Traveling as a Woman Alone: The Pros and Cons

by | Dec 19, 2023 | Mental Health

vineyard in South Africa

Traveling as a Woman Alone: Introduction

As a solo female traveler, I’ve experienced the liberating freedom and the challenges that come with navigating diverse destinations on my own, from the bustling streets of Tokyo, to the Kalahari Desert in Botswana. I’ve discovered a deeper sense of self and independence.

Here, I’ll explore the pros and cons of solo female travel, providing insights and practical advice for those looking to embark on their own solo journeys. 

If you are looking for inspiration for your next adventure, take a look at our article Best Solo Travel Spots, where I cover 11 amazing places to visit as a (female) solo traveler.

Pros of Traveling Alone as a Woman

Traveling as a woman alone offers a range of benefits, let’s explore the main advantages:

Freedom and Flexibility

    • Personalized Itinerary: You have the liberty to design your trip exactly as you wish, visiting places that interest you most without having to compromise. For me personally, one of the best things about solo travel is the ability to embrace slow travel, which you can read more about in the article  Slow Travel: it’s All About that Pace.
    • Spontaneity: The freedom to make spontaneous decisions, whether it’s a last-minute museum visit or a change in travel plans, is a unique perk of solo travel.
Stefanie, traveling as a woman alone to Sossusvlei in Namibia

    • Relaxation and Peace: Traveling alone means you can take time out whenever you need it, enjoying moments of peace and relaxation away from the pressures of daily life. 
    • Indulging Interests: Pursue activities you love, whether it’s a cooking class, a photography walk, or simply reading in a quaint café.

Confidence Booster

    • Navigating Challenges: Overcoming the challenges of solo travel, from language barriers to unfamiliar public transport, boosts confidence significantly.
    • Self-Reliance: Making decisions alone and relying on your instincts enhances self-confidence and decision-making skills.


    • Understanding Yourself: Traveling alone provides valuable time for introspection, helping you understand your preferences, fears, and desires more deeply. I 
    • Growth Mindset: Being on your own in different settings fosters a growth mindset, enabling you to learn and adapt continuously.

No Drama with Fellow Travelers

    • Stress-Free Experience: Avoiding the potential conflicts and compromises that come with group travel leads to a more relaxed and enjoyable experience. No friend crying over the fact that she misses her boyfriend back home or any other drama.
    • Personal Space: Enjoying your own company without the need to accommodate others’ preferences or moods.

Unexpected Connections

    • New Friendships: Solo travel often leads to making new friends, as you’re more likely to reach out to fellow travelers or locals.
    • Cultural Exchange: Engaging directly with local people and cultures often results in more authentic and meaningful interactions.

Traveling as a woman alone not only offers a sense of liberation and flexibility but also leads to profound personal growth and unexpected, enriching experiences. 

The Cons of Traveling as a Woman Alone

Traveling solo as a woman comes with its own set of challenges. Here’s how you can handle them smartly and safely:

Loneliness: Overcoming the Solo Travel Blues

Feeling lonely while solo traveling happens to all of us at some point, so learning to love your own company is key.

    • Find Joy in Solitude: Engage in activities like reading or local classes to enjoy your own company.
    • Make New Connections: Be open to forming friendships with fellow travelers or locals, transforming solitude into an opportunity for new relationships.

You can read more tips to combat loneliness during solo travel in the article Is Traveling Alone lonely?

Solitude: sitting by a stream in Switzerland

Safety: A Top Priority for Solo Women Travelers

Let’s be real, the world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows (though some destinations come pretty close!). In certain places, traveling as a woman alone requires a bit more caution than a group trip

    • Research and Prepare: Understand the safety dynamics of your destination and plan accordingly.
    • Be Street-Smart: Avoid drawing attention with flashy items and trust your instincts.
    • Share Your Plans: Always let someone know your whereabouts, whether you’re using a ride-sharing service, going on a date, or hiking.
    • Secure Accommodations: Ensure your hotel room is secure to avoid unwanted surprises.

