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Guide for Women Traveling Solo: Tips & Destination Advice

After so long with no travel, people are ready to get back out there and see the world. Even if it means they have to do it alone. While that may sound daunting—foreign places, new people, and maybe even a new language—you may be surprised to find that solo travel for women is actually on the rise.

More women than ever are packing their bags, booking a flight, and going on the solo adventure of a lifetime. And you can too.

If you’re ready to take the leap, travel alone for the first time, and begin your journey to taking solo trips around the world, you’re in the right place.

Read on for our top travel tips on how to conquer your first solo trip and beyond, as well as some great destinations for solo female travelers to journey abroad.

It won’t be long before you’re solo traveling like a pro!

Table of Contents

Top Tips for Women Traveling Solo

Traveling solo has many benefits, from doing what you want when you want to meeting new people and discovering more about yourself than you ever thought possible.

Solo travel as a female may seem a little intimidating at first, but taking the time to do a little research and set up a few safety nets can help ensure you have some of the best trips of your life, all while traveling alone!

1. Decide on the Type of Trip You Want to Take

Before you get into any researching or deep-diving of destinations, you’ll want to think about the kind of solo female travel you’re hoping to do. 

  • Do you want to travel somewhere closer to home or travel abroad? 
  • Are you looking for a destination with great nature walks and outdoor fun or a tourist city/beach where everything is conveniently accessible?
  • Are you looking for a quiet vacation spot where you can interact with the locals more easily?

Solo travel as a woman can be a big step to take. And a bit nerve-wracking. Thinking about the kind of trip you want will help you decide where to look and make planning your solo trip less stressful. 

Your comfort level and personal security play a factor here, as they can help determine what you feel confident doing. 

If it’s your first time traveling solo, you might have reservations about traveling out of the city or hiking out to remote areas by yourself. However, if that’s something you do on a daily basis at home, you might feel more comfortable taking the plunge to try those same experiences in a foreign place.

2. Research the Destination for Safety to Solo Female Travelers

Once you have an idea of the kind of trip you want to take, you’ll want to look up related destinations that have a reputation for being safe places to visit, not just for solo travelers but more specifically for women traveling solo.

You can make use of a few resources for a general idea of a destination’s overall security for women solo travelers. These suggestions are a starting point to help you decide which places you might want to look into further for your next adventure!

  1. The U.S. State Department of Travel has general travel advisory information available on their site to help you stay informed. They have an easy-to-understand system of advisory levels from Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions to Level 4 – Do Not Travel.
  2. The Institute for Economics & Peace has an annual Global Peace Index report that ranks countries by their overall peacefulness. One measure they look at is the level of Societal Safety and Security, which can help you determine the places you may feel at ease visiting.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list, solo travel for women blogs can help you get an idea for other solo travelers’ experiences in those places, focusing on how other female travelers described their time there.

Pro-tip: Look into how those places’ local culture and customs differ from your own. A small but essential step to help you stay safe when abroad!

3. Check Out Groups for Women Who Travel

If you’re not 100% sold on going completely solo for your first trip, we understand. 

Going it completely alone can be overwhelming. In that case, an excellent option for you might be to join a group for women or solo travelers. 

You can find a ton of travel groups through social media like Facebook and other travel sites and search for your perfect group based on your age, occupations, destinations you want to visit, and more. Plenty of groups offer women-only spaces to link up if you feel more comfortable traveling with only other women.

Just because you’re traveling solo doesn’t mean you have to be alone. There are countless other women solo traveling around the world in a community that makes them feel confident, protected, and welcome.

4. Share Itinerary and Phone Numbers with a Trusted Friend

A key part of solo travel for women is finding small but smart ways to stay safe. If you’re traveling alone, even if you’re with a group of friends or other women, remember to share your itinerary and phone numbers with a trusted friend. This way, they can contact you at any time and have a rough idea of where you should be if anything happens.

Pro-tip: Try scheduling regular check-ins with family or friends back home, and set up a solid system for what they should do if you miss a check-in.

When traveling solo to New Zealand, our female team member, Moriah, spoke with her sister via FaceTime or text and checked in every day when she returned to her Airbnb, so her sister knew she was safe for the night. 

