So you have come to the realization that you are done waiting for other people to travel with you and you’re ready to do it alone? I have been there, so I understand how nervous you are about travelling solo! My parents had me watch Taken probably 15 times before going solo and my dad kindly reminded me “I am not Liam Neeson and all I have is $500 bucks.” So, with that encouragement I was undoubtedly nervous but decided it was worth the risk. Solo travel especially as a woman is something everyone should do at least once in their life. You will learn so much about yourself and it’s a one of kind experience.
Disclaimer: I also want to acknowledge that it sucks having to be so aware as a women traveler. Men have the luxury to never worry about safety in the way women do. No one bats an eye when a man wants to solo travel the way they do with women. Its always on women to be safe and if something happens its something WE did which pisses me off to no end! It sucks I know and I hate that I even have to do a post like this but until men are held responsible for their own actions this is the reality. The point of this post is that NOTHING or NOONE should stop you from doing what YOU want!
Okay rant over, let’s dive into my ten tips for solo female travel in Europe!
This really goes for anywhere you are but be aware of your surroundings. Most incidents happen due to lack of awareness. That means watching how people are watching you when they don’t think you are looking. People may end up in the same place as where you are too often. Asking you too many questions about being alone, these are all red flags. Now I am not saying talk to no one and be in constant fear, but I am saying listen to your gut. Also don’t feel like you’re being rude when you shut questions down. A man asking me how long I was traveling alone for, set off my alarms. Instead of answering I point blank asked why he wanted to know. That will make people understand you are not an easy target, and they will move on.
While in Budapest I noticed a guy following me.Not being 100% sure, I ducked in a clothing store really quickly and went by the cashier. I watched him walk by and circle back around as if looking for where I went. I went the opposite way he did and stayed in busy areas until I made it back to my hotel. Just never ignore that voice in your head that says something is wrong it’s better to be rude and alive than polite and dead. As far as tips for solo female travel go, this is ALWAYS #1!
Now this may be an odd one but here me out. Staying in a hotel is sometimes worth the extra money especially in an area that you may not speak the language, or it is not the safest. When traveling in Romania, warnings of sex trafficking was high and people did go missing. I stayed at really nice hotel and made sure every day to have the front desk check in when I got back. Simply telling the front desk to ring your room when you should be back will immediately alert them if something is wrong. Your hotel may not realize you didn’t make it back until you miss check out, the faster they know the easier they can alert the authorities.
When you are traveling solo the one thing before anything else that you need to budget for is wifi. If you are lost, need to get an uber or call home, it’s crucial to not rely on finding wifi in the moment. This is also important if you decide to drive through a country. If a tire blows or you get stuck, that’s your one and only lifeline. I 100% recommend using SkyRoam.
There are hundreds of Facebook groups where girls plan to meet up and travel. I have used them in the past and meet people in Bali and it was an amazing experience! I instantly had friends and was able to have companions but still have my alone time. This is a great to make yourself feel less lonely! Another way is to take guided tours you will be shocked how many friends you can make! I took a tour through Ireland and made friends with another solo female and we ended up taking photos of one another and just hanging out.
Now this may seem obvious, but the excitement of vacation can distract you from your limits. It’s usually unintentional but it can have really negative outcomes. Drinking too much you lose control and are a big fat target saying, “Steal from me or kidnap me”. Seriously bad people want to bother people who are easy targets. Those who are too much work are not worth their time. Know your limits because you don’t need to get drunk to have fun.
I know this is a controversial statement and I will say again it sucks sometimes being a women. However, if you are in a country where you don’t speak the language and go to some bar alone and walk home at night, it might not be the best thing. Certain countries in Europe such as Romania you do not want to be alone after dark. My cab driver cautioned me of this. He literally told me “You’re young and pretty please don’t go out at night alone, the sex trafficking is bad.” When a local tells you that you listen, so I make sure to not wander around at night.
Never and I repeat NEVER travel with all your money when you have a hotel. By that I mean if you aren’t moving locations and are just exploring for the day keep your money in the safe at your hotel.From pickpocketing to someone stealing your bag, you don’t want to be left without anything. I keep cash and one emergency card in my room just in case. It would be really hard to get access to money with no ID, no credit cards and possibly no phone.
Train travel in Europe is one of the best ways to get around. A bonus to the tips for solo female travel! Its quick and affordable and you can see so much of a country. One downside is you are sometimes separated from your luggage. Sometimes it’s unavoidable so keep your most important items with you. Loud or unique luggage will be easy for you to keep your eye on notice if someone grabs it. If you notice it missing, it’s a lot easier to find who took it by reporting it. Saying my blue leopard print bag is missing compared to my black bag is missing gives you a way better chance!
Lisa Homsy shares on her Instagram how her black bag was swapped out right above her head! Due to it being black it was easy for them to switch, and she didn’t even notice. Be loud and proud with your luggage to avoid having your items stolen!
In the digital age we often rely on emails, screenshots are photos, but what happens if your phone is stolen? Having physical hard copies is a life saver! I always keep a hard copy of my passport and any important numbers. That could be my mom’s cellphone, my hotels contact, etc. If you lose your phone or it is stolen, you want to have those phone numbers just in case. If you are carrying your passport and it gets swiped having a copy will be a life saver when you need to go home.
At the end of the day, it’s so important to be mindful and prepared but don’t overthink it either. Have fun, interact with locals, and make amazing experiences! Just always keep a clear head and pay attention and you will be perfectly fine! Heed these ten tips for solo female travel in Europe and enjoy yourself!