It seems that more and more women are travelling by themselves these days. Don’t get me wrong because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this but extra care will be needed travelling as a lone traveller whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure. Some cultures disagree with women travelling solo whilst others don’t have a problem with it. Who said we couldn’t travel solo anyway? London is a vibrant city but sometimes feels like a lonely place. Tourists as well as residents should enjoy the city but at the same time, take care. From experience, I have learned how to stay extra safe as a solo female traveller.
Apparently about half of business travellers are women but they’re still more vulnerable than men when traveling by themselves around London and other parts of the world. Careful planning and precautions will need to be put in place to prevent women being a target. Move swiftly and avoid loitering.
I prefer to team up with a group of friends to keep me company. Ideally, this would work for most women but it’s not always an option, after all we have to get to work or to the Gym and can’t have a chaperone with us all the time.
Don’t appear to be traveling solo or reveal to anyone about your travels. Even if people do ask you if it’s your first time in London, just let them know that you are a regular in the city. Advertising can also make you vulnerable. If you get lost and don’t know where you’re going, just pretend as if you do. Plan and review your route in advance before leaving home or your hotel. I’ve bumped into tourist a couple of times that have their maps in full view. Rather than making it obvious, mark your route on a map before leaving or use a GPS to avoid strangers asking you about you travel plans.
Female Solo Traveller will need to keep an eye on valuables by placing them in a money belt, only take the cards that you need to use as well as a little cash. Heavy items will only weigh you down. Pack light so that you can move quickly but also avoid expensive merchandise.
Hire a bike if you need to. It can be foldable one, a normal push bike or if you’re like me and don’t like climbing steep hills, it might be worth considering an electronic bike.
If visiting London, choose a hotel that belongs to a reputable chain or a bed and breakfast. London has a range of Women’s only hotels. Don’t take a chance by waiting until you get to London before finding accommodation. It might be a good idea to pick up one of your hotel’s postcards from the reception with their name, address and phone number, just in case you lose your way back after night out. This is one of my best practices and I normally keep the card in my purse.
Looking confident and drinking less alcohol is another way to avoid being a target. There is nothing wrong with making new friends but be wary because you can’t trust anyone. Learn Self-defence e.g. Taekwondo as this will help you to defend yourself.
Sometimes it might be the case that you need to get somewhere but can’t find a companion. Don’t be discouraged and don’t stop travelling because we won’t ever get anywhere if we wait on people. Try to pluck the courage to go alone if necessary or if you have children, let them tag along.
Is there a place you desperately need to get to but haven’t got a companion? How do you feel about female solo travellers? Feel free to leave a comment as always.