How to travel the world as a solo female traveller

Female Solo Travel Tips

Are you looking for female solo travel trips?

Would you like to know what countries are best for women travelling solo to get their feet wet?

We put those questions to our Facebook community as we love getting insider tips from other travellers.

While most of my travel around the world has been done with Craig, my first adventures saw me setting off into the untamed wilderness on my own.

Female Solo Travel Tips

Don’t think about the possible dangers

There are a million things that can go wrong, no matter how you are travelling. In fact, there are a million things that can go wrong in your life just by stepping out the front door.

But, that doesn’t stop you from getting on with your life right? Well don’t do the same when you are thinking of travelling solo.

Be Aware

Keep your wits about yourself and your surroundings at all time. Spend time looking around you and taking note of what you see. Be present in every moment. This will help alert you to any potential dangers.

Visiting Instanbul, Turkey - Female Solo Travel Tips

Trust your intuition

It always knows best. If something doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it. There is a reason why you get that unsettled feeling in your stomach when you meet that strange person on the beach.

Don’t freak yourself out by imaginary monsters, but definitely pay attention to those little messages our animal instincts give us.

Walk assertively and confidently

When I was in year 9 we had to do a self-defence course for sport at school. I don’t really remember how to flip someone over in a death roll if they were to attack me, but I do remember a very wise preventative piece of advice they drummed into us.

Always walk assertively and confidently. If you do this potential scam artists and attackers will leave you alone.

They only prey on those who are vulnerable. Walk with your head held high, and confidently greet people and look them in the eye. I have done this many times when I have felt afraid, and it instantly made me feel very strong and brave.

Let people know of your plans

This is especially important for solo women travellers. When you are travelling with someone else, you always have someone watching your back and looking out for you.

Let people you know and trust know where you are going and when. With today’s communication portals this can involve something as quick as an email, facebook message, twitter update or Skype call.

Talk to people

Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers, to make new friends and to travel with those new friends. I used to always go out on my own in Dublin, because I really wanted to meet new people.

I also met plenty of new friends travelling through various countries. I made an effort to talk to strangers, and travel with them.  I was never afraid to do so.

For more in-depth strategies and tips on how to create the travel life you love without spending a fortune click here 

Facebook Fan Tips

A Chick with Baggage says…

For your first country abroad as a chick, I strongly suggest going somewhere the culture (and language) is similar to your own.

I don’t care how much you prepare, or how much you have traveled with others before, that first trip will be difficult and going somewhere you can figure your head out and not have to worry about a language barrier is key.

For me, it was England. I was cranky, confused, doubtful and scared as all hell, but at least I could order a sandwich without too much confusion.

Marina Lukyantseva-Haworth says…

My first solo travel experience was also my first studying abroad experience. I picked Munich – I visited it twice before and totally loved the city. It is still my #1 city in the world. London was also safe for me when I’ve been there on my own.

When I went travelling to South America says…

I travelled in South America as a solo female traveller and it was absolutely fine. I also met quite a few other solo female travellers who had done the same.

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, if you keep your wits about you, make sensible decisions for your personal safety, and are lucky to not be in the wrong place at the wrong time, then you can travel wherever you like and be ok.

It is just a case of getting over those initial fears and just going for it. says…

This is a great question – My two cents are that I think it depends on what kind of a person you are more than anything else. Are you gutsy and adventurous, or more reserved and cautious?

Figure out your adventure-threshold, take a deep breath and go for it! And I definitely would recommend Australia for a carefree single woman traveler. I had such a blast there as a newly-single early 20-something.

Kaylin Stephens says…

Probably anywhere in western Europe. I went to the UK last fall solo and it’s so easy to get around with trains, subway/metro/bus/tram in nearly every city, etc.

Most of Europe is the same, although some places may be a little bit more hassle if you don’t speak the language. But places that cater to tourists always have people who speak English so it’s not a huge deal; just learn a few key phrases before you go.

There’s tons of young people travel to Europe every year so it’s especially good for younger solo women, very easy to meet people and make friends. Western Europe in general has really low crime rates (have to watch out for pickpockets in some places, but that’s what a money belt is for!)

