Solo Travel

How To Travel Solo & Thrive: Safe Solo Female Travel (2024)

After a lifetime of traveling, often solo, I have had countless conversations with women who say they would love to travel solo but who also have a long list of reasons why that is not going to work for them – mostly worrying about safe solo female travel.

I truly want to help you who want to explore the world on your own terms, find confidence, overcome whatever is holding you back, and get going!

As one of the recurring themes seems to be safety or the perceived lack of solo female travel safety “on the road.”, I am here to tell you why that is not a thing you need to worry about.

Sounds sketchy, irresponsible, or careless? Read on to find out my take on this after decades of solo female travel!

Affiliate disclosure: I only recommend tours, services and purchases I know and love on this website.

Safe Solo Female Travel Is Possible

When I took off on my first really long solo journey, one of my destinations was Colombia.

Having this country on my list led to lots of concerned comments and questions from my loved ones: are you going alone to Colombia? That is super dangerous!

I know all these worries come from a place of love, and I am well aware of the reputation Colombia has had over the years with drug cartels and violent crime.

However.

It is not necessarily the destination that is dangerous; it is how you travel to the destination that will decide if you are on a dangerous journey or a safe one!

Also, more and more people travel solo, and the majority of them are solo-traveling women!

Take A Look At Your Mindset

Traveling solo around Costa Rica; this is me taking a photo of the infinite mountain views from Monteverde mountain village

Have you ever heard the phrase, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”?

One of my favorite speakers, the late “guru” and motivational speaker Wayne Dyer, used to say this.

His point was that where you aim, your focus is what decides what you see. Or what you notice – at the expense of everything else that exists that you could have seen if you had an open mind with fewer blinders on.

So, when thinking about solo female travel, are you looking for dangers, ignoring them, or managing your mindset by informing yourself about the destination you have in mind?

Returning to the example of Colombia, yes, there are problems in Colombia, and the crime statistics are higher than in many other destinations. But not everywhere, not all the time, and not regardless of what you do.

After traveling around Colombia for over a month, I can tell you that it is a wonderful destination. I really want to return to explore more. The variety of safety and dangerous areas and situations you can encounter will be more or less present anywhere you go.

This leads me to my next point: to any destination, we do our research and we conduct a risk assessment.

Also Read: Safe Solo Travel To North Cape Norway On A Budget

Solo Female Travel Risk Assessment

The reason we do a risk assessment is to determine the actual dangers, which are based on facts and not rumors and biased perceptions.

Simply put, this is addressing the real risks and dangers, not the perceived ones. Then, we add our countermeasures to the mix, and we are left with a result.

Risk minus countermeasures equals actual danger.

For Colombia, this can look something like this: There are areas of Colombia that are prone to organized crime cartels, there is a risk of walking alone at night in some places, and there is a risk of your drink being spiced with roofies.

There is also a risk of being robbed, harassed, and scammed. So, the countermeasures can look like this:

  • Find out which areas in Colombia have problems with organized and violent crime and avoid those areas, cities, or city districts.
  • Find out where you can walk alone during daytime and nighttime and take taxis in any area at all times when walking alone is not safe.
  • Read reviews about areas and hotels you consider staying in before you book
  • Always take registered taxis or Ubers where your ride is registered.
  • Leave large amounts of money and valuables safely at your hotel, and keep pockets and bags closed.
  • Never leave your drink alone unattended (and if you do, get a new one)
  • Avoid getting intoxicated.
  • Don’t tell everyone you are traveling alone, and don’t accept favors from nice strangers.
  • Ask locals for safety advice, especially local women.
  • Dont feel like you need to be nice if someone bothers you or does not respect your space. Set your boundaries unapologetically.

After a while, these things will become almost second nature, and you will feel more confident as you get more experienced – and trust your gut instincts more.

And you will have lots of energy to have a great time and enjoy your journey!

Remember that any destination in the world is someone’s home and neighborhood, even if it is exotic and far away from home for you.

Also read: Is Oslo Safe For Solo Female Travelers?

Feeling Alone Or Lonely

Woman with a white dress and hat walking on a wooden jetty over the beautiful blue sea on a Caribbean island

Although not directly connected to safety, the feeling of loneliness or feeling alone can do something with your self confidence, and ability to deal with any situation that may occur.

The thing about solo travel, is that you need to deal with any big or small thing that happens by yourself, which is also one of the marvellous things about solo travel.

Because, if you did not already know, you will quickly learn that you are more than capable to manage whatever comes your way.

If you worry about feeling lonely while traveling solo, there are lots of things you can prepare beforehand to minimize the risk of this overwhelming you.

One thing is the mental preparation; if you are prepared for this to happen, it will not take you by surprise, and not influence you so much!

Other things to do to minimize the feeling of loneliness:

  • Create a group chat with your friends or family at home
  • Join an organized small group tour on (parts of) your trip
  • Make a playlist of music that makes you happy
  • Write down a list of all the reasons why you wanted to travel solo in the first place.
  • Join a solo female travel group on Facebook where you can share about your journey in real-time and ask for support and advice.
  • Follow solo female travel bloggers and read about their experiences and advice.
  • Start looking for things that you really enjoy about being in your own company!

In the beginning, though, everything might feel a bit scary, and influence your self confidence, and trust in your own judgement and solutions.

But trust me on this; that will soon fade and instead you will find a sensation of mastery and confidence!

Also read: Epic Grand Cayman Solo Travel: Fun At Seven Mile Beach!

Concerns About Health And Emergencies

Lady in the sunset holding a scarf over her head that is flowing in the wind under a blue sky with golden rays from the setting sun

If you have health challenges or worry about what might happen and how to deal with a situation where you get sick, you also need to research and prepare for that so you know what to do if it happens.

Knowing what to do if anything happens will make you feel more safe and more confident.

The first and most important thing is that you choose a solid travel insurance that covers illness, hospitalization, and repatriation if needed.

Secondly, bring all the medicine and supplements you always or often need in your daily life so you do not need to go looking if the need arise.

Thirdly, you can also research health care in your destination, see if there are any international doctors offices, hospitals, find out where they are, and save the emergency numbers on your phone.

As an example, I got Covid when I was in Cuba. I was collected at my casa particular with an ambulance, and taken to isolation for a week.

That was not my plan at all, but I had great travel insurance, contact with the Embassy, and contact with my family at home. Everything went well, and I felt safe and taken care of at all times!

Also read: Is Solo Female Travel In Cuba Safe? A Locals Advice

Wrap-Up Safe Solo Female Travel

Hopefully, you have started to see that solo female travel is neither safe, nor unsafe, it is not a fixed number. Traveling solo is safe when you do your research, ask for advice, follow the advice, choose wisely, listen to your gut instincts, and make wise choices.

Which you will do, and easier and more confidently the more you travel by yourself.

Remember: Hundreds of thousands of women travel solo every day, and the vast majority come back home in one piece – happy, safe, and so much richer for it!

Related blog posts:

Easy Guide: How To Plan A Solo Trip For Beginners

14 Best Caribbean Islands For Solo Travel By An Expert

43 Best Things To Do In Havana Solo By A Local

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