I have been connecting with other women who are interested in starting solo travel and one of their concerns is staying safe while traveling. I can relate to this as at the beginning of my travels, I was so nervous around other people and situations! As we travel more, we become more comfortable and familiar with situations and how to deal with them.
Here are 6 tips to stay safe as a solo female traveler:
- Be aware of your surroundings
Don’t wear headphones in public as this can distract you from what is going around you. Stay off your phone when walking around town (I once almost had my phone snatched by a motorist while walking down the street!)
- Refrain from going out alone at night alone
This means no overnight buses and arrive at your destination during the day.
- If you’re ever feeling unsafe, go into the closest store.
They have security cameras and the store attendants will always help you. If I ever get the feeling that someone is following me I quickly pivot into the closest one I can find and they usually disappear.
- Keep valuables in your bag at restaurants
There are thieves that will place what they are selling on the table and quickly snatch up your phone when you are not paying attention as they leave. Be sure to keep it on your body when dining!
- Lock up your valuables and be sure your room can be locked as well
Backpackers are the friendliest group of people and I always feel safe in hostels as there is a mutual understanding between travelers and they tend not to steal from you. However, it is still good to keep your valuables out of reach of anyone else and I always make sure there are lockers at my hostel. In addition, I always bring two locks as hostels typically don’t have them for lockers.
- Don’t be afraid to switch hostels or hotels!
When arriving at a new place, make sure you feel comfortable in your new surroundings. The worst feeling is falling asleep feeling unsafe in your bed. Be confident in checking out of a place early to change locations as most of the time the reception is very understanding.
I once stayed in a hostel in Tulum that had amazing reviews, but I later found out it was a 12-bed dorm with beds 2 feet away from each other and in a room that had access to other rooms in the same building. I heard people come in and out of the room and there was absolutely no privacy, no lock on the door. I felt terribly uncomfortable and I switched to a better hostel and had an amazing experience. It is never worth your money to be in a place you don’t feel comfortable in!
It is very normal to be on high alert when you first start traveling and I hope these tips help you feel more comfortable with traveling solo! Any questions please feel free to reach out to me, I love to help others in discovering the world.