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 own terms, while also gaining confidence and independence. It has been one of the most freeing things for me. There’s something about enjoying your own 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 definitely 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 own research, apply safety precautions and trust your instincts.
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.
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 belonging 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 stay 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 possibly contact someone in the country.
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 friend when it comes to finding useful blog articles. I usually search ” typical scams to watch out for in ……..”.
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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