16 Tips for Solo Female Travellers: How to Stay Safe While Exploring the World

Black girl looking at island view in the Philippines

Solo female travel can be one of the most liberating and empowering experiences of a lifetime. It allows you to explore new places, cultures, and people on your terms, while also gaining confidence and independence. It has been one of the most freeing things for me. There’s something about enjoying your presence that does it for me. I’ve travelled to over 17 countries alone and don’t regret it! I always come back feeling refreshed, learning something from my experience and more confident in who I am. When I solo travel, I find that people approach me more and I have met some amazing people in this way. I have the choice to create boundaries or if my itinerary feels overwhelming, I can change my plans during the trip. What I’m trying to say is that the ball is in your court because you have the freedom to decide what YOU want to do on your trip.

As a black solo traveller myself, I often get asked ”is this country safe for black women?” If I stopped going to places that were not ‘safe’ for Black travellers, I wouldn’t be travelling anywhere. The reality is the world is anti-black unfortunately but I wouldn’t let that stop you from seeing the world. I’ve read some negative experiences Black women have faced in a particular destination which I can’t completely negate.‬ It’s important for us to keep sharing Black travel stories, our stories matter. However, our stories are going to be subjective as there are so many factors that define our experience.  I try to keep an open mind and also share my experience in the hopes that someone will be inspired to travel to that country. The world is too beautiful for you not to explore.  Go and see for yourself, you will never know unless you experience the country yourself. Make sure you do your research, apply safety precautions and trust your instincts.

Solo safety tips for black solo travellers.

For any solo traveller, safety concerns are a top priority, particularly for women, who face additional risks while travelling. In this article, I’m sharing 16 essential tips for solo female travellers to help you stay safe and enjoy your trip to the fullest.

1. Research Is Key

Before embarking on any trip, it’s essential to conduct thorough research about the destination you plan to visit. This research should cover everything from the local customs and laws to the climate, currency, and transportation options. By doing so, you’ll be better prepared for any unexpected situations that may arise.

2. Carry Emergency Documents

No matter where you travel, it’s essential to carry some emergency documents with you at all times. These documents should include your passport, travel itinerary, emergency contacts, and medical information. I always have a digital copy of my emergency documents, including my passport, and visas and send this to my email and google drive so that I can access them anywhere as long as I have wifi. Have emergency contacts that include family, friends, and embassy contacts, as well as the nearest hospital contacts in the area you’re visiting.

3. Pack a First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is an essential item to pack when travelling. This kit should include items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any prescription medications you may need. I started carrying a mini first aid kit for longer trips a couple of years ago and I have had incidents when the kit came in handy. 

Pack a First Aid Kit
Pack a First Aid Kit

4.  Purchase Travel Insurance

If there’s one thing you take from this post, buying travel insurance is essential for everyone. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have travel insurance. Travel insurance can be a lifesaver for so many things from lost luggage to medical emergencies. I was once pickpocketed in Athens, and although it was a stressful experience, I had peace of mind knowing I could claim back my stolen belongings through my insurance. Many travel insurance companies offer different plans and coverage so it’s important to read the policies and make sure the plan is right for you. I use Safety Wing as it offers a comprehensive list of things like medical expenses, and travel-related emergencies such as evacuation from local unrest, unplanned overnight stays and lost checked luggage.



5. Understanding Local Customs and Laws

Different countries have different customs and laws, and it’s essential to be aware of them before travelling. By doing so, you’ll be better prepared to navigate cultural differences and avoid any legal trouble. For example, there are particular places around the world where I may need to cover up and dress appropriately as a woman. Or there can be interesting laws that are completely different to your home country. When I travelled to Singapore, I was surprised they had a law about chewing gum being banned. 

6. Stay Connected with Locals

One of the best ways to stay safe while travelling is to connect with the locals. Locals are familiar with the area and can share valuable advice on where to go and what to avoid. I like to connect with local people on the ground whether that’s a hotel staff or a fellow travel creator as it’s a great way to meet new people and it just puts me at ease knowing I could contact someone in the country. 

Black women wearing red dress posing with local Filipino man in Siargao island
Me in Siargao island with my local tour guide in the Philippines

7. Share Your Location with Friends and Family

It’s essential to let friends and family know your whereabouts while travelling. This information can be crucial in case of an emergency, and it’ll give your loved ones peace of mind. I usually use WhatsApp to stay in contact with them and would typically share my Uber rides and email the addresses and contact of the accommodation I’m staying in. 

