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The global travel industry has witnessed significant expansion in the female solo traveling community.
Women invariably trade in their careers for kids and family. After a certain age, their life gets devoted to caring for their spouses and their children. This creates a paucity of time for them to cater to their own needs.
Traveling alone provides a recreational retreat from their thankless and tiring everyday duties.
Furthermore, recent psychological studies have established the fact that females are more adventurous than males. They like to familiarize themselves with distinct cultures, and are capable of knitting meaningful connections through conversations.
Solo travel gives them their share of independence.
Around 70 percent of all travelers today are females. According to Booking.com, 59 percent of female solo travelers are likely to embark on a solo trip "again." 32 million American women travel alone each year; that amounts to 42 percent of the total female solo travel community.
Apart from this, a solo travel blog survey concluded that more than 80 percent of their readers were females, while Airbnb's Asia Pacific (APAC) Travel survey found that women explore more on vacations than men.
This gives us a glimpse of how prominent solo female travel has become.
TRAVELING ALONE = LISTENING TO YOUR SOUL-CRAVINGS
But why travel alone? If you want to visit places, can’t you visit them with other people and still have the same experience?
The answer—absolutely not.
Traveling alone can be an empowering and soul-searching experience. When you’re traveling alone, you’re not paying attention to the unnecessary commotion of your companions, you are connecting with your surroundings and trying to find your Zen.
It can be challenging but equally delightful as you get to know various cultures, meet different people, and experience things that bring out a better version of yourself.
And frankly, friends don’t always come around easily for trips, but why should it mean that you have to cancel yours too?
SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL TRIPS AND ADVICE
Although men also travel alone, female solo travel is strikingly different.
The foremost area of concern is safety—fear of malicious behaviour, theft, and the possibility of sexual assault are some of the reasons that a solo female traveler cannot ignore.
Furthermore, many countries still view women as subordinate to men. Women have to wear specific clothes, keep their heads and arms covered, and any laxity in adhering to local practices can lead to hostile situations that can take away the very essence of solo travel.
The following thoughtfully curated tips and advice for female solo travelers will help you in getting the most out of your solo trip.
1) PLANNING IS ALWAYS USEFUL
The most useful thing you can do is to research your destination.
Try to learn about the native culture, language, popular attractions, and local customs and practices.
You can also visit official tourism sites and read travel blogs to get an in-depth understanding of the place.
Always enlighten yourself about your destination’s climate, as this will enable you to pack accordingly.
You can also search for pocket-friendly places to stay so that you don’t end up spending your nights on the sidewalk in an unknown place.
2) TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS
We’ve all heard of the infamous saying—never doubt a woman’s instinct.
Even psychology confirms that females are astoundingly more intuitive in sensing danger than their male counterparts.
Always listen to your inner voice if it warns you of an upcoming predicament, don’t ignore it, and it’ll never disappoint you.
Don’t be gullible. If you find yourself in a secluded place around suspicious people, leave immediately. If you feel uncomfortable with any request from the locals, learn to say NO.
3) ACCESSORIES ARE NECESSARY
Technology has advanced significantly, and there is no reason you should not use it to make your solo travel experience easier and safer.
Invest in dummy wallets to hide your possessions, bring waterproof, light-weight, and lock-enabled suitcases and doorstops.
Always have a rape-whistle, mace, or pepper spray by your side to ensure personal safety.
You can also invest in Kayak roof racks to give you more mobility and efficiency on road trips. These specially built roof racks would enable you to carry even your kayaks comfortably.
4) KEEP YOUR FAMILY/FRIENDS INFORMED
Being alone doesn’t mean you have to be like Tom Hanks in Cast Away.
Always keep your family updated about where you’re going and staying, and what you’re planning to do next. This will enable your acquaintances to figure out your whereabouts in case anything goes wrong.
Social media can be your safety cushion. If you’re traveling constantly, use social media to share your activities, and to interact with your friends so that it becomes easier to track you.
5) RESPECT LOCAL CUSTOMS AND PRACTICES
Some countries like Egypt require women to cover their arms and legs, while some customarily need them covered from head-to-toe.
Whether or not you agree with such practices or not, try to respect these customs. You are not there to start a political movement, but to find mental peace.
If you’re open to different practices it can also turn out to be an amazing learning curve for you.
6) GO SOLO BUT DON’T BE ALONE
You don’t have to wander in isolation while traveling. Ensure that you blend in with the locals.
Talk to local people to know about what the must-do things are, transit routes, popular attractions, and affordable hotels or other accommodations.
Pick-up the local attire, visit cultural festivals, and try to get to know the people around you. You’ll be surprised to see how hospitable people can be.
7. Don't Forget to Enjoy Yourself
Remember you have embarked on this trip for yourself.
Make yourself a priority, and don’t forget to take time out for yourself.
Go for a long walk in the soothing evening breeze, visit a historic place.
If you happen to visit an ethnic community, dance with them, or maybe just stare blankly at the night sky. Do what your heart wants you to do.
Take photographs—a lot of them—so that they stick with your memory forever, or maybe write a journal to help fellow female solo travelers, and to record each experience you have on the trip.
PRO TIP: Know local emergency numbers so that you don’t remain helpless in a foreign land.
In a Nutshell
The global travel community has accepted solo female globetrotters with open arms. Females often find themselves caught in restrictive responsibilities, which makes it necessary for them to spend some time with themselves. Female solo travelers have to be extra cautious while traveling as the concern for safety is bigger for them than males. Belittling local traditions only makes the condition worse. Proper planning and trust in one’s gut while engaging open-mindedly with local people can make solo traveling an excellent experience for all females.