Solo travel for females: These superwoman solo travellers prove you can do it

Solo travel for females is a topic I’m often emailed about. Can I do it? Is it safe? Will I survive? My parents don’t want me to go? Help! Luckily, I’ve got some good girlfriends who have travelled solo a lot, plus a few experiences of my own, and even a friend who wrote a book about travelling solo fearlessly, and between us, we can give you some good advice.

Superwoman solo travellers - solo travel for females

While most of my travel has been with a boyfriend/husband, or a friend, and occasionally even my mother, I have had the good fortune to do a few solo trips. Actually, I wish I’d done more! After you get over the initial discomfort, there are so many advantages of travelling on your own. And the most important one for me is that you get to be totally itinerary-selfish. You can go where you want, when you want, how you want, for however long you want. If you get my drift.

Hamburg Hauptbahnhof - solo travel for females

Hamburg Hauptbahnhof – Hamburg’s main train station, Germany

When I’m travelling on my own, I get a marvelous sense of freedom. This photo is the main train station at Hamburg in northern Germany, and I remember taking it just before I got on a relatively long train journey down south to where I was living – I adore having a long train trip like that all to myself! One of my favourite solo travel memories actually happened when my bus in Croatia missed a connection and I ended up alone in the Zagreb bus station at three o’clock in the morning. I looked at the timetable board and realised there were numerous places (all in different countries!) that I could go next, all still in the vague direction of where I was going, and I was free to choose whichever one I wanted! That’s why I love travelling on my own sometimes.

Superwoman solo travellers: Four women, four stories

Four good travelling friends of mine – I met some of them in Slovakia and some in Australia, but all through my work teaching ESL – agreed to be interviewed in my “superwoman solo traveller” series, about solo travel for females, and I’m so grateful to them, thanks ladies! While some of their thoughts on travelling alone were similar, each had their own special perspective.

 

Jen: Solo travel is luxurious

My British friend Jen has had an adventurous travelling life and calls solo travel luxurious, because there is no need for compromise! I love how she mixes up staying in hostels (where it’s easy to meet people) and staying in more luxurious accommodation (see, no compromise unless she wants to!) – basically, when she travels she gets to do it her way, and that is surely one of the big advantages.

 

Jen also has some tips about figuring out your own travelling style and considering group trips. Click through to Jen’s full interview to find out more.

 

Aki: Finding a new personality

Aki was a student of mine when I was teaching English in Perth, and while she’s Japanese, I didn’t find her to be a typical Japanese girl – she was very adventurous about travelling on her own, unlike most of her friends. Aki says that meeting new people is easier when you travel alone, and that she loves making up her itinerary as she goes along.

 

In Aki’s full interview she also gives some tips for girls who might be nervous about making their first solo trip. And she explains that solo travel even helps her find a new personality for herself!

 

Rhi: Solo travel with a book

Rhi was a teaching colleague of mine in Perth, but she is originally from Wales and now lives in New Zealand. She is another master of solo travel! I especially love her tip that taking a book with you to read can make you feel perfectly comfortable about eating alone in a restaurant and drinking alone in a pub. (I also feel that with age, I have become far less worried about doing this – in fact, now that I’m a mother, eating alone in a restaurant is a pure luxury!).

 

If you want to know more about how Rhi prepared for her first solo trip – a quite scary adventure to go to live alone in Japan – do click through to Rhi’s full interview.

 

Charlotte: Solo travel is freedom

Charlotte is by far the most experienced of my superwomen and has some amazing stories to tell about her solo adventures around the world. She started her solo travel after her children had begun university in Canada, and she took off to volunteer in Vanuatu – nothing like throwing herself in at the deep end!

 

These days, Charlotte continues to explore the world and is even popping down to my end of it shortly, something I’m rather excited about. In the full interview with Charlotte you will learn more about the freedom she loves in travelling solo, and a bunch of very useful tips for how to stay safe as a woman travelling on your own.

 

Your experience of solo travel

Have you spent much time exploring the world on your own? Do you have some tips to share to make solo trips even more enjoyable, or even safer? Do leave them in the comments below!

Comments

  1. HilaryMcWilliam says

    Yes travelling alone can be a great experience, mainly that you can go to places and see things that you want to. On the down side you do have to figure out problems on your own too and you can be sure that when you travel sometimes the unexpected happens.

  2. Yes, we shouldn’t be afraid to travel alone. It is confidence building, it represents freedom and it gives us time and place to be who we really want to be. Love these stories 🙂

  3. maria boechat says

    Thanks a ton Jo for sharing this post. Its a big YES, solo travelling creates a sense of confidence in ones life.I think it makes you feel more happy and refresh. Every women should try solo travelling as you will start discovering yourself more and everything around you will be positive.

  4. Great to hear from you Maria and yes, utterly agree with you, of course! Solo travel can really be life changing – very life affirming!

  5. Grace | The Beauty of Everywhere says

    I really think solo travel can be life-changing! I love the freedom of it and it’s given me huge confidence boosts at times when I wasn’t feeling my best. But my favourite thing is the really deep bonds I’ve formed with people in a short space of time. I think that’s a little less likely to happen when you’re with friends or family. Great post, Amanda!

  6. I’ve been on tons of solo trips, I crossed West Africa on my own, went to China alone when I was 16 and criss-crossed Europe on trains and planes. I had some excellent adventures on these trips, and met a ton of interesting people along the way. On the other hand, I had some miserable trips like this too, where I spent way too much time on my own and hardly met anyone. I still think it’s a great way to travel but to be honest, these days I prefer company.

    • Good point Nina – I think solo travel for me is so exciting because I rarely get the chance to do it – but I think it’s something where you can have too much of a good thing (or the good thing becomes not so good)! I still want to do more though – your history of solo travel sounds amazing!

  7. Very good post! I also travelled by myself to Australia. I agree, you’ll make friends way quicker when you’re traveling solo and also it’s freedom. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want. Great post Amanda!

  8. Travelling alone is altogether so different as a feeling.!! Can’t express it.
    I have always loved traveling along, It builds your confidence and make you fearless..

    Cheers and thanks for posting.

  9. Sometimes my wife travel solo in business trip. I give your blog link to her and say her, its helpful advice for you.

  10. I travel solo, always, everywhere. Enough has been said about the utter freedom, so I’d like to contribute a little bit about safety. One of the first things I did was sign up for self defense classes which developed into kick boxing of which I am by now a brown belt. It’s not that I ever needed to kick someone where it hurts, but it is the sense that you CAN which gives you so much more confidence. And people who are confident are much less likely to be attacked. You can practise the sport at any age.

    • That’s a really great tip Inka – and I completely agree. I did ju-jitsu classes as a teenager and I still have that feeling that I would be able to kick someone if need be (fortunately have never needed to – hope it stays that way)!

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