Traveling Alone as a Woman: Advice from a Solo Female Traveler

Traveling Alone as a Woman: Advice from a Solo Female Traveler

In recent years, more women are choosing to travel the world alone. In fact, the number of monthly searches on Google for 'solo female travel' grew by 50% between 2016 and 2017.

We invited Marissa, an American solo traveler, to give us her insights and tips from her experiences as a globe-trotting lone-traveler. Here's her recommendations on planning-resources, in-destination tips, and places to visit. 


Resources for solo female travelers

Women’s solo travel is becoming not just more common, but the majority of the lone-explorer community and this has seen a massive community of support around the female solo traveler boom. Thanks to social media, groups and support communities are accessible to any woman looking to plan solo travel.

Groups offer tips, resources, a network of fellow female solo travelers, and even safe places to stay in some cases. If you are a woman considering planning a solo travel trip, you need only join one or two of these groups to reap the benefits of their knowledge and experience.

On the huge Facebook group "The Solo Female Traveler Network", which has more than 235.000 members, women share their concerns and experiences while traveling solo and, most importantly, encourage and support each other. "I want to create a space for all female travelers to be able to come for not just travel advice and reliable hostel recommendations, but also to ask if that local was being creepy or cultural, get support for homesickness, show off the amazing photos from your last trip, tell stories, and whatever is on your mind", says their description.

solo female

Tips for solo female travelers

While traveling is an activity available to all, certain realities must not be ignored when it comes to female solo travel. Women traveling alone should consider the following tips in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure abroad:

  • Dress appropriately to the locale. The more you stand out as foreign or a tourist, the more likely it is that you will garner unwanted attention. While certain outfits might look adorable with a panoramic background on Instagram, for solo travel it is always best to take outfit cues from the locals, especially where there are cultural sensitivities to be respected.

  • There is always safety (and fun) in groups. If you think you may struggle as a woman to feel comfortable with solo exploration, you can always reserve a spot in a group tour. Joining free walking tours is a great way to meet local guides and other fellow travelers. Other tours can range from a few hours to a full week or more, and offer the same opportunity as solo travel to meet new people, with the added benefit of a trip organizer and company dedicated to ensuring that you enjoy your time abroad.

  • Keep your accommodation information to yourself. Making new friends is possibly the best part of traveling alone. That being said, you never know when a seemingly friendly face may have ulterior motives for discovering the address you are staying at. Keep the conversation light and lively, leaving out any unnecessary details.

  • Dial it back. An outgoing personality is a wonderful trait for solo travel, particularly for women. In some cultures, however, forwardness can be incorrectly perceived as an interest in a quick hook up.

  • Drink in moderation. Too much alcohol, or really any inhibiting substance, can put a big dampener on anyone’s travel itinerary. Especially if you are a woman solo traveler, losing your self-control could lead you into a situation that you do not perceive to be dangerous or unwise until it is too late. Keep your wits about you and set a limit for yourself to ensure the best trip possible.

  • Learn to read the room. Developing your perception skills will prove a useful asset as a woman traveling solo. The more you are able to ascertain what is happening around you, simply through listening and observation, the more astute you will be at maintaining your safety and comfort. If you get an uncomfortable gut feeling, remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible.

solo female


  • Be your own travel agent. If you hate the feeling of a wide-open schedule while traveling and prefer to maximize your days abroad, book a few excursions or tours in advance. That way, you can build your flexible exploration time around set plans that offer you the maximum opportunity to see your surroundings.

  • MacGyver it with portable safety precautions. Small safety additions to your luggage, like a doorstop to place on the inside of a not-so-sturdy hotel or hostel room door, will help ensure your peace of mind, as well as your safety while traveling solo. A whistle can also come in handy for getting the attention of those around you if you are ever in a compromising situation.

  • Trust your gut. No matter whether you have been traveling alone as a female or not, chances are that you have developed a gut instinct that tells you when something is not quite right. Trust your instincts and exercise the same caution while traveling abroad as you would anywhere. The more you travel, the more you can hone this skill!


Where to, Ladies?

Where to travel is a question all female travelers ask themselves when beginning to plan their solo adventures. Online communities like those mentioned above generally provide excellent ideas for where to travel abroad as a solo female, but below are some of the safest countries and destinations to travel to alone (and some of my favourite).

  • Rome, Italy. This historical jewel of Europe is a great place to get your first solo travel experience as a female. The city simply begs to be walked, and essentially every inch of it is explored by travelers all year long, proving its safety. Speak 2 words of Italian and watch your waiter’s face light up.

  • Barcelona, Spain. The capital of Catalonia is a bustling international city full of life and incredible attractions, perfect to meet young, fun-loving people to hang out with. Spaniards are generally very friendly, welcoming and open-minded. Moreover, this is one of the safest cities in Europe to visit as a solo traveler.

solo female barcelona

  • New York City, United States. There is no city like the city that never sleeps. Manhattan and its outer Boroughs are some of the most populous places in the US, with countless sites to see and places to explore.

  • Sydney, Australia. Australia’s biggest city is friendly enough to be a small town. It is difficult not to smile as you explore this fascinating mix of high-powered business capital and beachy surfer town. The friendly Aussie social culture certainly doesn’t hurt, either!

  • Reykjavik, Iceland. This city is one of the safest places in the entire world, period. The city is representative of Icelandic culture and offers many museums, cultural institutions, and experiences that leave you feeling like you have had a true taste of Iceland.

No matter where you choose to travel, this guide will help you plan and enjoy a safe solo travel adventure. Travel is the best education, and enjoying it alone makes it that much more meaningful. What are you waiting for? Start planning your solo trip today.
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