Uptick in Female Solo Travel


Solo travel among women has risen dramatically according to an article in Forbes.  Is it a cause for concern?  Probably not.  Though the article primarily addresses the top 20 places women are traveling to, one cannot help but ponder the issue of personal safety as women go it alone on their bespoke adventure trails.  To give this issue more depth another recent article reported the kidnapping of an American women while on a safari in Uganda and highlighted the dangers women or solo travelers face.

Traveling alone should be approached with sobriety and thoughtful planning.  Though some dangers are avoidable, there are those that are simply premeditated.  Let me explain.  Every solo journey, I am acutely aware of my surroundings, people and activities.  My behavior adapts to suit the environment I am in.  My guard is heightened, watchful and I approach everything with caution.  For example, while on vacation in Fez, Morocco, as I was walking on the street, my eyes locked with a man on the opposite side of the road.  In my usual manner, I smiled and carried on walking.  He smiled too.  It wasn’t long before I realized he was trying to engage my attention by smiling whenever I looked in his direction.  If I walked faster, he kept pace, and if I slowed, he did the same.  I was concerned but not overly frightened because we were on a busy street.  I decided to go to the recreational plaza near to the riad where I was staying and sure enough, he followed me there.  I sat in the square where mothers with their children and older men gather to socialize.  He lingered too.  I kept a watchful eye on him.  He kept on looking at me.  I sat at an angle where I could see him and waited until he became distracted to make my move.  I ran to the riad as fast as I could to elude him.  I didn’t look back.  Whether he was trying to be friendly, wanted to harm me or some other sinister act, I was not sticking around to find out.   Knowing what to do in suspicious circumstances may help to pre-empt any mishaps or disasters.  However, even with adopting the utmost care in itinerary planning, stuff happens, like the guy following me and the kidnapping case in Uganda (even though the gravity of the latter is much more serious than the former).

Solo travel has been my modus operandi for many years.  I love the freedom it gives me, and I have good and bad memories of such times at home and abroad.  It is imperative that one pay close attention to all that is going on and not become too immersed in the events or happenings around them.  Keeping your wits about you is paramount to being safe.   So, what can women do to safeguard themselves in questionable or dangerous places?  Try these simple tips when you vacation alone:

  1. Do not take any questionable risks. Read travel advisories before you embark on your trip.
  2. Always leave a daily plan with your close friends and family.
  3. Use social media to keep everyone in the loop on your whereabouts. Take lots of photos and post daily commentaries of your activities to your chat sites, forums or media page.
  4. Do not deviate from your planned daily itinerary. If for some reason a change must be made, alert others of the change immediately.
  5. Do not attract attention to yourself by being obnoxious, rude, or flashy.
  6. Wear loose fitting clothing that does not hug the body or draw attention to your curves. While this may not be a reason to precipitate an attack, it is a sensible approach to eliminate any unbalanced desires to do so.
  7. Stay close to your guide, large groups or within crowded areas.
  8. Complete your sightseeing activities within time frames that have the most pedestrian traffic.
  9. Avoid walking or traveling lonesome roads. Stay in well lit areas if out at night.
  10. Know where you are going and what to expect when you get there. Be vigilant and observant of your surroundings at all times.

Community Peeps, especially my female counterparts, enough cannot be said about adopting safe travel practices whilst on vacation.  Have you or any of your loved ones encountered a situation that was a cause for concern, or because of the safety measures you used you were able to avoid a danger?  Share about the encounter in the comment box provided below.  Equally, your thoughts or tips would be appreciated too.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comments in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

 

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58 Comments on “Uptick in Female Solo Travel

    • We live in an age where we can communicate almost instantly, and it is always good to leave a paper trail. Practice the safe tips whenever you travel in the future. Thanks for your comment. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have completed four long distance walks and two of them solo including 1000km through Italy last year. I agree with everything you say about being super aware of your surroundings at all times and sensible. Because I am walking I am carrying two walking poles AND I know how to use them! I think they act as a deterrent even if it is only a psychological one! It is sad that women can’t travel and just BE, but it won’t stop my wanderlust! Have a good day, Mel

    Liked by 3 people

    • Truly the world has changed and taking one’s safety for granted in solo travel is a thing of the past. So, it is always wise to be on guard at all times. I appreciate your comment and implore you to keep your wits about you as you travel. Self defense with your walking poles is not a bad idea 😀.
      Thanks for your comment. Much appreciated. Safe travels.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love cruises… and want to take one alone. Besides the premium prices, they seem safer. I’m pretty streetwise, but also have a disability. I am also very physically fit which can draw attention especially when I use the gym. What are your thoughts on safety on a cruise?

