Travel Tips & News

The ultimate solo female travel guide: expert tips, tricks and advice

Recently updated on March 19th, 2024 at 04:25 pm

Solo travel as a woman can be an incredibly empowering and restorative experience. It’s a unique opportunity to seek personal growth through solitude and spend time getting immersed in other cultures and landscapes. Whether you’re dreaming of sipping coffee in Paris or exploring the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, you don’t need to wait for someone to travel with you – do it alone! In honor of International Women’s Day on 8 March, we’re sharing top travel tips and pieces of advice to help you navigate solo female travel with confidence. 

1. Research your destination thoroughly

Before you book your ticket, take a deep dive into your chosen destination. Look into the cultural norms, safety concerns, and local laws to help you prepare to observe local customs and follow common etiquette and avoid any faux pas. Government travel advisories can be excellent resources for this. 

One of our past Trafalgar guests had this piece of advice:

The trouble with solo travel is how addictive it becomes. No sooner are you back home you are planning your next solo trip. Joining a tour, with a company like Trafalgar, is a great way to start. Preparation is important…do lots of pre trip Googling eg finding the quickest/cheapest way from airport to hotel. Perhaps you need to catch a shuttle between terminals to catch the city train/bus/taxi etc. All can be Googled before leaving home. Finally, no matter where you travel in the world, local people or fellow travellers are happy to answer your question.
– Caroline A

Read more: Thinking of traveling solo? Read this advice from the Trafalgar community

A woman in a red dress and straw sunhat wearing an orange backpack photographed from behind looking out over buildings in a European city

2. Go for hotels over private residences

When choosing your accommodation, look for hotels, hostels and guesthouses in well-populated areas. You can also check to see if the accommodation has positive reviews from other solo female travelers. Many places also offer female-only rooms or floors for an extra layer of security. 

We got this sage advice from one of our past guests:

Went solo last October on the Winter Whirlwind tour around Europe and it was great mixing with couples and singles. Have made some lifelong friends. I think it pays to pay for the single supplement if it’s a longish tour. Having alone time at night is key to recharging for the next day.
– Shahni W

We think you’ll also like: The Trafalgar solo travel checklist: what to know before you go

3. Join social communities for solo female travel

There are plenty of groups, communities and forums on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit that are dedicated to women traveling solo. These groups are filled with invaluable tips and inspiring stories, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded travelers and get first-hand advice. 

We think you’ll also like: She who dares: the female solo travellers seeking adventure

4. Go on group tours

Group tours can be a fantastic way to meet other women and explore regions where navigating on your own might be more challenging. Trafalgar is a reputable tour company that takes many solo women on tour, and they often hear from women that they feel more secure traveling with a group. Trafalgar also offers great options for solo travelers including the choice to share a room or upgrade to a solo room, and discounted single supplements on select departures and itineraries. 

Our past solo traveler guests had these great pieces of advice:

I have travelled solo for many years. Group tours are a fabulous way to get out there safely and see lots as well as make new friends. I was never alone unless I chose to be. You’ll be surrounded by many adventurous souls who are open-minded, social and inclusive.
– Sandy S

You may arrive solo, but you leave with tons of friends from around the world. I have done multiple solo tours and have never had a bad trip!
– Tracey R

Just do it! You are never really alone when travelling solo with Trafalgar. You will meet lots of interesting people from all over the world and your travel director will make you feel welcomed and included. I have done a couple of Trafalgar tours solo and would thoroughly recommend them.
– Carolyn J

Find your perfect trip: Solo travel tours 

A group of mature travelers posing together or a selfie photo in front of a building

5. Pack smart

Packing well is an essential skill for any traveler, but it becomes even more crucial when you’re navigating the world solo. The goal is to travel light, ensuring you can move easily without being weighed down by heavy luggage. Embrace minimalism and choose versatile clothing that can be mixed and matched to create different outfits. Go for fabrics that are lightweight and easy to wash and dry. 

You should also invest in multi-use devices, like a smartphone that’s also your camera, GPS, and entertainment device. A good portable power bank is also indispensable. 