A really good way to meet people is to go on a backpacker’s tour, which is designed for younger, independent travelers. I did a MacBackpackers tour of Scotland during my trip and met some really awesome people I still keep in touch with.

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Christine Rojek says…

My first time travelling alone was in Thailand one month and after Thailand one month in Vietnam. Made a lot of experiences about safety.

– When i walked around alone i weared long trousers and a t-shirt.
– I never lose sight of my baggage especially on the beach.
– When i left my bags in my hotel room I locked it with little locks.
– I weared my shoulder bag always in front of me and not on my back.

So I would say Thailand is very good for solo female traveller. You learn a lot about yourself, its very important to trust yourself and your instinct! Thats a nice experience and makes you stronger!

Legal Nomads says…

I think Thailand, Burma, Laos and the Philippines are each ideal places to start travelling alone as a woman.

While cautious about certain things (dressing appropriately, not drinking much and of course never leaving a drink unattended), they are receptive countries where people treat you with respect. And places where a big smile goes a long way.

My safety travel tips for women? I’d say…

(1) doorstop from a hardware store – cheap, lightweight way to wedge your door shut at night if you have a solo room and

(2) a safety whistle, which has gotten me out of trouble (monkeys chasing me up a hill, getting stuck in a night train’s bathroom, etc) many a time.

Vicki Edmunds says…

I went solo to Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. I hired a guide in Cambodia, that was about the only person I talked to there, but I thoroughly enjoyed Cambodia and didn’t feel threatened.

Vietnam was a different kettle of fish. I was diddled out of at least £100 and ended up in an hotel full of German people who were very suspicious of a solo woman traveller.

Thailand was great but again there are not a lot of people around willing to strike up a conversation with a solo woman over 50 in case they are landed with her for the holiday!

Since setting up eatwithalocal and finding other hospitality sites such as Servas, hosptiality club, couch surfing I have transformed my holiday experience.

Annie Bettis says…

My first solo experience was my study abroad in Sydney. It was perfect, it helped a lot that I already spoke the language as some people said above.

I always recommend a zipped shoulder bag for traveling and to more or less just be aware of your surroundings. When you are walking at night look up at the faces of people that pass you and if you see someone around you look at them so they know you are alert.

Kelly Dunning says…

New Zealand is probably one of the friendliest and easiest countries for a first time backpacker! It’s really easy to get around, there are loads of great hostels, and the people are sooo friendly!

Elizabeth Hughes says…

Its such a relief to know that London is a great place to start as a solo female traveller.

The one piece of advice I have is ONLY listen to those who have been to the places your going. Because they truly know what its like.

Ive had so many people say to me “you have to be so careful there they’ll steal your bags and try to rape you” and i ask them “oh when you were you in London?” and then have never been and yet those who have been say its great …

When I went travelling to South America says…

I found that the time you are most vulnerable is whenever you are first arriving somewhere. Not just in the country, but in a new town/city.

You have usually just stepped off a plane/train/bus and are tired, have a big heavy backpack or suitcase and are unsure of where you are going. So my tip for a solo female travelelr is to always plan for your arrivals.

Book a hostel/hotel in advance just for that first night if you can so you have somewhere to head to. This will make you walk around with confidence and purpose, which makes you look less of a target.

It also means that you can spend your time figuring out the important stuff like getting there, rather than where to get to. And it saves you from getting involved with dodgy touts.

In notoriously dangerous cities or countries, pre-arrange a transfer or ask your hostel in advance for some local advice about getting a taxi. Not all taxis are safe.

Or get chatting to other backpackers on your train/bus/plane and see if you can share a taxi with them!

Travel with Papino says…

My first solo trip was also Europe… I didn’t find any problems! Have your wits about you, don’t be naive, but also don’t be paranoid. I found the most paranoid travellers ALWAYS had something go wrong!

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Caz Makepeace is the co-founder of y Travel Blog and has been traveling the world since 1997, first solo, then with her husband, and now with her two daughters. Get her free email series on the 4 best ways to reduce travel costs. Follow her on Google+

63 Comments on “How to travel the world as a solo female traveller”

  1. Great article. I just did a months solo tour in Turkey and every day, hubby was insistent that I call him and give him hotel addresses etc. It was actually nice to know that he had my back even though he was not with me.

