As a woman you've probably been told "you can't travel alone, it's not safe". Solo female travel is a booming area of the travel industry. As we women become increasingly liberated and question the fences that have been put around us, more and more of us want to get out there and see the world.
I first travelled alone at age 18. I booked flights to Bangkok, Thailand and had the most incredible life changing few months. The freedom of doing anything you want, going where YOU want, meeting new people, having the time to reflect and just be yourself. So often we get caught up in other peoples expectations. Solo travel allows you to completely get away from it all and (as cringe as it is to say) learn who you really are.
Solo Female Travel: 5 things you should know
It was day one of my first ever solo trip that I realised I did not need an 80L backpack with my whole wardrobe of clothes and shoes inside. I was away for three months so naturally I thought I needed a lot - I didn't. Check out our blog post on travelling light. A heavy bag is going to be the bane of your life while commuting between places in extreme temperatures. I now only pack a weeks worth of clothes, no matter how long my trips are, washing things as I wear them. I take a comfy pair of trainers and some flip flops. Make sure you have a light pair of trousers and something to cover your shoulders if you plan to visit religious places like temples.
STAY IN HOSTELS
Dorm rooms are a great way to meet new people but make sure you look at hostel reviews and get a feel for the vibe that they are offering. Do you want to party and stay up late? Or chill and go to bed early? There are tons of different types of hostels, and booking the wrong one will leave you disappointed. If you get sick of people (like we all do) just say goodbye to your new friends and book a private room for a few nights. This is the amazing thing about solo travel, you do everything on your own terms. Hostel rooms can often be booked very last minute, so don't worry about planning your trip months in advance, it's fun to have the flexibility to go with the flow. Want some inspiration for your next solo adventure? Check out our Solo Travel Page for some recent deals. (Available to premium website users only - learn more about our premium website here)
TAKE MORE THAN ONE SOURCE OF MONEY
I learnt this the hard way after my one and only bank card was blocked, and I didn't know my telephone banking password to unblock it. Being stuck half way across the world with no access to money isn't ideal!
I now take two different bank cards as well as a travel credit card. I store them in different secret parts of my bag and only take one out with me at a time. This way if I lose one, I know I have a backup. Make sure you know your telephone banking details for emergencies.
Cards like 'revolut' can save you a lot of money on currency exchange fees and are worth looking into especially if you're visiting lots of countries.
GET A LOCAL SIM CARD/eSIM TO AVOID EXTORTIONATE ROAMING FEES
Local sim cards often cost next to nothing, and having mobile phone data during the day can be a game changer. Alternatively consider getting an eSIM. These allow you to buy 'bundles of data' so you know exactly what you are spending. You keep your normal number making it a better option for some. ( This one is currently offering 1GB free data to try before committing). Since Brexit, mobile phone companies are able to charge extortionate data roaming fees with no caps - make sure you know exactly what your provider plans to charge you. Keeping connected whilst travelling alone is extremely important.
DO A PRACTICE TRIP BEFORE THE BIG ONE
If you've never flown alone, eaten alone or stayed in a hostel before - it's going to be a huge shock to the system to do all of those things for the first time, half way across the world, knowing that you can't go home for a long time. This is one of the main reasons I see people get home sick and end their trip early. I'd highly recommend starting small. Maybe go and stay in a hostel somewhere an hour or so away from home. Take a weekend trip alone to somewhere in Europe. Go out and have dinner alone. Get used to doing the small things. I flew to Dublin for the day before embarking on my three month trip in Thailand!