← Return to Blog

Everything You Need to Know about How to Travel Solo as a Woman

Becky Hart | Feb 7, 2024

Share Twitter   share

Traveling solo as a woman raises lots of questions. Where is the best place to travel solo female? How can a woman travel alone safely? Will I get lonely on the road by myself?

They’re great questions, and luckily, our guide to women traveling solo has some great answers. Take it from a writing staff who’s been there. Yes, you can travel solo as a woman. And yes, it’s 100% worth the effort.

Is It Okay for Women to Travel Alone?

It’s more than okay. Traveling alone is strongly encouraged, if you ask us. And we’re not alone in this. Condor Ferries reports that 84% of solo travelers are women, and 72% of women in the United States have taken a vacation on their own. That’s millions of women — of every age — traveling independently every year.

You might think that younger people are more apt to travel solo. That’s when many of us grab a backpack and take a gap year, after all. However, more than half of Google searches for “solo” travelers are by millennials (born 1981-1996), and the biggest surge in solo women travelers since 2019 is Baby Boomers, increasing from 4% to nearly 20% in 2022.

Almost half of U.S. adults are unmarried, including widowed and divorced, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That's why many cruise lines are adding single berths to their ships. It also partly explains why Road Scholar — a tour company that caters to travelers aged 50 and up — has so many solo customers.

Road Scholar reports that 85% of its solo travelers are women. We can’t be tricked into thinking these tours are full of widowed and divorced ladies, though. The tour provider also says that of their married female travelers, 27% are traveling without their significant others.

As the stigma of an unaccompanied female has diminished, it’s become increasingly common for women to travel solo, and more women are reaping the benefits of a setting off on their own.

Why Women Should Travel Solo

There are as many reasons to travel independently as there are new places to explore. These are some of our favorites.


In her book Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert set off on a solo trip to heal from a divorce and rediscover who she was as an independent person. It’s a common story you’ll find in books and movies … and real life.

Getting away without the confines and pressures of family, work, and responsibilities at home lets many people rediscover who they are and what they want from life. When you travel solo, you often have more opportunity to make spontaneous decisions and follow a new interest that crops up unexpectedly than if you were with a group or another person. The ability to “go with the flow” of new experiences as they come is often what leads to revelations.

Woman standing on the Boniface Bridge

Stepping out of your comfort zone

When things at home feel dull and ordinary, travel provides the chance to get the heart racing and feel alive again. Without a familiar travel companion to fall back on, solo travel is the perfect time to get out of your comfort zone for a new adventure and build confidence and independence.

In Condor Ferries’ survey, 46% of female travelers aid the reason they opted for a solo trip was for the freedom and independence it provides. Also, 15% said it was because they wanted to challenge themselves and help improve their confidence.

Being in charge of your own adventure

When we travel with others, we have to compromise on what we want to eat, where to stay, and which sites to visit. As a solo traveler, you are in charge of your own adventure, calling the shots and doing what you want to do most.

When SoloWorldTraveler.com polled their readers in 2023 about why they want to travel independently, the number two response at was “I want to do what I want when I want.” The top response? “I want to see the world and I don’t want to wait for others.” That’s what we call taking the bull by the horns.

Learning new skills

The art of travel itself is a skill to build and develop — how to plan, budget, and more. It also builds intangible skills such as how to creatively problem solve when your plans go awry, how to confidently speak up and advocate for yourself, and how to be more culturally aware and empathetic.

You can also use travel as an opportunity to take classes and learn new skills like pasta making in Italy, practicing traditional tea ceremonies in Japan, or how to speak Spanish in Argentina.

How to Travel Alone

How to travel safely as a solo female

First and foremost, let’s banish the idea that being cautious spoils all the fun. You can be safe and still have a truly authentic experience at the same time. To achieve both, dedicate a portion of your planning time to researching your destination and identifying anything that might affect your safety. Ask some of these key questions along the way:

  • Is it common for women to travel alone to this destination?
  • In what ways can I be respectful of this culture during my stay?
  • What types of accommodations are best for women?
  • What transportation options are the most secure?
  • What are the crime statistics associated with this destination?
  • Are there certain neighborhoods or venues that might not be safe for female travelers?
  • Is my native language commonly spoken here?

To help you get started, the U.S. State Department has a series of tips for women travelers and detailed country information.

It’s also wise to consider getting travel insurance, which can provide added flexibility and support if there’s an emergency while you’re on the road. Not only can it help protect your trip, your health, and your belongings, but all Seven Corners plans come with 24/7 emergency travel assistance services, so if you do find yourself in a situation you can’t handle on your own, we’re here to back you up.