    Christine mentioned clothing and I think that is a big factor as well.

    I had one bad incident at the beginning of the tour which shook me up really bad however I focused on the fact that 99% of the people that I met in life are honest, decent and just want to help others and make new friends.While there is a small chance of bad things happening, I agree with you that paranoid people will cause more problems for themselves

    • Craig can get a bit like that with myself if I travel on my own, like I’ve never travelled before :)
      you have to focus on the large chance that nothing will happen and you’ll have the time of your life

  2. Its great that the girls are becoming more and more independent and now they can travel wherever they want to.

  3. I’ve always travelled with friends but was keen to try Japan on my own for just a week. It was fabulous. I squeezed about a months worth of travel into 1 week but I just could not get over how helpful and friendly the people were. I was always guided in the direction even without understanding a word I was saying lol. I felt completely safe the whole time. My tips for fast and safe solo travelling in Japan would be…

    Always source the tourist info centre first (where they have english speakers) and get all the info you desire and go from there. Remember where it is, incase you need to go back.

    Make sure you have nutritious snacks on hand at all times, noone else can grab you a quick sugar fix to keep you moving.

    Make yourself familiar with the transportation system, study the maps as much as you can before you go.

    My friends couldn’t believe I was going on my own but I was really looking forward to the challenge without speaking the language. I managed to fly into to Tokyo and get to Kyoto and Hiroshima by bullet train in a week. I also didn’t drink very much as as I have a bit of a habit of time wasting with hangovers hehe If I kept thinking like my friends, I would never get to go anywhere. Why should I miss out just because I don’t have a partner in crime? If by chance something bad did happen, at least I was going down having the time of my life. Not sitting at home wondering :)

  4. I had always traveled with my ex, and after we broke up, I still wanted to travel. I just completed my first solo 7 month backpack trip through South East Asia – and it was AMAZING. I found hostels to be the safest and best place to meet people, and I met so many awesome, inspiring, other solo female travelers at hostels. We were all having unbelievable experiences and it was so inspiring to chat and form friendships. My strongest advise – Just do it. Get out there. Don’t be afraid to travel alone. You will meet people, you will grow so much, and your life will be transformed.

    • Awesome Julie!! Thanks so much for sharing your positive experience- it is so valuable to those women who are a little nervous to travel on their own. It can be done safely and with lots of fun!

    • Jeannet

      Dear Julie,

      I just found this blog and wish to thank you for your back-up. Just do it.
      This year I will travel with my ex-husband because I do not know anyone else to travel with at the moment. And I thougt that if I’d decided to travel alone it would be really the end of our friendship (which is a very good left-over from our marriage).
      But next year I really wish to go my own way throughout the world.

      • Wow! Very admirable. I think it is wonderful you still both get along. Enjoy

  5. I love traveling solo though it definitely takes a little extra planning – for example, when you’re alone, losing your ATM card, money, credit cards, etc can be a bigger concern because you don’t have anyone to spot you. I suggest never keeping your cards in the same place – for example, keep an ATM card in your day bag, but keep an extra credit card in a hidden pocket in your luggage. You also want to make sure you make photocopies of the front and back of all of your important documents and cards and keep copies in a couple of different hidden places – make sure you leave a copy with people back home – if you have your stuff stolen, then call home and have your friends give you the numbers to cancel your cards. I recently travelled solo to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. The hardest place to be alone was Vietnam, but mainly b/c I wasn’t sure when I was getting ripped off and I was willing to pay *extra* money to stay in hotels that felt safer – My trip was 6 weeks total and I found it fun to balance having a few days doing random things followed by a couple of days with planned excursions – for example, I did a 3 day scuba diving trip and also a 3 day gibbon experience – those things give you a nice break from having to be vigilant every minute and are great ways to make friends and travelling buddies as well as to meet other solo travellers

    • I also started using those “pay as you go” debit / credit cards where you can refill them as you travel (here in the US Greendot is one). Not only gives you spare money in case something goes wrong, but I’ve found it’s also good to use on a day to day basis because it’s not your primary acct if the number gets stolen!!! Limited money and limited damages they can cause.

