Skip to Main Content

Thank you for signing up!

Here's your guide:

Solo Travel Guide for Women

Tips, trips and blogs about women’s solo travel.

Are you one of over 70% of American women who travel solo? Solo travel for women is on the rise, both in the U.S. and internationally. We’ve entered a New Era for Women’s Solo Travel. But solo female travelers have unique considerations apart from our male counterparts. Will I be safe traveling alone as a woman? Will my trip as a solo female traveler be lonely? Where are the best places for women to travel solo? Whether you’re a student of any age studying abroad, a newly widowed woman considering her first solo trip or a frequent solo female traveler, we have put together some helpful solo travel tips, trip ideas and blogs to help guide you along on your solo journeys around the world.

Worried About Traveling Alone as a Solo or Single Woman?

Single women traveling alone share many of the same concerns

Solo travel can be an enriching experience, allowing you to build autonomy, learn more about yourself, and follow your plans and interests. However, traveling alone as a woman can also be nerve-wracking and, in some cases, unsafe. With that said, it’s essential to know how to travel alone as a woman.

As a woman, you might get responses of concern and unease when you mention the idea of traveling alone, which might be warranted in some cases, but traveling solo as a woman should be liberating and freeing. While some areas in the world might not be as safe for women as others, solo female travel is on the rise and can be an excellent opportunity for you to get out and explore the world. With that said, we’ve compiled a list of the top solo female travel tips, so that you can ensure a safe and exciting adventure.

If you’re a single woman nervous about traveling alone, consider traveling solo but with a group! When you travel alone with other singles, you can look out for each other, take photos for each other and share a room or other expenses. Venture out on a group trip, and you can feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in traveling solo without the fears and anxiety that can come with it.

Plus, traveling with a group is a great way to find a travel companion for future trips. We hear countless stories each year about single women and solo travelers who met on a group trip and became lifelong friends, often traveling together for years after.

Here Are Tips for Women's Solo Travel:

1. Take Care of Your Health and Fitness

You don’t need to be a marathon runner or have a black belt in karate to safely travel alone as a female. But being in shape and taking care of your health before going on your solo trip will always be beneficial for a successful outcome.

If you are caught in a dangerous situation, knowing how to defend yourself will help you travel confidently through the world. Consider buying self-defense tools such as a personal safety alarm, a rape whistle, or bug spray (in place of Mace). If you are being robbed by a perpetrator with a weapon, it is best to avoid fighting back. Give them your belongings and be grateful you were prepared with travel insurance.


2. Avoid Overpacking and Stick to Essentials

The ultimate advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Remember that as a solo traveler, it will be your responsibility to haul your baggage from place to place. If you need to hop aboard a train, it is much easier with a small rolling bag and backpack instead of two big suitcases.

Here are a few handy tips on smart packing for women’s solo travel:

  • Make a packing list: One of the best ways to prevent overpacking is to make a list of what you should bring and cross out anything you think you can do without on your trip. Lay out the outfits to assess whether you have everything you need or have too many items.
  • Packing cubes: Using packing cubes to compartmentalize and organize your clothing is a great way to keep your packing tight.
  • Limit shoes: Shoes take up so much space in a suitcase. When trying to be an efficient packer, limit the pairs of shoes you bring.
  • Pack only essentials: Bring practical essentials you can wear more than once or mix and match. A couple of pairs of pants, a few blouses, T-shirts, sundresses, and a versatile sweater should suffice.
  • Bring a first aid kit: Traveling always brings the unexpected, and you must be ready for anything when traveling alone. Bring a health kit filled with Band-Aids, ointments, antibiotics, Neosporin, and pain relievers.


3. Setting Boundaries and Dealing With Unwanted Attention

One of the first ways to build boundaries against unwanted attention is to show confidence in how you walk and talk. If someone will not leave you alone, use an assertive voice and confident body language. Do not be afraid to be extra firm in your responses.

