Women Traveling Alone: Practical Tips & Resources for Solo Travel

Are you curious about globetrotting on a solo adventures? Or just looking for a short solo weekend getaway. Whether you’re looking for the excitement of new places or some time to yourself, I have found traveling alone as a woman to be an empowering experience. However, it can also seem a bit intimidating to start. So, I thought I would do a post combining all the best resources and practical tips for travel. Read further for handy apps, travel groups and communities that serve women traveling alone!

Women Travel Alone

From travel safety tips to essential packing advice, this is a curated guide from one intrepid traveler to another. So, grab your passport and your adventurous spirit, and let’s get started!

Why everyone should travel alone at least once in their life

To me, traveling solo travel as a woman is more than just crossing places off your bucket list; it’s a chance to embrace freedom and find yourself. Doing a trip on your own you have the ultimate freedom to curate your day and pace without compromise or distractions of larger tour groups. Solo trips provide the perfect chance to step out of the usual and take the plunge into new experiences. Whether it’s unexpected side trips or random meetings, each moment offers a chance for personal growth and adventure.

Practical Tips for Women Traveling Alone

For destination specific tips – check out my destination specific travel guides here.

1. Safety First

  • Look for accommodation in safe neighborhoods with bright lighting and good transport links to attractions.
  • If you are going alone, share your trip itinerary with some close friend or family member that shows where you are each day.
  • Use location sharing via Findmy phone or Google location sharing with friends or family members if at all worried at anytime in a new city or area.

2. Pack Light

  • This is so much easier said than done! I find timeanddate.com really handy because it allows you to see what the weather and temperature has been in any location in prior years. Totally worth a quick check ahead of packing so you can plan your layers accordingly.
  • Choose a rigid, lightweight suitcase or backpack with built-in security features such as lockable zippers.
  • Make sure you pack all basic toiletries and some basic over-the-counter medicines and supplies for those just-in-case instances. I recall wasting time standing in a long line at pharmacy in Pisa on a sun filled day, when I would have much rather be out exploring if I had just packed my contact solution!

3. Plan Transportation

  • Plan your transportation and check how you can get around to the main attractions in advance, check out the local public transport and rideshare services.
  • If you are arriving late in the evening at the airport, I would highly recommend checking what time public transport run until so you can plan in advance, or consider staying at an airport hotel and commuting in, in the morning
  • Preload your google maps for offline use. Type in ‘okmaps’ into the googlemaps area you want to save offline. Click ‘ok’ when prompted to download an offline map.

4. Accommodation Tips for Women Traveling Alone

  • Look for accommodation with facilities like well-lit parking lots and 24-hour check-in desks, depending on where you will be visiting.
  • Choose somewhere to stay that has been reviewed by other women traveling alone as safe and comfortable. I like the booking.com feature where you can read reviews by types of traveler for this.

Resources for Women Traveling Alone

Online Communities and Forums for Travel Advice for Women Traveling Alone

Women travel alone community

If you’re like me, you literally google anything and everything when it comes to random travel questions. This is where online communities and forums serve as invaluable resources for solo female travelers. Whether you’re seeking advice on destinations, or want to connect with like-minded adventurers, these virtual spaces are invaluable.

  1. Nomadic Matt Forums: This is part of the famous Nomadic Matt travel blog. The forums is a place for travelers to exchange advice and information on their journeys. There’s a section there specifically for solo trips where you can find inspiration, tips and guidance.
  2. Reddit’s r/solotravel: An excellent place for active advice, tips, and stories from solo travelers worldwide. The community caters to advice for everyone from women traveling alone to digital nomads. It been a place you’ll likely find answers to your niche and random travel questions.
  3. Women Who Travel Facebook Group: Run by Condé Nast Traveler, this active Facebook group provides a platform for women to discuss all things travel. I found this to be a pretty useful community offering numerous resources and inspiration, ranging from solo travel tips to travel guides.
  4. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree Forum: Tailored for solo travelers, this forum is one of the best spots for advice and sharing experiences. Here, you can ask questions, connect with fellow solo adventurers, and learn from those who have “been there, done that.”
  5. Facebook Group: Women Who Hike Solo: A friendly space where women recommend trails, share safety advice, and recount their solo outdoor adventures.

Meet-ups and IRL Communities Organising Travel

Women travel solo
  1. Meetup Groups for Solo Female Travelers: Many cities host meetup groups specifically for solo female travelers and expats. Having used this extensively while new to London, I personally found this really useful, using Meetup Groups like Girls Gone International was a great way to meet fellow, like-inded expats and long stay travelers in a new city.
  2. Female Digital Nomads Forum: A forum catering to women who are curious about or delving into the digital nomad lifestyle. Full of tips, resources, and support for working while traveling, this is a good place to start. It includes recommendations for coworking spaces and advice for staying productive on the road, especially handy for remote working!
  3. HerCouchsurfing Community: This community within the Couchsurfing platform connects solo female travelers with cautious and inclusive hosts. It’s a place to share experiences, seek advice, or find supportive hosts across the world.
  4. Adventure Women Travel Club: A club that organizes group-guided tours for adventurous women traveling alone. From the heights of the Himalayas to ancient ruins, this is a group and adventures community providing a safe and supportive environment for solo female travelers to expand their horizons.

