How To Travel Solo: Solo Female Travel Story And Best Tips

January 29, 2024
by
6 mins read

My solo female travel story wasn’t planned, it was 2015 when I decided to go on a backpacking trip to Southeast Asia. I was 22 at that time and none of my friends were interested in this destination so I decided to go on my own. That’s when I started planning my solo trip without even realizing it. I joined a solo travelers’ forum and searched for a partner to start the trip together. I knew I was going to start in Thailand so I looked for travelers that start there too. I figured that if I had a partner in the beginning, it’ll be an easier start.

I found a partner pretty quickly. We had a raw plan of what we wanted to do in the first few days, but nothing was strictly planned, as was the rest of the trip. I decided to plan as I go.

On a cold day in December I grabbed my backpack with way too many of my belongings in it, said goodbye to my family, and went on the plane that will take me on an absolutely new and exciting adventure.

I Couldn’t Figure It Out Yet

On the first day I arrived in Bangkok, I was on my own, since my partner was supposed to land a few days later. I remember how awkward I felt doing things like eating and visiting attractions all alone.

A few days later I met my new partner and together we took a night bus to Chiang Mai. That’s when the first phase of my trip began. The reason I call it my first phase is because I literally felt like a different person between those phases. I’ll explain more later.

When we arrived in Chiang Mai we met another group of travelers, we liked them and enjoyed their company, and so we continued with them to our next destinations.

We traveled to Pai and back to Chiang Mai. Then we decided to continue to Northern Laos and after a few more days, while staying in Luang Prabang, the group broke up. 

I continued with two more people to travel around Laos. Together we traveled to Vietnam, then our paths had taken different directions.

First destination was the city Hue. It’s a great city with cool attractions, and it took me a minute to figure it out, because this time I was all alone. 

Feeling Alone

This was the first time during the trip in which I’ve decided to stay in a real, proper hotel. Previously I stayed in hostels and guesthouses. Staying in this style of accommodations means constant socialization. The hotel on the other hand was a totally different experience.

I have never traveled solo before and on top of that I was still adulting, not fully living on my own yet or making my own decisions. When suddenly I had all the power in my hands I didn’t know what to do, where to go, or when.

I ended up staying in Hue for two full weeks. Way over the recommended time. I stayed the first few days in the hotel barely leaving the room. Mainly confused, feeling alone, and suddenly homesick.

I kept on dreaming of going back home, to the people and routines I knew. I could have done it,  I kept on reminding myself going back home was an option and there’s no shame in it. But to be honest I felt like there’s more for me here.

So I started exploring the city.

Solo Female Travel Bliss

Getting Back On My Feet 

I have seen every nook and cranny of Hue. After seeing all the attractions the city had to offer, I walked around aimlessly exploring random streets, taking pictures. That’s when I realized I can do it on my own, I don’t need anyone to travel. 

I gained back my courage and started planning my next moves. From that moment on I officially became a solo traveler. It doesn’t mean I didn’t travel with other people, I did. I simply traveled for me, me was the number one motive of travel. I only went to places I really wanted to go to, and I joined other people randomly if it fitted my direction.

I learned how to plan my travels, what were my preferred places to stay, and what attractions I loved visiting.

I was free. I can’t explain this feeling fully. It felt like I could breath so deep and the best kind of air. I felt content, happy, in the perfect spot I could have been.

I did whatever I wanted, whenever. I met so many people, experienced so many amazing things, and saw the most amazing views. I felt invincible, like I could do literally anything.

How To Solo Travel As A Woman – Solo Female Travel Tips

I know as a woman how scary the world can be. I have visited places in my life where I didn’t feel the most comfortable, and I’ve heard so many stories. 

I researched solo female travel so much before going on this trip, to feel more comfortable with my decision to travel on my own. And I think that if you come prepared and informed you can confidently travel on your own too. So here’s a few tips if you’re considering to do it too:

  • Before you go on the trip, research the places you’re going to visit. Check the crime rate, look for other travelers’ experiences, and search how safe is the place to walk alone at night, or as a woman.
  • When you’re there make sure all your belongings are protected and don’t leave anything unattended. I was wearing a crossover bag on my front at all times.
  • Trust your intuition and instincts and if someone or something doesn’t feel right, stay away from them and the situation.
  • Try not to walk around alone at night or in streets and areas that feel empty or abandoned. Try to stick to the more crowded areas. 
  • If you drink, make sure it’s in a reputable place and from a closed bottle that someone opened in front of you or you did it yourself. Don’t leave your drink unattended.
  • If you’re staying in a hostel or a guesthouse make sure you go to sleep with your valuables next to you, even under the pillow or blankets.
  • Don’t be afraid to socialize and meet other fellow travelers but try to get to know them more in crowded places before choosing to travel with them, and again, always listen to your intuition and don’t trust anyone at first sight.
  • Best places to meet fellow travelers is staying in hostels and guesthouses so consider that as an option for accommodation.
  • Always make sure you have your phone with you, it has a full battery and it has reception before you go anywhere.
  • Always put you first. This trip is for you and no one else. Plan your trip around your preferences and what you love to do. Don’t get dragged behind other travelers groups.
  • If you don’t feel confident enough to go on your own, join a solo travelers group, maybe you can find a partner for travel there. If you do, research a little about that partner and check their socials.
  • Give a friend at home all the information about your travel plan, the accommodations and transportation details.

Conclusion

I’ll always remember my solo backpacking trip as an amazing experience. I feel like so much of who I am today has been shaped there. I learned so much about who I am and what I love. I learned so much about traveling, about the world, and about southeast Asia. I also have gained so much from the people I’ve met, their stories, and experiences.

I can’t recommend solo female travel enough to anyone who’s asking. But I also understand the drawbacks and the reason why some people wouldn’t feel fully comfortable to do it.

To that I have two things to say. First, don’t force it, if you don’t feel ready yet, you can do it at another time when it’ll be the perfect moment for you. Second, if you do feel ready, do your research. As I said before, know where you’re going, what you’re doing, and how to protect yourself and keep yourself safe as much as possible.

If you’re currently planning your solo female travel journey, I’m jealous! I hope you’ll have a ton of fun and stay safe. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

If you’re looking for a good place to start your journey, I think Thailand is a great option. That’s where I started my solo female travel journey, and it made adjusting so much easier. First, because there were so many other solo travelers as well and second, because it’s a very easy country to travel in.

You can check out our article about the best places to visit in Thailand for am easy planning. For other resources for solo female travel check out The Blonde Abroad blog that is a solo female traveler herself and has a lot of tips around it.

If you’ve already been on a solo trip/s tell us about it! How was it for you? Where did you go? And what are your best tips for a first time solo traveler?

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