  6. [...] trust your gut.  One of our fave couple travel bloggers: Y Travel Blog recently did a post on safety tips for single female travelers, in this article Caz says: “Trust your intuition.  It always knows best. If something doesn’t [...]

  7. Wow, great tips for solo female travelers! I agree with each and every one of them…Being aware of the moment is a great one because listening to yourself and environment is key! Walk with confidence and don’t look like a weakling – you’re right, you are less prone to getting scammed that way :) Essentially, use your street smarts! ;0 Great post loved every word of it!

    Cathy Trails

    • Thank you Cathy!! I think being present will help you in almost every situation/ So glad you enjoyed the post

  8. Hi Caz,

    Great article!

    I think there are a lot of potential obstacles for anyone travelling solo. While you may want to be solo for the majority of your trip, why not try some of the social networks to meet people when travelling? I’m obviously going to recommend my network here,, but there are other great ones two, CouchSurfing, TravBuddy, and so on.

    On these site you can meet others travelling and other habitants of cities. Why get a guide when you can meet someone local?

    Basically by joining MySocialPassport or other travel social networks it gives you a few more options. I know I always prefer to eat and drink with company, and these sites can be great for that

  9. My first solo trip was in Europe and then I went again. Finally I’d the courage to see South America. Coming from Asia, it definitely takes a lot of courage to do all these on my own as girls here don’t dare to venture out all alone.

    I must say girl traveler has all the help she needs and am lucky to have met many nice people in both continents.

  10. @ Vickie – I did a private tour guide in Thailand and Vietnam with my fiance this past year and we had an amazing experience. I think it’s a great way to go and a great way to get to know a new city in a foreign country. Obviously maybe our experiences might have been a little different than a woman going solo, but nonetheless a worthwhile effort and congrats for doing so.

  11. All great tips. Always have to be cautious when traveling anywhere.

  12. [...] Caz, has been travelling the world on her own and latterly with her hubby and two children for about 10 years. She’s written a post about female solo travel over at YTravelblog. You might want to check out her tips … [...]

  13. [...] But, that doesn’t stop you from getting on with your life right? Well don’t do the same when you are thinking of traveling solo. ( [...]

  14. The best thing to do as a solo traveler is to stay alert. Look around constantly, while keeping an air of confidence about you. Thieves look for easy prey, such as people who have had too much to drink or who seem disoriented or lost. If you notice a single person or a group of people staring at you, move away quickly, but discretely.

  15. I’ve also been traveling solo, but no where nearly as long as you have! I love the advice that s given on this site, and I will incorporate it into my futur travels! I’ve recently launched a travel blog with a fashion twist and very interesting stories! Please check it out at Thank you and happy traveling! :)
    Renee recently posted..1stLook, 2ndHand
    Renee recently posted..1stLook, 2ndHand

  16. [...] we have. As our blog is a reflection of our personal story, we cover many different angles such as solo female travel, couples travel, family travel, budget travel, expat travel and short term [...]

  17. I don’t know if I would travel alone out of the United States if I was a woman. I hear all the time of bad things, and I know there are ways to stay safe. However, I think the best way would just be to bring someone along with you.

    • Boyde! The world is so much safer than the news and other people would have you believe. I’ve been travelling since 97 and have never had a problem. And I’ve travelled to areas that have been deemed “unsafe” When you get there you realize that most of it is hype. The people are lovely and are often looking out for you. If you look around your own country and listen to the news you’ll see just how unsafe it is to step outside of your front door everyday. At the end of the day you have to do what you feel most comfortable doing.

  18. Great safety traveling tips for women….thank you for sharing…..!!

  19. Great tips – thanks for sharing. Traveling solo isn’t scary – it just requires good planning, and following your suggestions.

  20. [...] Solo Female Travel Tips [...]

  21. What a great article and an important one at that. There needs to be confidence instilled in woman to be able to travel alone. I also traveled to Turkey alone and I had a good time but I was always aware of my surroundings and dressed modestly. It is a conservative country and I feel that there is a huge stigma against female travelers with a western charisma that people tend to see negatively towards in other parts of the world. Great advice from the comments as well ~ thank you!!!

