Women travelling alone? Thousands of miles from home and without a man or group of friends to look after them? That’s right! The time has arrived, and if men can do it, why can’t women? They certainly can, and already are. Female solo travel: a new and rapidly growing sensation.
So why is solo travel becoming so popular and why should you try it? For one, better technology and increased security measures in the entire civilized world has made travel and hospitality far more safe than it has ever been. A primary concern for women in the past has been safety, and while it should always be considered, the rest of the world is now taking this more seriously. The GPS feature on any smartphone alone makes someone much easier to keep track of in the modern age. Then there’s the many ways a traveller has to keep touch with home or contact authorities when needed. Airport and hotel security has been stepped up in recent years as well. The world is smartening up, and the result is a safer travel environment.
Then there’s the old image of “the fairer sex” being weaker and dependent on a man for protection replaced with the strong, empowered, independent female. Awareness is prevailing in many parts of the world that women can —and should— do whatever they want, without judgment. Ladies of all ages are taking freedom and autonomy into their own hands, and nothing feels more empowering than hopping on a plane alone to skip across the ocean! The popularity of guided tours among solo travelers going from 21% to 46% between 2013 and 2015. A 2014 Booking.com survey that revealed 72% of American women were taking solo journeys at that time!
Essential information for Canadian travellers and a couple of tips to stay safe: Use your street smarts. Be independent and prepared, so you won’t need to rely on anyone else. Always carry a small amount of local currency, a map, and a phrase book. Walk confidently, like you know where you’re going. If you get lost, be smart about who you approach for help. When feeling unsafe, seek out other women or couples, then find a brightly-lit store or café to ask directions. When taking out cash, do it during daylight hours, on a busy street. Avoid being alone for too long, or showing jewelry or electronics in public, at night.
How to make friends? Get to know the people on your flight, airport shuttle, and hotel as early as possible. Be friendly enough to break the ice and allow others to approach you. Get involved in fun activities, rather than reading by the pool, alone. How about a guided and well-organized 11 days of kayaking in Croatia? Maybe a yoga healing and spa retreat in Mexico?
Still not sure if this is for you? Try something less daring at first, by inviting some of your girlfriends for a
ladies-only getaway! Who would say “no” to surf lessons in Hawaii?! See how that goes, then maybe one day you’ll be ready to venture out alone. Millions of other women are doing it! Why not you?