A study by Booking.com revealed that 72% of American women travel solo. While this concept still raises a few eyebrows, particularly in more traditional societies, it’s gaining a momentum and becoming increasingly popular particularly in an attempt to liberate and empower women to achieve a higher level of freedom and be in control of their lives. Female solo travel is a life-changing experience and there are lots of benefits that ladies who decide to take a leap of faith and hit the road towards unfamiliar destinations enjoy. But such a great adventure shouldn’t be taken lightly as it needs to be planned in great detail. Here are a few tips on what to pay attention to.
Do your research
Before you make your decision about the itinerary, it’s essential to find as much information about the destination that you want to visit as possible. This way you can prepare yourself and be ready for any potential challenge along the way. It’s good to know what draws you to a particular city, region, or country and understand what your motivation is as that will allow you to experience your trip to the fullest. Many women were encouraged to take solo trips after reading “Eat, Pray, Love” or after watching “Wild”, and although these romanticized accounts do offer a certain insight into how solo travel can be a path to self-discovery, you still need to look for some more realistic sources of information. Travel guides and blogs can provide you with relevant and valuable first-hand experiences.
Being confident and adventurous doesn’t mean exposing yourself to risky situations. Even the safest places aren’t completely free from dangers, so make sure that you play things safe and travel by day whenever it’s possible. It’s especially important to plan your solo trip so that you arrive at your destination during the day because it will be much easier and safer for you not to ramble unfamiliar streets at night. Don’t forget to make two backup copies of your documents – bring one with you and leave the other with your trusted contact. Keeping your passport and credit cards secure is of paramount importance, so be very careful when you’re in crowded places and don’t put all your money in a single stash. Use social media to keep in touch with your friends and family, and always tell them your whereabouts.
It can be hard to pick only the essentials when you’re travelling solo, but if you want to be comfortable and truly relax, you need to learn to leave your excess baggage behind (pun intended). Check the weather forecast and pack mainly the items suitable for the climate of your chosen destination. Finding a local laundry service can also help you reduce the size of your luggage. Make a packing list as that will ensure that you won’t choose your clothes randomly and pack something only because there’s some more space in your suitcase. Don’t bring clothes and shoes for every possible occasion. Instead of that, pack multi-purpose, comfortable items that won’t take up too much room. No matter where you go, functional one piece swimwear is a must, as well as a pair of comfy jeans and sneakers.
Blend in with the crowd
If you don’t want everybody to know that you’re a tourist, make sure that you don’t behave like one and be conspicuous about it. The best way to experience the lifestyle of the country you’re visiting is by dressing and behaving like the local people. Besides, this way you won’t stand out from the crowd and attract too much attention. Tourists, especially if they’re alone, are easily spotted and perceived as vulnerable. So, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. The same goes for the food and accommodation. There’s no point in travelling if you’re going to stay at bland international hotel chains. Local B&Bs and inns are perfect for immersing yourself in the local culture. Finally, such an approach also supports the local economy and ensures that the profits stay there.
When carefully planned, your solo travel can be one of the best experiences of your whole life, and these tips will dispel your fears and help you get out of your comfort zone.
Mia Taylor is a fashion and beauty enthusiast from Sydney and writer for http://www.highstylife.com. She loves writing about her life experiences. Travelling and enjoying other cultures and their food with her husband is a big part of her life. She is always on the lookout for new trends in fashion and beauty, and considers herself an expert when it comes to lifestyle tips.
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