Solo traveling has nothing to do with being unsociable. In fact, most women opting for it expects to build new friendships and immerse themselves into authentic cultures. On top of that, every solo female traveler gains a unique experience by overcoming new challenges and obtaining skills for navigating unfamiliar surroundings. 

That said, you must consider many personal safety concerns before embarking on a journey. That’s why we’ve prepared a to-the-point list of safety tips for women traveling alone to make you informed and forearmed. Read on to learn how to protect yourself from ending up in dangerous situations.

Is It Difficult for Women Traveling Alone to Stay Safe?

Solo trips are in much higher demand among women than among men. The travel industry statistics from Overseas Avenue Travel prove that females lead among solo travelers – they accounted for 85% of total bookings in the pre-pandemic period of 2018-2019. And in post-pandemic years, the number of American women traveling alone has remained remarkably high – ladies aged 55+ booked about 77% of all trips in 2022. 

Of course, most experienced female travelers wouldn’t test their luck traveling alone to unsafe destinations. But newbies face much higher risks if they lack awareness about the destination they’re heading to. So before booking your travel and stay, do the necessary research:

  • Check the list of travel advisories from the U.S. Department of State.
  • Get some safety tips for women from online communities of avid globetrotters like Journey Woman or Worldpakers.
  • Lastly, you can inquire with your booking agent about approved and safe directions for a solo female traveler.

Stick with Common Personal Safety Practices

Are you familiar with after-dark safety rules? Do you keep your doors locked just like you used to in the dorm room? If so, you won’t jeopardize yourself above average when traveling alone.

Sad but true: mishaps during solo trips often happen to travelers due to their self-assurance and self-indulgence. So keep your feet on the ground and don’t get overwhelmed by the rapid change of scenery and boundless freedom it provides.

What Specific Safety Concerns Solo Female Travelers Should Consider?

Some of the most common dangers that can trap a solo female traveler when touring or backpacking abroad are:

  • Falling victim to a crime. Women traveling alone must realize that culprits deem them easy targets. So trust your gut instinct whenever you get even a slight suspicion about someone’s intentions. One of the best safety tips for women in such cases is to engage with bystanders. Or to move to a secure public place like a mall or cafeteria if you don’t feel safe outside.
  • Unintentional violation of local laws or traditions. Knowledge of local regulations will protect you from hefty fines or even arrest abroad. For instance, numerous Muslim countries have a nationwide alcohol ban except for designated tourist areas.
  • Health emergencies. Food poisoning, infections, and insect-borne diseases might entirely spoil your vacation. That’s why we strongly recommend that every solo female traveler must pack a first aid kit for the intended use before departure.

12 Safety Tips for Women Traveling Alone

Here are twelve tips to stay safe when far away from home. Make sure to go over this checklist during the trip preparations and the actual journey.

1. Learn About Your Destination

Find out key details about safe booking and transportation before actually arriving. Also, we suggest saving emergency services phone numbers beforehand. Additionally, you can use some safe walk apps from our top list of the seven best apps for solo travelers.

2. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

It’s essential for women traveling alone to evaluate their physical abilities adequately. Especially if you are about to take an eco-tour or hike across the backcountry.

3. Don’t Overpack

Women traveling alone with massive luggage frequently attract unwanted attention from muggers. So you better leave a bulky suitcase home and stuff your backpack with essentials. After all, the whole idea of solo traveling is about getting around freely. 

4. Take Some Personal Defence Tools with You

You can and should carry around self-defense tools, but keep in mind that not all of them might be allowed for transportation. For instance, you can’t carry pepper spray or tear gas cans that exceed 118 ml (4 oz) on a plane. Check out our guides on safety devices for women and self-defense classes to choose the solution that would suit you most.

5. Consider Volunteering Projects as an Accommodation Option

There’s generally a much more welcoming and inspiring atmosphere at volunteering projects – as well as safer surroundings for women traveling alone. So if you’d like to donate your time for some volunteering activities, you can choose from various accommodation options from trusted traveler communities. These might be eco-villages, farm stays, or accommodations for tourists that join local English-speaking programs.

6. Book a Tour

Joining a group at some point would be a great idea, as you might get bored of being alone. If you haven’t booked a tour in advance, you can apply for it at some local tour provider office.

Teaming up with like-minded female travelers allows you to exchange experiences and learn more about places worth visiting. Even if you later decide to go on with the journey on your own, your new friends who already visited the site can share some trusted safety tips for women.

7. Keep Important Documents, Cards, and Cash Secured

The best way to keep your valuables safe is to lock them up in the personal safebox and leave it in the hotel room. However, carrying around an emergency stash of cash, a photocopy of your passport, and travel insurance is highly recommended. Discreet money belts that tightly wrap around your body would work well for such purposes.

8. Don’t Overshare

Every guide considers this an essential safety tip. Any experienced solo female traveler will insist that you keep private information on a DL. 

It’s normal to make new friends and connect with them through social media. Just make sure you don’t tell people you barely know where you’re staying or what you’re up to for today. 

Also, restrain yourself from posting your every move on social media. Burglars can scan those to detect when you leave your room unattended.

9. Look into Local Customs

Some local traditions and customs might seem odd or even silly to you, but show respect, and you’ll get the same back. Pay attention to the dress codes and etiquette to avoid unnecessary conflicts.

10. Date Safely

As a woman traveling alone, you might want to date someone nice to make your vacation brighter. It’s alright as long as you don’t neglect general safety tips for women and adhere to common sense. Check our guide on safe tinder dating to get additional insights on acting prudently on such occasions.

11. Get Around Safely

Public transport is probably the safest option for foreigners. But renting a car might be a great way to explore vast territory if you’re used to having your own wheels. 

However, as a solo female traveler, you shouldn’t risk taking a ride from strangers or local unauthorized taxists. That is the most unsafe and unreliable way of transportation; most safety tips for women advise avoiding it.

12. Use Personal Safety Alarm Devices

Any woman traveling alone must have personal alarm products of some kind. When it comes to truly life-threatening emergencies, these will help you reach out for help instantly. Moreover, they will inform your relatives or other people concerned about your exact location thanks to GPS tracking features.

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Last Update: 23 March 2024