    Liked by 2 people

    • On board you have no problem since help is never far away. On shore, I recommend you travel in a group if you opt not to take one of the ship to shore packages. Since you are differently-abled then I recommend you choose an onshore agency instead of a private taxi. Gather two or three others to share in the package with you – safety in numbers. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and send pics of driver, license plate number and anything else you can to your close friends before departing on your land tour. Hope this helps. Thanks for your comment. Much appreciated.

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      • No worries. We’ve all done it, but times have changed and we need to be more vigilant. Thanks for expressing your comments. They are appreciated. If you can think of another tip that you practice that was not mentioned I would like to know of it for future reference. Thanks again.

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  3. I am really glad you travel alone. For me, it is a very liberating experience and everyone should try it, at least, once in their life. Nonetheless, I don’t feel comfortable with that piece of advice about our clothes. I mean, we don’t dress for men, we just dress as we want. And I think that, in the case you dress up with baggy clothes (for instance), that won’t solve the problem rapists have in their minds. But, all in all, I really appreciate your advices. Go on with your safe travels and have fun!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I appreciate your comment. As I wrote that particular tip on clothing I knew it may draw some difference. I agree women can wear whatever they like, whenever and wherever. However, if only for one’s safety in a strange place I would beg women to err on the side of caution and dress in fashionable loose clothing to avoid offensive attraction. Obviously we can’t prevent what goes on in another’s mind, but we don’t have to tempt it either. Admittedly, for the completely deranged person snugly fitting clothing may not be the temptation at all. I appreciate your thoughts and support of the advice given.

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  4. First of all, great article and helpful advice. I’m no woman, but even I’ve had my own mishaps with the wrong people in Thailand and I could have used some of that advice myself before my trip.

    Straight out if the airport I was lured by a woman into an unmarked car which she claimed to be a cab. Another guy came out of the passenger side and helped me with my bag into the trunk. Red flags were going off in my head but I thought hey it’s another country, mayve this isn’t weird. Anyways I ended up having my wallet stolen and charged 3x normal cab fee. 😂 Scary but it made me a far more wise traveller for the future. Keep that guard up.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Above all, I’m glad that you lived to tell, it could have been much worse than losing your wallet. We definitely must pay attention and follow our instincts when those red flags go off. Don’t let this experience stop you from traveling solo though. Just be more careful. Thanks for your comment and travel safely when you do.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been traveling solo for the last 9 months and I think your points are great. I try to be aware of my surrounding and adapt accordingly. Sometimes things are fine and safe, but other times, my gut will be off. Whenever I feel it’s off, I get out of that situation – sort of like your stranger following you. Also, if I have keys, I keep them in my hand if I feel unsafe. It’s not much, but makes me feel better knowing I could try and stab their eye with a key if I’m attacked. The Canadian border security took my pepper spray and the Vietnam security took my backpacking knife.

    I think the biggest thing is trusting your gut. All too often, we feel like we need to justify why we’re feeling uncomfortable. The truth is, you don’t need to justify it. If you’re uncomfortable, trust it. Just like you did with that guy. No need to stick around to see if you were right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That gut feeling is called intuition, a gift from God. Glad you listen to it and that you have a fallback safety response if you need to use it. Thanks for the tip too 😊. Appreciate your comment and support on the subject. Please continue to practice safety measures and awareness as you travel.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great blog post. I love solo travel but there are definitely some things to consider in order to stay safe. I totally get your experience in Morocco – in our countries smiling on a stranger is perceived as a friendly gesture but in Morocco it can be interpreted as wanting to reach out to this person. When I travel to countries with a very different culture than my home country I always inform myself fist about how to behave and what to avoid. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Great point. Culture does play a big part in understanding why people do what they do that may be different from what you are accustomed to, and we should be aware of this too when we travel foreign countries. Glad you like the post and your support of it. Continue to be observant and practice safety measures as you travel.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you like the post. Hope you enjoy every bit of your solo travel. Be observant and practice safety measures as you travel. Thanks for reading and commenting. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I appreciate your comments that recommend caution, not to make us fearful but to make us aware which in turn empowers us. Most danger comes from appearing vulnerable so our body language should be added to your helpful tips.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Way to go 😊. Enjoy your travels just be observant and practice safety tips as you move around. Thanks for your contribution in commenting. Much appreciated.

