The author Sky Ariella admiring the ocean view during one of her solo travels

Solo Travel for Women (13 Useful Tips & 13 Fun Trips)

If you’re considering a trip but wondering if solo travel for women is safe or looking for places to go, then you’ve come to the right place.

Traveling solo as a woman is one of the most empowering experiences I’ve ever had. Solo travel is something I recommend to anyone regardless of gender identity, but I especially urge solo female travelers to get out and explore the world if they can. 

From Thailand to Columbia, from hostels to hotels, I’ve traveled to 8 different countries by myself and counting. Even though I’m the first person to say how rewarding solo travel is, there are some essential safety tips that women traveling solo should keep in mind. 

Luckily, I’ve broken down top tips and places for solo female travelers right here.

Here’s what this guide covers (click to jump around):

Let’s get started. 

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!

13 Practical Tips for Solo Female Travel

Tip #1 – Be Confident

View of the name of the Kilim Geoforest Park on a mountain from a boat

When you’re traveling solo, one of the biggest things you’ll learn is that confidence is half the battle.

Being confident shows that you can handle yourself and that you’re not one to be swindled. 

For example, on the first day of my first solo trip ever, I couldn’t find my taxi and didn’t speak Thai at all. 

But solo travelers just have to figure stuff like that out. So, I quickly handed the phone to a local and somehow communicated that I couldn’t find my taxi. He told the driver where we were in Thai, and just like that, I solved by first problem alone. Even with a language barrier. 

Tip #2 – Pre-Trip Jitters are Normal

The author wearing her backpack before heading on a solo trip to Asia
Me Right Before Heading on My Solo Trip to Asia

Any solo female traveler will tell you, pre-trip jitters are normal. Regardless of whether this is your first trip or 15th. Of course, it’s good to be on guard, but you’ll find those jitters will evaporate once you’re settled into your destination. 

Even though I’ve traveled by myself a lot by now, I still get nervous right before solo trips. Work through the fear and get on the plane. It’s the hardest part. 

Tip #3 – Don’t Be Afraid, But Don’t Be Naive

The author enjoying her day from a waterfall

If you’re setting off across the world, chances are someone in your life will tell you how dangerous it can be for women travelers. Solo women indeed have to be more cautious. But, there’s a lot of unnecessary fear-mongering for female solo travelers. 

Let go of the paranoia because you’ll quickly find that the world is a pretty amazing place, especially on a solo trip. With that being said, I don’t recommend overconfidence or carelessness either. Solo female travelers have to walk a fine line between being wise and being free. 

My Pick
World Nomads
4.7
Securing your solo female trip before you set off is a must. I’ve personally used World Nomads and can recommend them for short jaunts and longer trips.
Pros:
  • Simple & flexible
  • Balances price & quality
  • Upfront transparency about covid (no insurer covers all covid risks, but at least they explain it!)
Cons:
  • Not available to seniors 70+ in USA (or 65+ in other countries)

Tip #4 – Do Your Research and Get Advice From Locals and Fellow Travelers

The author's view from the mountain town of Oaxaca in Mexico
I never would’ve known about this breathtaking town in the mountains of Oaxaca if it wasn’t for local recommendations

Even if you do months of research before heading out on a solo travel adventure, leave some room for local recommendations. 

One of your most powerful tools as a solo traveler is the insight of other explorers. Some of the best destinations I’ve ever visited were recommendations from locals or other travelers. 

Tip #5 – Find Friends On the Road

A group of people smiling for a photo with their motorbikes on their background
A group of people who didn’t know each other before meeting at a hostel along the way

I once read something that said, “You never have to be alone as a solo traveler unless you want to be.” I’ve found that to be insanely accurate. 

You’ll be surprised how easy it is to find other solo travelers and even other women traveling alone. If you want a travel companion along the way, it’s pretty easy to find some.  

On my first solo trip, I made more friends than I did in four years of college. Before I was even in Thailand for three days, I found a small group of other solo female travelers to join. 

The best way to make friends when traveling alone is by staying in hostels. In comparison, an Airbnb or hotel might provide more privacy, but it’s harder to meet other travelers at these types of accommodations. 

My Top Choice
HostelWorld
4.7
Booking a hostel dorm with HostelWorld is always my first go-to. You can check out what other solo female travelers have to say about the property before you go.

Tip #6 – Trust Your Gut. It Rarely Lies.

The author with an amazing mountain view on her background

When you’re a solo female traveler, you must be in touch with your intuition. Your gut isn’t going to lie.

If you’re feeling icky about a situation on a solo travel trip, trust that instinct. It’s better to be safe than sorry when you’re a solo traveler. 

Tip #7 – Eating Alone at Restaurants Is Actually Amazing

A meal on a plate from Vietnam
One of many meals I enjoyed by myself in Vietnam

Eating alone at restaurants can be one of the most nerve-wracking things for solo travelers. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret: it’s actually amazing.

