You're an adventurous, independent woman... well, if you're reading this post we expect you just might be!
Maybe you've traveled abroad with friends. Or maybe you've never even left your home state. But now you're ready to see the world. Solo. Whatever your experience is, we have some excellent destinations and travel tips to share with you so you get the most out of your vacation while staying safe.
If you have little or no travel experience, you might want to start out close to home. You will be familiar with the language and culture which will reduce any challenges you may encounter alone. Go on a weekend road trip. Take a bus or a train to a new city and start exploring. You could stay at a hostel or a B&B so you can have breakfast and interact with new people. Put yourself in social situations like taking a guided tour of a local attraction or signing up for a fun class.
Now, if you have some travel experience but you've never traveled alone, the best destinations are ones with a familiar culture and language. For North Americans, we suggest Britain, Canada, Australia, and the Caribbean islands. Your biggest challenge will probably be learning how to navigate public transportation systems and exchange foreign currency.
If you are a seasoned traveler, it's time to broaden your horizons. Some of the safest destinations for solo female travelers are Amsterdam, Ireland, Costa Rica, India, and Vietnam. In Amsterdam, English is widely spoken, public transportation is mostly safe, and European women have similar rights to American women. While many Latin American countries have a questionable reputation, the people of Costa Rica are very friendly and helpful and safe accommodations can usually be found for less than $40 per night.
If you're feeling particularly adventurous, try Vietnam! The country has been seen as an alternative to Thailand, but it is a great destination in its own rite. You'll also be able to get a lot for your money there. Now, even if you have gone around the world and back again, it is very important to always put your safety first. Before you leave, be sure to make copies of all your documents (passport, credit cards, etc.) and keep them in a separate location. Women should also choose a purse with cross-body straps or a daypack with security features in order to keep their belongings safe. When arriving at your destination, arrive during the day and be aware of your surroundings. Additionally, always walk confidently and assertively, regardless of whether you actually know where you're going or not. Attackers and scam artists will go after those who appear vulnerable. Trust your intuition; it's usually right.
If you plan on visiting a Muslim country, be prepared to dress more modestly. You should pack loose-fitting clothes that will cover your knees, elbows, and breasts. You will not necessarily need to cover your head with a scarf unless you plan on visiting mosques or other religious sites. Even then, these will usually be provided. As long as you are polite and respectful, you shouldn't have a problem. What are some other tips you have to share? What are some of the best places you've traveled alone?