Traveling solo as a female can be an empowering and enriching experience, but it’s essential to prioritize safety. While I usually travel with my family, I also took solo trips and I know how important it is to feel safe at all times.
In this article, I am sharing with you my best safety tips for solo female travelers. These 18 practical safety tips for solo travel will help you navigate the world confidently and enjoy a worry-free journey.
Obviously, no travel is 100% risk-free, but these tips will help you to minimize common issues women face on the road especially as solo traveling is one of the top travel trends and can also be an empowering travel resolution.
Follow these top 18 tips to help travel safely and focus on fun when exploring new destinations as a woman traveling alone.
Top Safety Tips for Solo Female Travelers: A Practical Guide
And now, let me get to the list of safety tips for women traveling solo.
1. Research Your Destination Thoroughly
As boring as it may be, research can save you time, money – maybe even your life.
Learn as much as possible in advance about the place you are visiting. Focus especially on researching local attitudes towards women, common scams, dangerous areas, and safety considerations for the locations on your itinerary.
Some destinations are safer than others, but always make sure you learn about less friendly neighborhoods and trendy scams – you can lose your money and more (and yes, I say trendy because common scams are doubled by new scams and you need to know them all.)
You must understand the local customs (even to know what to expect, what can be considered appropriate and what not in some locations), laws, and any potential safety concerns specific to the area.
I admit that for solo travel I always choose safe destinations.
2. Know local emergency contacts and phrases
Before each trip, identify emergency contact numbers for local police, medical, and emergency services and save them offline on your phone. In Europe the number is 112, in the US it is 911 – and so on.
The list of emergency contacts you can keep with you – even on a piece of paper, not only on your phone, should include local authorities, embassy information, and your accommodation’s contact details, readily accessible.
You can also have your travel agency details saved too – especially if they provide some sort of support/insurance.
I would also advise learning basic emergency phrases in the local language – I need help/police/hospital – in case you need to communicate concerns quickly. Some places may have unusual regulations that you may discover in advance (hopefully not there, as it was the case in Brno on a trip with my husband – but rules and the example is relevant for this article too.)
3. Keep valuables secure and out of sight
From passports and cash to phones and cameras, keeping valuables securely tucked away and not casually on display can go a long way towards preventing theft or muggings.
Consider anti-theft bags or pocket scarves to hide items under clothes. Leaving high-value items at home or your hotel safe when possible is best.
I admit I do not use a wallet – due to pickpockets. I have so much experience in dealing with them that I wrote a long, detailed article on how to be safe around pickpockets.
I would also recommend you to be very careful with your jewelry – yes, you can have jewelry while travelling, but make sure you consider these tips.
4. Arrange safe airport transfers
Research transfers in advance rather than taking random taxis at airports or bus stations, especially at night.
Many hotels and hostels can arrange secure pick-ups. Or use ride share apps or Uber for traceable arranged transportation.
True, hotel transfers can be expensive, but they usually are safer. Also, licensed taxis can be taken from the dedicated taxi stations or ordered from the touch screen terminals. Make sure you check in advance where are these taxi stations located at the airport you’ll be using.
5. Always use safe means of transportation
I mentioned at the beginning of this list that you need to do some research prior to traveling and that includes finding out what are the preferred means of transportation in the destination you chose for your solo trip.
Make sure you use licensed taxi companies and always consider the local preferences. Different countries have different preferred means of transportation, as I said and one of the solo travel safety tips is to find out which are OK, and which are not.
I used the metro and trams in Vienna and Paris – and in my country, Romania – but I chose to take a taxi one evening in Brasov when coming to the hotel from a business event.
6. Avoid walking alone at night
Map out locations first if heading out alone after dark and take well-traveled routes that are populated and well-lit. Consider joining group tours at night rather than solo exploring off the beaten path. If needed, ask reception or locals to call verified taxi companies.
Research accommodations thoroughly Read lodging reviews closely to identify secure places for solo female travelers. Properties with good lighting, secure room access, safety boxes and attentive staff may be preferable even if slightly pricier.
7. Share your itinerary with someone back home and keep in touch
Provide specific daily schedules and locations to family or friends at home so your general whereabouts are traceable in a worst case scenario. Set up regular digital check-in times or WhatsApp updates.
