Travelling alone is no longer unheard of where women are concerned. The feeling of deciding your destination, the length of your stay and how you will spend the time can be hugely liberating and fulfilling.
So while a solo woman trip is a great thing to do, one must bear a few things in mind. Travelling alone could be challenging, especially if not planned well. And when it comes to women, there are a few more things to consider, especially concerning physical safety.
We have identified a few pointers for you to consider before planning a solo trip-
1. A Well-Planned Itinerary
Planning is essential in every aspect of life, but when it comes to travel, you cannot do without it. There are a few things which you must decide beforehand to ensure that your trip is enjoyable and memorable for the right reasons.
For instance, it is essential to research your destination, places to stay, and things to do. Also, you must try and understand the culture and traditions of the places you intend to visit to make the experience enriching and of course, you must make all your bookings in advance.
When choosing a place to stay, it is always better to stick to well-known, well-connected places. It may cost a bit more, but it will be worth it. Do check the reviews before booking.
If you research, you will also find many backpacker hostels scattered all over the country that are economical, comfortable and safe and help you meet other travellers.
Book through trusted travel websites if you prefer to stay in a hotel. Apps like Hotels.com and TripAdvisor.com have abundant listings of hotels.
Also, plan to arrive at your destination during day time to avoid navigating a strange place at night. All your sightseeing trips should also be planned for the day so that in case of a glitch, you can get help. And book yourself on organized group tours rather than embarking on your own.
3. Keep Your Friends and Family Informed About Your Travel Plans
Keeping your loved ones informed about your travel plans is essential. Sharing your live location with them could make your travel safe and hassle-free.
4. Use Public Transport
When travelling solo, it is advisable to use public transport. Not only is it safe, but it is also a great way to understand the local culture, customs and traditions. Understanding other cultures can be an enriching experience in a diverse country like ours.
The added advantage is that public transport is cheaper and more reliable than private transport. If using a cab, make sure the cab service is trusted. You can download cab agency apps like Ola and Uber. These cab agencies have GPS-enabled systems making your journey safe and smooth. If you are taking a taxi, turn on your GPS to keep track of the route. Point out if you see any discrepancies.
It’s always better to note the taxi/auto registration number and name before getting in and sending it to a friend or a family member.
Also Read: 21 Famous Historical Places in India
5. Be Confident and Vigilant but Not Fearful
No matter where you are, be wary of your surroundings and keep an eye on what is happening around you. People all over the country are generally very helpful. So if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, don’t hesitate to seek help. In case of any unpleasant incident, don’t hesitate to point out and voice your discomfort. If required, create a scene so the perpetrator cannot get away.
If you are lost, don’t show it. Stay confident, ask the locals for directions, and you always have Google Maps to come to your rescue.
Make sure to stay in places where there are people around you. Avoid deserted and dark alleys. When interacting with strangers, do not reveal too much about yourself. Do not give your phone number, e-mail, home or local address.
And always trust your gut!
6. Keep Emergency Numbers Handy
When travelling alone, safety is of paramount importance, so it is wise to keep the relevant emergency numbers handy:
- Women’s helpline:181
- All-in-one emergency number: 112
- Police: 100
- Fire: 101
- Ambulance: 102
- Anti-Stalking Cell ( New Delhi): 1091
- Helpline for Women(New Delhi) : 1092
- Indian Railways helpline numbers: 182,138 and 1322.
- Tourist helpline: 1800-11-1363
7. Remember the Basics
- Pack wisely depending on the season
- Get copies of your essential documents like your Aadhar, passport etc.,
- Do not carry valuables
- Carry a reasonable amount of cash
- Get a travel insurance
- Book a guided tour whenever possible
- Stay connected via phone or social media. Keep your friends or family aware of your location and travel plans.
- Download women-safety apps like SmartShehar, VithU and Suspect Registry.
- Carry a whistle and pepper spray.
8. Consider Local Customs When It Comes to Dressing
India is a mix of conservative and liberal minds, and the dress code for women varies from region to region. While big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Goa fall into the liberal category, villages and small towns in some states, fall into the conservative one. Therefore while choosing your clothes, try not to attract unwanted attention. When you dress like the locals, you are not only being safe but are always conveying that you respect their culture and traditions.
With these tips in mind, go ahead and make the most of your solo woman trip!