Buoyed by stories of intrepid women traveling the globe, you’ve decided to set out yourself. So… how do you start? Where do you go? What if you get lonely? Will it be safe?
Never fear! We’ve got you covered with some easy tips for first-time solo female travelers. The tips below can help you calm your anxieties and get started.
Consider Starting Small
If you want nothing more than to strap on a backpack and spend the next six months rambling around South America, then by all means go for it. However, if you are feeling uncertain and you aren’t even sure if this approach to travel is right for you, it’s okay to start off small.
Read up on tips for your first solo adventure and consider a short road trip. If you really aren’t used to doing things on your own at all, even an afternoon in a new town can be a way to get your feet wet. Add an extra challenge by taking public transportation.
Public Transportation Between Cities
If you live in a city that is well-served by bus or train, this can be a fun way to set out on a day trip or overnight outing to a nearby location. There’s something special about being able to leave the responsibilities of driving and navigating behind.
A great first solo trip would be to travel by bus from Philly to Baltimore, Boston to Washington D.C., or Portland to Seattle. Since routes can only take roughly a couple of hours, it’s doable even if you’re pressed for time. Research itinerary items to do ahead of time, based on your interests while you’re traveling.
If you choose from Philly to Baltimore, you might plan to take a walk along the harbor and check out the museums there, National Aquarium, and the shops. Treat yourself to a seafood lunch, and in the afternoon, take a harbor cruise.
On the other hand, if you’re a sports fan, maybe you’ll want to take in a Phillies or Orioles baseball game. If wandering around eclectic shops and people-watching is more your style, the neighborhood of Hampden is the place to go.
At the end of the day, you can return to Philly or spend the night at a boutique hotel or bed and breakfast and take the bus back the next day.
Adjusting Your Mindset
You might need to make some mental adjustments in order to get the most out of solo travel. It’s normal to feel nervous or even self-conscious at first, especially when it comes to going out to eat dinner alone.
But remind yourself that though you might feel like people are looking at you and wondering why you are alone, most people are generally just concerned with themselves and their own problems.
You can also start to think of dinners alone and other solo activities as adventures! Start to notice the advantages of traveling alone as there are many.
You never have to compromise. You can do exactly what you want and change plans on the fly. You can also strike up conversations with other travelers if you are feeling lonely.
And ultimately, you can come home with memories from a trip that helped show you that you CAN travel solo, and that you did! Now go out there… and do it!