Why I’m Not Afraid to Travel Alone

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve received a handful of emails from women asking me all sorts of questions about traveling solo. I’ve also been interviewed for a couple articles about the “dangers” of traveling alone as a woman. I’m not sure why there’s a sudden uptick in interest (or fear) surrounding solo female travel, but I figured that now would be as good a time as any to address the topic again on my blog. (Plus, International Women’s Day is coming up on March 8!)

I’ve already written about the realities of solo female travel, and have made suggestions for places to go on your first solo trip.

But, when “danger” is involved, I realize some people want even more reassurance.

I’ve been traveling solo for a few years now — not because I dislike people or anything like that, but usually because I don’t want to wait around for someone to travel with me and because I kind of LIKE to be on my own and have the freedom to do what I want when I want.

It’s a common misconception — latched onto by the media — that it’s inherently dangerous to travel solo if you are a woman.

Solo travel in Thailand

Traveling solo as a woman IS a different experience than traveling solo as a man — I won’t deny that fact. As a woman, you DO have to be more careful and more vigilant in some cases. You have to be more aware of how you’re dressed, who you trust, and how decisions you make could affect your safety.

However, this doesn’t just apply to traveling. In a world where violence against women is a growing problem, being careful and vigilant is something women just DO. It’s certainly not confined to traveling.

Which brings me to my point: Traveling solo as a woman is not automatically dangerous. It’s no more or less dangerous than doing things alone as a woman in your home country or town.

People ask me (quite frequently these days) if I’m ever afraid to travel solo. And my answer is always no.

And here’s why:

5 reasons why I’m not afraid to travel alone

Not afraid to travel solo

1. The world is not as dangerous as the media makes it seem

One of the articles I was quoted in recently was a post about the “most dangerous” places for women to travel. But the article quoted crime/violence statistics for countries like India, Turkey, South Africa, and Mexico, and then tried to suggest that these same DOMESTIC violence numbers automatically made those destinations dangerous for women to travel to.

Which is just silly.

The United States has some of the highest violence rates in the world, and yet I wouldn’t consider it a dangerous place in which to be a tourist.

We see so many movies and read so many sensationalized headlines that we’ve become conditioned to assume that the world “out there” is a scary, dangerous place. But guess what? It’s really not.

2. I trust my instincts

As I mentioned earlier, you DO have to travel differently when you’re a woman. But my rule of thumb is this: don’t do anything abroad that you wouldn’t do at home. Simple.

This means that I’m not going to go wandering in an unfamiliar place on my own at night, or take rides with complete strangers, or go off without telling someone where I went, or get drunk or do drugs or do anything else that would put me in danger no matter where I am.

I also have learned to be aware of my surroundings and to trust my gut. If I find myself in a situation where I feel uncomfortable, I do what I can to remove myself from it. When you travel solo, you are your own best defense.

Solo travel in New Zealand

3. I do my homework

You should do this no matter how you’re traveling, but doing your homework about a new destination is especially useful when you’re traveling solo. Before every trip, I do a little Googling and read up on things like cultural norms, common scams, and how I should dress as a tourist.

When traveling to more conservative countries, I make sure to pack more modest clothing. Not only does this make me feel more comfortable since I know I won’t be offending anyone with what I’m wearing, but it also tends to cut down on the catcalls and other unwanted attention.

Reading up on common scams is also a must for me — it helps me pinpoint potential scammers before they have a chance to fool me, and it also makes me more confident when going somewhere new. For example, I read about the “bracelet scammers” that hang out near Sacre Coeur in Paris, and therefore knew to keep my wrists and arms out of reach whenever I walked by them.

Doing my homework helps me fit in to new cultures better, and also makes it easier to be vigilant without being paranoid.

4. Strangers are more likely to be helpful than threatening

Even though I wouldn’t advise you to wander off alone with a complete stranger, people you meet on your travels ARE, for the most part, going to be helpful rather than threatening. As a solo female traveler, I’ve had countless experiences where I’ve actually had complete strangers looking out for me on trains and subways, helping me stow my bag or making sure I knew which stop I needed to get off at.

