Top suggestions for ladies travelling solo: 'If you’re feeling scared, do it anyway' – EL PAÍS in English

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“Just do it, and if you feel scared, do it anyway.” When I first heard this phrase, it struck a chord as a result of it’s precisely how I felt once I launched into my first journey alone: scared, unsure and doubting my skill to unravel the type of issues which may crop up removed from dwelling. As properly as my very own insecurities, I needed to take care of warnings from pals and acquaintances, similar to: “Don’t travel alone, it’s risky!” I don’t blame them; stereotypes, the gender hole and the challenges girls particularly face in sure nations reinforce this false impression, to the purpose that we could be tempted to restrict what we do and the place we go.

Mariel Galan sailing on the Guadeloupe sea after fulfilling her dream of visiting Marie-Galante Island.
Mariel Galan crusing on the Guadeloupe sea after fulfilling her dream of visiting Marie-Galante Island.

But girls have traveled alone since time immemorial and adversity has all the time been a continuing. Despite the challenges going through solo girls vacationers, there’s no scarcity of us. According to Statista, a world statistics platform, 70% of the world’s vacationers are girls and, in line with analysis carried out by, 62% of Latin American girls have made a minimum of one worldwide journey alone.

My first journey was in Mexico. Years later, I traveled via the remainder of the Americas as well as Europe, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, all of which has allowed me to compile helpful suggestions for different girls wishing to embark on related solo adventures.

Choose your vacation spot

What do you think about your first journey alone will include? Will it contain strolling in a forest, touring an historical metropolis or discovering a brand new tradition? Give it some thought and assess how possible it’s to undertake, primarily based in your funds, the time obtainable to you and your expertise. If you’re a first-timer, begin by touring domestically or go to nations the place you’re feeling comfy with the language and tradition.

Ampersand Travel, an company specializing in luxurious expeditions in Asia and Africa, launched the Wander Women Index 2020 world information, which listed the most effective locations for solo feminine vacationers primarily based on components similar to services, security and girls’s rights. According to this index, the six most secure nations, so as of point out, are: New Zealand, the Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Canada.

Information is energy

I consider that information helps to guard me. I spend a variety of time planning and discovering out the most effective locations to remain, what the tradition is like and the way complicated the transport system is.

Lodging is vital

When it involves lodging, I search for choices which can be centrally situated and near subway stations. My maxim is to learn the feedback of different vacationers. There are many search engines like google, however amongst these I exploit essentially the most are,, Expedia and Airbnb – in case the host lives in the identical house, I favor her to be a lady and test her ranking.

A selfie in front of the Colosseum in Rome. M. G.
A selfie in entrance of the Colosseum in Rome. M. G.
M. G.

Keep secure

One of my golden guidelines is to be as secure as I’m in my very own metropolis. Here are a few of my fundamental issues: I by no means stroll alone at night time, I don’t go to sleep on any technique of transport, every time I meet somebody on my journey I keep in public locations and I don’t often inform them the place I’m staying. I additionally hold my cash in a couple of place and I hold my household knowledgeable of my actions whereas sharing my location in actual time with one in every of my contacts. Just in case, I grasp a whistle on the zipper of my backpack and hold it useful to blow in an emergency. If I need to exit for the night time, I plan how you can get again to my lodging, strive to not carry a bag and control my drinks. Finally, I belief my instinct if it’s telling me it’s finest to again off, take motion or depart.

Make use of know-how

Having web when touring alone is a should. What works finest for me is to purchase a sim card from an area firm within the nation or continent I’m visiting. Even although my unique quantity is Mexican, I nonetheless hold my WhatsApp contacts. Another choice is to purchase worldwide playing cards or discover a WiFi hotspot. Apps are additionally useful. I exploit Google Translator, Google Find My Device and Surfshark VPN (a digital personal community via which I can join securely to public WiFi, stopping theft of my knowledge).

Get insured

Taking out journey insurance coverage is a accountable and preventative measure. There are corporations that provide journey help, a service that’s extra full than worldwide medical insurance coverage.

Sign up for experiences

I’ve discovered that signing up for journey experiences has been one of the simplest ways to make pals. I’ve met folks in lots of nations, however I fondly keep in mind Maria, a Spanish girl who turned an incredible ally after we met on a canyoning tour in Ecuador, and the group of pals I made in Colombia after taking a vallenato people music class.

Travel mild

Packing mild has many benefits: it affords you higher mobility, will cease you from changing into drained and distracted, and prevent time. If you’re making an attempt to decide on between a backpack or suitcase, I’ve to say I really feel extra comfy with a backpack as a result of it’s extra sensible when strolling and taking public transport, although it is a matter of style. Mine is 50 liters, has loads of compartments and padded shoulder straps.

Posing with Embera women from the Tusipono indigenous community in Panama. M. G.
Posing with Embera girls from the Tusipono indigenous group in Panama. M. G.
M. G.

Throw your self into native life

Living with an area presents a way of safety whereas making me really feel nearer to the nation’s tradition. Locals typically give me the most effective tips about how you can go to much less touristy locations and expertise extra genuine journey. It was because of Hector, a fisherman I talked to in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, that I found the most effective seafood restaurant in Mexico.

The concern of touring alone was assuaged by really touring. With or with out concern, there are a rising variety of feminine explorers, who discover one another, create group and hold one another robust. To reiterate what I say in my movies: “Travel, you are not alone.”

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