Intro: Tips for a Woman Traveling Alone
Traveling alone can be healing and restorative. Nobody ever starts out being a confident solo traveler – there’s always the first time! Once you have decided to go it solo, plan well and steam ahead. There will be hiccups along the way but they are part of the experience. Remain attentive and aware of your surroundings at all times. Never let your safety be compromised.
This Instructables is going to be a lengthy one and so draw a chair and make yourself comfortable. I have collated all the tips from personal notes and from the elaborate notes I researched for many articles on Women Safety.
If you are feeling apprehensive traveling alone, look for a female travel partner. Alternatively you can choose women-only trips. While companionship can help you battle loneliness, you might long for the ‘me-time’ too. Traveling alone makes you more confident and self reliant. It allows you the luxury of seeing a place at your own pace.
Step 1: Plan for Safety
Always research your destination while planning the travel. Look up the areas to avoid. Check for reviews on safety of your lodging. Find out more about the local transportation options. Keep track of time and avoid traveling alone at night. Keep emergency contact numbers at hand. Get yourself a good international roaming plan.
You don't need to be a Ninja Warrior – but it is worth learning the basics of Self defense techniques. Even if you know Karate, it is still worth carrying a small can of pepper spray and a multi tool like 'Leatherman's Wingman'. This multi tool has 14 tools including a razor sharp 2.5 inch long combo knife made out of 420HC steel. Another item worth its weight to carry in your handbag is the tactical pen which can break an automobile glass as well as temporarily disable an attacker in an emergency. In some countries, Pepper spray is illegal to carry. It would be worth the trouble of checking before hand if these self defense items are permitted in the target destination.
You may need a concealed inner pouch to carry money and passport. I have been carrying one for years. Never keep all your money in one place.
Lock your phone always. In case the phone is lost, the thief will not have access to your personal details. Enable 'Erase all the data on this iPhone after 10 failed pass code attempts'. Take a snap shot of all your luggage and carry bags. Trust me this tip came in handy when I briefly lost my check-in luggage in a major airport and all the luggage look alike.
Leave a copy of your itinerary and flight details with family or friends. Stay in touch with them to allay their fears. Always inform your people back home about your whereabouts. Do not use ATMs at night. Withdraw cash during working hours when the street has sufficient traffic. Don’t keep all your money in one place. Keep an emergency stash in a place that is least likely to be pilfered. If you are traveling with kids, check out more tips here.
Step 2: 2. How to Choose Clothes for Travel
Don’t just go by your personal preferences and the chic quotient when choosing outfits for your solo vacation. An important factor to remember here is that your clothes can affect your social interactions; especially in other cultures. What is considered acceptable in one place might be construed as provocative or unsuitable in another. Be sensitive to cultural differences.
Plan in accordance with the weather predicted for the destination. Be ready to face probable weather surprises with a warm sweater or light travel jacket. Opt for wash and wear fabrics that are not maintenance heavy. Take along clothes that are versatile and multifunctional.
Step 3: 3. Travel Packing Checklist
- Travel tickets
- Cash/ Debit Cards/ Credit cards
- Passport, Visa, Identification documents – copies to be placed elsewhere as well as scanned copies to be placed in Dropbox or any other cloud location which you can access from any computer.
- Health and Travel insurance
- Emergency contacts – name, phone number and email id
- Hotel confirmation
- Camera, extra batteries, memory cards and digital storage for cameras
- Flashlight (even if your iPhone has a flash light. It can be unweildy to hold a phone in your clenched teeth)
- Reading material and music
- Electronic chargers
- Tactical Pen and Multitool
Step 4: 4. How to Pack
- Don’t travel very heavy. It makes you vulnerable. It makes perfect sense to take along only that much luggage which you can handle all by yourself.
- Learn to fold right so that you can make maximum use of space. This will also reduce creases. A piece of tissue paper between some of the better clothes will prevent wrinkling. Make good use of available space. Pack tightly so that clothes and other items sit snugly. Roll up small pieces like undergarments and socks and wrap them around the fold line of the bag. Zip all zippers and button all the buttons before packing your clothes.
- Select clothes that can be coordinated well together. Clothes of a similar color palette can be mixed and matched. You can opt for a pair of well-fitting slacks that can double for work and evening out too. Take along a comfortably fitting neutral dark pants suit, a few blouses and shirts, some splashy scarves and a string of pearls. With this, you can look cool and chic and yet not be over the top!
- Keep jewelry items to the minimum.
- Take along scarves and sunglasses.
- Invest in a good durable pair of shoes that are comfortable for long hours. You can consider sandals on flight so as to be able to slip them off easily during long travel.
- Don’t forget a foldable umbrella that slips easily into your handbag.
- Put unique identifications tags on your baggage making it easier and quicker to identify.
I have summarized the tips as much as possible. Thanks for reading my Instructables. If you think, this would be of some help, vote for me and check out my other Instructables.