7 tips for solo female travelers

woman in the desert looking at a map

If you are a free-spirited individual and you want to travel on your own, you will surely hear cautionary tales about how precarious it is to do so, how you can get lost, bored, hungry, mugged, attacked, etc. Although there is an element of danger involved in traveling alone, especially during these turbulent pandemic times, we believe that the benefits significantly outweigh the risks. For this reason, we have seven tips for solo female travelers which will equip you with the necessary knowledge about what it actually looks like to travel alone as a woman. And, even more importantly, what you really have to take into consideration in terms of accommodation, transportation, money, safety, local culture and the like.

Safety first!

Your personal safety should be at the top of your priority list every time you hit the road. Some women associate safety exclusively with potential muggings, so they make sure they take self-defense lessons before they go on a big journey to unknown regions.

However, it is not only strangers that are potential sources of havoc. Depending on where you are traveling, you need to make sure you have all the necessary supplies. Avid travelers know that it is helpful to research the topographic characteristics of the terrain to decide on the type of clothing and shoes that you may need. You should also know what you absolutely have to have in your backpack – water, knife, lighter, first-aid kit, maps, insect repellent, medication, etc.

Listen to your gut

As any woman who likes to travel alone will tell you, eventually you will develop a keen ‘sixth sense’ for detecting potentially dangerous places and people. We all have it in us; you just need to get on the road to finetune your decision-making. Being too fearful can make the journey tedious and less than enjoyable, whereas having no inhibitions can naturally put you in tricky situations. Since we do not live in an ideal world, solo female traveling may come with challenges, but in most cases, these bumps in the road will make your journey thrilling and unforgettable.

Be informed

Basically, it is essential to know where you are traveling to – weather changes, availability of potable water, food, healthcare, and medication in the given country or region are all important factors to consider. Another factor you have to take into consideration is the cellular coverage in the region. Although your phone and internet may work in the hostel you are staying at, that might not be the case once you leave urban areas.

woman pointing to a place on a map
Carefully planning your journey is more important than seems at first glance.

No woman is an island

Yes, traveling to a completely novel environment alone is a deeply gratifying experience, but it is a mistake to think that you have to be alone all the time. Be on the lookout for travel tours that offer assistance in the form of local guides. These types of offers provide you with the chance to seek help when you need it, but without forcing you into traveling in somebody else’s shoes, so to speak. For example, suppose you want to go on a photo safari. In that case, you have workshops led by wildlife photography experts who can brief you about the best timing and position from which you can take pictures of the savanna nature and wildlife. 

If you are looking to spend a longer period of time somewhere, it might be useful to join a traveling group. In this way, you can plan group journeys when you feel like it; you can meet like-minded travelers upon which you will be able to rely during your stay and still retain the sense of choosing your own itinerary for the day.

people jumping in the sunset
Solo female travelers are usually surprised to find that they have met so many amazing people on their journey. 

Meeting new people is part and parcel of traveling solo

From expats to locals, from flight attendants to hitch-hikers, be sure to delve deep into the melting pot of different faces and experiences that come your way. The journey to yourself is, for most people, actually the journey towards new friendships.

Talking to people has a practical side for solo women travelers as well. Especially if you do not speak the local language, you might miss out on important information of all sorts. People you meet will surely share their experiences with you, and you will most easily travel the country by knowing where to go and where you can go.

Meeting yourself is also part and parcel of traveling solo

If you are a sociable person, you might easily succumb to the urge to be surrounded by other people. It is understandable, and it may be tempting to form a group to travel together in unfamiliar surroundings. Although this is not necessarily wrong, at times, this approach to traveling might obscure the bigger picture – that you are traveling solo for a reason.

There are many things to learn about yourself that, perhaps, you cannot find out in your hometown. Learning to enjoy nature, silence, and your thought processes will be a life-long lesson that traveling solo will bestow upon you.

a woman standing between a gate made of rock
You might be more capable and adventurous than what you give yourself credit for

For instance, it may happen that you do not have any money left. You may find out that you can sell your photographs or artwork or earn money by doing land work. These kinds of revelations will reveal to you something you may not have known about yourself – that you are resilient, resourceful, and streetwise.

Book a bed in a hostel or private accommodation 

Immersing yourself in local culture by staying in a shabby hostel or renting a room from a local will widen your horizons and give you a more accurate picture of the local environment. There is a chance that you will meet someone who speaks the same language as you do – both literally and figuratively.

Furthermore, you will always have someone to ask for help or advice, even if you are not that into the idea of making friends. It is usually challenging to get through to hotel staff in such a way. Also, hostels are generally well prepared for solo female travelers, and they probably already have the answer to any of your questions.

Essential tips for essential travel

Airplane seats waiting and ready for boarding

Not everyone is ready to get back in the air, but many people still have trips they need to take. Travel is slowly increasing with essential travel leading the way. If you’re in that boat (or plane, actually) there are some things you should know before you go, i.e. essential tips for essential travel.

Most importantly, you should know that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has instituted several measures to ensure your security screening experience is as safe and secure as possible.

