Carina Otero, founder of She is Not Lost, and Nastasia Yakoub, founder of Dame Traveler, share their top tips for female globetrotters in search of adventure…
Travelling solo doesn’t necessarily mean travelling alone.
“It simply means that you are free to follow your own schedule and choose what you do,” says Carina. “In fact, solo travellers are more likely to meet and enjoy the company of other people along the way, including fellow female travellers who can offer companionship while also respecting your independence.”
Feeling nervous is normal.
“I was born into a strict Chaldean-Middle Eastern household so I understand feeling apprehensive and nervous about travelling,” says Nastasia. “Women from a similar background will know that travelling solo is a big, bold decision. My first trip solo trip ever was to Cape Town and I remember crying on the way there. Truthfully, I was terrified, but after my feet were on solid ground, I truly embraced the spirit of adventure.”
Do your research, and familiarise yourself with a destination before you get packing.
“Even some of the ‘safest’ places have incidences of violence,” says Nastasia, “so make sure you do your research and trust your gut.”
Make sure you only do what you feel comfortable with.
“Speaking from personal experience I’ve felt safe travelling solo in many destinations, including Taipei, Hong Kong, Bali, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Denmark,” says Carina. “If you’re feeling apprehensive, look into joining a women-only tour or a staying at a women-only hostel.”
Safety while travelling is a top concern for any woman.
“When on the move, make sure you stay connected to your map by investing in an international phone plan and keeping your electronics charged. Try to schedule your travel so that you arrive during the day, and it’s also wise to dress appropriately, or like a local,” says Carina.
“I like to look into typical scams for the destination I’m exploring, just to feel savvy and prepared,” adds Nastasia. “In addition, you’ll never find me without a safe and secure bag to tote around during the day. I like one with a sturdy zipper that crosses over the body.”
Staying focused and aware of your surroundings is key.
“If you are making small talk with a new person, never reveal that you are travelling alone or that you are in a place for the first time,” says Carina. “Even sharing a little white lie, that you are on the way to meet someone, will signal that someone is aware of your whereabouts and is expecting to hear from you. Other information you should avoid sharing, or keep guard of, is your hotel name, your room number, and your home address if you happen to have it written on your luggage tag.”