6 Tips for Women Solo Traveling in Europe
Solo traveling in Europe can be a unique and fulfilling adventure for anyone, but it often seems to be a travel experience that only men seem to be able to enjoy. But for the adventurous woman, solo traveling need not be an anxiety-inducing situation. Here are some tips and travel essentials that will help you succeed on your next adventure, solo traveling in Europe.
Buy a solid purse, with an over the-chest-strap, that zips closed
Depending on where you’re visiting, having a purse with an over-the-chest strap, a zipper, and a flap that covers the opening to the purse is the best kind of accessory you can travel with. Pickpockets love easy targets, and a woman with a purse that is squarely in front of her body, with a strap over her chest, and secured by a zipper, is an obvious visual deterrent. Be aware, but be confident; pickpockets and purse-snatchers are looking for individuals with their heads down who are oblivious to their surroundings.
Purchase a money belt/travel wallet
When traveling between cities, or when you’re in crowded, touristy areas, another great way to keep your money other valuables safe is by using a money belt. There are a variety of styles, but over the hips or around the neck travel wallets keep valuables hidden underneath your clothing – out of sight and out of the mind of pickpockets who will look for easier targets.
With modern technology, there are a variety of great walking tours for many major European cities that you can use while out visiting the sites. But headphones have another great purpose – they keep unwanted attention away from you. Street vendors can be very pushy with their wares, but if you don’t make eye contact and have your headphones in, they will often act like you are invisible. When traveling alone at night, it is best to keep your ears open and free from obstruction, but another tip is to keep the headphones in, but keep the music and the audio guides off as it is a visual signal to passersby that you are not interested in conversation. Headphones make it easy for you to decide when you feel like engaging with locals.
Bring an unlocked cell phone and purchase an international SIM card
Before you leave, the best thing you can do is unlock your cell phone so that it is open for any cell phone carrier. Most modern cell phones are able to be used on European networks, but be sure to ask your cell phone manufacturer before you leave. Some cell phone carriers offer international plans, but given the rate of competition within Europe, it is often cheaper to purchase a SIM card when you arrive. Be sure to research cell phone providers and plans before you go, otherwise, you could be stuck with a huge language barrier and a phone without a reliable plan.
Female only hostels
Another great part about solo traveling in Europe is that, even if you are alone, you can stay in a friendly hostel when you do feel like company. Many hostels offer female-only dorm rooms, or private rooms, for safety. Often, staying in a dorm room is a cheaper alternative, as you are sharing it with many other people, but if you prefer your privacy (and the quiet), you can always fork over the money for a private room.
Learn some of the local language before you go and download a translation app
A little can go a long way and it’s always best to learn some of the local language before you decided to head out. Even if it’s something as simple as, “Where is the restroom?” or, “I need help.” You never know when you’ll be stuck in a place where no one speaks English, so it’s better to be prepared. For added help, you can download a translation application onto your cell phone and pull it out for help when needed.
Women solo traveling in Europe needn’t be a stressful situation, all it takes is a little planning and you’ll be well on your own road to adventure – with no one there to hold you back but yourself.