Just as the world isn’t an inherently dangerous place, people are not inherently evil. I spent a lot of time being very suspicious of anyone who would strike up a conversation with me for about the first year I was traveling alone. Until I realized that those people were just trying to be friendly.

Yes, it’s important to be careful and to always trust your gut. But there’s no need to immediately look at every unknown face as a threat. Your travels will be enriched when you open yourself up to new conversations and meeting new people.

And, when you do, you’ll learn that, at the end of the day, people are more similar than different, no matter where they live, what they look like, or what they believe in.

Me at Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai

5. I know I can surround myself with people

Lastly, if I ever DO find myself in a destination where I don’t feel completely comfortable on my own, I know that there are always ways to ensure that I’m NOT alone.

I often book small group tours in places that I don’t feel confident about visiting solo. I go on day trips with other tourists. I stay in hostels or guest houses where it’s easy to meet other travelers and join in on group activities.

There’s no need for me to be afraid, because I’ve learned that traveling solo doesn’t necessarily have to mean being alone all the time.

I realize that solo travel will always be one of those things with a mysterious, often-misrepresented air about it. But hopefully this has helped reassure you at least a little bit!

 

What’s your take on solo female travel? What steps do you take to make yourself feel safe?

 

 

92 Comments

  • It wasn’t until long after I started traveling solo that I even realised there was this kind of fear about it. It’s odd to me. Whatever will be will be – better to take a chance than sit at home wondering “what if!”
    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel recently posted..Does Travel Make You a Better Person?

    • Amanda says:

      I totally agree, Michelle! I’ve always been nervous before trips – but it’s always been about things like figuring out public transport and exchanging money and all those little details that go along with traveling abroad. I’ve never been afraid of traveling for safety reasons. But plenty of people are!

  • Ellie says:

    Well said! Even travelling with other people, some people seem to have odd views about what the world is! Most people just want to live their lives and be good people, not usually anything to worry about as long as you are a bit savvy!

    • Amanda says:

      That’s definitely what I’ve found while traveling! Sure, you’ll find “bad” people everywhere. But you’ll also find good people – great ones, even. And, in my experience, you meet the good ones more often than the bad ones!

  • Polly says:

    It’s so true that most of the dangers that women face have just as much a chance of happening at home as they do abroad, and that doing your research and knowing what risks you might face help you out, no matter where you are. I’ve had my thoughts on how women who travel alone are treated sitting in an unpublished post for months, trying to figure out how to put them into words – the Daily Mail article and the resulting posts on it helped me finally put those feelings into words, so thank you for this one!
    Polly recently posted..The B-Word

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, for some reason a lot of people assume that a woman traveling alone is somehow in more danger. But the fact is, she’s probably in less danger than she is at home (since *most* violence against women is carried out by someone the woman knows).

  • Cecilia says:

    Thank you for this post, as someone who’s embark on a solo cycling trip around the world, this was very good to read. I’m not very nervous, I want to believe in peoples good intention instead of the opposite, but my family is worried for me instead, so I’ll send this post to them. Also I just wanted to say that I think you are so badass and a great role model for women all around the world, and you have played a big part in me daring to take this decision. So thank you very much 🙂

  • I actually think women are less likely to run into trouble overseas, simply because we don’t put ourselves in compromising situations like walking around by ourselves after dark, compared to many of the guys I’ve met who have this macho ‘she’ll be right’ attitude and don’t look out for their safety. Perhaps it’s this fear that we are more vulnerable that incourages us to make better decisions. If we are a target it’s usually for money anyway and staying safe while travelling applys to men and women equally. In regions where it’s disrespectful for women to bear shoulders and the like, the same goes for men in singlets too. I agree with you on trusting your instincts, develop a healthy sense of skepticism and you’ll be fine – a valuble life skill anywhere.
    Emma | banquets and backpacks recently posted..The Cost of Backpacking South America for Six Months

    • Amanda says:

      I think you’re probably right. Also, I’ve run into more instances where people were looking out for me, wanting to help me, than instances where I felt worried about my safety.

