Tips for solo travel

The number one question I’ve ever been asked by anyone when I’m preparing to go anywhere is: Why on earth are you going alone? There is a pervasive fear that solo travelers, particularly women, will probably be raped, maimed, or at the very least, incredibly lonely within seconds of setting foot outside your apartment.  Instead, I have the best times going it alone — although the hospital in Jomtien would have been nicer with someone to hold my hand — and so do loads of other people.

If you’re looking for just the right push to get you started into that trip on your own you’ve been craving…now’s your chance.  Check out Mariellen Ward’s Four Tips for Solo Travel to India…as well as this little video from the Skyy John show about solo female travel.  The most interesting thing about that second link are the numerous negative and anti-female comments on the youtube video…to wit, that of course it’s okay to travel alone if you’re an UGLY woman, because nobody will want to molest you.  Looks like some people are letting their fear show a little bit. If you don’t want to go anywhere by yourself, and enjoy the ultimate freedom of not having to compromise all the time, being able to go where you like when you like, and wanting to hook up with new friends whenever you feel like it…then don’t.  But why mock other people, especially physically, if they choose to do so?

The SoSauce Travel Geek Blog also has some interesting things to say about women traveling alone in Islamic countries; I went alone to Morocco, and while it was difficult to avoid the harassment and leering, it didn’t get any better when I was traveling with other women.  It only got better traveling with a male buddy, and then, the harassment just switched from sexual-and-financial to purely financial.  I wouldn’t say you’re in danger of kidnapping or violent crime in Islamic countries any more than you are in non-Islamic ones though…provided you use common sense.  See this list of 10 reasons to study in Islamic countries for added sanity.

Posted by | Comments (6)  | February 16, 2010
Category: General

6 Responses to “Tips for solo travel”

  1. Gap Prep: Worrywarting & courage | Masticating with Anastasia Says:

    […] Surprise! The day I post this is the day that Rolf Potts posts about traveling solo. He’s got lots of nifty links, including one to this awesome […]

  2. Rebecca Travel-Writers-Exchange Says:

    It comes down to common sense and street smarts. Make sure you know what you’re getting into when you travel to certain countries. You may have to cover up so go with it. Some woman wear a “fake” wedding ring and have pictures with them to show they’re married. It could work.

  3. niamh Says:

    It’s an eternal debate! Sole male travellers are seen as intrpid and brave, while we’re told we’re asking for trouble. You can get mugged in Dublin as easily as Dehli. And what people forget is that you’re never really alone; anyone with enough chutzpah to leave home in the first place will soon make friends. You do have some quiet nights here and there but that’s what books are for:)

  4. Jeff Pruett Says:

    I travel alone too (though I’m male). People I know are constantly amazed. I think the biggest fears I found have been in how to plan the trip and worry about needing medical attention while traveling.
    I think there are a lot of stereotypes about Americans (especially women!)overseas.