However, one of the main things that scare solo travelers away from actually taking the leap to travel alone is….safety. Sound familiar? If so, you are not alone. Just about everyone I know or have met while traveling solo (especially females) have been slightly concerned with their personal safety. But, if you’re prepared and read the safety tips for traveling alone from others, you’ll be more prepared than you ever thought possible!
This is why I asked a bunch of experienced solo female travelers to tell us their solo travel safety tips so we can all feel safe on the road and fully enjoy our adventures!
If you’re traveling solo, be sure to let someone back home know your itinerary. You should also check in with them on designated days, so they always know you’re safe. – Sara from Our Kind of Crazy
If you’re a bar-hopping solo traveler, keep both eyes on your drink at all times! Watch the bartender make it, watch it as they hand it to you, and of course watch it while you’re drinking it. Never, ever leave your drink unattended unless you’re finished. This especially applies to solo female travelers, but is a good and safe travel practice for everyone. – Kaisa from Glam Granola Travel
Also, always be sure you are trusting your gut. If something feels off, leave. Especially in situations where you are at a bar by yourself or walking alone at night.
Have extra money budgeted for unexpected situations when you don’t feel 100% safe. For example, take a taxi or uber if you’re not comfortable walking back to your hotel at night. – Aga from Traveling with Aga
Try to learn some sentences and get some knowledge about the language in the country you’re visiting. Not only is it interesting, but knowing a couple of local words always gets you some extra goodwill. If you travel alone it is a good idea to also practice a couple of sentences that can help you if you are so unfortunate that you find yourself in a difficult situation. In addition to practicing them, write them down and keep them with you. You most likely won’t need them for other things than to start nice conversations with locals, but it comes as an extra safety when you are by your self. – Julie at Why Not Ju
Don’t wander around a strange city alone at night! This is an easy one, but in the moment, swept up by the excitement of a new place, we can forget all about it. Unless you are in a super well-lit, busy area, it’s just common sense not to risk this one. It’s crazy how easy it is to get lost in a new city in the dark; you could wander into a rough part of town without even realizing it. – Kaisa from Glam Granola Travel
This is a great tip that will help you stay safe during a solo trip!
One of the most important things you can do for a safe solo trip is do your research beforehand. Learn about potential unsafe places and common scams so you can avoid them, list down emergency numbers (police, emergency response and your emergency contacts), and make a plan on what you need to do in case of any accidents (e.g., do you have extra cash or travel insurance)? This way you’ll be prepared and hopefully won’t encounter unpleasant surprises. – Katherine at Tara Lets Anywhere
For your day bag, keep a plain dark-colored bag with no brands or logos, and no visible zippers. If you look like a difficult target, then you’re not as likely to be targeted. – Max at Dame Cacao
–This PacSafe brand is super popular with travelers and this bag is perfect for anti-theft when you’re touristing around during the day.
If you start feeling uncomfortable while walking alone or waiting for public transportation, it’s helpful to have a few designated friends who don’t mind you calling them and don’t mind staying on the phone with you until you are somewhere that feels safer. If these friends don’t have time to talk while you wait, they could even just pick up the phone and put it on speaker so they can hear in case anything happens and you need help. I do this to help my friends when they travel alone, and they do the same for me. It’s a great support system! – Abigail at Happy Go Abi
Download the necessary apps & look up the local exchange rate before your trip, so that you’re not accidentally paying too much to exchange cash or scrambling to catch a taxi when you could just use Grab or Lyft.- Max at Dame Cacao
Speaking of apps, be mindful of what you post on social media during your solo trip. Try not to tag locations until after you visit them. This could be an easy way for someone to find you or follow you.
Always stay in the central part of the city, where there is lots of activity. Don’t try to save money on booking a hotel in a quiet, residential area. In a big city i.e. London, stay close to a subway station, so you avoid walking alone too far, especially after dark. – Aga from Traveling with Aga
I recommend trying to book a hotel room that has 24-hour hotel staff too. While Airbnbs are unique and awesome, sometimes they can be too isolated when traveling solo to certain countries. It can be beneficial to have a front desk to call if something happens and to also have 24-hour security.
Try and keep your cash in multiple locations and always keep an emergency credit card with you. My favorite credit card while traveling was the Chase Sapphire Credit Card and my favorite travel debit card with NO ATM fee is the Charles Schwab debit card for when I needed to withdraw cash. – Katie at Traveling Spud
Make yourself a pre-travel checklist so that you can look it over before every trip & minimize the number of errands you’re running upon arrival.- Max at Dame Cacao
Stay in backpacker hostels. Hang out in the common area and befriend other travelers like you who have the same interests/itinerary so you can go together. The fact that you’re traveling solo doesn’t mean you literally have to be alone, as long as you put in effort you can find like-minded individuals who can go with you.- Katherine at Tara Lets Anywhere
Arrive in a new city during daylight, preferably between 8am and 3pm, so you have ample time to get to your destination.. – Max Gandy at Dame Cacao
If you carry a purse with a single strap, make sure it’s a cross-body. That is, don’t simply sling your purse on one shoulder, where it will dangle vulnerably. You’re already a bit of a target as a solo traveler, but wearing a bag like this is like a green light to pickpockets and bag swipers. – Kaisa from Glam Granola Travel
If you do get your license or passport stolen, call the U.S. Department of State if you are in the United States. If you are in another country, get in touch with the nearest US Embassy.
Be sure to buy travel insurance. This will make sure you are covered in case something were to happen to you. I got lucky and never had to use it, but a lot of people I met had to use it because they got sick/hurt and they were so glad they had it. – Katie at Traveling Spud
Although taking a taxi from the airport to your accommodation is very convenient, as a solo traveler you should try to avoid this. In some destinations, taking a taxi should be fine, but if you don’t want to take any risks, research the best way to get to your hotel/hostel by public transportation. – Or at My Path in the World
Remember, you do not know who your taxi driver is or if the company they work for requires a background check on them. Some cabs will even up the charge significantly higher than normal, once they know you are a tourist.
Make sure you travel with locks! Whether it’s putting locks on your bag to deter thieves or putting locks on your hostel lockers (many hostels don’t have locks and you must provide your own), they are important to keep your valuables safe. – Katie at Traveling Spud
–I used this kind mostly because I liked having the key to open it, but I also used this kind when I didn’t feel like bringing a key around or the hole to the lockers were smaller.
Try your best to walk confidently when you’re alone. Act like you know where you’re going and walk with your back straight and head held high. This will help you feel more confident, and might ward of unwanted attention when you’re walking alone. – Katie at Traveling Spud
Do you have any other safety tips for travelers we might have missed? Please add them to the comments below!
I hope you enjoyed these traveling solo safety tips and decide to take that solo adventure despite your fears. It really is worth it, I promise!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I would never recommend anything I don’t personally love, and the income goes to keeping this site updated and free for everyone!
Welcome to the Traveling Spud! I’m Katie, a 30 something from Idaho who quit her marketing job in San Francisco, California to travel the world for a year. After a trip around the world, my heart chose Idaho. I'm addicted to outdoor adventures, photography, and inspiring others to get out of their comfort zones and cross experiences off of their bucket lists. Let's explore together! Read more here.