Never before have more women been traveling solo! Singletons of all ages and stages in life: never-been-married, divorced, widowed… all kinds of women are deciding not to wait to be paired up or until a friend can be a travel companion to embark on dream journeys.
They’re making plans to travel now. Does that sound like you? If so, you’re part of one of the top travel trends, and the great news is that the world has never been more accessible to solo travelers, especially solo women travelers.
Here are three of the most burning questions women often ask before committing to travel on their own, and my tips for solo travel:
1. Is it safe?
Let’s face it – everyone’s daily commute has risks. But the idea of traveling alone in an unfamiliar location makes many savvy women newly thoughtful about their personal safety.
To help you decide where you might want to try solo travel, here are the results of a recent study that ranked three dozen popular tourist countries for their safety for solo women travelers.
The ranking was based on seven measurements about things like the percentage of women in a country who report experiencing violence, who feel safe walking home or at night, of how a society feels about domestic violence or violence against women, and the strength of local laws protecting women. The data came from organizations like the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Bank.
Only one of the countries that made the top ten list of the safest destinations for solo women travelers was outside of Europe.
Ireland topped the safe list with a score of 7.88/10, with Austria, Norway, Slovenia and Switzerland rounding out the top five.
The only non-European nation that made the top 10 was Canada, which ranked 8th, with Spain and Portugal ranked slightly higher and the Netherlands and Poland completing the top 10. One other non-European nation, Japan, barely missed the top 10, coming in at 11th in the rankings.
Tip for Staying Safe:
Also, don’t forget the old mantra “There’s safety in numbers.” Traveling solo doesn’t mean you have to travel alone – group travel is a great way to travel solo – and stay safe.
2. Is it more expensive?
Travel often prices trips for ‘double occupancy.’ That is: two people to a room. And that can put solo travelers at a financial disadvantage. If you don’t want or don’t have anyone to share with, it can leave you on the hook for double the price.
Well, the good news is that more and more travel companies are catering to the solo travel crowd. Some serve only singletons or even single women, with no ‘single surcharge’ at all; they’ve negotiated prices for accommodations that don’t penalize their solo women travelers. Others specialize in singletons and pair up solos who are willing to share a room to save.
Other tour companies and cruise lines offer occasional solo travel specials, where they waive the single traveler surcharge. These are terrific deals that give you the full experience without having to share!
Tip for Maximizing your Solo Travel Budget:
Your expert travel advisor can help you take advantage of solo travel specials whether it’s an ocean or river cruise or a small- or full-sized group land tour that interests you.
More and more travel companies are catering to solo travelers, especially women. There are some companies that serve only women solo travelers! And many, many others who make special accommodations, packages, and pricing arrangements for women seizing the day and hitting the road on their own.
3. Is it worth it?
Solo travel can seem like a lot of effort. But if you’re craving travel, finding the optimal way to travel solo is your dream come true.
And the good news is that solo travel doesn’t have to mean you’re on your own.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Solo Travel:
I mentioned group travel already. Groups provide not just extra safety and an expert local tour guide who knows the lay of the land to make you feel completely secure. The local group tour leader can give you the best local knowledge for you to spend your free time, so you have a built-in support system and source of information.
Groups also people to socialize with, and if you’re a bit intimidated by the idea of a large group, take heart! Tour groups can range from a full coach of 40 people to as small as half a dozen people. You have a wide range of options for the number of people you’ll be sharing your journey with.
Plus, working with a qualified travel advisor means there’s always someone with the full details of your travel plans at home who’s in your corner – and able to help sort out any glitch that may happen while you’re on your solo travel journey.
Start your Solo Trip!
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