    • So glad you enjoyed it Susan. I think confidence and being aware of your surroundings is so essential… for any traveller. And yes women have to be more cautious to dress modestly, especially in certain countries. It sucks that life is like that, but that’s just the way it is so do it and keep yourself safe.

  22. Older female travellers who are nervous about venturing too far afield on their own may prefer to travel in group. There are lots of tour companies organising singles holidays around the world for female travellers from all kinds of backgrounds. They group together anything from 5 to 15 single travelers from around the world who wish to go to say Japan, Cuba, Africa, South America etc. for a month or whatever under the guidance and support of a tour guide. Good way of meeting friends and having an adventure at the same time, and with most of the activities being optional you can still retain a certain amount of independence.

  23. Great tips Caz, I’m looking forward to a Solo trip one of these days.. I am a little worried as I’m so used to travelling with my Husband but this is a great article with a lot of great tips instilling confidence and reminding women that this isnt the dark ages, it is safe for us to travel alone.
    Sam D recently posted..4 day Itinerary for the Flinders Ranges South Australian Outback
    Sam D recently posted..4 day Itinerary for the Flinders Ranges South Australian Outback

  24. It’s great to hear some stories of women traveling solo safely. It helps build confidence in those women who may not be too sure about traveling solo themselves.

  25. Claire

    Ok! This is it…. HU! thank you so much for the great tips for Solo traveler… Now I feel so excited and less afraid hehehe.. My first stop will be Krabi… Good luck to me :)

    • Krabi is the perfect first stop Claire. I love it there. Railey’s Bay is my favourite beach in the world. Enjoy

  26. Very comprehensive tips! A lot of my readers who want to travel solo don’t do so because of their fears, and I always refer them to my safety tips. I believe, too, that trusting your instinct (and using common sense) is one major way to avoid being victimized on the road.
    Aleah | recently posted..We Go Solo: Solo Travel Planning Tips for Women
    Aleah | recently posted..We Go Solo: Solo Travel Planning Tips for Women

  27. Jeannet

    Hello you wonderfull travelling females.

    I am impressed for your gutz!
    And really wish to say that Europe is no problem at all for you to visit alone!
    I live here, been in a lot of cities and places throughout Europe and whenever one of you will visit The Netherlands and need some help or a place to sleep then contact me via [email protected].

    Kindest regards,


  28. Lindsay

    great article! Something I found helpful when traveling alone was to buy a cheap costume ring and wear it on my left ring finger. When people assume you’re married, it really cuts down the harassment from male strangers.

  29. Yes allot of things to take care of and careful at when traveling solo as a girl, though we realize that it is unfair as I don’t see why a girl should be more vulnerable than a man, when it should be the same for anyone.
    Globehunters recently posted..Travelling To Dubai During Ramadan
    Globehunters recently posted..Travelling To Dubai During Ramadan

  30. Diana Abend

    Very informative tips.

    I am also a solo woman traveler and first time I am planning for a trip to USA. I have to enjoy the music festival in Austin city, Texas.

    I was looking for some travel guidance to visit Austin city. I collected some information from,

    Still I was looking for some more guidelines. I have heard some good review about the Austin city.

    Caz, if have visited Austin city then can you please suggest me some tips. Please.

    • I have only visited Austin for a day so don’t have a lot of tips. It is a fabulous city. We had lunch and a few drinks at the Hula hut down on the lake. It was pretty awesome there so I recommend that. I hope you have a great time

  31. I live near Dallas and have visited Austin.. Not a typical southern USCity because of so many people coming here from all over the world. More cosmopolitan than most of Texas. great Texas history,Great Tex Mex Food. for spice of Austin visit 7th street at night for great food and real sense of Texas night lift. welcome to Texas-and the USA. Il be taking my 1st solo RTW trip this fall. So excited.

    • Totally agree. We loved Austin. We had a brief stay but it was enough to want to go back. Enjoy your first solo trip. You’ll love it

  32. European Explorer

    Great tips especially walking with purpose and looking people in the eye. I took my first solo trip to Germany. I did learn the language before I went but most spoke English. Once I got that first solo trip out of the way, the past three trips to Europe have been solo and I looooove it so much. You just have to force yourself to go out, meet and talk to people and enjoy it.

