It’s no secret that travel can be a high-stakes situation. Solo female travelers face even higher risks of unwanted attention, being the victims of crime, and even worse while abroad.
These safety tips for solo female travelers are meant to share my experience of traveling alone, but do not mean you won’t be targeted.
Ladies, please be safe, and don’t let negativity hold you back from seeing the world.
1 // Be very selective about who you trust.
Regardless of where you’re from and how you look, in at least one area of the world, you are a visible outsider. If you happen to travel to a country where it is clear that you are not a local, then that automatically can make you a target for ill-meaning people.
As a result, people that mean harm can come across as genuine and trustworthy at first. As a solo female traveler, I never, ever give strangers my full trust up front.
For example, a man once asked me where I was staying because he wanted to “show me around.” He seemed friendly, but I immediately bristled when he asked about my accommodations. Major red flag. MAJOR.
2 // Watch your back.
If you feel like you’re being followed, don’t ignore that instinct. Before many people are pickpocketed, the perpetrator was watching and following them for a while before actually carrying out the crime.
Why? Because they want to know if you’ll notice their presence. Once, I caught a pickpocket as she tried to steal from my friend. I spooked her, so she never got to take anything. She and her friend were following us too closely for my liking, and I trusted my instincts in that moment.
3 // Try to conceal your valuables.
Sometimes, you need your phone for Google Maps, or you’re taking photos of beautiful scenery for your blog. I completely understand; I’ve been there.
However, I do try to be hyper vigilant when I have an expensive piece of technology out in the open. Regardless of where you are, someone could try to rob you and run into a crowd.
4 // Watch your drink.
You should be able to go out, have fun, dance, drink, and not worry about a thing.
Unfortunately, that’s not reality. I don’t care how much you did or didn’t drink–anything that happens to you is not your fault.
As a solo female traveler, I do pay close attention to my drink and food–basically anything I will consume. Evil people are everywhere, and you never know if someone would put drugs in your drink or food.
5 // Embarrass the creeps.
Finally, if someone is giving you excessive unwanted attention, following you, or making you very uncomfortable because they’re being inappropriate, embarrass them.
Yell at them in public, in front of strangers.
Single them out.
Make them feel like everyone’s watching them and can see what they’re doing.
For example, when someone tried to steal my mom’s phone, I made a huge scene in the airport and yelled at him in front of everyone. I didn’t care who saw; he needed to be stopped. And it worked!
. . .
These 5 safety tips for solo female travelers are just a few tactics I’ve picked up over the years to try to protect myself from unwanted attention.
Do preventative measures always change the outcome? No. But, I’ve found that they were worth it every time to help me feel safer.
Please don’t let the unknown of what could happen while abroad keep you from exploring. You deserve beautiful experiences in life, and I promise you those can happen while traveling, too. After all, why else be so addicted to this lifestyle?
I hope you have a safe, lovely time abroad on your next trip!
*Cover photo by Luca Bravo. Thanks, Luca!
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