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Traveling alone: tips and warnings

One should think about it carefully, but it could be worth it

Traveling alone: tips and warnings One should think about it carefully, but it could be worth it

Do you go to the movies alone? How about dinner? Concerts? Personally, when I'm in the right mood, I have no problem doing what I want, even if no one accompanies me or because I just want to spend some time alone, without talking. But it's not the same for everyone.

How to Travel Alone

Outside the big city, which makes us feel ignored for better or for worse, or for personal reasons, for some people it's very difficult and challenging to do things alone. They feel foolish, in danger, without the protection of others. All these fears are heightened when it comes to travelling alone, especially if we're women. Without a group or partner, we're more susceptible to harassment, violence, theft, and all sorts of scams. We're vulnerable. Being aware of this is crucial, but we shouldn't be paralyzed by fear, even while traveling.

Is Solo Travel Only for Mature Women?

Just recently, an article was published in the Guardian by Joanna Moorhead, which collects the testimonies of many English women who, in their mature years, decided to embark on solo travels, explaining the beauty and benefits of it. "Like an increasing number of older women in the UK and across the world (I’m 61), I’ve discovered the huge benefits solo travel has to offer," writes Moorhead. "It helps me to recharge my batteries, it’s empowering and it doesn’t have to be horribly expensive (I generally travel off-season and midweek). It takes me out of my comfort zone in just the right way, allowing me to have the experiences, the food and the fun that I want." She's not alone. According to Phocuswright, last year, the number of women over 55 exploring the world without their partner increased by 46%. In the UK, solo travel has gone from 6% of trips in 2011 to 16% in 2023.

@elenatea_ #stitch with @Chelsea let women be independent!!! you CAN solo travel in a long term relationship healthily #solotravel #boyfriend original sound - elena téa

What About Younger Girls?

It almost seems like solo travel is reserved for mature women. According to a study conducted by Condor Ferries, for instance, a whopping 81% of solo female travelers are over 45 years old, 13% are in the 35-44 age group, 6% are in the 25-34 age group, and 1% are aged 18-24. One might wonder why, and some hypotheses could be made. Surely, economic well-being plays a role: it's more likely that a woman aged 45 or older has the availability to travel, take time off work for a few days, leave potential children with someone. Additionally, an adult woman might tend to feel less embarrassed, considering travel companions less essential. Lastly, it's possible that mature women feel safer than younger ones and have learned to navigate the world with more awareness and confidence. These are all assumptions, but what's certain, as indicated by the numbers, is that Europe seems to be the preferred destination for these female travelers, and women traveling alone outnumber men, according to 73% of travel agents. So, if we ever decide to embark on a solo adventure, we wouldn't be alone.

@kaseymeetsworld 3 safe countries ranked by the global peace index for you to visit as a solo female traveler #solotravelinspo #travelinspo #solotraveling #solotravelwomen #womensolotravel #greenscreen original sound - Kasey | Affordable Travel

Where to Travel Alone

It's not all sunshine and roses. As a general rule, which always applies but especially when traveling alone, it's always advisable to avoid places where we might be treated poorly as women (for example, the recent issue of India's problem with female tourists, who often face violence and various scams), and instead choose safe destinations, especially for the first trips, where we might be less confident. For example, places not too far from home, or where our language (or languages) is spoken. It's also recommended to get insurance before traveling, especially if it's far away, not to wear flashy jewelry and other accessories, and to share our location in real-time with someone at all times.

@joarahyun Those rare moments when a microaggression works in your favor

Follow Your Instinct

Traveling alone could reveal unexplored worlds, made of adventures and relaxation but also of a new relationship with ourselves and with others. It might push us to become friends with locals, take us to places we never imagined seeing or experiencing. However, it's not mandatory. If the idea causes anxiety and fear, if you want to do it but only on your terms, if you don't want to stray too far, follow your instincts and don't put yourself in uncomfortable situations just because you want to prove something. The world is full of wonders, even close to home.