Why my girlfriend won't travel alone.

'It's not safe, why don't you ask Lily to go along with you?'

No thanks, Mum. That should be your answer. Solo travel is here and now. So why shouldn’t women around the world embrace this life-changing experience of misadventure and sheer folly?

It has become a dying fact that women need to travel in numbers. The modern female should throw caution to the wind and buy that plane ticket without thinking twice.

So let’s explore the screaming factors to consider when ‘thinking once’.

Safety.

One of the main points my girlfriend would bring up on the idea of travelling alone is about safety. It doesn’t help that headlines in the papers now and then report stories of female travellers being caught in less than desirable situations in foreign countries.

If you come to think of it, safety overseas transcends gender. No matter who you are or where you go, you should always be practising general safe travelling habits.

  1. Stick to the paths often travelled.

If you are truly apprehensive about heading abroad alone, then I’d suggest staying away from the ‘roads less travelled’. Leave that to a time when you have a healthy support group to travel with.

First solo trip? Keep it vanilla.

  1. Only carry what you need

Heading out? Only bring out what cash you need to spend that day. Never bring out a full wad of money just in case. Instead, what you should do is prep an extra 50 if you ever need to catch a cab back to your serviced apartment.

  1. Try to avoid the night outings.

This one is kind of a given. There are safe night timings and less-than-safe timings. If you would like to check out the on-goings of the nightlife scene in a country, try to stick between the 7pm and midnight shifts.

I know what you’re thinking, ‘Hey! I’m no lame 60 year old!’ Whodini sang it true when they belted out ‘the freaks come out at night’. So heed their advice, if not mine, and play it 60 year old style.

Navigation.

1. Forget the stereotypes. More often than not, if you keep hearing the jokes and bits about women not being good navigators or having a bad sense of direction, you’re going to believe it to be true.

If you’re being hosted in a serviced apartment, contact your host/hosting company. Get some readily available guides and request for a map. A quick read through and marking of notable landmarks will help you immensely with orientation.

2. Get a navigation app. Or a e-map even. Google maps is a free and easy solution to this. GPS in general is going to help you out greatly over here. You don’t even need to wait till you start your trip.

Whip out your phone now and have a look through the map of the city you intend on visiting. Mark down journey paths, distances and places on interest. It’ll give you more confidence when travelling.

3. Join a tour group on your first day. It might not be the most glamorous of stories you would want to include on your first solo trip but short and quick tours on your first day in a new country are a smart way of learning your way to through the immediate part of town.

 

Getting lonely.

1. One main issue many travellers face is the feeling of being lonely. Travelling solo for many days or weeks can leave one longing for the connection and companionship back home.

During downtime, take some time to sit in your serviced apartment, open up your laptop and use applications like Skype and WhatApp to say hello to those back home. Just 5 mins will keep your mind healthy.

2. Make friends. Sounds pretty simple but when travellers go solo, there seems to be this notion that you have to be with yourself as much as possible. The whole idea of solo travel is to step outside your comfort zone. Meeting new and exciting people fits that bill.

Unwanted eyes.

1. I can’t really help much with this one. No matter where you go in the world, tourist will always attract eyes from all around. What’s worse is the less than flattering gaze offered upon women travellers.

You’ve got to mentally prepare yourself to be ogled by almost everyone. More often than not, these people are just curious.

But to keep the staring at bay, make sure you leave the valuable accessories at home, skip the all too revealing clothes and never deal large amounts of cash out in the open.

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