We think you’ll also like: Why a solo female travel experience is incredible for the soul

6. Bring a door lock

A portable door lock will add extra security to your accommodation, so you can have peace of mind when you sleep. If you’re staying in hostels or dorms, look for accommodations that offer a private locker where you can store your valuables and bring your own padlock for them. 

7. Practice adaptability

The ability to adapt might just be the most valuable skill for any solo traveler. Travel rarely goes according to plan. There will be moments where you’re tired or stressed – maybe your flight got delayed or you got lost when out exploring – and you can only rely on yourself to manage the situation. That might seem scary, but it can actually be quite empowering. When you’re alone, you’re more likely to be aware of your surroundings and in problem-solving mode. Whether you’re navigating a language barrier or finding your way without GPS, each challenge you overcome will boost your self-reliance, making you a more confident and capable traveler.

We think you’ll also like: “I am so proud of myself” – Sandra’s story of solo travelling in Italy

A photo of a mature woman from behind wearing a hiking backpack and a straw hat, holding hiking poles, standing on a rocky outcrop overlooking densely forested terrain

8. Trust your instincts

Your intuition is a powerful tool for staying safe. If something feels off, trust that feeling and remove yourself from the situation. Whether it’s turning down a drink or choosing not to walk down a particular street, trusting yourself is key. 

We think you’ll also like: The world’s safest countries for solo female travel

9. Choosing your destination

Some destinations are easier to travel alone, or are more established for tourism, making for a smoother and more enjoyable solo travel experience – especially if it’s your first time. 

Some of our favorite destinations for solo female travelers are New Zealand (for its stunning landscapes and friendly locals) and Japan (for its rich culture and impeccable public transportation system). We also love Portugal (for its welcoming cities and beautiful coastline) and Iceland (for its incredible natural beauty and reputation as one of the world’s safest countries). 

But that’s barely scratching the surface! There are dozens of amazing destinations to explore as a solo woman. Trafalgar Travel Director Patrizia said this about her solo travel experience in Egypt:

“Visiting Egypt solo as a woman but being part of a tour group is the way to go. At every sight we went there was a security check and our amazing Travel Director Mohamed took care of the formalities required.

In the small villages along the Nile you really stand out as a tourist, and people turn around to observe you – with a normal level of curiosity. On the other hand, in Cairo (that has 26 million inhabitants), people lead a busy life and don’t pay too much attention to tourists. Some smile or nod their head, then carry on with their activities. I walked a lot around downtown Cairo and never felt uneasy.” – TD Patrizia

Read more: Travel Director Patrizia shares her experience as a woman travelling solo in Egypt

A triptych of photos, from left to right: Tutankhamun's tomb, Trafalgar Travel Director Patrizia in Egypt, a row of Egyptian statues

10. Don’t wait to live your dreams

The ultimate advice for solo female travel is – just do it. Be open to new experiences, and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Embrace the opportunity to learn about yourself and the world around you.

Here’s some beautiful words of encouragement from our Trafalgar guests:

You might be solo but never alone. I traveled a handful of times solo and every time there were always a handful of other people solo as well that I had a blast with. It’s scary the first time but then it is invigorating! I learned early on to never feel like you need to wait for someone else to live your best life!
– Sarah K-P

Going solo is empowering. You do things outside your normal world and find the confidence in situations you didn’t know you had. You’ll never regret going, only that you didn’t go.
– Princess Y

Don’t wait! The sooner you go the sooner you will wonder why did I wait so long! A whole new world will open your eyes!
– Jeanne A

My first solo trip ever was with Trafalgar to Italy nine years ago. I was very nervous and thought, as I sat at the airport waiting for my flight, “Maybe I am making a mistake going solo?” But once I arrived and met the group, I never experienced a moment of feeling lonely! I had great company and made some nice friends that I have kept in contact with and seen since. And I have travelled solo again a few times after this! Yes, it’s wonderful to have a partner to travel with. But life doesn’t wait! If you want to go and don’t have someone to go with; go solo! You won’t regret it!
– Chimène J

Are you dreaming of a solo adventure? Let us know in the comments below!

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