It’s the perfect time to read a book, plan your next day, or write in a journal. It’s actually very peaceful to eat dinner as a solo traveler. 

When I started traveling, I was surprised to find that eating out alone became one of my favorite solo female travel activities. 

Tip #8 – Get Travel Insurance 

The author admiring the view from Plaza de España

No matter where you’re going on your solo travel trip, you need to invest in a good travel insurance plan. It’s one of those solo travel tips I always mention. Even a beautiful place like Mexico or Thailand, it can turn ugly if you get hurt or sick. 

It’s just not worth the risk when there are so many reliable travel insurance providers. My personal favorite is World Nomads

My Pick
World Nomads
4.7
Securing your solo female trip before you set off is a must. I’ve personally used World Nomads and can recommend them for short jaunts and longer trips.
Pros:
  • Simple & flexible
  • Balances price & quality
  • Upfront transparency about covid (no insurer covers all covid risks, but at least they explain it!)
Cons:
  • Not available to seniors 70+ in USA (or 65+ in other countries)

Tip #9 – Be Aware of Local Dressing Customs

View of a temple from the outside in Thailand
At temples in Thailand you’re expected to cover your shoulders and wear a long skirt

When you’re exploring new cultures, it’s important to be respectful of the community. As a woman traveling, do a little research into the local dressing customs for future trips. 

For example, at temples in Thailand, your shoulders and legs had to be covered. When I was visiting Malaysia, I was told to wear dresses or pants longer than my knees. 

Tip #10 – Arrive at New Locations During the Day

The Belém Tower from the outside under the clear blue sky

Arriving at a new place during the day is one of the key ways to set yourself up for success as a solo female traveler. In certain destinations, things can get a little more dicey at night, and it’s easier to be aware of your surroundings during the day. 

When I was in Vietnam, I arrived in a new city in the middle of the night after a long bus ride. I had to walk 15 minutes to my hotel through the unlit, unfamiliar streets, and it was super scary. 

Now, I always make it a point to arrive in new cities and countries during the daylight hours when I travel solo. 

Tip #11 – Always Give Location Updates to Family & Friends At Home

The author taking a dip on one of the cenotes in Mexico
Taking a dip in a cenote in Mexico

Every solo traveler should give their loved ones regular location and plan updates. 

It’s easy to get caught up in everything you’re doing and forget to provide updates to your family back home. Besides the fact that it’ll probably worry everyone who loves you, it’s not very safe. 

Tip #12 – Do Things You Wouldn’t Normally Try 

The author posing for a photo during a stop over on her motorbike trip in Vietnam
Like a Motorbike Trip Through the Windy-Roaded Countryside of Vietnam

Traveling solo is a perfect opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and do things you wouldn’t normally do. On my first trip alone, I went on an intense motorbike trip, hung out with elephants in the jungle, and wandered an abandoned waterpark. 

Fulfill all your travel dreams and check everything off your bucket list. Join tours, book outdoor adventures, meet new people, and explore things off the beaten trail. 

Tip #13 – Appreciate Every Minute of Your Solo Trip

The author having a swim at the Cambodian island
Never thought I’d be swimming at a Cambodian island before traveling solo

You’ll be amazed how quickly solo trips can come to an end. That’s why one of my biggest tips for how to travel alone is that you should appreciate every moment of the journey. 

Try not to get stressed out by coming up with plans or worry being alone. Just take it all in and forest the rest. 

👉 Pro Tip: It’s crazy how much day-to-day stuff you can forget from your solo adventures. That’s why you should grab a solid journal to record all your experiences, like this Lemome A5 Notebook

13 Travel Destinations Perfect for Solo Women

Destination #1 – Thailand

View of elephants in Thailand
In case you’re wondering, yes, hanging out with elephants in Thailand was the peak of my existence

Thailand is one of the most fun places to visit for solo female travelers. It’s extraordinarily affordable, so it’s a good choice for budget travelers who want to save money. 

There are plenty of tours to join and lots of different types of activities. Plus, there are loads of excellent, safe hostels that make it easy to meet other people. 

Destination #2 – Canada

Overlooking view of buildings and streets in Montreal, Canada
Views over Montreal on a spur-of-the-moment weekend getaway

If you want to visit a new country but you don’t want to go too far, Canada is an optimal choice for Americans. It’s only a quick flight, or even drive, away from most U.S. states. However, it’s still very different from its North American neighbor. 

Canada is a safe location for first-time solo female travelers and pretty easy to get around. There are also just so many different kinds of places to visit in Canada, depending on your preferences. 

Destination #3 – Spain

The author admiring the view at Plaza de España during a sunny morning in Seville, Spain
Plaza De Espana in Seville, Spain

Another amazing country for women traveling solo is Spain. The beyond gorgeous Spain is home to a world of history, incredible architecture, and mouth-watering food. Along with some of the best parties you could possibly imagine.

