13 Essential Health and Safety Tips for Solo Female Travellers

More women are travelling solo these days and it isn’t just the younger generation!  Women of midlife no longer feel that they need to travel with a companion, however safety is still an important factor to be considered before taking off into the unknown.

Health & safety tips for solo female travellers

Sizzling Towards Sixty is pleased to announce their affiliation with Fast Cover Travel Insurance.  This post providing 13 Essential Health and Safety Tips for Solo Female Travellers was written in collaboration with Fast Cover so that you can be prepared and enjoy your adventures!

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Travelling solo gives you the opportunity to focus on enjoying yourself and explore culture, history and different cities at your own pace. But preparing for a solo trip can be daunting, particularly for women.

While travelling poses health and safety risks to anyone, women can be viewed as posing less of a threat than men and so may be more readily targeted by opportunistic criminals.

Should that deter you from venturing overseas?

Absolutely not!

Proper preparation for the health and safety risks you can face while travelling can reduce the chances of you running into a problem. The following tips cover the essentials to help you keep healthy and safe overseas.

Health & Safety Tips for Solo Female Travellers

1. Prepare medications before travelling

travel medication

In some countries feminine hygiene products, HRT medication and other prescription medications may not be readily available. Before you travel, check whether you will be allowed to bring your medications with you and then prepare them beforehand.

It’s also a good idea to pack other medications you might need such as gastro stoppers. It can be a painful experience trying to explain you have diarrhoea to someone who doesn’t speak English!

2. Buy travel insurance

As stated by Dean Van Es, the CEO of Fast Cover travel insurance, “travel insurance cannot stop you from becoming sick or injured, but it can provide emergency assistance when you’re in trouble and cover unexpected expenses.” This includes the costs of staying in hospital, getting medical treatments, replacing stolen belongings or requiring an emergency flight home. Compare policies to find the right one for you.

3. Research local laws

In some countries sex outside of marriage is illegal (such as the United Arab Emirates) and homosexuality is illegal in others. Always research local laws before you travel so that you don’t accidently find yourself facing criminal prosecution.

4. Use reputable transport companies

You will likely come across people offering to take you wherever you want to go, perhaps for a cheaper price than the major bus operators or taxi drivers. Unlicensed taxi drivers make regular appearances outside airports throughout Asia. It’s always safest to decline these offers. Instead, go for reputable tour and taxi companies.

5. Safety in a taxi

While in a taxi, try to sit in the back seat. Know where you are going and tell the driver to take you there. There is a common scam particularly in Southeast Asia where taxi drivers will try to convince you your accommodation is closed and they can take you to another place to stay (a place that pays them commission).

6. Travel during the day

If possible, plan to travel during the day. Trying to navigate a new city at night can be more frightening and dangerous.

7. Be cautious on public transport

Crowded buses and trains can provide opportunities for harassment or theft. Don’t be afraid to make noise if a stranger tries to grab you or your belongings. If you’re travelling in a train compartment, finding a compartment with other women can make you feel more secure.

8. Know your address

Get your hotels address in the local language. Some hotels and hostels have this on a card at the front desk, but if not ask the staff to write it down for you. Something so simple can save you a lot of stress if you get lost!

9. Book accommodation in advance

You may not want to plan each step of your trip before you leave, but planning a place to stay at least a day or two in advance is wise. No one wants to get to a new town later in the evening with nowhere to stay and to have to settle for accommodation which doesn’t appear secure.

10. Take a money belt

health and safety tips for solo female travellers money belt

They are a far more secure way of carrying your passport and cash with you than in a wallet in your bag.

11.  Consider a portable safe

If you’re staying in accommodation where you doubt the security of your possessions when you leave for a day out, consider purchasing a portable safe. This is a slash-proof bag you can store valuables in and secure to something unmovable in your room.

