10 tips to being a badass solo female traveller

Mar 7 2019, 10:12 pm

Solo travel is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

It will push you out of your comfort zone, teach you invaluable things about yourself, and foster meaningful relationships.

Many females feel hesitant to travel on their own due to concerns of feeling lonely, bored, overwhelmed, or worst of all, uncomfortable and unsafe. There are fears of not making any friends, getting creeped on by creepy creeps, or scammed because you look like a gullible tourist.

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Real talk: all these things do happen, and are often unavoidable. But there are steps you can take to set yourself up for success.

Once you learn to take control of your own situation to the best of your ability, you will feel like an absolute badass.

Here are 10 tips to being a safe, social, and savvy solo female traveller.

Get out of your social comfort zone


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One of the best things about being a solo traveller is it forces you to speak to people that you might not have approached if you were travelling with others. If you don’t get out of your comfort zone and speak to others, you may not have a real conversation with humans IRL for days.

Set a goal to strike up a conversation with someone at least once a day. Chat with your hostel peeps about where they’re from and where they’re travelling, ask what funky drink your neighbour is having at the bar, or comment on a beautiful piece of architecture to a fellow awestruck tourist.

These are conversations you may never attempt in your hometown, but when travelling, you’ll notice people are usually grateful for the opportunity to someone to talk to.

Stay in multi-bed dorms


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Even if budget is not an issue, multi-bed hostel dorms are one of the best ways to meet people — so bunk up and get to chattin’. Many hostels offer female-only dorms as well, which may be more in your comfort zone.

Trust your gut


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Sometimes, you might get the vibe that things aren’t quite right. There are the obvious no-bueno zones such as dark alleys and strangers’ homes. If people are staring at you in an off-putting way, or you venture too far off the beaten path, your gut will often tell you when it’s time to turn back and head back to the comfort zone. Rely on your badass female intuition.

Have flexible friendship standards


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(Nothing against these fellas — you look great, guys.)

Sometimes you may want to go out out and rip up the d floor experience the local nightlife, but you may not be feeling your hostel crowd. However, even going out with people you aren’t necessarily fond of can be less intimidating than entering a bar or club alone — so suck it up, go with the crowd, and once you arrive at your venue you can find new people to hang out with. Or, you may even find that your hostel crowd needed a little breaking in and are actually the most fun people at the bar!

Use rideshare companies instead of cabs


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There are so many taxi companies out there that are trying to rip you off or give you sketchy vibes (AKA they are run by the mafia). Using Uber, Lyft or Grab as transport means that there will be a digital documentation of your whereabouts, which – knock on wood – can only be a good thing. Plus, rideshare is typically more affordable, and we are budget savvy solo female travellers, remember?

Ditch the hot hair tools


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Sometimes us ladies (and you men, don’t try to deny it) need a little bit of personal pampering to make us feel presentable. Do what you gotta do to feel like your best self, but while travelling, why not save yourself some luggage space and go for the au natural hairstyle? No one knows you here, so the standards of being “presentable” are different than home. In many hot and humid travel destinations, your ‘do will fall out anyway, so might as well embrace it!

Bring a sarong


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Fashion standards vary by destination, but from Europe to Asia and beyond, there are often opportunities to visit a sacred or holy place that requires respectful dress. It’s always a good idea to bring a sarong along (or buy one for cheap) to cover your shoulders. Sarongs also come in handy if you get cold on the bus, or need to park it on the grass for a picnic or beach for a suntan sesh.

Sit at the bar


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A girl’s gotta eat. And drink. If you are looking to be social, instead of asking for a table for one, post up at the bar — you’ll be able to chat to the friendly bartender, and you are more likely to be approached by new friends.

Network on dating apps


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If you’re single and ready to mingle, boot up that Tinder account and slide into the DMs of some locals. Keep in mind to only do this if you are comfortable using dating apps, which means talking to or meeting up with a stranger, just as you would in your hometown.

Even if there is no romantic spark, you could still have a good conversation, or pick up some helpful tips about local hotspots. Or, if there is a spark, you may live out your most dreamy vacation fairytale. It happens (or so we’ve heard).

Show those creeps who’s boss


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Remember how you’re now a badass solo female traveller? Sometimes you may be approached by men who can’t take the hint that you’re not interested, or feel it is acceptable to make catcalls as you walk by. Much of it is cultural and harmless; some Italian men are known for being very friendly, and the Latin American culture may be more forward than we’re used to. They don’t necessarily mean disrespect, but it doesn’t change the discomfort it makes you feel.

Buddy up with your new hostel friends in areas that feel sketchy. Keep your chin up, keep on walking, or get up and move somewhere new. Confidence is key, and you are not here to entertain any creeps.

Everyone has their own travel style, and while many of these tips are geared towards putting yourself out there and making friends, being social isn’t the goal of every female traveller. It’s important to stay within your own personal boundaries of comfort, to an extent. There are many female traveller groups to offer support, share stories and help with any questions; a few go-tos are: The Solo Female Traveller Network, Women Who Travel, and Female Solo Travel | Women Group Travel – GoWonder.

Kellie PaxianKellie Paxian

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