  • Mary says:

    Great points. I, too, have traveled overseas for portions of trips with friends and have always enjoyed myself. I took a trip to Arizona last December to visit the Grand Canyon and Sedona and did some short hikes by myself. I checked on safe hikes with locals and the tourist office, but on my last day there, I had a really frightening experience. I found myself in secluded woods by a creek and just as I thought it was too secluded, I realized I was being followed by a guy. All my gut reactions said he was dangerous, but luckily, a family of 3 stepped out of the woods and I believe they saved me. Just as they did, he signalled with an odd tarzan/animal call, and 3 other guys came out of hiding. I got out of there as fast as I could, but it left me very shook up. I don’t know if I can ever feel totally safe hiking alone again, and I’ve been left wondering if I would consider carrying protection (ie gun) if I do get the courage to go again. I hate to even think that way, but I also never want to feel that vulnerable again either. : /

    • Amanda says:

      Sorry that you had that experience! But it definitely goes to show that things like that can happen anywhere. If you DO go hiking alone again, I don’t think I would advise you to take a gun (we have way too much gun violence in the US as it is). I would just tell you to go on a trail that lots of other people are hiking so that you are around other people.

    • Agatha says:

      I did a similar hike, went on a cross-country road trip from NYC to Arizona. I am so sorry to hear that you may have been in danger, but utterly relieved that in the end you were safe. I am an avid hiker and National Park lover and it is a commitment, but well worth it. I have not one, but 2 rescue dogs that I hike with whenever I am in uncharted territory, alone. The amount of safety you feel is amazing. Plus my pets would guard me with their lives if necessary and it really does detour strange men. Dogs also sense when you are friendly towards others, so it’s not like you have to be anti-social if traveling with them. Have you ever considered hiking with a dog?

  • Jenn says:

    Great article! I was nervous my first solo trip, but I had a wonderful time. There’s nothing like knowing you can handle all the bumps in the road travel brings by yourself.
    I liked that you added that strangers can be helpful. Being a solo woman can make you look like a target, but it can also make people feel the need to help you out. One tour bus driver drove half a mile out of his way so he could drop me off at my hotel and make sure I got there safely. I haven’t had experiences like that when traveling with my boyfriend.

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, I’ve definitely had experiences like that, too, Jenn! With bus drivers, tour guides, and fellow travelers going out of their way to help me and make sure I get where I’m going safely. I think you’re more likely to be “adopted” and looked after as a solo female traveler.

  • Hey Amanda, great article 😀 As a solo female traveler, I think your tips are great! I have not had any real problems traveling to over 30 different countries solo (other than sometimes getting lost). As long as people are aware of their surroundings and take general precautionary measures, they’ll be fine!
    Chanel | Cultural Xplorer recently posted..Staycation Series: Harlem, New York City

    • Amanda says:

      That’s how I feel too! I mean, yes, there are always exceptions. But bad things can happen ANYwhere – it’s not an excuse to stay home in my opinion!

  • Jackie says:

    Hey Amanda, Thanks for a great post. I especially like your tip about strangers more likely being helpful than not. It’s a great reminder that the world is filled with more helpful and friendly people than people who are out to get us.

    • Amanda says:

      I’m glad you agree! That’s not to say that you shouldn’t carry a *little* bit of suspicion with you – but people are much less “out to get you” that a lot of people think!

  • Renuka says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you, Amanda! All your points absolutely bang on. I feel the same about traveling alone that most people are helpful, and trusting one’s instincts go a long way in keeping the dangers away.
    Renuka recently posted..Savour Kutch Quintessentially At Devpur Homestay

  • Corinne says:

    Excellent tips Amanda. Kudos to you not to worry so much about what the media says…happy travels!
    Corinne recently posted..Weekend Travel Inspiration – Libba Bray

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks, Corinne! As someone who’s worked in the newspaper world before, I definitely know how skewed the media can be. And when you add in so many publications and news networks that just like to scare people… it’s very easy to get caught up in it! I do my best not to, though.

