Traveling the world alone is a brave thing to do. Traveling as a solo female can be even more anxiety inducing, and yet, more people are becoming interested in the endeavor. Between 2016 and 2017, the search term for “solo female travel” increased by 52%. Intrepid Travel, a tour operator, also reported that 70% of its U.S. trips were purchased by solo travelers.
There are many reasons why solo travel is so beneficial. For starters, you have complete control of your itinerary—there’s never a need to compromise. This is your adventure, with each step curated by you. Making your own decisions and seeing them through will not only build your independence and decision-making, but can also help you grow your confidence, too. Traveling alone also gives you the time you need to reflect and enjoy total tranquility.
Yet, with all the benefits, it doesn’t mean making the decision to travel on your own is any easier. Here’s how you can escape the fear of solo travel and embark on the journey of a lifetime:
Address Your Fears Head On
Before you take any steps, ask yourself why you’re scared to travel alone. Are you worried about loneliness? Are you concerned about emergency situations and safety? Is money an issue? Analyzing your fears allows you to step back, assess the situation, and create a plan to address those fears.
For instance, if you’re worried about being alone during an emergency situation, there are several precautions you can take. In this case, carrying a small, laminated copy of your passport and travel health insurance card on your persons at all times ensures you’re fully equipped should an emergency arise. You also want to do as much research on the areas you want to visit as possible. Know the local emergency contact numbers, and invest in a SIM card if you’re traveling internationally.
In many cases, fear stems from lack of confidence. Taking active steps to improve your confidence in certain areas can go a long way. For example, let’s say you live in Houston area and are taking a solo trip to Spain. If you’re concerned about the language barrier you might encounter, why not conduct a search for the best conversation Spanish tutor in Houston? Learning the local language can help boost your confidence and make it easier to navigate an area alone.
Focus on Positive Thoughts
It’s easy to let fearful thoughts creep into your psyche when you’re planning a trip. To help block those negative thoughts, write down a physical list of positive thoughts, and repeat these to yourself time and time again. Your list might include an item like “I get to have complete freedom” or “there’s no one around to judge me as I learn a new language.”
Choose a Female-Friendly Solo Destination
As you might have guessed, there are some destinations that are better equipped for solo female travel than others. If you’re flexible with your travel planners, researching female-friendly destinations ideal for solo travel can help you feel more comfortable about your decision. Safety is at the top of the list here. Denver in the United States, Chiang Mai in Thailand, and Interlaken in Switzerland are just a few great, safe areas where female solo travelers would feel more comfortable being alone. Check out this list of other great options.
Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Part of the reason why solo travel is so fear-inducing is because it involves diving deep into the unknown. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is important. Even after you make the travel leap, what you do once you’ve reached your destination will set the tone for what’s to come. For example, why not research adventure travel opportunities in the region you’re visiting?
In Switzerland, that might mean paragliding over the Swiss Alps; in Australia this might mean diving in the Great Barrier Reef; and in New Zealand, you might bungee jump from the renowned Queenstown’s Kawarau Bridge. Whatever the case, incorporating some adrenaline-inducing activities that are synonymous with your area will help give you the strength you need to feel confident in your ability to overcome any travel obstacle.
Go On a Destination Tour
Wherever you go, taking the time to go on a tour of your area allows you to see the place you’re visiting from an informed perspective. This is a great place to start, and it’s ideal for solo travelers, as it’s the perfect time to meet other people and learn more about the area, which could help you feel more secure.
There are all types of tours in different areas, and each have their own benefits. A free walking tour is budget conscious, and will allow you to feel comfortable walking around by foot. A guided vehicle tour will cover more ground and might have smaller, more intimate groups. Think about what’s most important to you, and take it from there.