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  8. I travel solo with my camper, also kayak solo, swim solo, etc. I refuse to let my gender get in the way of exploring the world. Yes, I am aware of my surroundings – a powerboat wake can be as dangerous as an aggressive male when kayaking, and both need to be avoided or dealt with appropriate. Yes, I would prefer to travel in company, but if no one wants to come out and play, I’m going anyway. Also, when in other cultures, absolutely learn some of the language and about social expectations. There are no guarantees in life; live until you die!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like the fact that nothing stands in your way, but that you are still conscious of your surroundings and perceptive of culture. Continue to practice safety tips as you solo travel. I appreciate your thoughts on this subject. 👍

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  9. I had a scary situation with a man in Istanbul. He thought he was my best friend and wanted to hang out with me… I thought he was scary and wanted him to go away. I finally told him I preferred to be alone. I still kick myself for taking longer than usual to tell him I did not want his company, but you know, being a woman you are afraid the man will get angry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It can be tough sometimes because of their persistence. Keeping a serious face and showing disinterest can help to turn them away. Still I understand your hesitation. At least you mustered the courage to tell him you wanted to be alone. Thanks for your comment and continue to travel safely.

      Like

    • Thank you for reading and commenting. Apparently, this post resonates with many people along the lines of personal safety especially if traveling alone. I encourage you to be aware and to practice safety habits at all times. 😊

      Like

  10. This is great advice! I love to travel alone and am fortunate that my husband doesn’t get offended by my wanting to wander about solo. It’s really great for the soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you like the advice. I encourage you to continue your solo travels but keep your wits about you. Traveling the world though still beautiful and worthwhile to explore can be dangerous to the female gender at times, please be careful and safe. I appreciate your comment.

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  11. Thank you for writing this! these are very useful and great tips to keep in mind before planning a solo trip.Great post. Do check my blog post also.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Excellent tips. I travel by myself a lot because “staying home is not an option “. I was just in Las Vegas and am always careful in my surroundings. I took public transportation everywhere and even in the areas downtown , there are always people around because most of the people work in the casinos at all hours. Plus there seems to be more security in Vegas than there is in my home of New York City , if you can believe that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always be observant and aware of all that’s going on around you. Glad you like the tips. Continue to enjoy your travels. Be safe. Thanks for your comment. Much appreciated.

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  13. Your reminder to be observant is perfect. Being aware of my surroundings has kept me safe.
    Your tips for traveling solo are great reminders for everyone.
    Here’s to your next great adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I LOVE solo travel. The only one to please is me and I also feel more open to other interesting people approaching me. I mean, you can always have company if you want it, right? Great tips!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: Uptick in Female Solo Travel – The Beautiful Boss Magazine

  16. Hi, thanks for dropping by and liking At Home in Madrid. Your article is interesting and I’m guessing that you have had some negative experiences in your travels. I’m not sure if it’s appropriate to add my thoughts because my experience has been very different. I started young, risk-taking in the best sense. Living in wild country in Australia from the age of 20. Very much later, when I turned 50, I travelled to France and lived there for 4 years, learnt the language and travelled everywhere on foot or bike and began a decade of on and off solo travel. At 59 I left every perceived security behind and now I have a backpack and me. I’ve been to most countries in Europe and apart from Number 5, I have followed none of your advice. I have had the best time meeting people while camping in the wilds of Greece, walking Morocco, wandering Russia, hitch-hiking in France and Spain. Of course, I could be the exception or something just hasn’t happened YET. But I have read about women’s security and know that it doesn’t matter what you wear but it does matter what your attitude is. BE CONFIDENT because people can see if you’re not and some may take advantage of it. Love what you are doing. Smile at as many people as you can. That guy who follows you was a one off, right? Shit does happen. But adjust, find a safe route. There are cultural differences, there are crazy people everywhere. I prefer to make up my plans as they open up and keep adventuring. I also want to put in a word for Couchsurfing and Blablacar. Both excellent ways to meet strangers and practice a new language.The sites are curated and there’s testimonies for the people who offer car rides or a place to stay. Of course be observant but above all, don’t live in fear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment. Sounds like we have a lot in common loving adventure, meeting people and making new friends. Glad you’ve never experienced any unwanted or negative attention. I pray it stays that way as you solo travel. I’m sure you practice safety precautions of you own. Thanks for the services recommendation also. Much appreciated. Safe travels.

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