For more safety tips, take a look at the Essential Solo Female Traveler’s Safety Guide.


Responsibility for Your Travel Planning

As a solo traveler, there is no playing follow-the-leader, you are responsible for your travel planning (or lack thereof), which can be overwhelming sometimes.

    • Plan Ahead: Research, book, and map out your journey in advance.
    • Stay Flexible: While it’s important to plan, be open to spontaneous changes that may enhance your travel experience.

Missing the Familiar: Embrace the new

Sure, you might miss your own comfortable bed or drinks with your bestie at times. But, solo travel is your chance to discover new things or stumble upon a travel buddy who shares your obsession with llama selfies.

    • Discover New Favorites: Replace homesickness with the excitement of discovering local cuisines and cultures.
    • Stay Connected: Use a local SIM card to keep in touch with loved ones and combat feelings of loneliness.

Dealing with Travel Inconveniences

Things happen, you might lose your suitcase after a 10 hour flight where you had a crying baby next to you. Things like that will test your patience. But instead of letting them ruin your day, take a deep breath, and remember: some of the best travel stories are born from the bumps in the road.

    • Stay Calm and Adapt: Face common travel issues like lost luggage or delays with a positive attitude and quick thinking.
    • Embrace the Unpredictable: Remember, the challenges often lead to memorable stories and learning experiences.

Traveling as a woman alone certainly has its cons, but with the right mindset and preparation, these challenges can be managed, leading to an enriching solo travel experience.

My Personal Solo Travel Strategies

As an introvert, I’ve always found solo travel to be the most fulfilling way to explore the world.
I love road trips (like this road trip in Portugal), house sitting and slow travel. These travel styles allow me the flexibility to balance social interaction with moments of solitude, aligning perfectly with my personality. 

View from the Säntis in Switzerland

The key to a successful solo journey is selecting destinations and a travel approach that resonates with your personal traits. For those who thrive on shared experiences, staying in hostels and joining group activities could be ideal.

However, if you’re like me and your social energy depletes quickly, opting for a hotel or Airbnb can be better. This gives you the freedom to socialize on your own terms, ensuring a more enjoyable and comfortable travel experience.

Conclusion: Embracing Traveling as a Woman Alone

Despite the challenges of traveling as a woman alone, the benefits are far outweigh any negatives. 

I encourage women who are contemplating solo travel to take the leap. It’s not just a journey through different destinations, but also a journey within, offering insights and growth that are truly unparalleled. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, there’s a travel style that can suit your personality, ensuring that your solo travel experience is as enriching as it is exciting.

FAQs Traveling as a Woman Alone

Is it safe to solo travel as a woman?

Yes, with proper planning and precautions, it’s perfectly safe to travel alone as a woman. Research your destination, stay aware of your surroundings, and follow safety advice specific to the area you’re visiting.

Is a solo trip a good idea for a girl?

Absolutely! A solo trip can be empowering and enriching. It allows personal growth, independence, and the chance to connect with new cultures and people.

What is solo female travel?

Solo female travel is when a woman travels alone, exploring new places and experiences independently. It’s about embracing adventure on your own terms.

Is it weird to travel alone?

Not at all. Traveling alone is becoming increasingly popular. It’s a great way to explore at your own pace and offers a unique opportunity for self-discovery and independence.

Is traveling alone worth it?

Yes, traveling alone is definitely worth it. It can be a rewarding experience that allows for personal growth, flexibility in planning, and the chance to meet new people and immerse yourself in different cultures.


Written by Stefanie

I'm Stefanie, your adventurer-in-chief at She Roams Free, and solo travel enthusiast. The world has been my playground since I first hopped on a plane from my home in the Netherlands to South Africa by myself, way back in 2002. Solo travel has been my preferred way to see the world ever since, with South Africa, Namibia and Botswana being my favorite destinations. It has been a baptism by bushveld, a crash course in self-reliance, and a love affair with the unknown. My goal is to inspire other solo female travelers through my stories, and provide tips to explore the world safely and experience the same freedom!

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