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Declaring oneself a solo traveler carries the allure of independence and assertiveness. It seems like a romantic idea to take off into the horizon with only a rough itinerary and your Cabeau travel pillow, but make no mistake, such freedom also comes with certain risks.

As a woman, in particular, there are some ground rules that are best followed when it comes to solo female travel. Being alone on the road can be exhilarating, but before you set off, be sure to review these travel tips to make sure you have the information you need to successfully navigate any trip on your own.

1. Do Your Research

It’s one thing to hop aboard the next flight to anywhere, but don’t take risks you aren’t prepared for. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling to Canada or Timbuktu––safety concerns exist everywhere and being aware of them is essential for your own security. Check your embassy’s travel alerts and scan message boards on popular travel sites to see what the common safety concerns might be for solo female travel wherever you go. Consider registering with your embassy as well to let them know where you are in the country and for how long in case of emergencies or natural disasters.

2. Try to Blend In

Never underestimate the power of passing off as a local. One of the most helpful tips for solo female travel is to make sure you blend in with the crowd. It’s not always possible, but it’s worth a shot. If you’re worried at all about standing out, join a tour group during the initial stage of your voyage until you get your sense of direction around town. This way, you can appear as though you know where you’re going. In other words, don’t wear shorts in Europe!

3. Find a Travel Buddy

Simply finding a friend or two to have your back for a few days can give you a feeling of security while traveling. The best part about going it alone is that you will have ample opportunities to meet friends. You already share the common interest of adventure, so strike up a conversation with others in the same situation and band together where possible. Keep some treats from home on hand to share with others you meet on the road.

4. Stay Alert

Many travelers fall victim to petty crime that can often be avoided by following a few simple rules. Fiddling with your phone for directions or walking around with headphones on shows carelessness. By displaying your gadgets for all to see, you have made yourself a walking target for thieves. One of our best tips for solo female travel is to organize. Try looking for functional travel gear that will hide your valuables and keep them within easy reach. The Cabeau S3 travel pillow, for example, features easy-stow pockets for keeping items hidden and secure while you’re in transit.

5. Have a Backup Plan

Booking accommodations suitable for solo female travel is not always easy. A room to yourself can come at a premium cost, and shared accommodation can be uncomfortable when you’re on your own. If you arrive at your pre-booked location and feel uneasy, trust your instincts and get out as soon as possible. Make sure you have a list of nearby hotels you can access in case your planned digs don’t work out. You’ll rest easier, even if it costs you a bit more.

6. Party Safely

It’s easy to let loose a little when you’re out of town, but knowing your limits is key for any traveler. Never leave your drink unattended, and only accept drinks from the bartender. Be mindful of travel advisories relating to tainted alcohol. In some areas, for example, it may be safer to stick with bottled beer instead of liquor. Be very careful about accepting invitations that could put you in a sticky spot –– and always tell a friend where you are, even if it’s via text or email.

7. Know Your Way Back

When you’re out enjoying the nightlife, research the safest way to get home ahead of time. It may be a taxi, but in some areas, an Uber could be a safer bet. Try to share transportation with a travel buddy when you can. Keep a card with the address of your hotel or hostel written in the local language. This can be a lifesaver if you forget where you are.

8. Understand the Rules

The downside of solo female travel is that the act of traveling alone is poorly understood in some cultures. Be mindful of any laws pertaining to women. Some countries have rules that limit what women can and cannot do on their own, such as driving vehicles or wearing certain styles of clothing. In others, simply traveling as a woman on your own is considered strange. You are not at home, so be understanding if locals are surprised to see you traveling solo.

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Last but not least, you should expect to find yourself second-guessing your choice to go it alone at some point on the journey. Being pushed to your limits and taking risks within reason is all part of the solo experience! You can do it. Let Cabeau help you feel a more at home while you’re on the journey with some great travel accessories to keep you cozy.

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