This is it. You finally decided to go on the big adventure on your own. However, there are a few things you can consider before starting your first solo female travel. We have listed the most important ones to help you make the most out of your trip.
1 – Research your destination
This sounds obvious but some people do forget to research their destination – or voluntarily decide not to do it! If you still want to be surprised when arriving, we advise you to research at least the basic information about the country you are visiting. This includes the current political climate of the host country, the natural disasters that could have happened there, the vaccines and the visa you will need to get, the local customs, the neighbourhoods to avoid but also the numerous scams you can suffer from. Some forums such as TripAdvisor Travel Forum, Thorn Tree Travel Forum, or Fodor’s Travel Talk Forum are perfect to get those kinds of information from fellow travellers, before setting off for your trip.
2 – Meet other women travellers
One other good option before going on your first solo trip is to meet other women used to traveling alone. They can give you great tips but also the required motivation to take the plunge. During your trip, we recommend booking a room in hostels to meet other women and potentially do a part of the trip together. If you prefer sleeping at the local’s place or in hotels, you still have the option to meet fellow female travellers online. Facebook groups such as ‘’Solo Female Travelers (FIRST FB group for women who travel solo!)’’ and ‘’The Solo Female Traveler Network’’ is a great alternative to socialize and set up a meeting in real life.
3 – Start where you feel comfortable
You do not feel like traveling in a country far away from home on your own yet? Go progressively. If you are living in Australia for instance, start visiting nearby cities or places in your state. Then, travel to other Australian states and when you feel ready, internationally. Again, you have the option to travel gradually. Starting with a country not too far from Australia, that has an established tourism infrastructure or where people speak English can help ease your anxieties.
4 – Be aware of your surroundings
Remember: when traveling solo, you are your only eyes and ears. If, when living in Australia, you were used to letting your phone on the café table without supervision, you might have to change this habit when traveling abroad. In public places, try keeping your bag in front of your body. Try to look at the people in your surroundings, whether far or near you. Show that you are aware. Moreover, if you like walking with headphones, leave one ear unplugged to connect with your environment.
5 – Keep in touch with family and friends
You may have already taken this habit if you are an international student living in Australia. When traveling alone, it’s essential to keep in touch with someone you trust. This will not only reassure your loved ones but also help to keep you safe. Try to send your itinerary to one or two people that you trust so that they can locate you more easily if you happen to be in trouble. Information such as your flight tickets, accommodations, and general schedule is a good start. You can also plan a specific time a few days a week to talk to your family or friends. They will know you had a problem if you are a few hours late.
6 – Be confident
Even if you don’t feel fully confident, try to remain assertive. Look at people in the eyes, keep your head up, your shoulders back, walk with purpose. Look like you know where you are going (yes, just like when you were trying to walk in the middle of a concert’s crowd when living in Australia!). On another note, trust yourself. Be confident in your ability to travel on your own and meet good people on the way.
7 – Protect your documents, cash, and credit cards
This may also be an existing habit if you are living in Australia. Instead of taking your passport when going out to a club, you may have already used a certified copy of the document to avoid losing it. When traveling alone, there are a few ways to keep your important documents secure. You can make copies that you keep on you, on your phone, or in a safe place in your accommodation. Your cash can be hidden in your underwear or your shoes. Some women also use a fake wallet with cancelled credit cards and a little bit of cash in case they got robbed while putting the real wallet in their shoes. Last but not least: buying a whistle. It’s very cheap, light and might help you get out of trouble very easily.
8 – Meet the locals
Before living in Australia, you probably learned English. When traveling abroad, you’ll also need to speak at least a few words of the local language. This will help you meet locals, and make the most out of your trip. Discussing with the locals will not only give you much on which to reflect but also avoid you being taken for a tourist-target. Blend in, dress like the people of the country you’re visiting, and eat local. This will enrich your experience.
9 – Avoid taking unnecessary risks
Another obvious one: when traveling alone, you must make sure you are always aware of what’s happening around you. As such, getting wasted on your own or going into deep bodies of water if you’re not a great swimmer might not be a good idea. Sadly, walking alone at night either. Try to arrive in a city during the day and if not possible, opt for a taxi. If you want to go out at night, try to join a group and just take the cash you need. Finally, when unsure about a situation or person, trust your gut!
Are you currently living in Australia or planning to, and looking for more tips regarding travel or your visa? Contact us here.