    • ABsolutely agree. The first step is always the hardest, then you realize it is pretty easy.

  33. Courtney

    Great tips from everyone! I’m going to Beijing solo in January. Is there any specific tips?

  34. Jaunting Jen

    Thanks for the great tips. That’s a good one about using a doorstop!

  35. While they sometimes get a bad rap as not being “real travel”, starting with an all-inclusive Caribbean resort vacation was fantastic for me. Knowing that all the details like transportation to and from the airport and meals were taken care of meant I could spend some time adjusting to the unique nature of solo travel, care-free. It was a great way to practice eating alone, using a hotel safe, and talking to strangers, knowing all the while that my location was secure, that my maid would look for me each morning, and that staff who spoke my language were readily available.

    Having that under my belt made my decision to travel solo to Rome the next year SO much easier! I was already comfortable navigating an airport solo, staying in a hotel, and ordering food in a foreign language – and so I felt way safer branching out to take public transit, wander the streets, and explore the city on my own.

    I can’t recommend beginning all-inclusive enough – it’s affordable (especially if you can book last-minute), safe, easy, and a great footing to launch a lifetime of adventurous solo travel from.

  36. Elizabeth O

    If you have not yet traveled alone, try traveling in your own country first. This will give you a better sense of self. Many of the same dangers and adventures are lurking just around the corner and you don’t have to travel across the pond to experience solo travel. Stay in hostels, meet new people, rent a car, explore. You will find your personal travel style and then when you go to another country you won’t feel as intimidated by the fact that you are solo and then you can enjoy yourself more. Worked wonders for my confidence and sense of independence when I was younder and now I can travel anywhere knowing that I can handle it.

  37. Hi Caz, this is an awesome piece for women traveling. I have been reading a few and it seems that all the other pieces of advice on the internet for women scare them into ‘being safe’.

    Consequently, they are suggested to avoid conversation and to travel in fear.

    Your piece really encourages women to fully enjoy their trip (while still being aware of their environment!) which I believe is the best way to go. Kudos ;)
    Chris Calo recently posted..The Traveler’s Social Advantage – Talk To Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere
    Chris Calo recently posted..The Traveler’s Social Advantage – Talk To Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere

  38. I always recommend this to both guys and gals traveling solo: Make sure you stay at hostels!! Sometimes traveling solo can get lonely after a while, staying at hotels or private rooms only makes it worse!! Make sure you stay at shared rooms at hostels and be friendly – some of my best memories are with total strangers I met at hostels!!
    Alex recently posted..Hack Your Airfare to Asia: Taiwan Edition
    Alex recently posted..Hack Your Airfare to Asia: Taiwan Edition

  39. Love this! My aim is always to look like I belong – so much so that I regularly get asked for directions on my first day in a new city! Obviously this doesn’t work for every place, but being confident and not being too ‘touristy’ especially in big cities definitely helps.

  40. I have just spent 12 months travelling around Ireland solo and I must say it is one of the best countries! Never once did I feel unsafe (that includes being in temple bar at 2am and walking around dublin city at night)

    For a first time country it’s brilliant the people are lovely and always willing to help and transport in the country is SOOOOO easy

  41. I have been traveling by myself all over the world for the past 25 years.( Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle-East, North America. Never had a bad experience.

    1-Trust your instinct, intuition, even if it doesn’t make sense at the time.
    2-Dress modestly
    3-Dont get drunk. ( I have, but I think I was just lucky.)
    4-Alway spend the money for a pre-arranged transfert and two nights in a good hotel for the first time you arrive somewhere you don’t know.
    5-Talk to other travelers like you.
    6-Many local people who helped me and treated me with kindness told me, “You are different because we know you respect us”

  42. […] After traveling to its three different cities – Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer all on my own, I consider it an ideal destination for solo travel. […]

  43. Coby Smith

    Beautiful pics! Great article. Burma is definitely on my list of places to travel to. Happy that they’ve opened the doors so to speak, as such an amazing country should not have to be left unvisited. With things the way they are in Thailand right now – – maybe more people will head to Burma. There is another article with more on Myanmar’s rich culture and heritage for fellow travellers to get to know it a bit better – – may be of interest.

  44. […] here via […]

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