Once you’ve started your trip, the most important safety tip is to always be aware of your surroundings. If someone or something seems amiss, there’s a good chance it is. Staying vigilant can help you to avoid some sticky situations, react appropriately to your surroundings and the cultural cues you’re getting from those around you, and make the most of new opportunities, all because you kept your eyes open.

Get more safety tips for female travelers.

How to avoid loneliness when traveling solo

If you’re worried about getting lonely on your solo travels, it can be helpful to set clear intentions for your trip before you leave. Identify certain goals that you’d like to accomplish during your stay. Would you like to be more present? Are you interested in learning a new language? Do you want to strengthen your sense of self-reliance?

No matter how big or small your goals may be, take some time to jot them down and track your progress throughout your trip. Pull out your notes when you feel yourself slipping into a hole of loneliness. Staying focused on your goals, not to mention celebrating the small progress and victories you achieve along the way, can help you adjust your mindset.

Woman walking with a camera.If you can bear it, try keeping your phone-use to a minimum. Your friends, family, and social media feeds will be there when you get back. And by not checking in every few minutes, you’re less likely to get stuck in a cycle of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

Lastly, remember that traveling solo does not mean you have to take a vow of solitude or silence. Strike up a conversation with the locals while you have dinner at the pub. Invite another solo traveler at your hotel to join you for breakfast. Make friends on the bus during one of your excursions.

“The benefit of solo travel is that it allows you the opportunity to connect with local people better,” Jessica Nabongo told Travel + Leisure after becoming the first Black woman to visit all 195 countries in the world. “When we travel with others, we’re there with those people, so oftentimes, we don’t get to know the local people. Solo travel allows you, in many ways, to explore a country deeper in terms of building those relationships and spending more time engaging with locals.”

I once had a lovely conversation with an older gentleman on my way to a Scottish castle. He was genuinely excited to hear about my trip and even helped me with the pronunciation of some of those tricky-sounding Scottish castle names. I never learned his name, but I still remember him almost a decade later.

The more opportunities you can find to enjoy the kindness of strangers, the less lonely you’ll feel, and the richer your overall travel experience can be. Solo travelers are less intimidating than those going in groups, making it easier for you to make friends along the way. Take advantage of your unique position.

How to meet other solo female travelers

Our first tip for meeting other solo travelers isn’t revolutionary, but it does work, so it’s worth repeating. Join an online community to connect with other independent adventurers before you leave for your trip. You can pick up advice and tricks from others who have already experienced what you’re doing as well as meet up to share costs when it makes sense. For example, you could connect with another traveler arriving at the same airport and agree to split the cost of a rideshare into town. You’re not looking for a life-long bestie. Think of them more as a temporary teammate.

If online communities aren’t your cup of tea, think about where other solo travelers congregate and head there. Maybe you book a room in a hostel, planning to spend an evening or two chatting up the other residents in the common area. Airbnbs are another option.

Traveler Sarah Bregel wrote in Fast Company about booking a room in a house where the host lived. “I figured that since I’d be on my own, I could use some tips, and possibly someone to share a glass of wine with at least once. It was also a total steal at around $45 a night.”

Check out co-working spaces where ex-pats and digital nomads gather, too, especially if you’re going to be in one place for a while.

Woman standing infront of a waterfall.

Alternatively, join a short-term group when and if it makes sense. If you don’t want to join a full tour group, you might still consider joining a group at least for portions of your trip. Spending most of your trip alone and meeting up with others for an excursion when it makes sense financially can help your wallet as well as fend off some of the loneliness and boredom that can creep in when you travel alone for extended periods.

I used this strategy when traveling alone in Scotland. For most of my trip, I went totally solo, using public buses and trains to get around. But when I wanted to visit the more remote areas of the Scottish Highlands, I faced a transportation challenge. Rather than renting a car and trying to figure out how to drive on the left, I booked a day tour out of Edinburgh that took our small group to all the castles and lochs that would have been inaccessible by public transit. I got to see what I wanted while enjoying a day of pleasant conversation with strangers, all without breaking the budget or giving up total freedom of my trip.

Best activities for solo travel

If there’s something you really want to do, there’s no reason your lone ranger status should stop you. That being said, some activities lend themselves well to the solo traveler, especially if you’re new to striking out on your own.

Try a women’s solo retreat or wellness retreat. These mesh well with those goals of self-discovery and learning we mentioned earlier. Retreats are a great way to focus on growth, and when you try one out of town on your own, there’s less chance of everyday distractions getting in the way.

