Category Archives: travel

Tips for the First Time Female Solo Traveller

So, you are thinking, going back and forth about venturing off on your first solo trip. You plan, almost book a ticket, second guess yourself because what if…?

Safety is a big issue, especially for the solo female traveller. This is understandable. Be smart about travelling alone and explore your options.

Here are some tips that might help you take the plunge and maybe even become a dedicated solo traveller.

Take a Solo Trip somewhere Local

See this as a trial run. You are still in your home country and you are familiar with the money, time zone, food, language and so on. Venture out alone in the comfort of the things you know. This will empower you and teach you much about yourself as a solo traveller. For example, are you a boss at finding your way around an unfamiliar area? Do you get frustrated and throw in the towel? How do you handle this?

Do solo local trips a few times and get used to going it alone. Taking the first solo trip abroad doesn’t work for everyone.

Solo travel Abroad to Countries on the Beaten Path

Countries that have mature tourism industries are good for first time solo travellers. Much is written in the way of reviews by both male and female bloggers. Read, educate yourself and plan where to venture off to. I didn’t go to countries where English isn’t spoken widely in the early years of my solo travels. This is something to consider.

Stay at Well Secured Lodgings

It may be worth splurging on lodgings with good security so you feel at peace. Nothing spoils a trip like worrying and not sleeping well at nights. Also do some local trips that are officially recommended by people at your accommodations. Use common sense in this as well.

Take Short Trips to build your Confidence as a Solo Traveller

Some people might want to take a short trip before going on a six month solo jaunt around South East Asia. Travelling can be tiring for some people after a few weeks. Reflect on short trips and plan accordingly. Each short trip will teach you something about how to travel alone and enjoy it fully. The truth is that, travelling alone to different places is a diverse experience.

Plan, Save, Research and take the Plunge

Just do it. Start somewhere and go from there. The perfect trip is what you make of it. Be open to having your own experiences and do not try to anticipate having what others blog about. Research and use the knowledge you gain to prepare well to enrich your journey. Solo travel is rewarding. Women can travel alone and enjoy themselves immensely. We live in the information age so it’s quite easy to know where women are treated poorly. There are many wonderful places where we can travel well, focus on these.

If you feel the urge to travel alone, don’t keep putting it off. You will grow for sure and be empowered.

I Prefer Hotels or Hostels to AirBnB

I like having everything in order before I leave on a trip. I can’t get away from the fact that every now and then I hear of people booking lodgings on AirBnB to turn up and be turned away. I am just not comfortable taking that chance especially in a brand new place where I know no one.

I enjoy using Booking.com to search for and reserve hotels or hostels. (This is not sponsored for sure.) I like the fact that there are lodgings that do not require prepayment and allow for free cancellation for quite a while in some cases. I also like the fact that you can pay some places in cash, my currency of choice to stay on budget. I like that I get Genius discounts, a perk of using it so much.

I like being greeted by someone at hotels. This isn’t always the case with AirBnB lodgings. I do like interacting with staff and having someone to give me tips about the area. I especially love that many hostels have a travel desk with budget friendly options.

Why am I writing this now?

Well, reality smacked me in the face earlier today. I am gifting my father and one of my sisters a trip for his retirement. I want them to have fun travelling together. It’s quite far from home and seeing as they are not seasoned travellers, they will gain more from travelling together.

I reached out to a host about accommodating them because people spoke so highly of her. To my surprise, she responded with concerns that my father wouldn’t be able to speak effectively in English since I am booking their stay and he is travelling with my sister. She insisted on this even after I highlighted the fact that English is our native tongue. It’s her home so her right to do what she sees best. I, of course withdrew my request, logged out of the AirBnB site and went to Booking.com and got on with my business.

You may say that shouldn’t be enough to sway me from using AirBnB. Well, recently I travelled with a friend who is a big fan of theirs. I was most annoyed at the fact that we had to do a self-checkin procedure at 3 different properties. One involved going to a machine, taking pictures of our IDs and typing up a bunch of stuff before being able to access the key. We had to do this to checkout as well. It’s exhausting. I don’t think it’s worth the trouble, for me.

Who knows, I may change my mind with time. As it is now, hotels and hostels will do.

Solo Travel is Liberating

Solo travel is my norm because those in my life who can afford to travel are not necessarily interested in the places that call out to me. Others want to go but either don’t have time or money. This means much of my adventures have been solo. I enjoy exploring different nooks and crannies across the world by myself.

Isn’t it Scary to Travel alone as a woman?

This is a question that is on repeat. When someone finds out I travel alone or I am planning to do so, this comes up. Of course, I know that for many people it comes from a place of love and concern. A healthy dose of caution sprinkled liberally with common sense helps to solo travel safely, for everyone. The world is not necessarily more dangerous than where I live. I take the same precautions I use everyday when I travel alone.

These have served me well in my travels from 8 cities in Europe to India and other parts of Asia, a few places in the Middle East, smatterings of the African continent and South America.

Solo travel for me is liberating. I enjoy going at my own pace, meeting other people and just being in new environments.

Solo travel isn’t for Everyone

To me, if the first thing that comes to mind, at the prospect of solo travelling is fear, then it should be put on the back burner. Nothing is wrong with travelling with others. I do that from time to time but my lone wolf mentality means this isn’t my go to.

Don’t be Pressured to Travel Alone

It seems to be a challenge that some are taking up to go it alone. Again, no one should push himself or herself to go off travelling alone if that isn’t his or her thing. Travelling alone as a woman in some places is a big headache even when you take all the precautions. Also for people who do not like being alone it may cause their travels to be mundane. Yes, we meet others when we travel alone but we don’t always connect in the same way we would with a well known friend or family member. No one embarks on their travels to be miserable. So, if you know you don’t like being alone, don’t force yourself to join the trend of travelling solo.

The Perks of Solo Travel

  • You can sit and people watch to your heat’s content. There is something to seeing people in a new environment going about their lives. I learn quite a bit about where I am by doing this.
  • You can go at your own pace. If you wake up one day and feel like going, going, then you can do so. On the other hand, if you want to take it easy, that’s ok too since there is no one else to consider.
  • You are open to meeting others. When I am alone, I am more aware of my surroundings and take the time to connect with more people meaningfully.
  • I spend more time researching before I visit somewhere, I travel to alone. This inherently means, I am more prepared and know some key facts about where I am travelling.
  • I can do what I want to do and not have to compromise. This is major when you spend big bucks travelling halfway around the world to experience a destination. This also includes things like staying in a cheap hostel to save money. Not everyone is into roughing it.

Essentially, I find solo travel to be liberating. I like the freedom I have to go at my own pace, make connections and go with my flow.

If you enjoy your own company, use common sense to stay safe in your daily life and have access to Google, give solo travel a try. You might like it or you might discover you enjoy travelling with others far more. It’s best to do what works for us.