*There are many reasons that you will now find women (especially, not exclusively) traveling alone. Their significant other can’t take off work; a best friend doesn’t have the money in her budget; another friend doesn’t want to go to the same place you want to go to.
So what are your options: Travel alone or Stay home.
There are many great benefits to traveling alone. And if you are someone who has no problem being by yourself anyway, its a win-win. For one, you don’t have to play a waiting game: can you wait while I grab a shower and check in with my (you fill in the blank) back home? Or the change of plan game: Do you think we can stop by the (blah, blah, blah) before we head over to the museum? Or the kill the plan altogether game: I don’t want to go there, let’s go here instead.
See, when you’re by yourself, you can be as spontaneous as you like; or even lay back and do nothing at all for a day…or for as long as you like.
According to an article on Yahoo Travel, recent statistics demonstrate that changing lifestyles and demographics are feeding an explosion in solo travel.
According to the 2015 Visa Global Travel Intentions Study, 24 percent of people traveled alone on their most recent overseas leisure trip, an increase from 15 percent two years ago. The AARP reports that of Americans 45 and older who have traveled alone, 53 percent are married, while some 39 percent are single or divorced.
But let’s get back to those benefits! One woman who traveled solo said not only did it boost her confidence and expand her world; but she met her future husband, an American, in Nepal.
But just because you are grown and have the freedom to do what you want, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use good sense. And that includes a great deal of preparation; especially if you are a woman, and even more so, if you are going international…by yourself.
Tips for Solo Women Travelers
Prepare: Read guidebooks and travel literature and talk to women who have traveled to the country of your destination. Be aware of cultural taboos and sensitivities to Western dress, and pack accordingly. It is better to dress conservatively and begin with modest, extremely polite behavior. The Lonely Planet guides have special sections for female travelers that explain cultural taboos, discuss hassles and precautions, and offer destination-specific tips for women traveling solo.
Avoid being a target: Leave your expensive or expensive-looking jewelry at home. Wear a money belt or carry your valuables in an inner pocket.
Travel like the locals: In the Himalayas, trek on foot. In Europe, take the train or rent a bike. Consider going by horseback in the Wild West or by rickshaw in Asia.
Trust your instincts: Take extra precautions not to end up alone on empty beaches, on dark streets, or in situations where help may not be available. Late at night, take taxis and sit in the back seat. If you feel something is off, wrong, or strange—get out and move on. Do it quickly. With preparation and caution, you can feel secure traveling alone. Don’t let fear stop you from traveling.
Do what the locals do—when they do it: Get up early and go to the market. Visit the pubs in Ireland and sing along. Plan your trip around festivals. Consider staying in a B&B or homestay to meet local people. As a single woman you are more approachable and you’ll meet people more easily than if you were with someone else.
Consider wearing a wedding ring if you don’t already: Some men will try their luck with single women and be annoyingly persistent. If you don’t want this kind of attention, ignore them, adapt an unfriendly attitude, and flaunt your ring. An imaginary husband can give you respectability and an excuse. Besides, he may arrive at any moment.
There is a lot more to learn about traveling alone. Read about it at Yahoo Travel.