I’m not sure if I’ve announced it on here, but I’m going to be doing quite a bit of traveling in the next few months. New York this month, Thailand in May, Grand Cayman, Mexico and Jamaica in June and Aruba in August for my 30th! While I’ve been known for traveling solo in the past, I’ll be with friends or family members on most of these upcoming trips. But I still get asked how is it that I’m comfortable with traveling solo as a woman. People are always shocked when I tell them that I’ve visited London, Paris and even Dubai by myself and I find myself telling each of them the same thing. It’s fairly easy to do! Once you get over the fear of being in a foreign place by yourself it’ll be easy to pack up and go on your own! Here are a few of the things that make solo travel as a woman easy for me!
Carry a backpack or a cross-body purse. The last thing you want to do is fidget with your purse all day. You need your hands-free so you can fully take in your surroundings, but you need to keep your items close. I think that you should take in your day’s activities before you make the decision on what you need to carry. If you’re going to need your DSLR, extra clothes and other heavier things I recommend carrying a backpack. I purchased this anti-theft one for my trip to Barcelona last year and use it all the time, and this is a cute one that I recently purchased and carry to work every day. If you don’t need much for the day you might want to consider just carrying a cross body purse. I purchased this one last year and it might look small but it’s incredibly roomy! I can fit my wallet, trinkets bag, phone, and DSLR camera in it comfortably. It’s perfect for concerts and festivals too!
Wear comfortable shoes. I cannot stress this enough! If you’re going to be doing any kind of extended walking, or really any walking at all you need to wear comfortable shoes. This doesn’t mean you have to wear sneakers everywhere, you might be able to wear your favorite pair of TOMS on a trip, but don’t try and get through the day in heels or even worse flats that you haven’t properly broken in.
Try to fit everything in your carry-on luggage. The last thing you want to do when you land in a foreign country by yourself is lug around a ton of luggage. I consider myself a recovering over-packer and have figured out how to successfully pack for a week-long vacation in a backpack and a carry-on suitcase. Packing cubes and wardrobe color themes are your friends, use them and save yourself time and unnecessary stress on your body and mind. This carry-on by Away is perfect for that, it fits most airline size restrictions for carry-ons and even comes with a removable charger! Two birds with one stone!
Get an international mobile plan. Let’s face it, our phones have become an appendage and that shouldn’t change when you travel. Whether you’re using it to make calls, send texts or even look up train times you need to be able to use your phone when you travel. In my opinion, T-Mobile has the BEST international phone plan and that’s one of the main reasons why I’ve stuck with them all of these years. Unlimited texts and data are included in my plan and I have the fastest speed available in whatever country I’m in. That meant LTE in London, Paris, and Dubai and 4G in Cancun. Oh, and phone calls were pretty cheap too often about $0.20/minute!
Download translation apps. I try to always use Duolingo to at least learn key phrases (ie: where’s the bathroom, thank you, please, water, beer) when I travel, and I rely heavily on other translations apps when I arrive. Google Translate is a trusted one as well as the iTranslate app.
Be friendly but aware of your surroundings. Have a good time and mingle with the locals, often times people will encourage you to join them during a meal or even on a tour. Don’t be afraid to ask a stranger to take a picture of you at monuments and use discernment when you’re out at night by yourself.
Bring a portable charger. Remember earlier when I said that the Away carry-on has a portable charger in it? Well, you’re more than welcome to put that one your day bag or feel free to grab one of these. The last thing you need is your phone dying in the middle of the day when you still need to book an uber back to your hotel or AirBNB.
Check-in and tag locations on your social shares. I personally love to do this because it lets my loved ones at home know where I am and it also helps when you want to write a review on your blog or if you want to give restaurant/activity suggestions to people. To this day I’ll still go back to old social shares from a trip and look up the tagged location on them.
Know where the local embassy is. This was something I learned from my dad at a young age and something I make sure I look up whenever I travel. It’s just one of those things to have in the back of your pocket in case anything happens. A lot of places will have it marked on maps, or you can Google it before you leave, but I recommend knowing the location of that as well as carrying at least a laminated copy of your passport with you. You don’t have to carry the actual book, but a laminated copy and your driver’s license or a passport card if you got the combo.
Now go forth and travel by yourselves without fear!!