I have yet to share a solo travel experience, so when my friend Isabele approached me on sharing an article from a woman’s point of view traveling through Europe alone I was intrigued. And obviously I felt it was a voice that should be heard, as there are so many of us venturing across the globe in a variety of capacities – whether it be traveling with friends, family or by oneself, each angle should be considered. Please enjoy this post as Isabele shares a few tips for staying safe and enjoying your trip!
Traveling Through Europe – A Woman’s Point of View
Traveling alone through Europe is something we’ve all fantasized about. Who doesn’t want their own Eat, Pray, Love journey? Meeting strangers and falling in love with yourself in a strange land is certainly dreamlike, regardless of your gender or age. Then again, a woman traveling alone isn’t always highly encouraged, whether it be from negative press or concerned friends and family. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up the dream, you can still pull off an amazing solo trip with proper precautions.
As we all know, Amsterdam is a party-centric city. Along with this, it is a city brimming with culture and amazing sight-seeing opportunities. You don’t want to miss out on a bike ride along the canals.
Before you reach the city, it is advisable for you to contact a hostel beforehand. It may not be very glamorous, but it is cheaper than a hotel and safe for the single girl. Most of these places offer run of the mill meals for visitors at reasonable rates. Read up on a few reviews and ratings online before you settle on an accommodation, you can never be too safe!
Staying out late in Amsterdam is not at all unusual and most definitely fun. But for the companionless traveler, I personally would discourage it. The level of freedom in Amsterdam can be overwhelming for some.
Zurich is paradise for the solo traveler, or anyone for that matter! Switzerland has a comparatively lower crime rate than most European cities.
For the mountain and hiking-enthusiasts, I would suggest you contact a tour company and join a group. It’s a great way to meet new people with similar interests and you won’t get lost in the Alps. :)
Save all of your shopping for when you reach Zurich. Take an empty suitcase and I can guarantee you’ll fill it up in no time. Along with this, there are various female friendly hostels and many with a strict “no gentlemen guests” policy so you can relax and enjoy your trip minus the fretfulness.
France is beautiful and should definitely be explored – just make sure to use your hotel concierge for recommendations or directions versus asking strangers. And as always, try to avoid being out late when traveling alone.
Berlin is a pretty safe city for the curious female. You can comfortably travel around and explore its exceptional architecture and culture via rental car.
Don’t worry if your German is a little rough, English is widely spoken.
Tips for the Solo Traveler
- Plan ahead, including every meal and travel route inside each city.
- Keep emergency phone numbers i.e. Police, Hospital, Crisis Hotlines etc. with you at all times. Even better if you have a personal contact in the city.
- Be aware of random people offering you food and drinks.
- Trust your instincts. If something feels fishy, get out. Don’t take risks.
- Pack light and put comfort first. You probably won’t need 3 pairs of heels but you might need your hiking shoes.
- Utilize the maps app!
- Get travel cards, they’re easily available and extremely useful.
- Make sure you have digital and print copies of all important documents.
- Put locks on your bags and cases.
- Take your favorite book.
- Always carry a pen, notebook and band aids with you.
- Take your camera.
- Stick to crowds for your safety.
- Don’t leave your drinks unattended ANYWHERE.
- Carry pepper spray and keep it close by.
It can be a little intimidating and not everything will always go according to plan, but that’s the beauty of traveling alone. Stick to your itinerary, stay aware and enjoy your trip!
Thanks to my friend, Isabele, for her travel safety tips!