In some countries, saying “no” to unwanted attention is a game. For example, if you are being hit on in Buenos Aires, saying “no” is an invitation for the person making an advance to keep trying. If you are faced with unwanted attention, don’t be afraid to be assertive and even harsh with your response if you feel uncomfortable. Instead of no, you could say, “Please leave me alone” or “I’m not interested in you.”

If you are a solo female traveler and get the question, “Are you traveling alone?” there is no reason to disclose whether you're single, married, or traveling solo. If you feel uncomfortable, it’s OK to say that you are traveling with a friend or partner, and they are waiting for you at a nearby cafe.


4. Choose Your Destination With Intent

One of the most important tips for traveling alone as a woman is to choose your destination carefully. Unfortunately, not all areas offer women the same freedoms as you might find in the United States or across Europe. This means women traveling to other areas across the globe who are accustomed to the freedoms granted in their home country should research on the customs and laws of the area to which they’re traveling.

No matter where you decide to travel, it’s always important to follow the customs and rules of your destination, not only as a sign of respect but to be safe, too. Choosing your destination with intent also allows you to learn more about the area you’re traveling to and find attractions and places you want to visit and explore.


5. Plan Your First Night Well

One of the top tips on how to travel alone as a woman is to plan your first night well. Whether your travel day only takes a few hours or an entire day, you will most likely be exhausted from the journey to your destination. With a plan in place, you can have peace of mind knowing you can have a relaxing night to rejuvenate you for the days ahead.

To plan your night well, keep a few key tricks in mind. These tips include:

  • Transportation: Getting around a new city can be challenging. Plan your transportation ahead of time rather than waiting the day of your trip to find out how you’re getting from the airport or train station to your rental house or hotel, plan your transportation ahead of time. Whether it’s taking the local bus system, metro, or rideshare, having your transportation plan will greatly relieve stress.
  • Lodging: Another solo female travel trip is having a full plan in place for your lodging. Before embarking on your journey, make sure your lodging is planned and confirmed, including the check-in date and the number of nights you’re staying.
  • Food: Traveling can be exhausting, and after a long day, it’s essential to have a basic idea of where and what you’re going to eat. If you have any dietary restrictions, look for local areas to meet your needs, so you have enough fuel to power you through the rest of your trip.


6. Take a Break From Technology

Traveling alone as a woman can be an incredibly liberating and exciting experience. However, using technology as a crutch can be easy, when you can’t confide in a travel partner. While turning to your smartphone in times of boredom might be tempting, one of the key tips for women traveling alone is taking a break from technology.

Distancing yourself from technology, whether it’s staying in late in the morning watching TV or relying on your cell phone when out in public, can be a great way to discover new things. Instead of turning to technology, put yourself out there and interact with locals to learn more about local traditions and customs. You can also explore new areas, such as a historical attraction or a museum. You can make more meaningful memories when exploring a new place without spending time using technology.


7. Protect Your Documents, Cards, and Cash

One of the top solo female travel tips is protecting your documents, cards, and money. In many metropolitan cities, pickpockets are prevalent and can steal important and expensive items like your smartphone or cash. Additionally, some staff or patrons at hotels, motels, or hostels may comb through your items when you’re out exploring and steal your stuff.

With that said, it’s essential to protect all personal belongings when traveling solo as a woman. Some tips for protecting your personal items include:

  • Investing in a suitcase with a built-in lock
  • Placing items in the safe provided by your hotel
  • Traveling with a theft-proof bag Being aware of your surroundings
  • Purchasing travel insurance

With these tips for women traveling alone, you can have peace of mind knowing your personal belongings are safe and secure when discovering the world around you.


8. Meet Other Women Travelers

Our final tip in our solo female travel guide is meeting other women travelers. Just because you’re traveling solo doesn’t mean you have to go at it alone. Along the way, you can meet a wide range of fellow solo female travelers from diverse backgrounds who you can spend time with, whether sharing a meal or exploring a local destination. You can meet other women travelers by participating in a travel group, at local areas like a store, or through social media. However, it’s always important to be safe and meet with new people in public places.


