Is solo female travel the new avocado toast? The new ultimate luxury? Everyone is doing it (and crushing it) and I constantly get asked, how can I practically apply this to my own life? Four years and 70 countries later — I want to help inspire, guide and most importantly empower my fellow females to have their avocado toast and eat it too!
Naturally, the questions and valid concerns I get most often is about feeling “safe” while solo female traveling — which seems to be the biggest hurdle for most women. I won’t state the obvious like don’t walk alone at night or get too inebriated when you go out. You should exercise as much caution as you would at home if not more while traveling. If it helps you feel safer, consider sharing your location with family or friends so that if something does happen to you they have your location.
The first place I like to steer other females interested in solo travel is to Conde Nast Traveler’s podcast Women Who Travel by editors Lale Arikoglu and Meredith Carey. I have been listening to their podcast since they started it last year and one of their first episodes answers all your burning questions about solo female travel; how to approach it, why you should do it, and tips for leaning into it. This open forum of listening to other women and what works for them can help quell a lot of questions.
Next, if the whole idea of “being alone” is what scares you the most then the good news is it’s easy to conquer, I promise. Best advice from the podcast is to start in your own city. Go to a bar or restaurant, alone! Then try taking a weekend trip close to home or to another English speaking country – you got it, alone. The best common denominator between solo female travelers is the confidence they gained from being able to do something they never thought they could do — alone. Solo travel is not for everyone and that’s okay but if you find yourself warming up to the idea of traveling alone, you might end up enjoying it more than traveling with others and wonder why you didn’t do it earlier!
My other top travel tip for beginner solo travelers (male or female) is to stay in hostels for the ease of meeting other travelers and keeping the lonely blues at bay. You’ll be shocked to learn how many other solo travelers there are and how easy it is to make friends. Good hostels often have a common area or bar where travelers can mingle and if sleeping in a dorm isn’t your jam you can always book a private room. If your image of hostels is bedbugs and the 2005 film (ahem also produced by Quentin Tarantino) then let me welcome you to 2018. Like anything in life, don’t knock it till you try it. As you would with any hotel before booking it, do your homework as not all hostels are created equally. Hostel World is a great hostel aggregator with pictures, info and reviews and “Poshtels” (posh hostels) like the Freehand and Generator are on the rise but that’s a whole other post.
The final piece of advice that I have for you, which most people don’t consider, is to wait before you post on social media, especially if your social media profiles are public. Don’t leave a travel breadcrumb trail making it easy for any stranger to know exactly what you look like, that you and your best friend Stephanie went to Coachella last weekend and what hotel/hostel you are staying at currently. Also, consider using a general geotag like “Iceland” instead of the exact bar you are at or post after you leave or even a few days later bc #beinginthemoment and #latergrams for the win!