Useful Apps for Women Traveling Alone

There are a plethora of travel apps, here is a list of some of the best specifically for women traveling alone.

Safety Apps for Women Traveling Alone

  • Safeture: Provides constant real-time safety alerts and emergency assistance, alerting you to potential risks nearby.
  • TripWhistle: Equips solo travelers with a hotline for emergency services, ensuring immediate assistance when needed.
  • bSafe: Features like real-time location sharing, SOS alerts, and a “Follow Me” function help you stay connected with loved ones and alert them in emergencies.
  • TravelSafely: Offers real-time safety updates for your destinations. Stats in app include crime rates, natural disasters, and health risks, along with tips for safe solo travel.

Navigation Apps:

  • Google Maps: Offers detailed maps and transit information, helping solo travelers navigate unfamiliar cities with confidence.
  • Citymapper: Provides comprehensive transit details and offline maps, ensuring you stay on route even without internet access.
  • Waze: I prefer Waze over Google Maps for driving, as it updates traffic and weather conditions more rapidly. It was especially useful in Morocco during a torrential rainstorm.

Language Translation Apps:

  • Google Translate: Allows for instant text and speech translation in multiple languages, easing communication barriers.
  • iTranslate: Offers similar functionalities as Google Translate, enhancing communication across languages.

Social – Meeting Other Travelers:

  • Meetup: Meetup.com is great for finding local social events, particularly useful for long-term travelers wanting to meet others. When I first moved to London, I was fortunate enough to meet some amazing women through a international Meetup ‘Girls Gone International’s London Chapter through Meetup. I and would highly recommend researching any local meetups for travelers and expats and bookmarking these.
  • GuruWalk: GuruWalk offers free walking tours led by local guides in cities around the world. I have found these walking tours are a great opportunity to actually meet other Solo travelers organically. In Barcelona we meet some other solo travelers on our morning walking tour who told us about an evening food tour they were doing later that day. The food tour ended up being one of the best nights of our trip as we embarked on a Basque tapas tours with a group of fellow foodies.
  • TimeLeft: I recently came across TimeLeft and instantly loved the concept. This is a real life social experiences app and community. The idea is brining together strangers in different cities around the world in a setting that allows you to easily connect without the awkwardness. Every Wednesday evening, a group of 5 strangers are connected for a group dinner via an algorithm based on a personality test. The app organizes the venue, reservation, all you have to do is turn up. Perfect for women traveling alone looking for a different yet social experience with likeminded people.

Ride-Hailing Apps:

  • Uber: Uber being available is most countries, this is a reliable and safe way to get around a new city. Note: In recent times I have noted a few countries banning uber in some place, so its best to check Uber operation in your planned destinations in advance.
  • Lyft: A good alternative to Uber, providing trustworthy transport with features like driver profiles and trip-sharing for added security.

GPS Locators:

  • Find My iPhone/Find My Device: Enables real-time location tracking of your device, sharing it with trusted contacts for added safety.
  • Life360: This app allows for real-time location sharing and tracking within private groups of family and friends, keeping everyone informed on your whereabouts.

Budgeting:

  • TravelSpend: Helps manage travel expenses by tracking daily spending, keeping you within budget while traveling. Good for also tracking expenses with friends and converting expenditure across currencies.
  • Wise: This is personal go-to app for me. Given its super quick and handy in converting to most currencies very seamlessly, making it easy to manage finances while traveling solo. With low fees and transparent exchange rates compared to my research of other providers, it’s a convenient option for international transactions.

Blogs, Books, and Podcasts that I Would Recommend for Inspiration and Advice

  • Blogs: Get inspired to be a part of the world of solo female travel with these exceptional blogs:
    • “Adventurous Kate”: Kate McCulley’s blog is a treasure trove of travel tips, destination guides, and personal anecdotes from her solo adventures worldwide.
    • “Be My Travel Muse: South-East Asia” by Kristin Addis offers invaluable insights on budgeting, packing, and understanding cultural differences through her solo travel stories.
    • “Jessie on a Journey” serves as an extensive resource providing detailed guides aimed at solo female travelers interested in sustainable and immersive travel experiences.

Podcasts: Engage with podcasts designed to enrich the solo female travel experience:

  • “Women Who Travel” by Conde Nast Traveler: This podcast features interviews with influential women on travelers. Full of practical advice on planning and executing solo trips. A good listen for some inspiration!
Oplus_0