  • Jaimee says:

    The world is definitely not as scary as people think. Four months alone is South East Asia and most of the time I actually felt safer than I do at home is Australia. I recommended Koh Tao to a couple I met in Chiang Mai. They said they didn’t want to go there after the murder that happened last year. The kicker? They were from New York…

    I’m off to India next. My mum keeps telling me horror stories. I’m just like “Thanks Mum.”
    Jaimee recently posted..My Many Furry Friends of South East Asia

    • Amanda says:

      It’s funny, isn’t it, how ONE bad thing happening in a destination abroad makes it dangerous. But people getting murdered every day at home? No big deal.

      I hope India treats you well!

  • Pam Winholtz says:

    Amanda, you rock! I too am a female traveling alone and from the Buckeye state. I have been traveling for 10 months and have not had any real problems. Personally, I think the USA is much more dangerous than other places and I am not afraid to live there. While traveling with a vagina (love that phrase you used), I take the same precautions as I do at home- being aware, not doing drugs, limited alcohol intake etc. The only extra thing I do is plan to find my hostel / hotel during daylight when possible- not so much because of safety, but because it is less stressful for me to find it. Keep up the great writing, you are an inspiration.

    • Amanda says:

      Solo female travelers from Ohio, UNITE! 🙂

      I agree that I think the US is probably more dangerous than most places I’ve traveling to – and yet I’m not afraid to live there. So why would I be afraid to travel anywhere else??

      And yes, finding accommodation in the daylight is something I try to do, too! Like you said, it’s both safer AND less stressful. (And I’m all about less stress when I travel.)

  • Monika says:

    I totally agree! Though I have not taken longer solo trips (so far), I believe that it´s not as dangerous as many people think…as long as you use your common sense, of course 🙂
    Monika recently posted..How to be a solo traveller without travelling alone

    • Amanda says:

      Yup. It’s really no different than doing anything else on your own so long as you keep your head and don’t put yourself in dangerous positions on purpose. Too bad most people can’t see it that way!

  • Natalie says:

    I’m lucky that my parents have been supportive of my solo travel aspirations, but some people are constantly amazed and think I’m “reckless.” Funny how ingrained the media’s fear – mongering has become. I’ve heard from multiple solo female travelers that the most pleasant, safest, & welcome they’ve felt was in countries that are made out to be death traps. Wander on, love! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂
    Natalie recently posted..Who are you when no one’s watching?

    • Amanda says:

      My parents have been really supportive for the most part, too. Though there are definitely places that they probably wouldn’t want me to travel to. Friends though? I had friends in grad school told me I was going to die traveling alone – and they were only half joking. :/

      • Gina Isaacs says:

        What a horrible thing to say to you! My parents’ friends often mention things about my solo travel. But my parents are also supportive, which makes this obsession much easier to do :).

        I always manage to forget when I’m traveling solo (except for those moments when it’s oh-so challenging and I’m reminded that yes – I am here alone). I think that now with technology connecting people around the world, the second I say I’m going somewhere, someone knows someone who lives there.

        Thanks for the article. I love bloggers and posts that promote solo female travel. My travels have inspired me to join a company that makes it more comfortable for women to travel solo. Keep it up!

  • Ellen says:

    Great post! I completely agree. Point 4 is especially important because you can miss out on making new friends if you are always suspecting them to be a threat. It’s kind of inconsistent with your blog name though as “Dangerous Business” does imply a bit of danger haha 🙂

  • Inka says:

    Hey! As a female traveller my self, I often get confronted with thsi issue. However if I say I want to travel to Brazil for example everyone will tell me to be careful, but if I say I am travelling to the US, its like good on ya mate have fun. But with all the school shooting and the criminal rate I honestly wonder if it is cheeper. i just wanted to say thanx for pointing that out. It nice to know that someone things the same.
    Inka recently posted..8 Hours in Hong Kong on a Layover

    • Amanda says:

      I treat every country the same – I am still careful and pay attention to what’s going on around me, whether I’m in Italy or Vietnam.

