The moment you read this, you must be already excited. There’s always been a spark residing somewhere inside of you. The spark that you wanted to travel solo. However, there’s a ‘zaalim duniya’ around you which is stereotypical fact about solo women travellers. Such is the case, that time will come when yosolu will be made to feel guilty that you are committing a sin if you are travelling solo. Questions and comments will spring like “She wants to travel alone?”, “Kuchh toh plan hoga” (something is fishy), “Akeli kya karegi waha pe” (what will she do all alone out there), “Maa baap kuchh bolte nahin?” (Don’t the parents say anything?); I guess as you read this, you might have more such comments and questions to add than I do.
My lady, I do understand how you might feel when your aspirations are being overshadowed by the stereotypical clouds around you. However, do not fret over this negativity. Just give a deaf ear to all of it and get started with the job at hand – Planning your trip! Although, I may not be a part of your gender group, I have lived long enough with my better half who herself is an avid traveller and has done many solo trips, even after tying the knot with me. So, although I am not a part of the pack, I do have some sense of the psyche from one wolf 😉. Therefore, here is a guide I have tried to write down for all solo women travellers out there who are planning to travel.
1. Take care of the basics – First things first
No, I am not talking about the beauty or female hygiene products. That’s personal and I won’t get there. What I mean by the essentials is that you follow the thumb rule to get started with your solo trip. These are first things that you need to take care of before you do anything else.
A valid passport, visa and the relative formalities
Just make sure that you have a long term valid passport, and that the expiration date isn’t nearing anytime soon. Visa procedures are tedious, so please make sure that you finish all your formalities and complete the payment well in advance.
A light-weighted backpack and suitcase
Take some light-weighted bags, which are easier to carry, and sturdy enough that stick around during all types of conditions.
Try not to overpack – Must tip for Solo Women Travellers
This must be the most difficult part of the trip for you. How dare I ask you not to overpack? I feel bad to say though that it’s true that I am asking you to avoid over packing. All I am asking you to do is keep your luggage as light as possible. Plus, look at the brighter side – I’m asking you to keep some room for your new clothes, which you will buy from that local shopping.
Consult your doctor
This is mainly to get prescriptions of all the basic medicines that you will need to carry. Please do not ignore this because when you are travelling abroad, the medication rules are quite strict over there, and the pharmacy will not give you medicines without the doctor’s prescription.
Contact your bank
If you do not inform your bank about your trip, then get ready for a surprise – to find out that your card has been blocked due to unusual transactions. Instead, try a forex card on which you can carry multiple currencies for your travel, and the money remains safe and secure with negligible transaction charges.
Get a travel insurance
This one is a must. It’s for your own security. In case, God forbid, something goes wrong for you on your trip that is a threat to your life, the travel insurance will come in as your saviour. Don’t take it, and you are totally at the mercy of lady luck if something goes wrong.
2. Precautionary Measure – Your safety is the prime concern
It is certainly a different scenario when women are travelling as compared to men. Therefore, it becomes highly important to take as many precautionary measures as possible. Not that you have to take less precautions in your own country. This isn’t to scare you but just to make sure that you are always aware about your surroundings. While these precautions will certainly be of knowledge for you, it will, after all, depend on how you handle yourself during your travel.
Get a basic know how of your destination
Before you get there, just do some research on the places that you will be visiting. It will basically give you an idea on the Dos & Don’ts aspects of that particular destination. In turn, you will go somewhat prepared as in what to expect.
I’m sorry I have to tell you this, and I know you have every right to wear whatever you please. However, this is just for your precaution for at some destinations it might become a subject of harassment. Therefore, just try and be a little careful of what you wear to avoid any kind of wrong attention especially if you are to visit any traditional regions of the world, or are to visit any shady areas, especially during the nights, at the destination.
Do not flaunt your valuables – Must tip for Solo Women Travellers
Of course, who doesn’t want to show off that diamond ring, or that Michael Kors. However, not really the best time or thing to do when you are travelling all by yourself in a different destination where every passer-by is a stranger to you. The more you stay humble the lesser trouble you will invite for yourself.
Keep the local embassy or consulate’s address handy
In case of any serious emergency like loss of passport etc., this is where you can seek help with complete trust.
Share your itinerary with your family and friends
It is good to do that in case you are not able to connect with your family and friends back home, they can somehow track you with that itinerary at hand.
Make a commitment to your family that you will keep in touch – Most important tip for Solo Women Travellers
It is always good to keep in touch with your family, who are already concerned about your solo trip, while you are travelling so that they are at least at peace knowing that their little girl is safe and having the best time of her life!
I hope this article was informative enough for you to get started with your travel plans. While I am sure you will take care of your personal belongings, make sure you take good care of yourself too. I call out to solo women travellers, to share their excitement here in the comments section below. Have a safe trip, ladies and when your back from your trip, do share your experience.