Solo Female Travel Guides

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Planning your next trip as a Solo Female Traveler? You’re in the right place with my solo female travel guides!

I embarked on my first trip as a solo female traveler (to Vienna) at the end of my study abroad semester in 2017, and I never looked back. Since then, I have traveled to 12 countries solo…and that list is still growing.

You may have heard the saying “if you wait for others to join you, you’ll never go!” This is the #1 reason why I’ve fallen in love with solo travel. If I had waited for a travel buddy to visit all 12 of these countries with me, I probably would have never seen them at all.

I have stayed in hostels all over the world and have made lifelong friends from every corner of the globe. There’s nothing like a good dose of solo travel to teach you what you’re made of – and give you a sense of power and independence you won’t find anywhere else.

Below, you’ll find my best solo female travel guides to teach you everything you need to know before booking your next trip as a solo female traveler! We’ll start with solo travel safety tips and move on to other topics like taking high-quality photos as a solo traveler and the best ways to make friends on the road. The whole world is your oyster…if you’re brave enough to take it on alone.

Happy travels! xx Madison

The Best Destinations for Solo Female Travelers

Helpful Resources for Solo Female Travelers:

Facebook Groups for Solo Female Travelers

One of the best ways to make friends while solo traveling is through solo travel-specific Facebook groups. I’ve linked a few of my favorites below! If you’re looking to make some friends or get a group together for a trip, these groups are a great resource to connect you with other like-minded travelers venturing out into the world solo.

Destination-specific Facebook groups are also really helpful to reach people who are already in your city. For example: Girls in Bali.

How to Take Beautiful Photos as a Solo Female Traveler

One of the biggest challenges I faced when I started to travel solo was getting high-quality travel photos without a friend behind the camera. Since that struggle in 2019, I have mastered the art of solo photography! Don’t believe me? Scroll to the top of the page – those three images are just a few of the fantastic travel photos I’ve taken on solo trips.

Want to find out how I did it? Click here to download my Solo Traveler’s Guide to Photography!

Travel Essentials for Solo Female Travelers

  • Local SIM cards or an e-SIM from your home country. The #1 most important thing for any solo female traveler to have is reliable internet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been saved from a potentially unsafe situation by simply being able to map my way home or call an Uber. Internet/cell service seems so simple, but it really is the most important thing to guarantee your safety.
  • A portable charger. Your phone is of no use to you if it’s dead. I used to travel with 2 x fully charged portables just in case I needed them. 
  • A fake wedding ring. Men can be awfully forward, especially if they know you’re traveling alone. Although a fake wedding ring definitely won’t keep everyone away, it’ll at least defer some of the inevitable male attention. (Don’t wear this in places where flashy jewelry is discouraged).
  • Door stop alarm. I wouldn’t personally bother with this unless I was staying somewhere very sketchy, but a door stop alarm can make you feel a lot safer when staying in hotels or Airbnbs alone. You simply wedge it under the door and, if anyone tries to open it, a loud alarm will sound. 
  • Passport scarf. Amazon and other retailers sell circle scarves with a hidden pocket for your passport, cash or other valuable items. Nowadays, a money belt might be kind of obvious, but no one would expect you to have valuables stashed in your scarf!
  • A personal alarm. Clip this little alarm to your bag or backpack, press the button if you feel unsafe and it’ll let out an ear-piercing wail to draw attention of people nearby and hopefully scare off any would-be attackers or pickpockets.

*Keep in mind, the products listed above are, in most cases, complete overkill. I stand by the first two on the list – I never travel anywhere without data and a portable charger. However, I personally do not use the rest of the items on this list during my solo trips. That being said, if you’re nervous about traveling alone for the first time, or if you’re traveling somewhere where you have legitimate safety concerns, these items are great to put your mind at ease and give you a little extra protection.

Solo Female Travel FAQs:

Q: Where is the safest place for a woman to travel alone?

In 2022, CNN rated Ireland as the best country for solo female travelers to visit. Austria came in second, Norway in third and Slovenia and Switzerland held the 4th and 5th slots.

These are all wonderful places to start your solo traveling journey since they are easy to travel and will have relatively low culture shock for anyone from North America. However, in my experience, the best places in the world are the places with high culture shock. I’ll cut to the chase – don’t write off a destination as a solo female traveler just because it didn’t make the list of the safest countries in the world.

Q: What places would you recommend an amateur female solo traveler?

