Friday, February 2, 2018

Safety Tips For Solo Female Travelers

solo female travelers with traveling guideWe have all heard why you should travel solo and yet concerns still exist on safety, especially for women. We recently interviewed Hostel-world’s Head of Product and Design, Breffni Horgan, to learn more about how solo female travelers can be safe. According to Hostel world, 51% of bookings made in the first half of 2017 were made by solo travelers (followed by 36% for pairs). Year after year, findings show that the majority of reservations overall (just over 60%) are made by females. Based on reviews and comments, Hostel-world has collected quite a bit of data that we can learn from.

Horgan offers six practical and helpful safety tips for the solo adventurer. In the interview, Horgan explained: “Safety is often the number one concern for women traveling on their own, but there are a number of steps you can take to ensure things run smoothly and that you’re prepared in case of an emergency. Take the following steps to ensure your safety no matter where you go:”

1. Do your research. Make sure you understand local laws and customs, and respect them. Simple things like hand gestures can carry a very different meaning in other countries. For example, in some countries, a thumbs-up is used to mean ‘okay’ or ‘good job’ while in other places it is considered offensive and crude. Beyond a basic understanding of the local culture, you’ll want to research any cultural, religious or political events that might take place during your stay. Don’t feel the need to avoid them, just be sure to understand what is going on around you, so that you can be just as respectful as you would be of events happening at home. In fact, I would encourage participation if appropriate. It can be a fun way to immerse yourself in the culture and get to know locals.

2. Choose a social accommodation. There are plenty of ways to ensure safety that won’t break the bank. Women need to know they have options that are safe and affordable. You can be perfectly safe staying with a host family or at a hostel. Choose accommodations in populated areas and use verified reviews to guide your decisions. In addition, seek advice from fellow travelers and locals if you are unsure about where to stay.

3. Share your itinerary. Keep family and friends updated on your whereabouts. Before smartphones this would have been a no-brainer, but sometimes service isn’t great and batteries don’t hold their charge forever. In the event of an emergency, it’s important that family and friends know how to reach you. Similarly, make sure you have emergency contact information on you at all times, and not just on your phone.

4. Use technology to your advantage. Tools like Find My iPhone and location sharing can help in a sticky situation. It’s also important to keep a copy of critical documents (like your passport/ID and insurance card) in the cloud so you can access that information from anywhere, even if physical copies are lost.

5. Familiarize yourself with the area. Check maps and travel guides before leaving on your route to familiarize yourself with the neighborhood. Burying your nose in a map can make you more vulnerable to pick pocketing.

6. Exude confidence and walk with purpose. If you’re wandering around, appear to be lost or frightened, you may attract unwanted attention. Instead, be confident and ask nearby business owners for assistance if you needed.

Solo travel can be rewarding in so many ways, so be prepared and make safety the least of your concerns.

15 Solo Travel Quotes For Women Traveling Alone

When it comes to inspirational travel quotes you will find endless lists online. But I struggled to find a specific list of solo travel quotes for women.

Now in-case you didn’t know, the readers of this blog are split almost 50/50 between girls and guys. But for the guys reading this and traveling alone, I hope there may still be something here for you! And if not, feel free to share it with your sisters, mum, nieces, cousins, grandmas, girlfriends and whoever else you know who has a serious case of wanderlust!…And most of all I hope these solo travel quotes inspire you!

1.  “The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.” – Albert Einstein

2.  "When you’re traveling with someone else, you share each discovery, but when you are alone, you have to carry each experience with you like a secret, something you have to write on your heart, because there’s no other way to preserve it.” – Shauna Niequist

3.  “Traveling solo does not always mean you’re alone. Most often, you meet marvelous people along the way and make connections that last a lifetime.” – Jacqueline Boone

4.  “As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.” – Virginia Woolf

5.  “I learned my strengths and my weaknesses. I experienced the exhilaration of the ups and the despairs of the lows and most of the feelings in between… I learned courage and I learned it myself” – Ann Stirk

6.   “I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” – Rosalia de Castro

7.  “Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.” – Barbara De Angelis

8.  “How do the geese know when to fly to the sun? Who tells them the seasons? How do we, humans, know when it is time to move on? As with the migrant birds, so surely with us, there is a voice within, if only we would listen to it, that tells us so certainly when to go forth into the unknown.” – Elizabeth K├╝bler-Ross

9.  “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.” – Mae West

10. “Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.” – Wendell Berry

11. “If you don’t get out of the box you’ve been raised in, you won’t understand how much bigger the world is.” – Angelina Jolie

12.  “The more I traveled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends” – Shirley MacLaine

13.  “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place” – Nora Roberts

14. "The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience" - Eleanor Roosevelt

15. "Don't ever accept anyone else's preconceived limitations. If there's something you want to do, there isn't any reason you can't do it" - Amy Dodson

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