10 Top Tips for Women Traveling Solo

For women traveling solo, it is not only an adventure but also an investment in yourself. Every day that you spend alone in a new environment is yours to indulge in a new experience, new sights and sounds, and potentially make new mistakes to learn from. The rules of the road can be a bit different when you’re not traveling with a buddy, however. Here are some tips to help make your solo adventure go a bit more smoothly:

1. Preparing for the Worst

One of the worst-case scenarios when traveling is that your bag with your travel documents and credit cards is lost or stolen. Take pictures of the front and back of your driver’s license, passport, credit cards, reservations and other crucial documents for your trip. Then, upload them to a cloud storage service such as Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive. You must delete the photos from your phone. This way, you can still access all of your important documents from a computer if they’re lost. Also make a photocopy that you leave at home with your other important documents so your family or friends have access to a copy in case of emergencies.

2. Secure your items while traveling

Keep some of the cash you take with you in a hidden location on yourself in case your wallet gets pick-pocketed. You can try a waist wallet pouch you wear underneath your clothes, or a buy some socks that have a zipper compartment.

You can also keep your electronics and documents in a portable safe that is a mesh bag lined with wires that cannot be cut through (at least not quickly). You can store your laptop, credit cards and other important items in the safe and then secure it with a cable and lock it to anything sturdy in your hotel room, such as a pipe. These safes are cheap, and they allow you to leave your valuables in your room safely while you explore a new city.

3. Bring half the clothes and twice the budget

Resourceful women tend to pack more than we ever need for a trip. Lighten the load and pack only half as much as you think you’ll need. Traveling solo is easier if you’re not lugging nearly as much luggage. You’ll also have more room to purchase things on the road if you decide to splurge on gifts for yourself or loved ones. It is also a good idea to budget more than you think you’ll need in case of an unexpected expense such as a car repair or an extended layover.

4. Hire Someone to Help Plan

Women leaders, entrepreneurs, and mothers do not always have the time to plan a get away vacation for themselves. Stacy Wren is the founder of Global Vacation, a family run travel agency crafting unique experiences worldwide. She has 20 years of experience in the hospitality field offering personalized travel concierge services.

Have every detailed covered from hotel or resort accommodations, air travel, activities, dining recommendations, and special needs and disability travel guidance. Leave the stress in her capable hands and enjoy your travels!

5. Register your trip

If you’re traveling out of the country, register with the U.S. State Department. They will send you an emergency alert if anything happens in the country you’re traveling through, such as civil unrest. You can also register with the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT). This group will help you find medical services with English-speaking doctors or nurses if necessary. Consider purchasing travel insurance as well.

6. Plan to check in with friends or loved ones

Leave a copy of your itinerary with a friend or family member back home. If you don’t have an itinerary and plan to fly by the seat of your pants, check in with a phone call every day or two to let someone know where you are. Also consider sharing your phone’s location so your family members can see where you are in case you end up hiking into areas with out cell service.

7. Talk to the locals

Service people at restaurants can be some of your best resources for finding local flavor. Chat up the waiters and maids wherever you go for the best advice on places to avoid and things to see that you won’t find in the typical tourism guidebooks.

8. Be assertive (or fake it ‘til you make it)

Carry yourself with confidence even if that’s not your normal personality type. This will not only keep you safer when traveling alone, but it will make you more approachable. Make eye contact with everyone and look as if you know what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions either!

9. Simplify your style

You’re probably traveling to take in new sights, rather than to be seen. Don’t worry about having a full professional wardrobe or dressing for a night on the town. Keep it simple when it comes to style. This will also help you reduce the number of things you have to pack (see the above tip about packing half as much). Some cities also have cobblestone roads and you’ll be coming come with souvenir bruises if you pack heels.

10. Have fun and make lots of memories

Make the most of your trip and be sure to document everything. Enjoy every moment and take photos to remember everything and to share with others in the future. Remember that nothing ever goes exactly as planned on a trip, so stay positive, learn and grow from every experience.

Interested in meeting women around the world? The International Association of Women is a globally community of like-minded professional women supporting each other’s dreams. As you travel, grab drinks with some inspiring leading experts who know the city!

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