Wear A Face Covering

People travelling by plane from and within Canada need to bring their face covering. Face coverings need to cover the nose and mouth, be made of at least two layers of tightly-woven fabric (such as cotton or linen) and secured to the head. (Check out Public Health Agency of Canada’s guidelines, including instructions on how to make your mask.)

Use Hand Sanitizer When Out and About

At major airports, hand sanitizing units have been placed by the checkpoints to be used by the public. You can also have one bottle of hand sanitizer up to 355 mL in your carry-on – that is in addition to the 100 mL bottles that fall under the usual liquids’ restrictions. Keeping hands clean is especially important to help prevent the virus from spreading.

Screening Checkpoint at Security

Temperature screening at an airport in Canada

If you’re flying out of one of Canada’s 15 busiest airports, you’ll have your temperature checked when you arrive at the screening checkpoint. You will not be permitted to proceed through screening if your temperature, after two separate tests, is at or above 38⁰C. Note that if you exhibit symptoms of illness such as a cough or difficulty breathing, you will be required to leave the checkpoint.

While in the queue and the screening checkpoint, you must keep two metres between yourself and other passengers. Hold on to your own electronic or printed boarding pass or other documents of entitlement while they are scanned.

Travel Safely

Travel myths abound but the facts are the facts. Aviation is an essential service, ensuring people and goods get to where they need to go, and CATSA has taken every step possible to ensure this happens safely. You can go to their website for more information, or you can download their app for Android or iOS.

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Pros and Cons of Working While on the Road

Working and traveling has many advantages and disadvantages. Read on for tips on how to manage working remotely.

Working remotely is possible and can be simple with some good balance. As with any situation – there are pros and cons to working while on the road. Sometimes it also depends on the individual and whether you are able to create a habit and maintain an organized lifestyle while balancing travel and work at the same time. In any case, before you take on a remote job and hit the road, make sure that you are ready for any and all advantages and disadvantages that come with it.

Working while traveling can be both fun and overwhelming. It also is not for everyone. If you are the type of person able to organize your time well and handle last-minute stress – all while going places, then a remote job could be for you. Moreover, our key tip for working while on the road is good time management. With solid tactics and strategies, you can succeed at working remotely and traveling as long as you make a plan before you start your journey. Therefore, come up with a daily schedule that works for you. Meanwhile, create it so that it enables you to complete everything in time and stay on top of your game at all times.

On the other hand, before you begin working while on the road, make sure that things at home are taken care of so that you don’t worry about it later on. For example, why not rent out your place while you are away? Doing so, you could profit while being away. In addition, storing your belongings while you are away would be a great idea.

You can have everything in one place and know that it’s well taken care of. As you are getting ready to leave, you can avoid additional wasted time by booking an efficient moving company and have them relocate your belongings to a storage unit. Now that all things are dealt with at home, bon voyage!

Pros & Cons

The list of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to working while on the road might differ from one person to the next. However, here is a generic list of pros and cons to help you decide whether working remotely is for you.

Advantages

If we think about a regular 9 am to 5 pm job, you spend most of your day in an office within the same setting. An enclosed space with the same people, and daily activities mostly remaining the same. If one place doesn’t hold you, and you need to have a constant change, then working while on the road is for you. Why? You will never be in the same place for a long time. Working remotely will open you up to new places, new experiences, a variety of cultures and lots of sightseeing. This, however, is only possible with good balance and time management.

Another pro of working while on the road is the variety of people you get to meet and the increase in overall productivity. I don’t know about you, but when I travel and work, I have more energy and motivation to complete my work. It is never dull. With every day being different, it always keeps you on your toes, especially if it’s an important trip. In addition, the number of people you get to communicate with and form relationships with is truly amazing.

Disadvantages

One con that might be common amongst people is the fact that you have to maintain an organized schedule. Without organization, working while on the road becomes risky and messy. You start with one missed due date and it can pile on. The constant up-keeping with a busy schedule can add to being more tired. Also, constantly traveling and moving from one place to the next – you might notice a loss of energy and more need for rest.

Another disadvantage of traveling and working is that you will be away from family and friends the majority of the time. You have to be ready for the fact that you might not see them for a while.

Furthermore, we never mentioned the finances of all of this. Yes, you are working while traveling, but going from one place to the next can definitely add up. Managing your finances is definitely key, as well as staying within budget. It can become easy to get carried away with spending.

Work, work, work!

Once again, working while on the road is definitely not for everyone. We recommend evaluating your situation as well as our list of advantages and disadvantages before you contemplate trying to work remotely. Are you good with your time management? Do you work well when setting your own schedule and handling last-minute pressure? If so, and you want to immerse yourself in working while on the road all the while being surrounded by new people and various cultures, then remote work is for you. You never know, as this can help you grow in ways you might not have ever imagined. Meanwhile, if you know yourself well and are aware that balancing all those elements isn’t for you then perhaps working while on the road is something you shouldn’t do. Overall, however, we believe that you cannot know or understand something unless you try it. The pros and cons will always be there, and so what? You might surprise yourself along the way, and in the end, you have nothing to lose and perhaps lots to gain. Get on working!

Author’s Bio

Jane Connors is a journalism graduate who decided to travel the world all the while gaining writing experience. As someone who’s been to a few countries, she enjoys sharing her experiences and tips on traveling, working and sometimes both at the same time.