Take the trip even if it means traveling alone

Solo female travelers want to see the world and it’s not a question of if they should take the plunge and go at it alone, it’s becoming a question of when.

“When you think of going on a holiday by yourself, usually you think of it as being a lonely experience but I find it to be quite the opposite,” says travel blogger Katie McIntosh.  “I always end up talking to people I meet during my days exploring.”

Katie’s Instagram features locations most of us dream about, and she has ventured out solo to countless locations all over the globe including Iceland, Sri Lanka and France.  Her husband’s schedule is very unpredictable so she travels when he is deployed and also occasionally ends up booking trips when he is home.  She started traveling alone when she was 12 with a trip to New Zealand to visit family during a holiday break from school.

TRAVELING SOLO DOESN’T MEAN YOU’RE GOING TO BE ALONE THE ENTIRE TIME.

Solo travelers want to go on new adventures, enjoy a great meal, discover a hidden gem about a location and be around good energy.

“Women just don’t buy the dusty notion that there are places off limits to them just because they’re women. The focus is now on educating yourself before you go to make sure you’re set up for a successful trip,” says Julia Pond, editorial director of Trip.com, a travel resource and website.

Singapore, Amsterdam, Lisbon and Dublin are popular destinations for solo female travelers according to Trip.com, and the list is expanding.  Pond says, “travel to Egypt is up nearly 52 percent and Colombia has increased by almost 53 percent.”

YOU’VE BOUGHT YOUR TICKET, NOW WHAT.

When you are ready to go on your solo adventure, always use common sense.  McIntosh avoids staying out late drinking; she walks with purpose and always tells someone where she is going.

“I’ve had people stop to chat with me, help me when I am lost, offer tips for things to see and do and even been invited to join others tables when I have eaten alone at a restaurant,” says McIntosh.

She tells HER Magazine, “I have had some dodgy encounters while traveling alone and even recently had one mugging attempt, but the overwhelming majority of people are kind, helpful and welcoming.”

Ask questions, do your research and most importantly have fun.  Read reviews but also consider what works for you and your comfort level.

“Check out the local norms for dress and match up to those as best you can (this applies in France – where ultra-casual American wear stands out – and India, where there are dramatically different ideas about covering up)” says Pond.

“Traveling alone might sound strange, it might even sound scary, but it can be a fun and liberating experience,” says McIntosh,  “it can teach you a lot about yourself and give you memories (and selfies) to last a lifetime.”

Like what you’re reading? Access HER magazine’s monthly publication in iTunes or Google Play – it’s where we feature powerhouse women you can learn from and share exclusive content you won’t find here.

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