Personal Safety Apps

As we just mentioned, personal safety is critical for solo female travelers. It can have a massive impact on how confident you feel in your ability to travel solo and whether you want to journey to international destinations or just travel around a familiar place at night. 

Thankfully, there are apps to help you look after your well-being and security no matter where your adventures take you.

Below, we’ve put together a list of some of the top apps we’d recommend to make your solo travel safer. 

These apps are free and easy to use, helping to give you confidence no matter where you trek.

  1. Smart Traveler – allows you to register your trip with the nearest embassy or consulate and gives them your contact info so they can contact you in case of an emergency. You can also register through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) on their website.
  2. TripWhistle – gives you access to emergency numbers for police, firefighters, and medical services in 196 countries. You can also map and share your location via text. 
  3. Noonlight* – has a main button feature you can press and hold/release in a threatening situation to alert emergency personnel to your location. *Best for trips within the US.
  4. Mayday Safety* – is very similar to Noonlight in that you can alert others to your situation by pressing and holding a button. The main difference is Mayday alerts friends and family to your location instead of emergency services. *Great for trips abroad.

5. Get Reliable Internet Access While Traveling

We use our phones for everything nowadays, from watching shows on streaming services to looking up directions to a new restaurant. 

If you’re a woman solo traveling around a foreign country, you’re going to need your phone for searching, mapping, translating, and so much more.

Most data plans don’t include international service, so you have a few options for making sure you have internet access on the go:

  1. Check if your destination is included in your current data package or look into international packages you can add to your mobile plan while you’re out of the country. 
  2. Buy a SIM card for the country you’re traveling to—if your device is unlocked, you’ll be able to access and replace your SIM card as needed.
  3. Purchase or rent a mobile hotspot to access your own personal hotspot across multiple devices.

6. Pack Light 

Lugging around lots of bags on a trip can be a pain at the best of times. Add in that you’re traveling alone, and it makes it ten times worse.

That’s why one of our top tips for solo female travel is to pack light! Fewer bags will leave you with far less to worry about, especially when traveling internationally. 

Packing light allows you to move about more freely, as you don’t have to worry about getting assistance from others with your luggage or locking up a large amount of stuff when you leave your accommodations.

Plan out your wardrobe carefully, thinking about what you’ll need for your trip, whether it’s hiking boots to conquer mountains or sandals for lounging on the beach. 

Putting some thought into your packing list before you leave will save you a lot of grief when it’s time to pack up your suitcase.

7. Keep Your Important Documents Safe

When traveling, your passport is your gateway to the world, and the last thing you want to lose!

That’s why it’s essential to keep it safe, so making copies of all your important documents is a good idea. Even better, spread them throughout your bags, so if your checked luggage goes missing, you still have a copy in your carry-on/personal item.

As for your original documents, you’ll need these when in transit, so keep them in a secure pocket of your carry-on/personal item that will keep your documents accessible to you and also protected from damage.

Pro-tip: When not in transit to your destination, keep a copy of your important documents on you at all times. 

If it’s not required to keep your passport on you at all times while in a foreign country, leave it in a locked safe or another secure spot for safekeeping. 

8. Don’t Share Your Location/Accommodations

It isn’t uncommon to meet new people out in your travels, and when that happens, sharing your experiences and personal details might feel natural. After all, the people you meet are one of the best things about traveling!

But in a foreign country where you don’t know many people, it can sometimes help to be overly cautious, especially as a woman traveling solo. 

So don’t feel the need to overshare. 

If people ask where you’re staying, you can give vague answers about the general area without getting too detailed. And if you’re posting your travels on social media, always be sure to turn off the location tag or change it to make the location less specific. 

Anyone who respects you should respect your privacy, and above all, your safety is more important than others’ feelings. 

Of course, if you want to talk more about your travels, you can always edit your posts and share more information after you return home!

9. Connect with People

Connecting with people on your trip is both a great way to enhance your solo travel experience and help you feel safer and more comfortable in a strange place.

People come to know your name and your face where you’re staying, and this means more people looking for you and looking out for you.

