To the moon and back
For the rest of us – the wait to reach our chosen destination will fortunately be much shorter, and many of us will travel alone. Travelling solo as a woman can be an empowering experience. Regardless of whether you are travelling for business or pleasure it provides opportunity to experience new and interesting people and places in your own unique way. On the downside, it can also be intimidating. Issues such as language barriers and personal safety can be overwhelming when travelling alone. So, let’s focus on what you CAN control:
- Do your research: Take the time to investigate your destination extensively. Familiarise yourself with local language, traditions, and laws. In addition, know what custom requirements and restrictions exist at your exit and entry points. Check out airport logistics such as car hire, taxi services and money exchange. Use reliable sources of information such as recent travel forums, reviews or official government websites for guidance and real time information.
- Get organised: Consider a money belt or a secure bag to keep your valuables safe. Carry copies of important documents like your passport, travel insurance, and emergency contact information. There may be no one to speak for you in an emergency so it’s important to have these documents on hand.
- Pack smartly: Pack light and opt for a versatile wardrobe that is destination appropriate. If you’ve done your research, you will know what’s acceptable. Dressing conservatively in certain cultures can help you blend in and look less like a tourist.
- Share your itinerary: Notify a friend or family member about your travel plans. Share your plans, including details of accommodations, transportation, and contact information. Regularly check in with them to keep them updated on your whereabouts.
- Prioritise good communication tools: Purchase a local SIM card or have an international roaming plan to ensure you have reliable communication wherever you go. Share your contact details only with trusted individuals. It’s also helpful to download offline maps or use GPS tracking apps for navigation. Activate language translation tools like Google Translate when travelling to destinations where you cannot speak the local language.
- Use the knowledge of reputable local partners: Prioritise safety by choosing reliable transportation options and reputable accommodations. Make use of hotel shuttles and concierge services whenever you can. Local authorities, tourism offices, and fellow locals can also provide valuable information and assistance. Don’t be shy to ask for advice on safe areas to visit, reliable transportation, or any potential scams or dangers to be aware of.
- Connect with fellow travellers: Engage with other travellers or join organised tours and activities. This creates opportunity to meet like-minded people and safety in numbers can offer an extra layer of security.
Trust your instincts
Listen to your intuition: If a situation or person makes you uncomfortable, trust your instincts and remove yourself from it. Each destination is unique, but if it doesn’t feel right to walk alone late at night or in dimly lit areas, don’t. Stick to well-lit and crowded places, especially in unfamiliar surroundings. Apply common sense to the use of alcohol or any medication that might affect your ability to make sensible choices. And of course – never accept drinks from strangers!
HWT has excellent packages available for women who choose to holiday solo. Ask us at Harvey World Travel how to make managing accommodation arrangements simple and stress-free.