If you’re not sure where to start, get inspiration from our guide to wellness retreats.

Another option is solo women’s travel groups. Join a group of other independent women with similarly adventurous spirits and you have the best of all worlds. Think of it as going solo but not alone.

There are lots of tour organizers that cater to the solo traveler — women, men, or mixed — so all you have to do is find the one that matches your style. Check out WHOA Travel (WHOA stands for Women High On Adventure) or, my personal favorite, G Adventures, which touts several different tour types for travelers of all kinds.

Have you ever considered going on a cruise alone? Before you dismiss the idea immediately, remember that there are all kinds of cruises, including sailings designed specifically for the unattached. These ships may have more single berths than your average cruise ship, host mixers and socials for getting to know your fellow passengers, and bypass those family-friendly activities you might be trying to avoid.

Even if you don’t choose a cruise for solo travelers, remember that many itineraries have such a wide variety of activities and excursions, you’ll never lack for company if you want it. But when you do want some alone time, you have a private room or any number of nooks and crannies on the ships you can escape to, too.

Woman traveling in Barcelona, Spain.

How to be more confident while traveling solo

A good rule of thumb, whether you’re at work or at play, is to go into every situation with an air of confidence, even if that means you have to fake it ‘til you make it. The best way to fake it sometimes is by doing your homework.

Afraid of standing out as a tourist because you look lost? Pre-plan your routes. “Take some time to map out walking directions and public transportation routes using a tool like Google Street View,” said Seven Corners guest blogger Grace Lower. “If you’re bad with directions, like me, this will help you navigate more successfully when you’re there in person.”

If you’re visiting a country where you don’t speak the language, learn some of the basics beforehand. Knowing simple phrases, even if your pronunciation is shaky, will help break the ice with locals and you might be surprised how willing they are to help when you make an attempt. Start with phrases like:

  • Excuse me
  • Please and thank you
  • Where is the …? (follow this up with common places like bathroom, train station, or grocery store)
  • I would like … (here’s where you get to practice food vocabulary, too)
  • Do you speak English?

One of the biggest fears people have when traveling alone is eating by themselves. As someone who often takes international trips on her own, I am no stranger to the solo dinner. My two best pieces of advice are to sit by the window or carry a book. Sitting in the window might seem counterintuitive — you want to be invisible, not on display — but your table with a view gives you the perfect opportunity for peoplewatching, which can be quite entertaining.

If you choose the book route, it could be a novel or a journal to write in. Some people like guidebooks, although if you’re self-conscious about looking like a tourist, leave that one in your suitcase. Whatever you choose, you can always crack open your book to avoid awkward silences, getting lonely, or feeling like you need to have a conversation with someone when all you want is some peace and quiet.

It also helps to remember that most people won’t even notice that you’re dining alone. The awkwardness is in your own head, so try to relax and enjoy your meal.

Finally, when you get overwhelmed or anxious, and it’s bound to happen at some point, just stop for a moment. Step outside the flow of traffic or duck into a nearby store to get your bearings. Take a deep breath. Once the initial moment of panic has subsided, you’ll be in a much better headspace to deal with the situation rationally and make good decisions.

Later that day, celebrate your success. Writing about a positive experience in your travel journal can go a long way toward building your confidence.

Packing a suitcase.

How to pack for solo trips

When you travel with a friend, you might not have to pack everything yourself. Some items —sunscreen, hair straightener — you can share, so why pack it twice? But when you’re going alone, it’s all up to you, which can trick you into overpacking.

Skip the bulky suitcases and invest in a travel capsule wardrobe instead. All this means is choosing versatile clothing you can mix-and-match for nearly any occasion. If you do it right, you can pack four shirts, three pairs of pants, and maybe a simple dress for a nearly endless combination of looks. And it all fits in a carry-on.

Packing light can save you time and money. It also makes it easier for you to move. As much as we hate to admit it, being a solo female traveler can make you a more attractive target for pickpockets. Choose luggage you can carry easily yourself. Consider a cross-body bag or a discreet money belt to keep valuables close, too.

Finally, make copies of important documents or save them to the Cloud. Having a backup copy of your credit card, passport, insurance cards, and driver’s license can be a lifesaver if the originals get lost or stolen.

Packing list for solo trips

Your list might differ depending on where you go and your personal needs, but these are a few must-have items to pack if you’re traveling solo (plus a few extras for comfort).