  • Priya says:

    Agreed. Though there are many places I haven’t been yet that I feel worried to travel to alone, but I know with a little research, I’ll be fine 🙂
    Priya recently posted..The Pushy Friendship: The Story of How A Polish Girl Made Me Travel

    • Amanda says:

      That’s fair! There are certain places that I might feel more comfortable traveling on a group tour than on my own – but there’s nothing wrong with that, either!

  • Juliann says:

    I love traveling solo. (Don’t tell my family! 🙂 ) I feel totally free and relaxed to do or not do whatever’s I want. I probably foolishly always feel safe. I should be more cautious at times, but I do feel like I stay aware and alert. I am comfortable relying on my own resources. And I don’t view other places as any more dangerous than at home. But I know a lot of women do, and I can appreciate that, too.
    Juliann recently posted..Mystic Mountain in Jamaica, Mon

    • Amanda says:

      If you’re being smart and you are a confident traveler, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t feel safe most of the time! The world definitely isn’t as scary as many people assume. I very rarely feel anything other than safe when I’m traveling!

  • So true – it all comes down to common sense in the end and taking the same precautions you would at home, plus maybe a few more dependant on where you are travelling too – a little research goes a long way
    Katie @ The World on my Necklace recently posted..The natural side of Singapore

    • Amanda says:

      So true, Katie! I always make sure to look up the important things before I travel – common scams, how women are expected to dress, etc. It’s not difficult at all, and so far I’ve have no issues anywhere!

  • Leah says:

    It makes me sad when I hear women say that they’d love to visit ______, but they have nobody to go with them. Seriously? I love traveling alone. I do what I want when I want. Plus, I get to meet people I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. Traveling alone opens us up to a different sort of experience. Every woman should try it at least once.
    Leah recently posted..New Breasts and a New Home in Paris

    • Amanda says:

      I’m totally with you, Leah. I love the freedom I have when traveling alone, and I DO definitely think you have a completely different experience than if you were traveling with friends or a significant other. I, too, think every woman should try it at least once!

  • Great article – and so true! But ESPECIALLY Amen to #1 and 4. I have consistently travelled solo, and it really annoys me how the media portrays certain places.
    As ane spat now living in Athens, Greece – I am especially angered at how the foreign media portrays my adopted country, hence why I started my blog.
    And yes, strangers are more apt to wanting to help you – ESPECIALLY in Greece, and especially the elderly. I am always being spoken to by old ladies on the bus…who usually want to know where I get my lovely clothes from and struggle with the concept of ebay ;0)

    • Amanda says:

      Awww now I have visions of adorable old Greek ladies!

      I definitely agree. While Athens is not my favorite city I’ve been to, I never felt in danger there. And, like you mentioned, people were really helpful! I had an old man tell me I had a nice smile, and then helped me navigate a metro stop and find the exit I needed to get to my hotel.

  • I’ve been loving all of these International Women’s Day-related travel posts…they’re seriously so uplifting. I completely agree that there is unnecessary fear surrounding solo female travel. When I was little, it was my dream to travel the world by myself, but EVERY single person in my life has always told me it would be too dangerous and therefore not possible. Even now that I’m an adult, people who have no business telling me how to travel (co-workers, friends of friends, etc.) comment on how I should never travel to certain countries alone, i.e. Mexico, Brazil, India, etc. But, in many cities I’ve felt much safer than I do in my hometown of Houston!
    Kelly | The Wandering Blonde recently posted..My Biggest Travel Regret

    • Amanda says:

      I totally know what you mean! I’ve seen plenty of raised eyebrows, too, when telling certain people about my travels. And I don’t usually even go to the places most people view as “dangerous”! They just assume that because I’m traveling alone, something bad is bound to happen. Which isn’t true at all. In fact, sometimes I feel like I’m probably SAFER traveling alone, since I know I’m always alert and paying attention.

