Travelling alone can be tough. Landing in a foreign city, it’s easy to crave the support of a familiar face - especially if things don’t go according to plan. Unfortunately, we’ve heard cases of female travellers in particular, encountering unwanted attention when touring solo overseas.
But experiencing the wonders of the world, pushing yourself and achieving personal milestones as a solo traveller is a rewarding experience like no other. Brooke Saward from World of Wanderlust knows the ups and downs of solo travel as well as anyone.
From Finland to Zambia and China to Chile, Brooke has seen some of the most exciting destinations in the world - and she’s seen them while travelling by herself!
Watch Brooke’s video to hear how she embraces the highs and deals with the lows when travelling solo overseas:
Brooke’s ‘solo travel survival checklist’:
- “First of all you take yourself, then you need your best damn attitude you’ve ever walked out of the house with.”
- “When packing for solo travel, I strongly advise you that less is indeed more.”
- “I wouldn’t go anywhere without travel insurance - I’ve had a $6,000 USD hospital bill that travel insurance has covered. All these little things can be so stressful when you’re by yourself.”
10 tips for female travellers
Unfortunately, female solo travellers can attract unwanted attention overseas. We’ve all heard horror stories of drink spiking and theft, and while these may be uncommon, we believe everyone deserves to experience the joy of travelling alone.
Thankfully, there are some simple ways to ensure your adventure is one to remember for all the right reasons:
1. Do your research
It may sound obvious, but researching accommodation and tours before you book is the best way to avoid potential dangers.
2. Avoid Airbnb and couch surfing
It’s not just females who are at risk from couch-surfing services; there are stories of a range of unwary travellers getting stuck in unsavoury situations with strangers. Please be aware that our TravelCare policy won’t cover any misfortunes that occur when staying in Airbnb or couch-surfing accommodations.
3. Make friends
Brooke Saward says one of her favourite parts of travelling alone is meeting like-minded people from across the globe. Don’t be afraid to chat to other guests at your hostel - they may just turn into friends for life.
4. Secure your documents
One of our favourite solo travel tips is to take pictures of all your important travel documents and upload them into a secure location online, like DropBox or Google photos. This way you can be confident that if anything goes wrong, your vital information is just the click of a button away.
5. Keep your friends in the loop
Not only is this great if you begin to feel a little homesick, but keeping your friends and family updated on your travel plans is another layer of security should the unexpected occur.
6. Be married (kind of)
In some destinations, it pays to wear a fake wedding ring to deflect unwanted attention. In some cultures, married women are treated with more respect than singles. In fact, the U.S. State Department actually recommends all single women wear rings in the Middle East.
7. Leave the jewels at home
But in saying that, leave any other real valuables at home as well. You don’t need anything extra to worry about when you’re trying to find the best restaurant in town by yourself!
8. Ask reception for advice
If you’ve just arrived at a destination and are a little unsure where you should go, or what areas to avoid, ask the hotel or hostel reception. They’ll be happy to guide you to the safest and best parts of town.
9. Don't be afraid to say no
Always be confident you can say no. Whether it’s help with your bags, or an invitation to lunch, the decision is yours, even when you’re alone.
10. Start a blog
We love hearing all of your fantastic travel stories, so why not share them with us on a blog! Take inspiration from Brooke Saward’s World of Wanderlust and make all your friends and family at home jealous!