Travel Considerations Especially for Women

As a single woman traveling solo for over 10 years, I can speak with personal experience about the specific issues that women encounter. They can be challenging, but with some strategies these issues are completely manageable and should never stand in the way of solo women adventures.

Safety is the primary priority. But there are other issues that women encounter as well when traveling. Below is my list of issues or concerns that women need to be aware of and deal with:

  • Safety

  • Cultural behavior and dress

  • Meeting people


In an unfamiliar setting women need to be especially cautious as they assess their surroundings. They need to be hyper alert. If unsure of what to do, women need to assess who to ask for assistance and make judgments about who to trust, more so than men do.

  • is a helpful resource for determining safety levels in any destination. It breaks down statistics for a range of crimes, from petty pick pocketing to violent assault.

I use a few strategies that make me appear confident and hopefully less likely to be targeted.

  • Always walk with purpose and look up and around.

  • If using google maps on the phone, I never walk with it in my hand. I turn the volume up and drop it into my pocket so I can hear the instructions and walk along with confidence. If I need to consult it, I step out of foot traffic, against a building to check it, then put it back in my pocket.

  • If approached by a stranger I smile and keep walking, without making eye contact.

  • Keep things close, cross-body bag, hand casually over the body of it, nothing in my pockets

Cultural behavior and dress

It's important to understand cultural differences when going to a new country, especially for women. Two issues can influence how we behave and how we dress:

  • attitudes toward women vary and awareness of them can prevent embarrassing or even unsafe situations. In some very conservative countries, it is not appropriate for women to make eye contact with men they don't know. Understanding cultural norms shows respect.

  • Cultural dress - in very conservative countries, clothing should cover shoulders and knees. In Religious places also cover hair. In some countries it is considered rude to show the soles of your feet to another person

    Meeting people

Traveling solo does not mean you don't want to be with other people. It can be a challenge to find ways to meet others and find social connections. I use several resources to make connections during my travels.

  • - many cities around the world have chapters of this organization. You can join for free, or pay a small monthly fee to be able to contact members individually. A variety of interest groups, such as dinner, nature, culture, and photography, invite members to events. Most are free and a chance to meet people from many different cultures.

  • - interest group membership site offered in cities around the world. Like internations, a variety of groups can be joined that offer mostly free events.

  • Facebook groups in the local area. Often I introduce myself on those pages when I arrive and have met wonderful people, some of whom have become good friends in this way.

Practicing safety, embracing cultural differences, and embracing new experiences can make solo travel a fantastic, exciting journey.