  • I actually prefer to travel alone because I meet more people this way. And yes, the media totally overhypes dangers in other countries. You just have to be aware of your surroundings and read up on what to watch out for in the places you are visiting, and replace fear with an appetite for adventure which you do well!
    Valen-Travelscamming recently posted..Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite-How To Avoid Bed Bugs In Hotels

  • Laura says:

    Solo travel is just amazing and sometimes I thought I was safer while I travel that when I come back home in Paris. You just need to be careful and not put yourself in danger.
    Laura recently posted..10 special photos of Krakow and their story

  • jennifer says:

    I don’t like to talk to people at my job about where I am going (they think I spend a lot of time laying on my couch relaxing, they probably think I am suicidal) because I cannot stand the whole “aren’t you scared?” crap. If I were scared, I would not be going? Duh? My friends include many independent women who also travel solo and we don’t even think anything of it.

    I never really gave much thought to the female part. I always felt that any woman traveling solo would have the same fears as a man traveling solo. But the world has proved me wrong.
    jennifer recently posted..Sometimes As a Solo Traveler, I Want to Travel Solo

  • Anita says:

    I love this post, thank you. I’m trying to work up the courage to go solo in Asia this year. Actually, just anywhere to get over the initial nerves. You are so right, between worrying moms and an overhyped media, one would think you are walking into danger if you decide to travel solo! I’m sure that’s not the case. Good luck on your adventures 🙂
    Anita recently posted..WHY I QUIT MY JOB

  • Sia Sharma says:

    Hey Amanda ,
    I am always Afraid to travel alone but after reading your blog i am inspire from you…I planned a trip …if it is successful i will definitely tell you…!!
    Sia Sharma recently posted..Enchanting Bandhavgarh

  • Fini says:

    What’s your take on traveling solo in India as a blonde twenty-something y/o female? Especially New Delhi has high rape rates and violance against women. I’m fascinated by the culture and spirit, am a experienced traveler in western countries but I doubt that my parents will ever approve that location and to be honest the destination scares me a bit.

    • Amanda says:

      I haven’t personally been to India, so I really don’t have a take on it or any advice. I would get in touch with Mariellen of Breathe Dream Go for India questions – it’s her speciality and she would probably have some great tips for you!

  • Belgje says:

    Amanda,

    I admire your blog, your interesting tips&tricks… I’m a solo female traveller too.
    Just 1 question. On your trips, are you sometimes camping in the wild, free, like we in Europe are allowed to do in Scandinavia and Iceland (tent, camper, small van). Or are you always sleeping in a hotel or a place where many other people are staying overnight (Backpackers etc).
    I ‘v only met 1 (yes, 1 !!!) other female solo traveller on THESE kind of roadtrips. The others are always “scared” and search a (official) camping place every night. I don’t like to have to look for camping places, often crowded,noisy and … often expensive (Norway : 32 euro for 1 night. Crazy) an because searching costs me a lot of planning and time I can spend on other interesting things ( with daylight 24/24 over there !!!)
    This, for me, is NOT freedom while traveling.
    Are there other women on this website traveling like me? You Amanda?
    Ow yes, and about safety: I know a lot of my collegues and friends think I ‘m reckless. I don’t care.My answer: ” I ‘m a lot more afraid when I have to drive or park in Brussels than sleeping all alone in my bus in a 300 km² forest in Norway. “:-)
    I’v never slept better than these 7 weeks in my bus into the wild! With very dangerous companions such as seagulls (in the fjords), reindeers, squirrels, sheep, horses, goats, and a single track of a wolf in the mud… 😉
    Of course I wouldn’t do this, let’s say “around Naples, Italy” :-b (btw it’s not allowed in Southern Europe.)

    I continue reading your blog, Amanda. Just can’t stop! It’s great!!!!!

