So, you’re the kind of woman who hates to wait. Specially when it comes to beholding new places and experiencing new cultures, it can be a pain to keep waiting for someone to tag along. You must have been contemplating on going on it solo, but your own thoughts are your hurdles. ‘What if something goes wrong?’ But darling, what if something incredible happens?
If you’re the woman who’s decided to take the plunge and leave for her first solo trip, and that too to the overseas, this blog post is written exclusively for you. These solo female travel tips aren’t just another thing you’ll find in the internet. I have written these down with my own experiences, good and bad; so yours goes flawless.
1. Stay curious
Of course you’re curious, and that’s indeed worked as a catalyst in your exciting adventure abroad. Don’t let the curiosity die right at the moment you make your bookings though. There’s yet a lot to be known – Which all attractions can be done in a day? Where to find the best food in town? What kind of clothes you need to pack?
2. Check recheck
We’re humans, and we all make mistakes! Even when we think we haven’t made any. Trust me it never hurts to recheck, but it can cost a fortune if your first international solo trip goes haywire.
Being a jittery-anxious person myself, I made sure I check my documents well in advance. Still, just a week before my departure I fortunately found out one of my hostels were booked for April 2016 (the dates I was making the booking), while I was traveling in June 2016.
Had I missed out on that one, I would have to go for upfront pricing, which again depends on the availability. The tariff would surely be double, since it was high season.
Again, what’s the point of getting into such uneasy situation, specially when you’re traveling alone abroad for the first time?
Bonus tip – Tell your best friend to go through your documents thoroughly and check if the dates are incorrect. You might not be able to spot the mistake that easily.
3. Sort the travel documents in advance
EVERYTHING! Yes! Everything might be needed on your first international tour. Indeed passport and visa come as priority, but your internal transfer document/ticket, your hotel reservation acknowledgement, and even your passport size photographs need to be handy at all times.
Make sure you have made at least 2 hard copies of each document, and have kept them safely in different places (one goes in your handbag, and the other goes in your luggage).
Bonus tip – Download the scanned copies/email acknowledgements in one folder, and then email all of them together to yourself (and someone you think is concerned). This way you won’t have to browse through different emails to find the right one when the need falls.
4. Don’t skip travel insurance
I cannot stress this enough girls! Getting a travel insurance gets you covered not only for baggage losses or health issues, but also secures your home while you’re abroad. The one-time premium is inexpensive, and gives a precious gift in return- a peaceful mind while you travel.
5. Give yourself some time
Regardless of how confident you are, giving yourself sometime is always the best plan to have. With time, I mean two things- The time you need between planning and executing; and the time you need between arriving at an airport/terminal, and boarding.
Having enough time allows a peace of mind, and a smooth transit – which are mostly the main motives of traveling!
6. Ask around if you have to
Never be afraid of asking for directions. Your first solo international trip as a female traveler will land you in many situations in which you might not know what happens next – Am I in the right immigration line? Does the baggage come after immigration? Which station is nearest to my hostel? Or anything at all.
Just ask around, but be sure you’re asking a reliable person (many times, the officials). Avoid asking for directions if someone looks suspicious to you.
Bonus tip – Try to gather as much info as you can from the tourist information desk in the airports.
7. Don’t rely blindly on Google Maps
Being a solo female traveling first time abroad, you don’t want to get stuck in an isolated street looking for directions, while the truck drivers are eyeing on you. Yes, I have been there and it’s straight up humiliating.
So, if a place doesn’t look welcoming to you, skip that route, period. Get yourself an Uber if you need to, take the longer route, board the bus, do anything but don’t get yourself stuck in a risky situation when you’re abroad.
8. Plan and book internal transit in advance
This tip is coming as a lesson from an experience I mentioned in the above point. Planning and booking your transit in advance will not land you in a confusing scenario; in which you have no clue how you’ll be reaching the spot you wish to see. When you’re changing cities, or going on day trips, always book your seat in advance.
9. Check your location while changing cities
Whether you’re in a bus full of people, or taking an Uber keep checking your location. Make sure you’re going on the right route. I know this is contradictory to the point in which I suggested to not rely on GMaps blindly, but that one’s for walking routes mainly, and emphasis is on blindly.
10. Look confident
Even if things don’t go as planned, even when you’re stuck in an isolated corner of the city, look like a girl who’s can deal with massive load of shit at that given point. Don’t frown or look lost, even if it’s hard. Your confused looks can make you look as an easy target.
11. Get yourself a local SIM card
We don’t want to get hit hard on the shins with those international calling rates. And a girl traveling solo abroad for the first time has many people who’re concerned about her safety. Plus you cannot always rely on Wi-Fi’s to get connected to your loved ones. You might need to call your Uber driver, or your hostel for directions. So, get yourself a SIM from the airport itself.
Bonus tip – Browse through different network service provider’s shops, you might find yourself a cheaper plan.
With all being said, keep in mind this post wasn’t written with an intention to petrify you, rather to help you plan your first international solo trip with ease. Nothing, nobody, not even your guts should tell you that you cannot do this! Because you can, over and over again, until you want it.
Also, I’d love it if you have any other experiential tip to share! Ask away any question you might have as well. I’ll be happy to help!