How Solo Female Travel Builds Confidence

Now that you know how to travel alone as a woman, it’s time to take the plunge and embark on your next adventure. Solo female travel can build confidence in several ways, making solo travel a worthwhile experience. Some of the ways traveling alone as a woman builds confidence include:

  • Speaking up: When traveling alone, you don’t have someone to speak for you. This means it’s up to you to ask for directions, help, or something simple like a cup of coffee.
  • Problem-solving: Because you’re traveling alone, you don’t have another person to rely on in certain scenarios that require problem-solving, such as navigating public transportation or speaking in another language.
  • Learning: Solo travel is also a great learning experience. Not only do you learn more about the world around you, but you also learn more about yourself, including your strengths and weaknesses.

“The Grand Canyon was one of the most spectacular sights I have ever seen! All of the people on our trip were kind and easy to get along with. I signed up for a double room, even though I was traveling solo. My roommate and I got along from the moment we met! This was a week I will never forget.”

— Sherrie from Santa Rosa, Calif. —

Best Travel Groups for Single and Solo Women

Road Scholar’s travel groups are great for single women and solo travelers. You’ll find that more than 60% of Road Scholars are women, and over 25% travel solo, so you likely won’t be the only solo female traveler in the group. Plus, couples and friends who travel together on Road Scholar programs are always warm and welcoming to single women traveling in the group.

Go solo without being alone …

“My Independent Venice trip was phenomenal. The group members were diverse and made me feel welcome, and there were enough solo travelers that I did not feel as if I was always on my own. Even the couples invited me on outings and to eat! I met some really engaging, interesting people that only enhanced my experience in Venice, which is a beautiful place to wander and learn.”

- Cheryl from Lansing, MI | Independent Venice

Solo Female Travel Groups

If you’re concerned about traveling solo as a woman, it can be comforting to travel with a supportive group of just women. Solo women who have experienced Road Scholar’s Women's-Only Travel Groups will tell you there’s something special about traveling with a group of just women:

“There was a strong sense of community amongst our group of women of varied ages and backgrounds. It was an amazing and inspiring experience which I will hold close to my heart for many years to come! Our Group Leader was an incredible person, and I thank her for her constant devotion to each of us during this blissful journey.”

- Rhonda from Windsor, Colo. | Women's Retreat in New Mexico

Read more about the women’s-only experience from a solo traveler who tried it: Women-Only Travel is Not a Trip — It’s a Journey.

Top Solo Trips for Single Women

City Tours for Single Women

Experience the southern charms of Charleston and Savannah or immerse yourself in Czech culture in Prague. Hit the city on an adventure for single women, and you’ll bond together as you learn about art and culture around the world.

Browse City Tours for Single Women → 

Women’s Outdoor Adventures

Discover solo women tours outdoors, and join a supportive group of women on active adventures around the world! Discover a special bond with nature and with your fellow solo female travelers on solo women tours from Glacier National Park to the rainforests of Costa Rica and the Swiss Alps!

Browse Women's Outdoor Adventures →

Women’s Hiking Trips & Retreats

Hiking holidays are a favorite among single women vacationing alone. Join a group of women on the trails, and you’ll find a special bond as you accomplish physical challenges together.

“As a solo female traveler, I have been looking for a way to take some of the hiking trips on my bucket list. This turned out to be the perfect answer. I think Road Scholar is the key to my solo travel future.”

– Sally from Edmonds, Wash.

Browse Women's Hiking Trips & Retreats →

Health & Wellness Retreats for Women

Spiritual, invigorating, empowering, rejuvenating. On health and wellness tours for single and solo women, you can relax in the comforting presence of a group of women and focus on your personal wellness. Practice daily yoga and meditation and learn more about other healing activities like Quigong, Ayurveda and more, from California to New Mexico.