  • First-aid kit
  • Travel sewing kit
  • Flashlight
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Emergency snacks
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Prescription medications
  • Feminine hygiene products, especially if you need a specific brand
  • Clothes (remember the capsule, or mix-and-match, method)
  • Raincoat and other weather-appropriate clothing
  • Copies of important documents
  • Universal travel adapter if going abroad
  • Doorstop security alarm
  • Personal alarm
  • Portable charger

Best Places for Women to Travel Solo

Plenty of things should factor into the best solo travel destinations for women. Safety always makes the top of the list, but don’t forget to consider financial expense — some places are more budget-friendly for independent travelers than others — activities and excursions, and ease of getting around.

1. Switzerland



Switzerland gets high marks for safety and having plenty to do, which is why many experts say it’s a prime location for a first-time solo traveler. It has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe, and in multiple solo trips to Switzerland (mostly in and around Zürich), I’ve never felt harassed or unsafe.

For the metropolitan traveler, there are museums galore. Some of my favorites are Kunsthaus Zürich (art from some of history’s masters), Landesmusuem Zürich (Swiss National Museum), and the Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

For a change of pace, there’s no shortage of downhill and cross-country skiing, snow tubing, and hiking opportunities in the Alps. Alternatively, try a visit to Bern, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with medieval roots.

English is widely spoken in Switzerland, so it’s not too difficult to explore if you don’t speak German or French. However, in my solo travels, I found that few public transit workers spoke English, which made for some entertaining charades while I tried to find the right bus. We pantomimed, I spoke Spanish, he answered in French. We made it work and all had a good laugh.

Switzerland is probably the most expensive destination on this list, so if you’re traveling on a budget, it might be best to keep reading.

2. Malta



I know several women who went to Malta alone in their college-aged years. They all found it safe for women traveling alone, with an easy-to-use public transit system. The entire country is about half the size of New York City, so getting around generally doesn’t take much time or effort. If you’re looking for an easy solo trip, this Mediterranean island could be it.

You’ll meet plenty of English speakers as English is one of the official languages, along with Maltese. Because of its location, you’ll also hear plenty of Italian.

For history buffs, the Maltese Islands have three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the entire city of Valletta, which made our list of top destinations for 2024. Malta is also nicknamed “Fortress Island,” so be sure to explore all the towers and forts built to protect the territory throughout history.

Of course, being an island, Malta is also home to incredible water sports, beaches, and seafood. But it isn’t all fish all the time. You’ll also see influences from Provencal and Italian cooking with plenty of pastries, pasta, and local vegetables.

3. Singapore



Excellent public transportation and a wealth of cultural attractions make this city-state a must for solo travelers, especially if you fancy yourself a foodie. Singapore is a kind of crossroads in Asia, and influences from other countries around the region mean you’ll find so much world-class cuisine, you won’t know what to order next.

If you only speak English, you should find it fairly easy to navigate Singapore. About half of Singaporeans report speaking English frequently at home. And if you’re worried about safety, know that Singapore is traditionally named the safest country in Asia and among the top 10 safest globally.

Considered one of the most eco-friendly destinations in the world, one enormously popular attraction in Singapore is The Gardens by the Bay. Thousands of unique plants are not only beautiful to explore, but they’re also doing their part to reduce the city’s carbon footprint and reduce emissions.

4. Caye Caulker, Belize



Belize is known for its world-class snorkeling and scuba diving, so when we say Caye Caulker is where you want to go for the best underwater exploration, you know it’s going to be good. Belize has the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, packed with fish, sea turtles, and all kinds of creatures. If you’re someone who struggles to strike up a conversation with strangers, this could be your solution. No one’s talking underwater, after all.

Caye Caulker’s small size — you can walk around the island in about an hour — makes it ideal for backpackers and solo travelers looking to avoid over-touristed areas. You’ll often see people getting around on foot or by golf cart or water taxi, although getting a ride will obviously cost you a bit of money.

Overall, Belize is one of the more expensive Central American countries. However, Budget Your Trip estimates that a single traveler can stay in Belize for a week for less than $800. That’s less than almost every other destination on this list.

If you’re hesitant to try Central America because you Spanish is a bit rusty (or non-existent), Belize is where you want to go. As a former British colony, English is the country’s official language, although you will still hear Spanish and Kriol (Belizean Creole).

5. Portland, Oregon, USA



It’s Oregon’s largest city, which comes with advantages like plenty of accommodation, excellent food, and reliable public transportation. Yet, the city has maintained a small-town feel with quirky neighborhoods and an easy-to-bike layout.

If you’re worried about getting lonely or bored while traveling alone, just banish that thought from your head right now. Portland abounds with activities perfect for the solo explorer. Bookstores — more on those in a minute — coffee shops, markets, food trucks, and waterfront parks are ideal outings to get a taste of the local vibes with or without a companion.

