Embarking on a riveting adventure alone requires courage and strong mental power.
Opting to explore the world alone by only carrying a backpack can be a truly mesmerizing experience, but like any other journey, it can have its pros and cons. Many people would immediately think that it is an insane idea to go solo backpacking, without guidance, without a close buddy to give you help and support. However, traveling alone gives you the unique opportunity to enliven all of your senses, see the world from a whole new perspective, pick up a few skills and meet great people. And there should be no barriers for ladies, so if you are worried about your safety, this guide will get you covered.
Arm yourself with boldness
The first obstacle that you will have to succumb to is breaking the news to your family that you’re going on a trip alone. Get ready to hear a lot of convincing as to how unsafe and scary it might be. Even if they try to convince you off your decision, prepare (and stick to) a clear and concise response as to how life-changing this experience can be. You need to be firm with your decision, not let anyone impede your desires, and know that only with a clear mind and braveness will you be able to fight off the scary thoughts of being a solo backpacker.
The thing that helped me a lot with solo travelinge was reading the blogs and books from famous travlers, and I used those stories while convincing my family that everything is going to be okay.
I realized that solo backpacking is a safe and exhilarating adventure that will let you discover your true self while you see the marvels of the world, and there is nothing scary about that.
Don’t listen to your fears
It can be extremely daunting to take on the huge challenge of backpacking around the world as a solo female traveler, especially when everybody is telling you that you may encounter numerous obstacles. Don’t let these notions fool you. Merely being a woman doesn’t preclude you from the challenge. Being a female solo backpacker is one of the most liberating and empowering things that you will experience in your life, and even if you need to go through the thick and thin to complete your journey, so be it!
There’ll be many things that can go wrong, and they might as well–risks are a part of this journey. Prepare yourself in advance, reduce any personal risk and learn some basic survival techniques. Taking little precautionary measures and preparations is a normal thing to do.
Personally, I feel much safer when I bring probiotics, bandages, and vitamins with me, and pay insurance before I go on a journey.
Get adequately equipped
Bring only the elementary essentials that you need. Don’t overload yourself with “stuff”, including clothes, that you won’t use. If you are traveling alone for the first time, you can check out some resourceful outdoor sites to find out how to pack for backpacking. Search for cheap but cozy hostels, and be aware that hostels and motels can be rather strange, but that is all part of the journey.
When you arrive at your desired destination you will probably be overwhelmed with emotions, but don’t let that sensation get the best of you. Keeping your wits about you while enjoying the journey is the greatest adventurers favorite balancing game. Take proper care of yourself and your belongings, including where you decide to leave either one. Going to the beach? Maybe don’t take your passport into the water…
A good tip that I learned while I was backpacking in Belgium is to always ask for a better room from your host (if possible), instead of simply settling for the first one they offer you.
Reduce unpredictable risks to the minimum
When it comes to your general well-being and safety in an unknown place or foreign country, remember that rumors are rumors and misconceptions all too common. What we’re told about a place, by friends, our local media, and what it’s actually like can be vastly different.
In order to keep your risks to minimum while still making the most of your solo travel, understanding the destinations you’re bound for is the first thing. Rely on safe, solid and reliable advice, read some useful blogs, and find out everything there is to know about safety regulations in that country. Watch some self-defense videos if necessary, learn some of the techniques of how to develop your situational awareness. If you have heard negative things about a place, you might want to stay out of those areas. In many cases when traveling alone it is better to be safe than sorry.
Then again, judgement is key, as your local news at home and your own country’s general perception of another place may be derived more from fear than what it is really like when you get your boots on the ground.
In many cases, you won’t need to worry about planning since solo travel is all about going with the flow and not have a strict schedule. Unless some fun festival or carnival is going on, you will be able to book a hostel near the train station or a BnB at the last minute.
When I was in Palermo, I booked a hostel room in the city center, and later I realized that it is very far from the beach Mondelo (30 minutes bus ride). So, before booking a room, check out what is the best location for you, and how much will you spend on public transportation if you want to see something else besides the neighborhood.
But if you wish to see a specific place at the peak of the season you had a better plan ahead and book a room unless you will end up on the streets. The same rule applies to train or bus tickets. If you don’t want to stay longer in a certain area and pay tons of money more, then book tickets ahead as well.
Don’t blindly trust strangers, but stay open-minded and free-spirited. Don’t let your guard down at any time and you will be just fine. The goal is to have fun and make the most of this one-of-a-kind journey.