a priority but safety needs to be considered and even more so when you’re travelling as a woman on your own. Slinks talks to Brenna of This Battered Suitcase and Char of Taylor Hearts Travel for their top tips on staying safe and enjoying the experience when travelling as a woman on your own.
First of all, are there advantages to travelling on your own?
B: I believe that solo travel allows you to learn a lot about yourself as well as the countries you’re visiting. It allows you do whatever you want, when you want, and it opens you up a lot more to new experiences and meeting new people.
C: You can be a do-er. Don’t dream about that destination or next experience. Just book it, get excited and enjoy it. Don’t wait for a friend to be up for it, as you could be waiting your whole life. Just make a plan and then make it happen.
What are your top tips? How do you stay safe?
B: My top tips for solo female travel are not that different than the tips I’d give a man, nor are they that different from the tips I’d give to someone in big cities like London or New York. Stay aware of your surroundings, and trust your intuition. As each country varies so much, it’s important to do your research and find out about common tourist scams. Remember that most of the world is good, and that most people (99%) are kind and helpful. Don’t let the fear of not staying safe keep you from travelling on your own.
C: Being safe is a priority. This is true no matter what your travel style or whoever you’re with, but you need to particularly aware of your surroundings as a solo female traveller. That pretty beach shack may be a fun drinking spot in the beautiful sunshine, but in the late evening you can easily become vulnerable. You can still go – just make sure you have a safe option for getting home, such as a trusted taxi company.
Are there any places you would recommend for this type of travel?
B: I’d recommend Southeast Asia and South America. As they’re both popular with tourists and backpackers, you meet a lot of other travellers along the way. If you’re a bit nervous to travel through developing countries on your own, I recommend starting with Australia and New Zealand, or Western Europe. Again, both places are quite safe and easy to navigate as a solo traveller.
C: Don’t always follow the crowds. When you’re travelling alone you’ll often meet other travellers, which is great. However, don’t feel like you have to see and do whatever they’re doing for the sake of being with other people. Stay true to yourself and ensure you have the trip you’ve always wanted. If you want to see something that your new friends aren’t fussed about, go without them.
Likewise, are there any destinations you would avoid if you were travelling alone?
B: I think it’s always smart to do your research and know the country you’re visiting. I would obviously avoid countries that are currently undergoing unrest or conflict. However, a lot of countries around the world are actually quite safe for tourists.
Thank you to Brenna and Char for talking with us and sharing their travel tips! We’d love to hear about your adventures if you’ve travelled on your own and remember to share your pictures of Slinks all over the globe!