“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.” -Albert Einstein
While many men may not understand it, being a woman in the world is actually a pretty scary thing. The thought of traveling alone as a woman is even scarier! I understand because it was one of the challenges I faced when I went across the country by myself a few times. Although I was afraid, I didn’t let this stop me from packing up and making the trip. It’s a sad reality, but unfortunately, it is one we have to face. But DON’T LET BEING A WOMAN STOP YOU FROM TRAVELING ALONE!
Here are some tips that might help you if you’re a female getting ready to, or just thinking about traveling alone.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Unfamiliar areas are intriguing, but do some research before just jumping head first. Make sure you have some sort of idea about where you’re going. Especially if it is a place you’ll be perusing at night.
It might sound silly but one of the first purchases I made after deciding to travel by myself was pepper spray. This helped me feel a little bit more secure about the trip I was about to take. Fortunately, I didn’t have to use it, but I did carry it in my purse with me whenever I left the hotel room!
KEEP PEOPLE IN THE LOOP
I mentioned this in another post of mine, but keep people at home in the loop when you have an itinerary. If you think you might be out of cell service for a long period of time, tell someone at home. Make sure a few loved ones have an idea of what you will be doing so they can know whether to freak out or not when you don’t pick up the phone. Trust me, I made this mistake and nearly had a search party sent out for me…..
USE YOUR GUT
This is obvious, but if someone you’re talking to gives you bad vibes – politely find a way out. We ladies have pretty good intuition so it’s wise to put it to good use – especially when you’re somewhere foreign to you.
MEET PEOPLE – BUT WITH CAUTION
When I was on the plane from Denver to San Jose, 2 gentlemen who were California locals sat next to me and we talked the entire time. It was as if we had known each other forever. They gave me great advice about where to go and places to avoid. We even exchanged numbers. While I wouldn’t just run off into the sunset with them after just meeting, they were great contacts in case I was unsure about an area. We’ve even kept in touch since I left last year!
There are a lot of great people who will try to look out for you – even if you don’t know one another well. You would be surprised.
Don’t tell anyone you’ve just met where you’re staying or specific information. While some strangers may seem trustworthy, as we know, that isn’t always the case.
Even if you aren’t the most confident person in the world (I know that i’m not), pretend that you are! If you portray confidence, people will believe that you are. And you should be! After all, you are conquering the world on your own. 🙂
DON’T JUST THINK ABOUT GOING – GO!
I think everyone, especially women, should travel alone at some point! It was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. It helped me gain confidence and learn to trust people. I’ve always been EXTREMELY shy so I think it threw people off when I told them I would be going on vacation by myself. It takes a person who is adjusted to being in their comfort zone and forces them to get out of it.
Try it – you’ll come back feeling like a new person and you will surely surprise yourself!
I also suggest you take a look at this great article in Forbes, “The Realities Women Face When Traveling Alone, and How to Feel Safe.”