If you’re looking for a new read to take with you to your next solo dinner, stop by Powell’s City of Books or Smith Family Books, my two favorite used bookstores in town. They’re also great ways to spend a few solitary hours, especially if the rainy Pacific Northwest weather starts to make you feel a bit gloomy.

6. Rwanda



Africa, and Rwanda in particular, might not be your first thought for solo traveling, but this East African country has a well-developed tourism industry that includes safari tours ideal for the lone traveler.

Safaris have been gaining popularity since the COVID pandemic. They’re a chance to see something completely out of the ordinary (for most of us) and immerse yourself in nature. “Slow safaris” are also predicted to be a major draw in 2024, so if you’re looking for a way to travel with less impact on the environment or want to experience stargazing at its finest, this one’s for you.

Rwanda is considered an inexpensive country, and Budget Your Trip says a one-week trip for a solo traveler can cost about $170. That, of course, depends on what you do. Safaris are not inexpensive, so be sure to factor that into your plans.

If you’re wondering about safety — we don’t blame you given the country’s history — the U.S. Department of State assigned Rwanda a Level 1 Travel Advisory (as of December 2023), meaning you should exercise normal precautions when visiting.

7. Patagonian Chile



Chile is packed with nature, history, arts, and more. Getting bored will be a challenge, and the relatively low cost of living in the Patagonia region means your travel budget can stretch further.

Any trip to Patagonia should include Torres del Paine National Park. Join a tour for a day hike or a week-long trek to some of the most epic views you’ll ever see. The mountain peaks are responsible for perhaps the most iconic scenes from this part of the world, and you’ll want to check them out for yourself.

When you aren’t hiking, spend some time in the small coastal towns. Isla Chiloé is a sleepy village with some interesting folklore and local artistic traditions. Puerto Natales and Punto Arenas, common jumping off points for environmental and wildlife tours, should also be on your itinerary.

Comparatively speaking, Chile has one of the highest counts of English speakers in South America. In my experience, though, most of those people work in the tourism industry or are college students. If you go farther afield, you’ll want a basic understanding of Spanish.

Travel Insurance for Women’s Solo Travel

Anything can happen when you travel. Mishaps don’t care who you are, whether you’re alone or with a group, or if you’re at home or on safari. That’s why travel insurance is so important for anyone, but especially the solo traveler.

Consider the financial investment you’re making in your trip. While it’s generally cheaper to travel alone than with a family, you may have additional expenses such as single supplement fees, or you might splurge a bit on accommodations in a safer part of town. If you have to cancel or interrupt your trip for a covered reason, travel insurance can reimburse you for prepaid, nonrefundable trip expenses.

If you get sick or hurt during your trip, travel insurance can also pay for medical treatment. This is also a situation where having 24/7 emergency travel assistance services can be especially helpful. Navigating a foreign medical system is never easy, but when you don’t feel well and you’re trying to figure everything out on your own, it can feel downright impossible.

Every Seven Corners plan comes with assistance services to help you find medical care and provide translation services to help you communicate with your medical team. If your plan has a benefit that pays for a family member to join you if you’re sick abroad, Seven Corners Assist can help make those arrangements.

See how Seven Corners helped reunite Makenzie and her mother when Makenzie got sick while traveling solo in Europe.

Before you set off on your solo adventure, get a quick quote online. You might be surprised how affordable travel insurance is and how simple it can be to protect your trip, health, and belongings. Seven Corners licensed agents are also available if you have questions or need help customizing your plan to best suit your needs.

Search Posts

Newsletter alert

Receive our monthly inspiration and travel tips from the travel insurance experts.

  Sign me up

This website and various social media updates provided by Seven Corners contain content, information, articles, videos, and links to websites created by third parties. Seven Corners, its owners, and its employees neither endorse nor are responsible for the accuracy, timeliness, or reliability of any third-party information, statements, opinions, or advice and are not liable for any loss, harm, or damage caused by your reliance upon them. Use of such information or the linked websites is entirely at your risk. Concerns regarding this third-party content should be directed to the third party. Seek professional advice, as appropriate, regarding your use of such information and websites.

Because the information on this website and in Seven Corners’ blogs and other social media is written and compiled using knowledge and information available at a certain point in time, it may become outdated. For that reason, information, events, legal requirements, and product changes (including benefits, limitations, exclusions, and services) may not be up-to-date, complete, or accurate at the point in time it is being read. Again, use of such information is at your risk.