Solo female travellers: tips, highlights and inspiration
Who run the world - girls, girls.
Ok, Beyonce, we may also walk, fly, drive, take a train - but the evidence is there - girls really are running around our world, in higher numbers than ever before.
In 2018, a British Airways Global Solo Travel Study found that 75% of women globally are planning a solo trip in the next few years, and that women under that age of 25 are more likely than men, in the same age bracket, to take a solo trip.
Why do people like to travel solo? BA concluded that for the majority it was the independence and freedom to shape their own trip.
But what do you think?
We asked some of the solo female travellers in our wonderful travel community why they travel solo, here’s what they said:
Image credits: 1. Atikh Bana, 2. Eric Nopanen, 3. Court Prather, 4. Jakob Owens
"‘Travelling solo can be challenging in a lot of ways, but it has made me grow a lot as an individual. I think that travelling solo teaches you to be comfortable in your own company and with listening to yourself, and thats definitely something to take with you into your day to day life”.
- Julie @ Why Not Ju
“What I love about solo travel is the chance to meet others on my own terms - without sticking to a group and therefore missing the chance to mix with the local community. I can dictate my own itinerary. I can be selfish without feeling guilty”.
- Rebecca Hall @ Life Beyond Borders, and author (Rough Guides and Girl Gone Greek). Find Rebecca on Twitter, @BeyondBex
“There is an ultimate sense of achievement for the simplest of things when you travel solo. Yay I got on a bus in the right direction. Woo, I didn’t get mugged. It’s like, everyday I can pat myself on the back for being brave.”
- Rebecca Puttock, CEO, @Wanderlux
Image credits: 1. Travis Yewell, 2. Kalen Emsley, 3. Oliver Sjöström, 4. Samuel Schwendener
“I travelled for 12 months on my own through Asia, Australia and New Zealand. At the age of 19 I undertook my first solo trip to Rio de Janeiro where stayed for 3 months travelling and working in a favela - there’s nothing like that first trip solo, it really ignites the knowledge that we can all do it. For me, the greatest advantage to travelling alone is anonymity; I know some solo travellers find it daunting, but there’s nothing like the freedom afforded to you by not knowing everyone around you, and in turn their not knowing your stories. Travelling alone taps into another part of your character and you adopt a different mode, perhaps being more observant or open minded. I find that if you let your guard down a little you never know what the end result may be. I say, be brave; overcome the fear of ‘table for one’; take a book, pick up a local magazine or newspaper and just go with the overwhelming sense of empowerment afforded you by going it alone. Smile often and easily - and lastly, go with your gut - travelling alone is about comfort zones. Don’t push yourself to prove something, sometimes just the act of doing it by yourself is enough”.
- Penny Sainsbury, Luxury Travel, Real Estate and Interior Design PR.
“Travelling solo is amazing because you can do what you want when you want. This includes waking up when you feel like it, eating when you're hungry and meeting so many more people than you would if you were travelling with others. When someone is by themselves it makes it easier for other people to introduce themselves and start a conversation. I met incredible people on my 14-month solo travels because of this”.
- Katie @ Traveling Spud.
Image credits: 1. Jakob Owens, 2. Priscilla du Preez, 3. Mohamed Nohassi, 4. Ibrahim Rifath
“The thought of traveling solo always conjured up a whirlwind of emotions - I am a confident and independent woman but did I really want to travel alone? Wouldn’t it be lonely, especially considering that Im extroverted and feed off energy from people around me. When I actually forced myself down that path I found it wasn’t as lonely or scary than I had imagined. I found myself taking boat rides with new friends in Thailand, roaming the streets of Kuala Lumpur alone in search for my great uncles war grave, climbing up the face of a mountain in the Whitsundays, taking long walks along the beach in Bali; all mostly without a care in the world (though the thought of deadly snakes in the Aussie bush did freak me out a little). I found myself enjoy being alone and grew fascinated with the intricacies of each culture: the wildlife, the local customs, the environment. I surprised myself during my trips. I learnt how to relax, be at peace and enjoy the moment. And best of all when I had had enough, I booked a flight and went home.”
- Steph Bardell, Director, US Sports Institute.
“As a solo traveller, people will tell you: ‘You’re insane’. ‘You can’t do it alone’. ‘It’s not safe’. Never let fear stop you. Yours or someone else’s. You’re an adult. You know what to watch for. But, if it’s your desire, do it. You’ll regret it if you don’t”.
- Jacqui @ Flights of Fancy Mom