8. Use hotel room safeguards
Keep hotel room doors locked whenever you are present. Verify the identity of any staff needing entry. Engage deadbolts, doorstops or bedroom jams as an extra safeguard at night.
Study up on women’s rights locally Understand local cultural or religious attitudes, women’s rights and any problematic norms or gender dynamics that are pervasive in the destination. Discreet clothing covering shoulders or knees may prove wise in some traditional towns or settings, for instance.
9. Stay sober and self-aware when out
As when traveling anywhere, excessive drinking can impair judgment, reaction times and discernment of risky situations.
Always maintain control and self-awareness rather than over-indulging when frequenting bars or nightlife.
I admit I rarely drink – and always it is a maximum of a glass of something -, but I saw people (women included) getting drunk on vacations.
One of the top safety tips when traveling solo (a man or a woman!) is to always be self-aware.
Also, all the other safety recommendations when in a bar/restaurant apply for solo female travelers as well: always keep an eye on your glass (to prevent potential drugs poured into it) and do not accept drinks from people (unless it is what you are looking for).
10. Befriend other women travelers
Female camaraderie on the road can enhance both fun and safety.
Join walking tours or social group activities to safely explore with other solo women.
Sharing transportation, rooming short-term, or going out together at night can also add peace of mind.
Obviously, this depends on you and if you like to do that. I prefer to have my room – but I can accept to eat at a table with another solo female traveler.
When asking locals for directions I also admit I prefer to ask women (my preference).
11. Learn basic self-defense techniques
I am against all physical confrontations. But if you are traveling solo a lot, then maybe it is a thing to consider. Just to have as a back-up.
Brush up on basic skills like firmly yelling “No” or “Get away”. Learning to punch/strike/kick vulnerable body points or safely breaking wrist grabs that may buy critical time if assaulted is something that I wish you NEVER need to use, even if you learn.
So, while I did not do that, I am recommending you to take a self-defense class before extensive solo travel on this list of tips for solo female travelers to travel safely.
12. Invest in a personal safety tracker
Consider wearable safety devices with integrated alarm buttons, GPS tracking, and emergency contacts.
You can wear a discreet Fitbit-like band — having 24/7 emergency monitoring can give you significant peace of mind wherever you travel.
You can also have an app like Find My… installed on your phone – and someone at home (a relative) can have access to it so that they know where you are.
13. Trust your traveler’s intuition
Pay heed to inner warning bells. If a place, person, or situation feels unsafe or suspicious, don’t ignore that instinct – get somewhere public, and call for help. Chances are your gut reaction is picking up on real red flags.
14. Make empowered choices
Ultimately, while horrible incidents are rare, no location is ever completely safe.
Assess your personal risk tolerance and make informed solo travel decisions accordingly. Stay self-aware without living in fear.
Remember situational awareness and safety knowledge can prevent most issues women confront on the road.
15. Carry an inconspicuous safety alarm
A small personal safety alarm easily clipped to a bag or pocket that loudly triggers at the press of a button can deter attackers and alert others nearby if needed. I prefer alarm wearables that also have tracking functions.
16. Blend in with locals
Dress modestly and observe local customs to avoid standing out as a tourist. This helps you blend in and minimizes unwanted attention.
And this is connected to the jewelry safety tip for women traveling solo I shared previously.
If you are flashing expensive jewelry, top brands clothing – you will draw people’s attention and sometimes that is NOT what you want to do.
17. Have a plan for unwanted advances
Unfortunately, unwanted attention may occur. So one of the best safety tips for women traveling solo is this: to have a plan for gracefully but firmly asserting your boundaries and removing yourself from uncomfortable situations.
It’s always best to be prepared!
18. Make sure you use cash when needed, and a card where it is recommended
An extra solo traveling tip when it comes to transportation is to research (remember number one on this list of safety tips for solo female travelers?) and find out what is the preferred way of paying.
In some cities/villages, it is recommended to have cash with you, and do not think that these need to be remote places! I had to pay with cash entries to museums in the Czech Republic and various other countries – including Bulgaria (2023 so not long ago!).
As you can see, this is an extensive list of safety tips for women traveling solo. I have included recommendations from different areas so that you are covered no matter where you go and no matter what are the conditions there. I hope you always have safe solo travels and that these solo female travel tips will be useful to you!