    • Amanda says:

      Good for you! To be honest, I’m not a camper. Like, at all. I’ve been to a couple countries where freedom camping is allowed (like New Zealand), but it’s not really something that appeals to me! I would probably do it if it was my only option (like it probably will be when I go to Africa next year), but it’s not my first choice.

      However, I think it’s awesome that that’s how you travel!

  • Alka says:

    Very True… Now I also want to travel alone 🙂

  • My dad taught me some street smarts when I was a little girl, and I don’t travel anywhere without my pepper spray on me anyway. I’m not very afraid of traveling alone. But I generally travel with friends, because I get quite lonely and I can be kind of shy.

  • Susan says:

    Hi Amanda, I see you have traveled to Thailand. I am going to be traveling to Thailand for the first time February 2017. I am going the first 3 weeks by myself and my husband will join me the last 2 weeks. I have been contemplating on if I should do a 2 week guided tour or do it on my own. Do you have any suggestions for doing it solo? Are there groups of people you can meet prior to your trip that might be there the same time? Looking for any suggestions and recommendations.

    Thanks!
    Sue

    • Amanda says:

      Hey Susan! As far as Southeast Asia goes, Thailand is probably the easiest to tackle on your own because the tourism infrastructure is pretty good. However, if you’re apprehensive about it, booking a tour (even if it’s just for your first week) would be a great way to ease yourself into Thailand. Intrepid Travel is one of my favorite small group tour companies.

  • Belgje says:

    Now I re-read my comment of august 2015, the one I posted some months before Charlie Hebdo in Paris, before later the Paris killings and… Brussels bombing on march 22th, 2016. “My capital”…:-/
    How I feel? Sad, because I know victims of this last attack.
    And I realised for a long time already and more now, that your own town, country, region you know best, is NOT safer than (travelling) to forreign countries.

    I would like to make a roadtrip to the Grand Canyon too, but I don’t find Mary’s comment anymore. ( I just could read a small part of her problems she had during that trip, (by mail) I would like to read more) Can someone copy paste it for me?
    Can someone give me some advice about renting a car (I can sleep in) to do this roadtrip? And what about Indian summer? What’s the best time to visit the way I want to do it?

    • Amanda says:

      That’s definitely correct – bad things can (and do) happen everywhere, even right in our home towns.

      As for road tripping in the US, you could look into renting a campervan (I know Jucy has just started up rentals from Las Vegas), but be aware that you can’t “freedom camp” in most parts of the US – you’ll still have to pay to stay in campgrounds.

  • Belgje says:

    Campgrounds, that’s okay. But I think a campervan is way too big for me. A big car would be nice. Thanks for your information. (I ‘ll google ‘Jucy’)

    Can someone copy/paste Mary’s comment about…, please. The link in my mails doesn’t link tot the comment.

    So, ladies/collegue-adventurers, I would like to give you some information about a nice solotrip I’ve made a month ago. (Am I allowed? 😉
    When you come to Central Europe, make sure you visit the south of Poland (maybe in summer it’s a little bit crowded): the National Park (Tatra) nearby Zakopane is worth the trip. No cars, no dogs allowed. Great! Hiking trails are very well indicated (when you’re a solo traveller, this is highly recommended for your safety) Zakopane itself is a very nice town, with special architecture (wood, wood, wood…;-) and good restaurants. (for some dollars you have a main menu and drinks). Krakau is another very very nice town in Poland, with a lot of culture and history (world war II, architecture, an excellent atmosphere, beautiful horse drawn carriages,big jewish heritage…. ) and then… last but not least… every adult in the world should visit this: the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau. Or.. seeing where hate can lead people… I’ll never forget.
    Why I post this in this topic? Because it was a beautiful trip (14 days), because Poland may be a little bit unknown to forreigners, and…. because I never felt unsafe there, a lot of people were very friendly, and (enough 🙂 people (in their 30’s or 40’s) speak some English and were helpfull.

  • Belgje says:

    A small question to Amanda: where did you make that picture (with your red t-shirt and the text: “5 reasons why I’m not afraid….”), please?