8. Being Aware of Typical Scams

Scammers often target tourists in major cities, and it’s essential to be aware of the most common scams in the area you’re travelling. Let’s outsmart the scammers by doing the research before heading on your trip so you’ll be better prepared to avoid them and keep your valuables safe. Google and Pinterest and your best friends when it comes to finding useful blog articles. I usually search ” typical scams to watch out for in ……..”.

9. Separate Cash and Carrying Multiple Cards

It’s a good idea to separate your cash and carry multiple cards while travelling to reduce the risk of losing all your money in case of theft or loss. If  I’m travelling to a country that is very cash-heavy, I always separate my cash in different places so that all my cash is not in one place. I always carry two travel cards as well just in case something happens to one of my travel cards or in any emergencies. There was one time when I was living in Tanzania and I was trying to get cash from the ATM. Unfortunately, my card was swallowed by the ATM and had to contact my bank to let them know. Luckily, I wasn’t stranded as I had another travel card with me. 

10. Read Local News and Travel Advisories

Before travelling to any destination, it’s a good idea to read local news and travel advisories. By doing so, you’ll be better prepared for any potential dangers or disruptions. I typically read on news and use Twitter to gauge what is happening on the ground at least a week before I travel for awareness and to be better prepared for any potential dangers, protests or disruptions. 

I use Foreign travel advice to search for a country or territory to find the latest information on entry requirements for UK residents, coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings. This website is run by GOV.UK and you can sign up for email updates for a specific country. 

11. Avoid Walking Alone at Night

Walking alone at night can be dangerous, especially in unfamiliar areas. It’s always best to travel in groups or take a taxi if you need to go out after dark.

12. Keep an Eye on Your Drinks

Enjoying nightlife in another country can be a great way to experience the country. Unfortunately, drink spiking is a common incident that occurs in popular destinations. Always keep an eye on your drinks and avoid leaving them unattended.

three person holding clear drinking glasses

13. Use Door Locks and Padlocks

Using a door lock and padlock is an easy way to keep your room secure while travelling and can reduce the risk of theft or intrusion. They are quite small and fit in my luggage well which is great for when I’m staying in multiple locations.

Instructions on how to use the door lock for solo female safety
Instructions on how to use the door lock

14. Keep Your Valuables Safe

It’s important to keep your valuables safe while travelling. This can include things like passports, money, and electronics. By keeping these items in a safe or secure location, you’ll reduce the risk of loss or theft. Most hotel rooms come with a safe you can use to secure your belongings but you could also carry your own padlock to lock your belonging safely in your luggage.  I personally think it’s risky carrying your passport around when exploring during the day so I’ll leave it securely at the hotel and always have a digital copy at hand and carry my driver’s licence as ID, just in case.  However, there are some countries like Israel for example, where you are expected to carry your passport with you especially at security checkpoints so definitely do enough research before your trip to help you prepare. 

black DSLR camera near sunglasses and bag
Keeping Your Valuables Safe

15. Don’t Post On Social Media In Real Time

In today’s world, social media has become an integral part of our lives, and we often find ourselves sharing our daily activities with our friends and family. However, it’s important to be mindful of the information we share, especially when we’re travelling. One key safety tip for solo female travellers is to avoid posting your location or activities in real-time on social media. 

This could make you an easy target for thieves or criminals who may be monitoring social media to identify potential victims. They may use this information to track your movements and plan their next move accordingly. Another reason why you should avoid posting your location in real-time is to protect your privacy. Sharing too much information about your location or activities can leave you vulnerable to stalkers or cybercriminals who may use this information to target you.

So, the next time you’re solo travelling, it’s best to wait until you’ve left a location before posting about it on social media. This way, you can still share your experiences online while keeping your safety and privacy in mind.

white and pink digital device
Avoid sharing your location in real-time on Social media

16. Trusting Your Instincts

When travelling alone, it’s crucial to be alert and take precautions. Trust your instincts and intuition while travelling. If a situation feels uncomfortable or unsafe or something doesn’t feel right, it’s best to avoid it. 

Travelling solo as a woman of colour can be an enriching and liberating experience, but it’s essential to prioritize safety. Research your destination, protect your important documents, stay alert and take precautions while exploring. With these essential safety tips, you can enjoy your solo travels with peace of mind. Don’t let fear hold you back from seeing the world and experiencing all that it has to offer. Happy travels!

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16 tips to stay safe as a solo female traveller


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