Another bonus is that other travelers and locals you meet will have so many stories and bits of knowledge to share with you, from advice on the best attractions to the best restaurants and more. 

It can’t be overstated that some of the best travel experiences you’ll have will come from the locals and other travelers you meet on your journey.

Best Destination Ideas for Solo Travel 

So many countries offer safe solo travel for women to experience the joy of traveling, either on their own or in the company of a group. 

By no means is this list comprehensive of all the great destinations out there for women traveling solo, but we’ve put together a few recs for some of the safest places to visit.

These destinations are easy to get to and offer incredible experiences for solo travel, whether it’s your first solo trip or your next of many!

Iceland 

Ranked as the safest country in the world for the past 13 years, Iceland is an excellent place to visit if you’re a woman going on her first solo trip. Or really any solo trip!

This country is a natural wonderland for any intrepid traveler who loves the outdoors.

Whether you join a tour or travel solo at your own pace, there’s so much to appreciate in this small but incredible island country, from the snow-capped mountains to the stunning waterfalls, gorgeous black sand beaches, and so much more! 

Canada 

Canada is the safest country in the Americas and the place with the least amount of culture shock that you’re likely to visit. For solo female travelers looking to dip their toes in the solo travel pool, it’s a welcoming destination with lots of adventures, great dining, and breathtaking sights.

If you like a wide variety when it comes to what you can do or see, Canada is one of the best countries to visit, with everything from jaw-dropping places like Garibaldi Lake and Banff National Park to the rich history of Quebec City and the endless entertainment of Toronto.

Canada is a destination with something for every type of solo traveler.

Japan

Japan ranks high on the Global Peace Index and has one of the lowest rates of experienced violence, making it a top choice for women to travel solo. 

Many female solo travelers have made the trip and talked about how easy it was to navigate the cities and how safe they felt walking around alone—even at night! 

As for the country itself, Japan is a beautiful mix of modernity and history, from the excitement and skyscrapers of cities like Tokyo and Osaka to the peace and shrines of cities like Kyoto, the once-capital of Japan. 

So much history and beauty exist in Japanese architecture that travelers can spend days discovering it all. And the unique experiences don’t stop there. Something new is always just around the courner, from relaxing in a traditional Japanese onsen to chowing down on classic Japanese dishes like sushi.

Portugal

Portugal is a stunning country, and with some of Europe’s lowest crime rates, it’s an excellent spot for women to travel solo. 

Here, you’ll find some of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe—in places like Algarve—and can explore fantastic sites such as Benagil Cave.

Treat your tastebuds to Portugal’s splendid wine and seafood, and marvel at the gorgeous architecture and design present in everything from palaces to monasteries.

Portugal is a delight to explore, from its vibrant culture and colorful cities to its rolling hills and rocky cliffs.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the safest countries to visit in Central America. 

The amount of nature and beauty present here make it a must-visit destination. With two stunning coasts, one against the Pacific and the other against the Caribbean, there are no shortage of beautiful beaches to explore and waves to surf.

Further inland, you can travel deep into the protected forests and parks, filled with over 200 volcanic formations, cloud canopies, and rich biodiversity, all making Costa Rica a one-of-a-kind destination.

Make Your Budget Go Further by Finding Cheap Airfare for Your Solo Vacation

That wraps up our most important travel tips on safe solo travel for women! 

We hope these tips and destination ideas have inspired a bit of wanderlust in you and an excitement to get out there and see the world solo! 

If you want to travel the globe, then there’s nothing holding you back from doing it, even if that means traveling alone. Often, it can be a better and more rewarding experience than traveling with a group or partner.

And, if you’re anything like us, your first thought will most likely be how you’ll end up getting to your destination. That’s why we created Next Vacay. Our fantastic team of deal hunters scours the airlines for the cheapest deals to places all over the world, including some of the safest countries we included on our list above and so many more.

All you have to do is sign up and choose your preferred airport. We’ll send you alerts for all the best deals in your area as soon as they’re available, with the flexibility to select your preferred travel dates and flight times from within wide-ranging time frames.

You won’t let traveling solo hold you back from your next great adventure, so make sure you don’t let expensive airfare hold you back, either. Your next solo trip is out there with Next Vacay!

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