I absolutely LOVED my solo trip to Kraków, Poland (although I’m sure Poland is a lot different in 2023 than it was in 2019). Budapest was another fantastic city to explore as a solo traveler, as well as Lake Como and Prague. When it comes to Southeast Asia, Ubud, Kuala Lumpur, Koh Tao and the Gili Islands were among my favorite places to travel solo! Although Roatan, Honduras is also an amazing place to visit on your own – there aren’t many budget-friendly accommodation options on an island that small.

Q: How can a woman start traveling alone?

Start by choosing your destination! Ask yourself, where have you always wanted to go? If you’re concerned about safety in that destination, consult some solo traveler Facebook groups to get opinions from other solo travelers who have already visited that destination.

Once you’ve decided on a location, it’s time to start planning. Start by reading my solo travel safety tips and planning your trip accordingly. You can also browse the solo female travel safety gadgets listed above for maximum peace of mind. Now, it’s time to book your flights, find accommodation and plan out your day-to-day. Consult my free guide to learn how I plan out each and every trip!

Q: How do I find friends while traveling alone?

Thankfully, there are tons of strategies to make friends as a solo female traveler in a new destination! Hostels, co-working spaces and group tours are a great place to start, but you can also make friends online through destination-specific Facebook groups and apps like Bumble BFF. Visit my blog post for more tips on finding friends while traveling alone.

Q: Why would a girl travel alone?

The better question is why WOULDN’T a girl travel alone! One of the best reasons to travel alone is that you have to make zero compromises. If you’re a early bird, you can be out the door of your hotel room every morning at 7AM with no one lagging behind. If you’re a night owl, you can sleep in until 11AM without anyone waking you up. Would you rather be out in nature than museum-hopping? You can make that decision because there’s no one with you to tell you you can’t.

The trips I’ve done solo have been the only times I’ve hit every single activity and restaurant on my bucket list. I returned home fully satisfied that I had enjoyed every minute of my trip without a single regret.

Additionally, solo travel is empowering! There’s power in doing something that scares you and, to many, solo travel can seem scary at first. Proving to yourself that you can venture out in the world on your own, meet new people and create your own fun is one of the most empowering feelings in the world.

Lastly, sometimes you’re craving a visit to a new and exciting destination and you just can’t find anyone to go with you. Don’t let that stop you! Book that flight, plan that trip and show the world what a badass bitch you truly are.

Q: Where should I sleep when traveling alone?

Hostels are my favorite places to stay as a solo female traveler! Hostels offer budget-friendly, dorm-style accommodation and are designed to turn strangers into friends. If you’re uncomfortable staying in a mixed-gender dorm room, most hostels offer female-only dorms for a slightly higher price tag.

If dorm-style sleeping is not for you, consider booking a hostel that offers private rooms. Chances are, these rooms will still be cheaper than a hotel and you can hang out in the hostel common areas and book hostel activities to meet other solo female travelers like yourself. When staying in hostels, consider the following tips:

–Pack your hostel survival kit! This includes a microfiber towel, rubber flip flops, ear plugs, an eye mask and a combination lock.
–Make sure the hostel offers in-room lockers before booking (this is where you’ll use your handy combination lock). And always lock up your valuables – it’s better to be safe than passport-less.
–Consider which amenities are important to you. I always filter by free wifi, air conditioning (if it’s a tropical climate), 24 hour reception and included breakfast. Bonus points if I can find a hostel with a bar/restaurant and swimming pool!
–Always do location research before booking. If you’re unfamiliar with a new city, it’s best to book accommodation near large tourist areas. That way, you don’t have to worry about accidentally booking in an unsafe part of town.
Hostelworld is the best site to browse hostels in every destination around the world!

Q: What is the safest way to travel alone?

Be smart, use common sense and act confident! Confidence is my #1 tip for being safe as a solo traveler. If people believe you know what you’re doing, then you’re not an easy target. Visit my blog post for my favorite solo female travel safety tips.

Q: How do you deal with loneliness when traveling alone?

I won’t lie, sometimes solo travel can be lonely. Luckily, we live in the age of the internet and meeting people has never been easier! If you ever feel lonely while solo traveling, the first step would be to head to the common area in your hostel and see if there’s a group hanging out. You can also ask the front desk if there are any hostel activities going on that day. If you’re not staying at a hostel, find one nearby and head over for a drink.

If that doesn’t work, try posting in a destination-specific Facebook group seeing if there are any activities for solo travelers happening in your area. Book group tours like cooking classes and boat trips to get to know other travelers in your destination. If all else fails, there’s a simple pleasure in grabbing a book, heading to a restaurant and people watching over food and a couple cocktails. You could even bring your headphones and FaceTime your family and friends back home.