Written by: Rosmery B. & Edited by Kimberly Anne
Traveling alone as a woman is a wonderful experience. Solo travel allows us to explore something beyond familiarity, learn about new cultures and most importantly learn about ourselves.
New locations, people, and languages have the potential to be incredibly intriguing!
This can be both exciting and a little frightening.
If you’re looking into traveling for the first time by yourself here’s our guide:
- The Top 10 Countries for Solo Female Travel in Europe
- Female Solo Travel and the Fear of the Unknown
- Is it dangerous to travel alone as a woman?
- What are the benefits of traveling alone as a woman?
- How To Stay Safe While Traveling Alone as a Female
Top 10 Countries for Solo Female Travel in Europe
Europe is the ideal place to start for female solo travel. Europe is diverse and perfect for traveling alone. Europe offers several countries that rank high as safe spaces for women.
The best countries for traveling alone in Europe are:
Ireland is undoubtedly one of the best and safest places to start traveling alone in Europe, especially if you’re a woman.
This country has a fairly low rate of violence and discrimination. Ireland is seen as not only beautiful but also friendly.
Women travelers love to find its gorgeous and abundant green areas while enjoying the friendliness of the locals.
Ireland is known for its hospitality to tourists, so it really is a great place to start.
Portugal is increasingly becoming a favorite destination for solo travelers.
Its beautiful architectural landscapes and green areas make it a favorite place for many.
The chances of being disturbed here are very low, as the Portuguese are usually off doing their own thing in this very lively country.
The best thing about Poland is that it is the ideal place to travel alone! Poland’s railways are accessible and safe.
This breathtaking and colorful country is steeped in history.
If you have the chance to visit the cities of Krakow and Warsaw you’ll be able to connect with the country’s past and its scars from WW2.
Poland is the perfect solo travel destination for women who want to appreciate fine medieval architecture.
Moreover, its hostels are quite affordable and its people are friendly.
The stunning terrain of the Nordic island nation of Iceland, which has volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, and lava fields, defines the country.
National parks Vatnajökull and Snaefellsjökull provide protection for enormous glaciers.
The majority of people reside in the capital, Reykjavik, which is powered by geothermal energy. Reykjavik is undoubtedly one of the safest places in the world.
Reykjavik also houses the National and Saga museums, which chronicle Iceland’s Viking history.
Spain is an excellent choice if you want to travel alone in a place full of historical, cultural, and natural gems.
Like Ireland, it is known for its citizens’ friendliness towards tourists.
So as solo female travelers we can find a greater source of tranquility in its peaceful and helpful streets.
Norway is one of the quietest and safest countries for women who want to travel alone in Europe.
Its low crime levels make its streets feel less invasive.
Norway is perfect for hiking gorgeous trails without feeling too stressed about safety.
You can enjoy the magnificent nature of Norway and its various tourist attractions such as the fjords.
Croatia is one of the favorite destinations for women travelers in search of that contrast between beauty, history, and culture.
The streets of this country are not only safer than average but also bring miles of history with them.
Women travelers enjoy exploring its beautiful trails and discovering each of the secrets that await.
In the heart of Europe, you’ll find Switzerland.
Its wonderful breathtaking landscapes will make you never want to leave.
Switzerland is an ideal destination for women looking for outdoor activities without feeling extremely nervous about danger.
Switzerland is one of the safest regions in Europe and is the country with the lowest rate of gender-based violence.
Music, imperial cities, beautiful landscapes, all this and more is what Austria has to offer.
This central European country is one of the best options for women looking for safe destinations to travel alone.
Austria’s low levels of violence and gender inequality make it one of our favorite options.
You can also visit the Hittisau Women’s Museum.
This museum was founded in 2000 to showcase the cultural achievements of women.
Finland hits the nail on the head for those female travelers who love the great outdoors.
If you want to visit a place that allows you to connect with wildlife, then this is the destination for you.
This country has the highest security rate, which is why many solo travelers visit it.
Female Solo Travel & The Fear of the Unknown
We are used to traveling under the blanket of someone else, be it friends, co-workers, or family members.
So when we let this fear defeat us, the idea of leaving everything behind and going on a trip without company starts to seem far-fetched.
Suddenly, we give up looking for destinations to travel to alone; mostly because we don’t want to throw ourselves into the unknown.
Still, we cannot let this fear control us.
On the contrary, we can seek to harness it and use it as a tool to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
What are the benefits of solo travel as a female?
The moment you express your desire to embark on your solo female travel you will probably start receiving negative and unsolicited pieces of advice from others. It is only natural that you start to question whether it is really worth it to embark on this adventure. But I will answer this question in the most concise way possible: absolutely yes! One thousand times yes, it’s worth the risk and in the short and long term, it will bring you a lot of benefits. The benefits of solo travel as a female include:
- Gaining knowledge & experience
- Self & Cultural Awareness
- Meeting different people
- Learning new cultures and languages
- Learning more about yourself
Awareness is Key to Safety
Traveling alone can even help you be safer. In the sense that you will gain experience, knowledge and your instincts will become sharper as you keep exploring all kinds of places.