12.  Avoid attention

Blending in is one key way you can lessen the chances of being targeted by an opportunistic thief. Research what locals wear beforehand and try to copy them. Avoid wearing any expensive or flashy jewellery which may attract attention. However in some destinations you may want to consider wearing a wedding ring regardless of whether you’re married or not. In some places around the world you are less likely to be harassed if it’s believed you are with your husband.

13. Socialise safely

Getting a drink with new people is a great way to make friends, but be wary of drinking too much. Being drunk makes you more vulnerable to being robbed or harassed.

These are just a few of the ways you can be safer overseas as a solo female traveller.

Before you travel, be sure to prepare. Click To Tweet

Research your destination thoroughly so that you aren’t going to be taken by surprise. That way you’ll be more likely to have a holiday filled with happy memories you can brag about to friends and family when you eventually come home.

solo female traveller tips

Disclosure: Some of the items in this post are affiliate links and link to Fast Cover Insurance. If you purchase any of these products through the links, I receive a small commission.  There is no extra charge to you for purchasing through my affiliate links. Click here If you would like more information on Fast Cover Insurance – available for Australian residents only.

 

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19 thoughts on “13 Essential Health and Safety Tips for Solo Female Travellers

  1. agatha

    I think updating someone at home when you check in to your hotel or lodgings is good too. Your tip on thw travel insurance is good because many people forget that!

    Reply
  2. Terri Webster Schrandt

    Sue, this is amazing! For the e-book I am writing (in which you are a part), I just did some research on this very subject. This is right on with some of the findings of the journal article I just read today! I would like to use this for another guest post for June 30th 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Oh I can’t wait to read your e-book Terri and of course I would be honoured for you to use it for another guest post. Have a great week!

      Reply
  3. Debbie Rodrigues

    I love travelling my own, Sue. I’d not be able to do it any other way and I agree with all your tips.
    It’s never too much to take extra measurements that may avoid complications later.
    Thanks for sharing it.

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      I never really travelled on my own Debbie and I think some of these tips would apply to general travel as well.

      Reply
  4. Wendy

    Sue, this is a fantastic article! I can honestly say that I have faced situations in which I have either benefited from heeding one of these tips, or which were almost disastrous because I didn’t do one of these things. Almost everything you mention here is something I have encountered. Naiveté can be such a sweet thing, but not when traveling — especially alone. I have never purchased travel insurance or used a portable safe, but I can see how that would be a smart choice. I also usually leave my engagement ring at home and just wear my plain wedding band and no other jewelry except maybe a fun (not expensive) necklace and earrings. Sharing this and hoping everyone will heed your advice. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Hi Wendy! I think that these tips are great for solo travellers or groups. I usually leave my jewellery at home the same as you – no point attracting attention. Thank you for sharing and now we have to plan a trip!

      Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      I know Marilyn, I’ve never travelled alone but at least we have these tips if ever we do!

      Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Oh thank you Janice, I was honored that to be part of Terri’s interview. Thanks for a great link up.

      Reply
  5. Bill @ The Money Professors

    These are great tips to keep safe. I agree that travel insurance is a good idea when going overseas. You should also know where your embassy is in most countries when you travel, just in case. Laws are so different in many non-Western countries.

    Reply
  6. Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle

    Excellent tips thank you Sue. I would not travel without insurance, it is so important. I have not heard of the portable safe, that sounds good. I have a large camera that is hard to conceal and that makes me look like a tourist and can be a target for theft. I have not travelled for a couple of years, but we always hid photocopies of our passport or other important papers in case ‘authorities’ kept them or we lost them in some way.

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Thanks Kathleen. Yes the camera is a giveaway isn’t it! I think you just have to be sensible and usually everything is fine. Better to be prepared though.

      Reply
  7. Rosemond

    Great idea to get travel insurance! Thank you for the reminder. So agree with the tip of not calling attention to yourself. I don’t have expensive luggage, and I keep any expensive or diamond jewelry at home. I just think its easier to not have to worry about it getting stolen!

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      You sound like a seasoned traveller Rosemond and know all the tricks to travelling safely. I hope you enjoyed the Greek islands recently the photos were beautiful.

      Reply

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