Ten Ways to Be A Kick Arse Solo Female Traveler Backpacking around Europe
Here are ten ways to kick it up a notch and transform yourself into a fantastic solo female backpacking around Europe. And remember, you're not alone. Females make up at least 50% of the backpacker/independent travel market, which is a kick-ass statistic to begin with.
Go on trips alone
While this might seem like a no-brainer, this is the first step in being comfortable traveling by yourself. Just go. You don't have to go on a three month tour of India your first time out; maybe just take a trip alone to a nearby beach or killer museum the next town over. Relish your own company.
Traveling and indeed living as a single female means you have to increase your observation level a notch or two. Pay attention to what is going on around you. Read up on your destination, particularly where cultural norms are concerned. In many countries, just making eye contact with a male stranger indicates you are willing to play.
When in doubt, ask a local female for help
Whether you are lost on a strange street or can't find your bus, females will be there to help you along. Males will assist you as well, but often with a little more "help" than you need or want. It is safer to ask another woman.
Keep a journal
Besides giving you something "sensational to read on a train," as Oscar Wilde said, it can keep you busy yet still engaged with your environment if you are ever feeling a tad lonely or uncomfortable at dinner, waiting for a train, etc. Plus as you travel more, you will be able to read back and see how you have grown.
Realize that by traveling alone you get to do exactly what you want to do, nothing less and nothing more. Want to get up before sunrise and eat four croissants with Nutella? How about sleeping until noon and then taking in an experimental violin performance? Why not? Savor doing whatever, whenever, wherever you want but be warned: you just might get spoiled!
Don't be too cocky
Yes, you are a smart, strong, modern woman but if your gut is telling you that a situation is unsafe or that a stranger just doesn't feel right, get the hell out of there even if your brain can't come up with any logical reason why. Your instincts and intuition are your most powerful security measures for keeping yourself secure; don't let your brain override your fear because you insist on being nice.
But be fearless
When it comes to trying new experiences, whether that means a strange new dish in Hungary, bungy jumping in the Alps, a language class in Barcelona or haggling for that perfect souvenir in Italy. Travel is about learning, and getting outside of your comfort zone means that you will grow as a person, though you may feel like an idiot in the meantime. If you only stick to doing what you know, you will never learn anything new.
Talk to other female travelers
Before AND after you go. Reap the riches of their expertise and their secrets and then return the favor by letting novices know that yes, you can be perfectly safe at night on your own. Some cities even have weekly meeting groups of solo female travelers. Google it.
Realize how awesome you are
Nothing will carry you like confidence, whether you are traveling around your town or around the world. This is YOUR world, and you are going to have an amazing trip- why have it any other way?
Stay in a Female Focused Hostel Once in a While
That's right, there are great European hostels that cater to females by providing female only floors with extra amenities like hairdryers, fluffy towels and fancy toiletries. Find out more about hostels that cater to females.