Getting to know different types of people, cultures, and scenarios will help you distinguish a suspicious situation or behavior. You’ll only develop more awareness when dealing with all kinds of situations.
Meet New People
There is a myth to bust while you’re traveling alone, it is the belief that solo travel is about loneliness. Not at all! Thousands of women of all ages enjoy traveling safe and free around the world.
Because traveling alone is also an excellent opportunity to make friends from all over the world. Believe it or not, you are much more likely to meet new people traveling alone than you would be traveling in a group.
You can even find women’s travel groups that allow you to share experiences with other female travelers. This way you can share routes and experiences with other people who, like you, enjoy traveling freely.
Learn About Yourself & Others
As you get to know other people and places, you’ll inevitably begin to get to know yourself even better. You discover parts of yourself that you were completely unaware of.
And this is a wonderful experience, to be able to connect with yourself and reach that level of self-discovery is out of this world.
There is a big difference between your version before you start traveling alone and afterward, so you come out gaining new qualities and experiences that will make you an even better person.
Is it dangerous to travel alone as a woman?
Let’s be real, traveling alone as a woman may seem challenging at first.
Especially when fear has been built into us for years.
So not only is there the fear of the uncertainty of traveling alone to a totally different place, but we also start to fear for our safety.
It’s natural for us to question everything; at the end of the day, the unknown can be frightening for everyone.
Indeed, every country in the world has its strengths and weaknesses, so it can be said that no destination for traveling alone is 100% safe.
Unlike a man traveling alone, women may face more prejudices and dangers for the simple fact that we are women.
Now, we’re not trying to increase your fears. We are just trying to be realistic and not sugarcoat the situation.
These are the main fears of women who want to travel alone but choose not to take that risk. We get it – it can be quite overwhelming.
We won’t start by saying that by simply taking care of yourself you’ll be spared from exposure to danger.
Because the fact that a woman is attacked doesn’t mean she didn’t take enough care of herself.
So that’s not the right idea or what I want to express here.
Unfortunately, we have to take twice as much care of ourselves just because we are women, but that’s the way things are. And we must put our own protection first, this is the principle of safe travel.
The truth is that danger to which women are exposed is a global issue. Whether in the United States, China, Mexico, or France; there may be bad people everywhere. However, must not let this fear hold us back. Even if we stay at home there are still potential risks in our own backyards just the same as if we traveled the world alone.
Once you travel the world solo as a woman you also start to see that there are A LOT of good people who still exist. You’ll see beyond what you knew and what you were told. Plus, you’ll get to know a reality you never expected to know; and that is priceless.
With preparation and informing yourself you can make a trip as safe as you want it to be. By traveling alone and overcoming each of your fears while following your instinct and trusting that you can take each step, you’ll only increase your safety.
Millions of women travelers have gone through different situations by following their instincts and learning from each situation. And it is also important to keep in mind that everyone has their own time and pace, so you should not compare yourself with anyone. Don’t rush to be ready! Keep reading and take baby steps until you feel ready to embark on a solo and safe trip.
How to stay safe while traveling alone as a female:
- Do Your Research – Learn about their customs and culture to prevent miscommunications or conflicts.
- Choose Your Location – Avoid hotels in remote and lonely locations.
- Visit Popular Areas – stay close to large groups.
- Practice Mindfulness – Be conscious of your environment and behave responsibly.
- Skip the Midnight Walk – Avoid strolling in regions that are alone or dark.
- Give Your Family and Friends Your Itinerary – let your friends and family know where you are.
Traveling alone itself requires some preparation. Ideally, you should carefully check all the necessary information about the place you are going to visit. Familiarize yourself with their norms and culture to avoid any misunderstandings or altercations.
Lodging is very important. Try to stay in a central location, and avoid lodgings in distant and lonely areas. You may want to let the hotel know that you are traveling alone. This way they can warn you about which areas in the city may be dangerous for a foreign woman. Some may even go so far as to make sure you arrive safely every day. You can also choose to stay in a hostel, it is a more social environment and you will likely meet other solo female travelers.
In places that require you to wait for a long time (subways, bus stations, bars, restaurants, etc.), try to stay close to large groups. You can ask them if you can sit with them or do it directly. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from those around you if you find it necessary, this way you can get allies along the way to guide you safely through the place.
Always be mindful. You must be always aware of your surroundings and act accordingly. As
a woman traveling alone, you must be alert to potential dangers. Stay sober, and don’t accept
anything from strangers.
Avoid walking in unpopulated or dark areas. You may choose to carry a whistle with you for situations where you feel at risk. One thing I really recommend is that you take self-defense classes, even if it is only the basics. It’s a way to make sure to awaken your senses even more and a way to feel safer. Last but not least, don’t travel without travel insurance.
This is a must for every traveler. You don’t know what can happen during your trip, so it’s important to make sure you cover all kinds of risks. Naturally, always let your friends and family know where you are at, where you’re staying, and your itinerary for the duration of your vacation.
Enjoy your trip, make memories and take lots of pics!