Travelling alone can seem a little daunting and I completely understand why. Taking the leap, whether that is pushing the buy button on a plane ticket or actually saying goodbye to family and friends at an airport. There will always be a feeling of self-doubt or maybe even worry. That feeling shouldn’t stop you from travelling and it shouldn’t stop you from living your life. To eliminate those fears, worries or self-doubts here are my top tips for solo female backpackers.
I’m by no means an expert on the subject. I have only backpacked solo once before, for three months around Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. I have, however, moved abroad alone during different periods of time, and flown alone without much of a plan. I hope you enjoy my 7 top tips for solo female backpackers. These tips really help me feel confident in my decisions to travel solo. If you’re thinking of giving it a go, hopefully this will be the push you need to click buy on that plane ticket!
7 Top Tips For Solo Female Backpackers
Join a group for other solo travellers. There’s Girls Love Travel on facebook where you can find loads of people who may have done the same trip you want to do. You might even find someone who might be in the same country at the same time as you. Meeting up and doing a day trip together could be a nice break from spending a few days a week on your own. There are also lots of backpackers facebook groups for different locations. I know when I went to Thailand I joined one for Southeast Asia. I met a really fun girl who was meeting up with another girls to go on a day trip to some waterfalls. It just meant we could keep costs down and now I have some new friends.
Take a few extra safety measures. I’d recommend the following to anyone who is going travelling but it really is the little things that make a difference. I would always make sure to padlock my backpack each day, as well as finding a locker in the hostel. Always make sure your most valuable items are locked away too. They sometimes have smaller lockers in hostels for passports, etc, but I preferred to keep mine on me. Also, I always made sure to let my family know where I was. each time I travelled to a new part of a country, I’d send a whatsapp to my family. You can send location pins too if you need to and most places have wifi so you can stay in touch.
Stay in hostels. I found each hostel I was in to had activities going on so solo travellers could meet each other. If I was staying in hotels, there is no way I would have met as many people. A lot of hostels in Thailand do bar crawls and pool parties. I found a lot of the time, just having breakfast in the hostel (I always went for ones where it was included), was a great place to get chatting and see what people had planned for the day. More often then not, people would invite you to come with them, especially if they’re a big group and you’re on your own.
Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to travel, maybe you want to experience a new culture or just go to a new country. If you arrive, book a hotel room and are too scared to leave, then you will not enjoy it. If you arrive somewhere new, head to a hostel, plant yourself in the lounge or bar, you might meet people who are also travelling too. Theres a chance you’ll be able to pick up some great travel advice about what to do in the area. Even if you join a morning walk with the hostel to see what’s nearby, you’re being involved and you’re getting to know people.
Another point to make is that you can also get involved with locals. You can meet some amazing people that way. You might want to volunteer, or take a cooking class or even just head to the beach. Anything you do, if you get involved you’ll have an incredible time.
Research is so important. Looking up where you want to go is such a fun part of planning. Although, I would say that researching areas before you go is only part of it. Looking up sim cards, so you can stay connected. Looking up what apps you need to get around, instead of Uber it might be Grab for example. Downloading currency converters to your phone, as well as getting a bank card that will allow you to make withdrawals abroad in the local currency. I got a revolut card last year, but wish I’d have done more research for Thailand and had it with me then.
Don’t book too far ahead. Part of the fun of travelling solo is that everything is on your terms. You don’t want to be tied into plans such as leaving a country by a certain date, if you’ve found yourself wanting to explore a little village for an extra day or two. I booked a flight from Ho Chi Minh to Phuket and didn’t make it and it was just a waste of money. I would say to try and give yourself enough time in each country, but it is a hard one to judge so this is where the research comes in handy. Be open to new plans too, especially if you meet a group of people who are all heading to Bali for a week, why not go with them, as long as you can afford it.
Enjoy yourself. Solo travel is such an incredible experience! There are whole blogs dedicated to the best ways to look after yourself. Overall it’s really hard to explain until you’ve done it yourself. Just having absolute freedom to explore anywhere on your own terms, with zero concern for someone else is magic. I can see why so many people are now becoming full time travellers or taking year long trips. Even if it’s just an extra weekend away for yourself, to discover somewhere new, I think it’s worth doing.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my 7 top tips for solo female backpackers! I write at www.travelwithgabriella.com so for more information on my travels, have a look there!
This is a guest post from Gabriella from TravelWithGabriella.
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