Traveling Alone As A Woman. After 10 Years, These Are The 5 Things That Have Kept Me Safe

Traveling completely alone as a woman was a concept foreign to me in my early 20’s. While some are galavanting across the world at leisure, others are apprehensive about taking that first leap and trying to understand where exactly to begin. Preparing for my first solo trip was a whirlwind of information, emotions, and research.

Travel insurance company, World Nomads, has seen a notable increase in the purchase of solo travel insurance policies in 2024, with over 70% of sales this year attributed to solo travelers alone (marking an increase compared to 68% in 2022 and 69% in 2023!)

An ever-changing industry, travel is changing in more ways than one, and women are finding the resources and inspiration they need to book the flights! Though it’s now easier than ever to plan a trip, there’s still a lot of uncertainty and apprehension around traveling alone as a woman. 

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Booking a solo trip can be nerve wracking at the best of times for anyone, but us women definitely feel the need to take the research and preparation to a new level. Cultural differences, women’s role in societies, and safety concerns; planning a solo trip as a woman can be an anxious place. 

Traveling the Globe for over 10 years, I’ve experienced everything from cat-calling to unsafe situations. Inevitable at times, there are ways to prepare and keep yourself safe when traveling alone as a woman anywhere in the world. 

Splurge On The Safety Accessories

Traveling alone as a woman makes you a target in some places, so be prepared. Part of keeping yourself safe is also keeping your belongings safe too. The one accessory I ALWAYS travel with is a mini-alarm. No matter the country, safety index, or where I’m staying- I have this with me most of the time. Just having it in your pocket makes walking home alone in the evening a little easier. 

solo travel safety accessories

In overly touristy neighborhoods, my TravelOn Safety Bag always saves the day. With RFID blockers, a flashlight, lockable zips, and anti-slash straps- it’s a must for busy streets. 

If you’re staying in a private room in a hotel or hostel, some people choose to buy protective door stoppers too. I’ve never found this necessary personally, but they’re available!

Researching Hostels Thoroughly

We each have our own comforts, needs, and non-negotiables when it comes to accommodations. Staying in hostels is arguably one of the best ways to meet people as a solo traveler- and the prices don’t hurt either. I almost always use Hostel World when booking- and be sure to read their reviews!

Personally, I’ve always been okay sharing mixed dorms with men and women, but for some travelers this is a huge no. Decide what’s important to you and research thoroughly. Communal spaces, 24/7 reception, security, private rooms, organized activities, male/female bathrooms. These things often don’t spring to mind when we’re looking for somewhere to stay, so take note.

Staying Aware and Trusting My Gut

In our teenage years and early 20’s it’s easier to fall victim to peer pressure, but it’s always important to keep a sense of awareness when traveling alone. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you feel a little uneasy- listen to your gut.  

Downloading Appropriate Apps

I can’t express enough the importance of researching apps for solo travel. Even after 10 years, I still always have a few apps up my sleeve in case I need them. Noon-Light is a must for solo travelers. A built-in panic button, the app allows you to share your locations with loved ones, and allows local authorities to track you if you feel unsafe. 

Google Translate may seem like an obvious one, but many travelers don’t think to download the helpful app. If you find yourself stranded in a country with no English speakers, it can be very useful getting you out of sticky situations and communicating with locals. 

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Have Extras Of Everything And Ensure People Know Where You Are

I’m always thinking in the ‘anything can happen mindset,’ meaning before I travel, I’ll always print duplicates of my travel documents. If you’re making duplicates of your passport, make sure to keep them separate from the physical passport just in case. Never rely on your phone.. Make copies of all reservations you have too!

Even at 31, I make a list of my flights and locations to leave with loved ones so they know where I am. It may seem silly to some, but it’s important for safety.

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