What NOT to Do as a Solo Female Traveler

Last updated November 30, 2023

Solo female travel is a marvelous thing. It teaches us about ourselves and the world around us while our senses feast on the beauty of faraway destinations. 

Never is there a dull day or experience, and with every new day, there’s another chance to explore somewhere new and meet other like-minded people. 

The pros of solo travel outweigh the cons, but there are some things it’s best not to do if you want to stay safe, happy and have a smooth experience. 

Eight Tips Not to Do as a Solo Female Traveler

Here’s everything you need to know about what not to do during solo female travel to have the best experience while traveling solo. 

1. Don’t Stick Out Like a Sore Thumb

You don’t want to attract unwanted attention for obvious reasons so try to look like a local as much as possible or at least as though you live there. 

Avoid getting out large maps on the street or using your phone for directions for long periods; avoid getting out your wallet on the street randomly and flashing your cash or oversized, expensive pieces of jewelry. 

While most people will just regard you with friendly curiosity, there might be a few that have worse intentions. To stay safe, just play it low-key. 

2. Don’t Lose Your Valuables

One of the biggest knockbacks to your trip and your travel plans is losing something important, and as a solo traveler, it helps to be a little more cautious. 

Keep valuable documents in a safe place and always carry copies of your passport, IDs and policies. Try not to travel with large amounts of cash and when you do have cash, and separate it amongst your belongings so that if you lose your wallet, for example, you’ll still have some money elsewhere. 

The same goes for credit and debit cards. When I travel solo, I do so with a couple of different pre-paid debit cards that I charge as I go. I also keep them in different places so that I’ll have the other as backup if I manage to lose one. 

3. Don’t Walk Around Alone at Night

You probably wouldn’t go out in the middle of the night in your own city and start walking around, so it’s also best to avoid it while traveling. Of course, some places are safer than others at night, but it’s generally not advisable. It’s best just to take a taxi or call rideshare. 

If you are going out late, also try just to take what you need. If you’re meeting new friends for a bite to eat, take the cash you’ll need for dinner, drinks and the cab ride home or a debit or credit card. Leave everything else in the safety of your hotel. 

4. Don’t Flash Your Valuables

Nowadays, it’s unavoidable not to flash something that might be considered valuable as we all travel with a smartphone and many of us with cameras or other such devices. Still, it’s a good idea to try to keep under the radar as much as possible. 

Expensive jewelry, camera gear, handbags and accessories can draw the wrong kind of attention, making you a target for petty crime. It does depend on your destination and your style of traveling, but most of the time, it’s always best to leave your valuables at home, especially if they are just adornments.

5. Don’t Get (Too) Drunk

While you definitely do want to get out there, have a fabulous time and meet new people, you don’t want to lose control of yourself and your surroundings, especially at night. 

While there is nothing wrong with having a few cocktails with new travelers, you just don’t want to get so drunk that you lose control of yourself, where you are and your belongings. 

Letting your hair down and enjoying yourself is all part of traveling, but you want to do so responsibly—especially when you’re a solo female traveler. 

6. Don’t Pack Too Much

Traveling light is the key to having an enjoyable experience. It helps to be able to lift or pull your own luggage, especially when moving from one destination to another. 

You might have to run for a boat or a bus, and you want to be able to move with your luggage. You don’t want to be constantly relying on the help of strangers in order to put your luggage on a bus or overhead locker. 

Pack what you genuinely need, make sure it’s comfortable and that you’re able to pick it up and maneuver it yourself.

7. Don’t Be Lonely

Solo female travel doesn’t mean you’re going to be lonely! Sure, sometimes you might feel a few pangs of loneliness and thoughts of home, and your loved ones might fill your mind, but this doesn’t have to be a common occurrence. 

Traveling solo does not mean loneliness. These days there are so many ways to meet like-minded travelers. For starters joining online communities for solo travelers can keep you in the know and help you to meet people in different places as you go. 

You can also stay in hostels and other shared accommodation and meet people this way. You’ll probably see many other solo travelers along the way that will also be eager to connect with you. 

Contrary to belief, when you’re traveling solo, it’s very easy to meet people and not feel lonely. 

8. Don’t Accept Drinks From Strangers

Sadly this is something that, as women, we shouldn’t do both at home or abroad. If you’re in a bar in the evening, accept only drinks from the bartender unless you’ve seen it poured and handed directly to you. 

Don’t let the drink out of your sight, and if you put it down to dance or do something else, always buy another new drink. 

Solo female travel is not a scary experience, and by following these tips, you’ll be able to have a safe and enjoyable—and even life-changing—time. 

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