Me traveling solo in Berlin.
Due to recent events in the news of a young 33 year old American mother being found murdered in Istanbul while traveling by herself, the public is questioning “Is traveling solo and especially is traveling solo as a female a safe thing to do?“. The answer that I give you (as a frequent solo traveler myself) along with an overwhelmingly LARGE response from the travel community is YES. Yes it is safe and you will quickly learn from the posts I share below that the problem here that we should focus on is violence against women at home and abroad and has nothing to do with traveling solo or not.
There are zillions of tips that I can list off for you that will help keep you safe like:
1. Trust your gut, if something doesn’t feel right, act upon your feelings and try to get yourself out of the situation you are in or stop talking to that creepy guy in the hostel.
2. Avoid going out at night by yourself in a city you aren’t familiar with.
3. Research about your destination as much as possible and avoid the trouble areas.
4. Be in contact with home as much as possible, forward people your schedule so someone always knows where you are.
5. If you are considering traveling solo by yourself for the first time, think about booking a tour or at least visiting a familiar country/city first, to test the waters and see if it is right for you. Take baby steps.
I could go on and on. Caz from www.YtravelBlog.com has great tips HERE. Gray from www.SoloFriendly.com offers up more safety tips HERE. and Janice from www.SoloTravelerBlog.com has a zillion tips on safely traveling solo HERE.
Me traveling solo in Australia.
Just like everything else that the media blows out of proportion, they are totally blowing the idea that solo travel might not be safe out of proportion as well. As Stephanie Yoder of whywaittoseetheworld.com says it best in her recent article “If this poor woman had been murdered in Chicago or New York City we probably would never have heard about it, because it doesn’t play on this fear of the unknown.”
I’m not the most eloquent person when it comes to putting pen to paper but some of these ladies that I admire and respect definitely are and make some good points on this topic. If I haven’t convinced you that it is still safe to travel solo then I can 100% guarantee that they will:
- Stephanie Yoder from whywaittoseetheworld.com has written a post titled “Female solo travel is NOT the problem“.
- Amanda Williams from www.Dangerous-Business.com writes this open letter to her father “Dear Dad: Please Don’t Worry (A treatise on solo female travel)“
- Christine Amorose of www.cestchristine.com write the post “Solo female travel: Why it’s a label I support“
- Jodi Ettenberg of www.LegalNomads.com writes about “Revisiting the solo female travel experience“
- Mariellen Ward from www.BreatheDreamGo.com has started a hashtag on twitter to encourage and support women to travel solo #WeGoSolo
There are also A LOT of other sites written by wonderful solo travellers that can give you tips on traveling solo whether female OR Male that will show you that not only you can do it, but it is safe.
If it wasn’t safe, would all these people be doing it?
If you have a link that you want included leave it in the comments or email me at cailinoneil (at) travelyourself.ca
cathy caballeroMarch 31, 2013 at 1:24 pm
nice article, and i do believe traveling solo is fine as long as you take precaution.
Insurance HunterMarch 21, 2013 at 12:27 pm
Great post! You make a great point. It is not about travelling alone, it is about travelling smart. Whether you are male, female, travelling alone, or with a partner, you need to be smart, do your homework, and understand the dangers that exist in the places you choose to travel.
Penny SadlerFebruary 27, 2013 at 7:58 pm
Hi Callin, I joined in the twitter chat for a while today. Wrote my story about solo travel and safety after an experience in LA last weekend. Still, I think solo travel is safe as long as we use our instincts + common sense.
I’d never give it up.
CailinMarch 6, 2013 at 10:00 pm
I completely agree! :)
JennFebruary 24, 2013 at 10:11 pm
Thanks for this post Cailin! I agree, traveling solo is just as safe as being at home most days. I’ve done just about all my traveling on my own and have only maybe once been concerned for my safety and it was a situation that could have happened anywhere, not just abroad. Use your brain, ladies, and you’ll probably be fine. I agree with your tips and thanks for all the additional resources!
CailinMarch 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm
Thanks Jenn! It would be a shame for someone to not travel just because they were afraid. Lets hope this helps encourage many people! :)
OliviaFebruary 10, 2013 at 8:17 am
I am going on my first solo travel in March. I personally am not worried, but the people in my surroundings constantly torment me about how bad things will happen. They have never been travelling alone.
I think following all the advice that is written here and on other travel blogs will be the best way to go about. I just need to remember not to be naive or ‘play with fire’ when abroad, which is a personality trait I unfortunately seem to possess.
If you could please add me to the list that would be nice. I want to inspire other teenage female solo travellers.
CailinMarch 6, 2013 at 10:04 pm
Olivia, my only suggestion is to just try to not talk about your trip with those people then if they won’t let up. And then you go out there, have an awesome trip and prove them wrong! :)
AlouiseFebruary 10, 2013 at 3:29 am
Cailin these are all great tips. I’ve traveled with friends, with family, and alone and if I get to choose I’ll choose traveling alone every time. I think your tips doing a bit of research before hand, and trusting your gut are probably the two I use the most. I’ve only traveled alone for a few trips in Canada, the US, and Europe, but I would love to be added to your list.
CailinMarch 6, 2013 at 10:05 pm
Thanks Alouise! Definitely important tips! :)
SineadFFebruary 8, 2013 at 7:53 am
It makes me SOOOOO mad to see how judgemental people are of woman traveling alone – despite her tragedy.
I solo travel a lot and have never had any real issues (other than the usual stuff I get at home.)
Don’t believe me? Then meet me and let me explain… I promise u, solo travel is fine with all the usual precautions. So if u judge her, judge me too.
CailinMarch 6, 2013 at 10:08 pm
Thanks Sinead, it definitely is unfortunate the way some people think these days. Lets hope people start to realize they are crazy :)
MelissaFebruary 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm
You can add me to that solo list. So far I’ve tackled Costa Rica, Croatia, the US and Tokyo on my own. No plans to stop.
AlexandraFebruary 7, 2013 at 1:06 pm
I would love to be added to the list. I’ve been on the road mostly solo for 2year. I spent a month traveling turky alone even. The world I a beautiful place everyone should see even alone
CailinMarch 6, 2013 at 10:10 pm
I can’t wait to visit Turkey! You have been added :)
Erin SmithFebruary 7, 2013 at 11:56 am
90% of my travels are solo (female) trips. I support and encourage other females to continue their solo travels around the globe!
CailinMarch 6, 2013 at 10:10 pm
Solo travelers unite! haha
Dhie ReyFebruary 7, 2013 at 5:53 am
Please add me to the list. I am from Philippines and do alot of solo travel round my country.
So happy i found this site and can read from other female solo travellers.