  • Yvonne Hellyar says:

    I am an ‘older’ traveler and the hardest part of solo travel, for me, is eating at a restaurant alone at night. There is something about sitting down at a table alone that I find intimidating. I suppose if I did it regularly, I would get used to it.

    • Amanda says:

      That’s one thing that I don’t love about traveling solo, either! But it definitely does get easier the more you do it. I also usually take my Kindle with me if I’m going to a sit-down dinner alone, and that always helps make me feel more comfortable!

  • Jade Toomey says:

    Hi Amanda,
    I’ve just come across your wonderful blog this morning and you and I seem like the same person, I’m just a few years behind! Cheers for your article on solo travelling – I’m heading to Europe in a couple of days for my first solo trip. I was so chuffed when I booked it (Busabout Flexitrip!) but in the lead up, lots of people have said how ‘brave’ I am for going alone as they share their pickpocket horror stories. Your reassurance was exactly what I needed to hear, so thanks a bunch.

    • Amanda says:

      I mean, it does take some theoretical balls to decide to travel solo – but that’s only because so many other people think it’s scary and un-doable. In reality, I LOVE solo travel – and Busabout is SO FUN. You are going to have a great time!

  • Grace says:

    After having friends back out of promised trips I realized in my late 20’s that if I ever wanted to see anything I’d just have to suck it up and go by myself. Number one on my list was the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. I couldn’t afford a hotel for a week so I used my air miles to get a tent, rented a car and drove from Edmonton, Alberta. I hadn’t camped since the 5th grade but I had taken a wilderness survival course in college so I figured I’d be fine. It was the first time I ever crossed the border and I dipped my foot into the Pacific Ocean for the first time on that trip too. It was 1999. Cell phones weren’t commonly owned so my mom told me to phone home collect every day from a payphone. It was an incredible trip. I hiked to Punchbowl Falls, went to Mt. St. Helens and even camped right next to the ocean for a couple of nights. The next year I took a 3 week solo camping trip to both rims of the Grand Canyon plus Mesa Verde with numerous side trips along the way. My mom told me I didn’t have to check in every day, every other day would be fine and it didn’t have to be with her as long as someone in our circle had heard from me. I still called her daily more often than not. The only part of solo traveling that I didn’t like was not being able to gush about what I had seen and done that day. These days with social media it’s not really an issue for me. For the most part I still travel alone.
    I prefer it. I do what I want when I want and how I want. Nothing frustrates me more than women (and some men) who refuse to try traveling solo. The more you get out and experience the world the more you realize that the world is not that scary as long as you do your research ahead of time.

  • Kim says:

    I solo camp in my small camper all the time now, still can’t get over the crazy looks I get from people when I tell them it’s what I do. I love to boondock in Walmart or Cracker Barrel parking lots, and I actually feel very safe there considering the lighting and knowing there are security cameras. I love the seclusion camping at state parks, but I do realize I sometimes feel vulnerable if I’m too secluded, but I just take extra precautions with my lights and extra pepper spray!. But, you’re right, when “neighbors” at campgrounds realize I’m alone they always look out for me!

    • Amanda says:

      Good for you! It sounds like you’ve definitely figured out a good system. And isn’t it funny how so many people assume you’d be so much more vulnerable on your own, but then you find out that the opposite is almost always actually true!

  • Paket Wisata Dieng says:

    Hello Amanda, Thank your for your post and very good article you have shared something important for solo travelling. until now I am still scary to get solo traveling, I can do solo traveling just in Indonesia around not in foreign country.

  • Rosy Anwood says:

    Hi,

    Thank You for this post. It true that still there are lots of problems and troubles that a women has to face in her day to day life.But still there is no one can take an action against it.

    Every day we come across lots of cases of violence against women.I don’t understand why a girl has to face such problems. We all say its modern days going, we are advanced, there is no difference between a men and women but this are all just things to say. Our thinking is the same.

    A women is always a women for a men. She can never be equal to home.But its high time women’s have to take a stand for themselves.

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