Travelling alone as a solo female traveller can be the most liberating experience you'll ever have - fact. But unfortunately unwanted advances can occur, and there is a difference between flirting and behaviour that makes you feel uncomfortable. These handy tips will help you to stay confident on the road so you can focus on having a kick-ass trip.
Pop headphones in
It’s never a good idea to block out noises when you’re exploring a new area, especially at night, but if you’re walking in a touristy area you know to be safe and you’re getting heckled, pop those babies in. Nasty comments can’t get to you if you’re listening to your favourite song, and likely that person will give up if they know you can’t hear them.
Safety in numbers
Part of the reason for a lack of security as a female traveller is not having a secure network of people to call if you’re feeling vulnerable. On a Contiki, you’ll have a family of other solo travellers and a Trip Manager looking after you all – meaning you can break off from the group knowing you’ve got a secure travel squad who know where you are. Getting to know your hotel staff and making friends with locals like a trusted taxi driver will also help you feel safer.
Learn the lingo
Feeling the need to defend yourself can be extra strenuous without a grip on the local language. It might be worth leaning enough lingo to tell someone to leave you alone, or to explain to local police or passer by that you don’t feel safe. Even learning how to say “I’m not interested” will spare you some unwanted conversations.
Keep it moving
If you get a bad vibe from someone, keep walking. Your curiosity shouldn’t outweigh intuition if something seems dodgy. If you’re walking fast and someone starts following you, you should immediately duck into a shop, hotel or an area with lots of people and call the local police, but usually just walking away will let that person know you’re not interested.
Feeling safe often comes with being super prepared. Make sure you know your hotel or accommodation details off by heart (or pick up a business card/write them down), and you know the route home for each new place that you go to. Find out what other solo female travellers have said online about a new area (Girls Love Travel is an awesome online female travel community), and keep a card for a safe taxi company to get you home safe and sound.
Go into a nearby establishment
If you feel uncomfortable or you feel like you’re being followed, pop into a nearby shop or restaurant until the coast is clear. Even if you pop in momentarily, it will give you a chance to gather your thoughts if you’re feeling uneasy or unsure of where you are.