It’s an amazing place, and it’s also very safe for female travelers. The people are friendly, and even at night, there are always other people around. It’s easy to have fun and be safe in Spain. 

Destination #4 – Iceland

Colorful sky over the Kirkjufell Peak during sunset
Kirkjufell Peak on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Iceland is a solo traveler’s playground. Every day is just a new adventure waiting to happen. Seeing the spectacular nature in Iceland is on most travelers’ bucket lists. 

It’s an especially perfect location for female solo travelers because it’s such a safe country. It’s actually rated the safest country in the whole world according to the Global Peace Index.

Destination #5 – Vietnam

Overlooking view of the Ha Giang Vietnam
Ha Giang Vietnam is one of the most magical places I’ve ever been

Vietnam is one of my favorite places in the entire world. Everyone I know who has visited has said the same. 

In the month I explored Vietnam as a solo traveler, I felt safe the entire time. Vietnam has some of the tastiest food and incredible adventures at fair prices. It’s a welcoming place that’s easy to explore by bus and motorbike. Though, crossing the streets does take some getting used to. 

Destination #6 – Singapore 

View from the Garden Rhapsody when you look up

Singapore is another destination that you can wander without being overly concerned for your safety. It also happens to be one of the coolest cities in the world. 

Like other countries around Asia, the food is out of this world, and there are a lot of different things to try. 

Destination #7 – New York

View from the Brooklyn Bridge during sunrise

New York has a reputation for being a menacing city, but it’s actually a fantastic location for women who travel. As long as you keep your wits about you, New York is a safe and one-of-a-kind destination. 

There are so many unique neighborhoods to discover in New York City alone. However, there are plenty of things for nature lovers too. Just take a ride up to some of the towns in New York

Destination #8 – Costa Rica

The Arenal Volcano under the clear blue sky in Costa Rica
The Arenal Volcano

Costa Rica is another ideal spot for nature fanatics and thrill seekers. Here you’ll find abundant national parks and rain forests with adventures like cave tubing and ziplining. There are also lots of opportunities to catch a glimpse of wildlife like sea turtles and sloths. 

Everywhere I go, I hear people talking about just how magical this destination is. There are enough things to do and places to visit in Costa Rica that you’ll never get bored. 

Destination #9 – New Zealand

Scenic view from the Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar

Beautiful New Zealand is the perfect solution if you’re worried about relying on Google Translate during your trip alone. Almost everyone in New Zealand speaks English, so it’s a little easier to get around. 

Plus, New Zealand is flush with gorgeous scenery and world-class outdoor activities. 

Destination #10 – Portugal

Aerial view of a beachside city of Nazare in Portugal
The stunning beachside city of Nazare in Portugal

Portugal is known as one of the safest countries in the world. That fact alone makes many women feel comfortable making it the setting for their solo adventure. 

In addition to being safe, Portugal is a versatile and easy-going place that makes all travelers feel at home. Whether you’re itching for a city, beach, or mountain excursion, you’ll find it in Portugal. 

Destination #11 – Chile

View from the Torres Del Paine National Park

Chile is one of the safest places for women to visit in South America. The Chilean people are friendly and accommodating. 

Tourists flock to the country for its jaw-dropping landscapes and plentiful, exciting activities. Like horseback riding and skiing. It also happens to be the best place in the entire world for stargazing. 

Destination #12 – Indonesia

The author admiring the amazing view from Nusa Penida Island
Nusa Penida Island near Bali

Indonesia is a hotspot for all kinds of travelers because it checks all the boxes. It’s super affordable, absolutely gorgeous, and a whole lot of fun. 

Indonesia is made up of over 17,000 islands, so there are lots of different places to explore. 

Destination #13 – Colombia

Overlooking view of the city lights at night in Medellin
Medellin is, and will forever be, one of my favorite cities in the world

This recommendation might come as a shock. Colombia has an intimidating history, and it was once a very dangerous place. 

However, its largely outgrown that past and has become a fantastic place for solo travelers. Including women. It has a rich culture, accessible transportation, and breathtaking landscapes. 

FAQs about Solo Travel for Women

Where do single women travel most?

The most popular destinations for single women travelers are Iceland, New Zealand, and Canada. These countries are all very safe places for women statistically. 

What is solo female travel?

Solo female travel means embarking on a trip by yourself as a woman. It’s an empowering and life-changing experience because the only person you have to rely on is yourself. 

Where should I travel for the first time alone?

The best places to travel alone for the first time are Thailand and Spain. 

Not only are these countries very safe for women, but they’re the perfect spots for solo travelers. There are many affordable hostels, tours, and opportunities to meet other people in Thailand and Spain. That’s why it’s a terrific location for a first solo trip. 

***

Thanks for reading my solo travel tips for women. I hope you feel a little more confident and prepared to set off on your first solo trip after reading my guide! Don’t miss our list of gap year ideas before you get started on your solo adventure. 

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