Browse Health & Wellness Retreats for Women →

Cruises for Single Women & Solo Travelers

Boarding a big cruise ship as a single woman or solo traveler can be daunting. You may be concerned about getting lost in the crowd, feeling lonely on your cruise or wondering, “are cruises are safe for single women?” A small ship or riverboat cruise is a great option, especially if you join a women’s-only cruise. You’ll meet other solo female travelers in the more intimate setting and be welcomed by all the other women in your small group.

Road Trips for Single Women

If you’re considering hitting the road alone, consider enrolling in a road trip for single women. Road trip from Nashville to Memphis, learning about music history along the way. Or journey around Nova Scotia or Alaska as you bond with other women on the road. Joining a group of women means you get all the benefits of a road trip, but you don’t have to be the one behind the wheel!

Travel for Solo & Single Women Over 50

Nobody can avoid aging, but you can choose to age adventurously!

“Senior women” today don’t like to think of themselves as “seniors.” It often sounds like a dirty word. It makes you feel … old. When you hear “senior,” you think of your own grandparents, far less active and adventurous than your generation of boomer women. Nobody can avoid aging, but you can choose to age adventurously! And for many single women over 50, that means traveling.

If you’re a woman over 50 interested in travel but don’t have someone to travel with — whether you’re a widow traveling alone, divorced or just an independent woman looking to travel without your spouse — don’t let that hold you back from discovering the world! Solo travel for women over 50 is on the rise. Recent studies show that 71% of female solo travelers are 55 and older!

Many women over 50 find themselves with more time on their hands as your children leave the nest. And many woman over 60 are looking for a new hobby after retirement. You’re at a unique point in your life where you may have more time and financial security than ever before. You’ve worked hard your whole life — now’s the time to see the world! Today, “the average 65-year-old woman can expect to live for 19.3 more years.” Just think of all the destinations you can discover in 20 years!

Take a chance and find a new beginning …

“Before taking this trip, I was feeling that my life consisted merely of endings: I had stopped working; my grandchildren are now adults, so I’m not needed as much; I’ve been cleaning out the house and discarding memories of the past; and I was acclimating to widowhood. But voila! Going to Oxford was a beginning for me to meet new people and expand my knowledge of the world. I loved it, and hope to do more of the same in years to come!”

- Joan from Pasadena, Maryland | An Oxford World War II Conference

Are you the outdoorsy type?

Interested in hiking solo? Check out our Solo Hiking Tips for Senior Women by hiker and memoirist Lori Oliver-Tierney.

What if I’m not physically active?

Traveling as we age may mean that we aren’t as physically fit or able as we once were. But that doesn’t mean that there are no travel options for you! Road Scholar’s learning adventures offer tours for seniors of all ability levels.

Groups for Widows Traveling Alone

How to travel without feeling alone

When you lose your partner in life, you may also be losing your travel partner. Or maybe your partner wasn’t interested in travel and now you’re curious about pursuing a new passion on your own. Either way, traveling alone as a widow can be daunting. Adjusting to your new solo chapter can bring with it anxiety and loneliness. Widow travel groups can be a great option for widows traveling alone.

We see many widows traveling alone on our educational programs for seniors, and time and time again, they tell us how comforting it was to travel with a group. Road Scholars make all solo travelers feel welcome, and you can take comfort in knowing that your Group Leader will take care of you! This can also be comforting to your grown children who are apprehensive about you traveling solo.

Learn more about not-for-profit Road Scholar’s educational group trips for seniors to find your first solo travel tour for women.

Find confidence as a solo traveler …

“This was my first trip since my husband died. I was nervous to go by myself, but I shouldn't have bothered to be nervous — it was wonderful! I met many nice people, and the trip itself was perfect!”

— Wendy from Eagan, Minn. —

More Solo Travel Blogs

Looking for more tips for solo travelers? Check out our favorite solo travel blogs written by real solo female travelers!