Sunday, August 16, 2015

6 Tips For Ladies Traveling Alone

I'll start by saying I hate that this title says "ladies". I'm sure there are some of you getting feminist on me and saying why this can't be gender neutral. I get it, I was a Gender Studies minor and I'm all for gender equality- but sometimes theory just isn't reality. Women alone unfortunately cannot travel safely the same way men do, especially in unfamiliar countries. I know it sucks, but it's just reality.

Now that my lil' rant is over here are six tips for women traveling alone. I'm no expert but I've been to 20 countries and probably around half by myself. So here are some of the stuff I've picked up for remaining 100% safe and in control.

1.) Data 
  • Make sure you buy a sufficient international data plan. Why? Getting lost in a new city can be so easy to do. There's nothing like using Maps to get you to where you want to go, or to translate something you don't understand. Also, it definitely is the easiest way to stay in contact with your family and keep them updated on your adventures.

2.) Stay organized 
  • Before I go on a big trip I get a little binder. Inside I've got tabs for addresses, plane trips, copy of my passport, and any emergency numbers. I've also got a folder inside to keep any important paper work I collect throughout the trip that I might need for later. This can really help if you're in a situation where you can't use your phone. Sometimes just that thought of keeping organized helps you feel more relaxed. 

3.) Nighttime 
  • Now some might disagree with me on this one but when traveling alone I have a "no nighttime" rule for myself. What does that mean? I'm in my room by the time it's dark out. A lot of times people get caught up in the fantasy of traveling and forget they're in a city where bad things do happen (as in any place). I minimize my chances of something unfortunate happening to me by returning to my hotel by nightfall. Ugh, I know- but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

4.) Expedia 
  • You're probably thinking, then aren't you bored? Well I make sure that almost everyday I have a day trip planned. I usually book mine through Expedia but I'm sure there are other companies too- just try google. These trips usually leave pretty early around 6AM, so by nighttime I'm pretty beat as it is. 

5.) Carry-on only 
  • When I travel I never check a bag. Yes, never. I just got back from a month long trip to Australia and had no problems just doing carry-ons and I never had to do laundry. When you travel you really need less than you think to do. This also helps you be less vulnerable because you're always with your bags and you don't gave the chance of them getting lost. The most important thing is just to pack plenty of underoos.

5.) Taxi 
  • The first time I saw Taken was right before my first solo trip to Europe. I almost cancelled. Since I'm assuming you've seen Liam Nesson being badass, there's no need for me to say never split a cab with a stranger. You could potentially end up as a high priced prosti-tot in Eastern Europe. No fun. I can tell ya though a good trick I use when I cab alone in a city I'm unfamiliar with. I turn on my data and enter my destination addresses into maps. Not to waste data, I turn it off- but the trip still stays in maps. This way I know if the cab driver is bringing me the right way and I feel a lot safer. 

6.) Group Trips 
  • Want to travel but can't find any friends to go with you- but you loathe going alone? I recommend group travel programs. It's a great way to go on amazing adventures and meet tons of new people, most who are traveling alone too. I've done two programs with EF College Break and really recommend them, and I know there are other similar companies as well. Then you get the feel of doing something on your own, but meeting great friends along the way!

I know some of these may have seemed a little bit obvious, but hopefully at least one is helpful to you. Just because you don't have anyone to travel with, doesn't mean you shouldn't- create your own adventures! 

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