7 Ways for Women to Save, Have Fun and Be Safe When Traveling Alone

Posted On Monday, September 21st, 2015
Filed Under: Travel on a Dime

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If I had a dollar for every time I heard a woman say, “I’d go but I don’t want to travel alone” or “don’t you get bored when you travel by yourself?!,” I would be able to afford a round trip ticket to London. First class.
As an only child, I’m used to, and even like, doing things alone but I understand everyone isn’t that way. And traveling with yourself as a woman can be a bit scary for some. However, taking a trip around the world or even a short weekend jaunt can be rewarding and full of memories, even if you’re rolling solo.
Check out some tips for solo women travelers. These are ways to stay safe, have fun, and of course, on a budget.

Don’t Rule Out Hostels
Y’all know I love a good hostel. The emphasis is on good. My travel philosophy is all about saving where you can, so instead of lodging taking a chunk of your funds, search for great hostels. An ideal one is in a safe, central location and has amazing reviews. When I went to Belize this spring, I literally researched hostels for about a week. I finally settled on Yuma’s, as every single Yelp review focused on the safety, hospitality and strict rules the owner enforced. I was sold and had an amazing time for just $15 a night. Check out my Bougie Girl’s Guide to Hostels for more info. Seriously, I can’t stress enough how awesome hostels can be. Just do that research because who cares about saving a buck if you’re not safe.
Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates
One of the joys of solo travel is not having to worry about another person’s schedule. This is a major advantage to your budget. Check the travel days that are cheaper to fly {typically Tuesday and Wednesday} and you can scoop up those last minute deals based on what works for your schedule. I love following @TheFlightDeal on Twitter and have travel alerts with Airfare Watchdog.
Smile and Strike Up a Convo
Well, you don’t have to smile but it does make you more approachable if you want to chat a stranger up. See another woman near the pool who’s alone, see a few friends who look like they’d be fun to hang out with? Just say hi and take it from there. It also doesn’t hurt if you give someone a genuine compliment. If they’re open and willing to chat, it will be clear. You may meet a new friend to hang with for the day, night or rest of your trip. I always suggest going out with company at night if you’re in a new place. There’s safety in numbers and if you want to venture off somewhere and take a cab, you’ve got someone to split it with!
Get Lost, But Only in the Daytime
Centrally located tourist traps are typically safe but you’ll spend a ton of money, particularly on restaurants. To really save, eat and shop where the locals do. This might be a bit of a walk or a cab ride, but it’s always worth it. Just make sure you venture out in the day time, with company and you have cash for a cab.
Take a Tour
One of the easiest ways to not be “bored” when you travel alone is to take a tour. Either a walking tour {which can familiarize you with the city}, food tour or an excursion. Strike up a convo with one of your fellow tour mates and you might just make a new friend or at least have someone who’ll snap pics of you. Also, ask your hotel or hostel front desk about any tours, which can potentially provide you with a nice discount. And a week or two before you travel, sign up for Groupon alerts for the city you’re visiting.
Eat Big at Lunch
Dining out alone can be scary but it doesn’t have to be at all. If eating dinner alone is too scary, start off with lunch first. The restaurant is usually less crowded, you can sit at the bar and the food is cheaper. Take advantage of those lunch specials and you may even have leftovers for dinner.
Make Friends at the Front Desk
I’ve always found most people are super friendly and even a bit protective of women traveling alone. And it’s not in a condescending way. You don’t have to explicitly tell any employees that you’re traveling alone, they’ll be able to tell. I didn’t realize this until a few years ago. I spent an entire day on a Mayan ruins tour and the owner of my hostel slipped a note under my door that read “Everything ok? Haven’t seen you around today!” I didn’t think she’d notice I was gone from sun up to sun down, but she did and politely checked on me. The next morning I told her about the trip I took and she said she was just checking on me and wanted to make sure I was good. So people are always looking out. This isn’t just at a hotel, but restaurants, bars, etc. Of course there are creeps in the world, but there are also really amazing people who want to make sure you’re safe and enjoying yourself. The last thing a resort, hotel or restaurant wants is having something bad happen on their watch.
These are just a few tips that have helped me have fun and save some major cash when I travel with myself. I’m heading to Jamaica with a friend in a few weeks and next February, I’m going to Kenya by myself. I can’t wait for both trips!
And check out this Travel Channel piece on the best destinations for women traveling alone. There are some great ones on the list.
What tips do you have for traveling alone? Do you feel safe as a woman traveling solo?
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2 thoughts on “7 Ways for Women to Save, Have Fun and Be Safe When Traveling Alone

  1. I love these tips and co-sign how people do tend to look out for Friendly Women traveling alone. I traveled alone for business and the Front desk staff and local cab driver definitely looked out for me and gave me great tips.

    Glad I found your blog 🙂

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